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This video is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Allan Wallace. He has been a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, and has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.
http://www.alanwallace.org/

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Free will is the greatest gift of God to man,’ says Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita (Bh.G. 1.39). ‘Man has freedom of action; thereby he can adopt any channel, good or bad, through which he wants the course of his life to flow’ (Bh.G. 2.27). We know that freedom is very fulfilling, we all want more and more freedom. Freedom equates with happiness, independence and sovereignty. And indeed, man seems to be more free than any other life form.

Intuitively we may feel free – aren’t we free to think, speak and act as we like? However, certain kinds of behaviors are regarded as more wise than other kinds of behaviors. Actions do call forth reactions. Actions do have consequences. All of us are acquainted with the Law of Nature that requires that the reaction is equal and opposite to the action. Or, as the ancient saying goes:

‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’
This is universal village knowledge, as Maharishi once put it. We can do as we please, only we should be ready to bear the consequences of our actions.

Is this the whole story of free will and predestination? Certainly not, since we can ask ourselves the very important question: Why do I act the way I act? Why do I speak the way I speak? Why do I think the way I think? Why do I desire what I desire? One person goes for art, another for science. Some go for philosophy, others for religion. The one likes silence, the other is fond of action. We all have different tastes and likings. We all have different natures.

Where do all these differences come from? The nature of one person predisposes one for a certain profession, the nature of the other predisposes this one for a completely different profession. All of us act more or less on the basis of our free choice. But our free choice definitely seems to be based on the structure of our personality, our nature. Is it not our nature that inclines us to do certain things, and avoid other things? There is an saying in Dutch: The character and the fate of a person relate to each other like the key to the lock. Obviously, free will is somehow based upon our nature.
Let us examine our own experience a bit closer. In the ordinary waking state, we feel somehow that we are pretty free, but not completely. On the other hand, we intuitively feel that something is predetermined for us, in other words, we feel that, to some extent, we are destined to have certain experiences in life, but we are not able to determine exactly what.

It is only natural, that sooner or later we ask ourselves the question: How far does the freedom go? What exactly is its nature? And similarly: how far does the predestination go? What is its nature?
In the normal waking state, we shall not able to sort out the answers to these metaphysical questions. Throughout the ages, philosophers and wise men have tried to define the range of our freedom and the nature of predestination. But because perception in the waking state of consciousness is very much limited, hardly anyone has hit the mark. Let us take up some of the generally expressed viewpoints in this matter.

Dog on a Line
Some say our situation in life is like that of a dog, who is taken out by its master, and is attached to a leash. The dog is allowed to frolic around somewhat, ease its nature, and – if it is lucky in life – its master is lenient enough to take notice of its wishes, and allows the dog to lead him on somewhat. Especially recently, the freedom of dogs is rather great, since the invention of leashes that can be extended up to 10 meters or so. Like this, we human beings are free to some extent, but simultaneously bound to some extent.

Fish in a river
Others compare our situation with a fish in the river. The river is flowing downstream, and carries the fish automatically to a certain destination.
‘Certain things are meant to be, as rivers surely flow into the sea.’
The fish can choose to swim left or right or in the middle, etc. Some fish can even exert will to work themselves upstream.

Game of cards
Others are fond of saying that life can be likened to a game of cards. Destiny allots a set of cards to each of us, containing some good, some medium, and some bad cards. Then it is up to each of us to use our Creative Intelligence to make something out of that hand of cards. Either we focus ourselves on winning, and use all the alertness that is in our command, or we do not exert ourselves very much and leave many opportunities unused.

Dark labyrinth
Others say that our situation on earth is like that of many persons trying to find their way in a dark labyrinth. The structure of the labyrinth is so complex that hardly anyone finds the way out and is finally liberated. The majority grope in darkness, not possessed of a comprehensive map of the place, and are destined to die before finding the way out.

Airport
Some say that the free will of today is the determinism of tomorrow. This viewpoint is illustrated in the following analogy: At an airport, we are faced with hundreds of options of where to go. But once we have bought a ticket for Chicago, and entered the plane, we are bound to end up in Chicago. We must be ready to accept the consequences of this free choice.

Experiences in the waking state of consciousness
When we take a close look at these different analogies, however, we will find that they do not provide the ultimate answer regarding the nature of free will, nor do they define the ultimate nature of predestination. It is clear that these analogies relate to the experiences that we have in the waking state of consciousness, and it is for this reason that they do not tell the whole story. They leave many things unexplained.

For instance, regarding the analogy of the dog, we can ask, why did the master at a certain point in time buy such a modern extending line by which the freedom of the dog was increased?

Regarding the fish analogy, we can ask ourselves why it is that one fish is so headstrong that he swims upstream while another takes it easy and lets himself be carried on by the river. Regarding the game of cards, we can ask the relevant question: ‘What did I do to deserve such a lucky set of cards? If you say it is coincidence, then what happened to that universal village knowledge: ‘as you sow so shall you reap’? Is it suddenly not applicable anymore? Regarding the labyrinth we could ask: ‘Why is the world experienced as a labyrinth?’ or ‘How did we end up in this labyrinth anyway?’ Regarding the airport analogy the valid question would be: ‘Why did I prefer Chicago to San Francisco?’
Every philosophy is simply the expression of a certain level of experiences in life. The Science of Creative Intelligence explains that knowledge is structured in consciousness, and that knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.

The reason for the existence of so many different philosophies is the fact that we each experience life from our own individual viewpoint.
The waking state of consciousness covers an infinite range of experiences, but they all have one thing in common: They do not touch the ultimate truth of life. The waking state of consciousness is like a house with a few windows here and there. Dwelling in the house, we are not able to see the entire range of our environment. When something passes in front of our window, we can see it clearly, but we are not aware of where it came from, nor are we able to determine where it goes to. This tempts us to believe that we are living in a world full of coincidences. Moreover, this restricted perception of the waking state poses an open invitation for us to indulge in speculation.

Cosmic consciousness, mentioned earlier, is like a house made of glass. We are able to see 360 degree of our environment. To the farthest horizon, we can see certain events coming up and taking shape, before they pass by and merge once again with the horizon. Cosmic consciousness is characterized by 360° openness of awareness. This makes for good scientists, and for good artists as well. From this platform of unbounded awareness , now we are able to distinguish both subtle causes as well as the subtle mechanics that structure our life.

Furthermore, in this state of cosmic consciousness, we gain clear insight into the nature of ourselves – we are possessed of self-knowledge. We bring true fulfillment to the ancient Greek teaching:
‘Gnothi Seauton’ – ‘Know Thyself’, the central advice of both Socrates and Plato. We experience the absolute, unbounded and eternal nature of our Self; we have discovered our true identity.
From this unbounded and, therefore, unbiased viewpoint, we are capable now to appreciate that all actions of persons, including ourselves, are based upon their own very nature.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:
‘Sadrisham cheshtate svasyah
prakriter gyanavanapi prakritim yanti bhutani’

‘Creatures follow their own nature. Even the enlightened man acts according to his own nature’ (Bh.G. 3.33).

This expression is based upon a deep appreciation of the unique nature of every single individual. It is clear that the free will that we as individuals exercise is determined by our very nature.

Herein lies an answer to the question why certain fishes swim upstream, while others are happy to be carried on by the river. It suggests that the more self-knowledge we develop, the more insight we gain into our deepest motivations, and desires. But this is not yet the ultimate resolution of the paradox of free will and predetermination. For instance, what about the influence that creatures exert on other creatures, and what of environmental influences?

In order to provide answers to these deepest questions that life poses to us, the wise, throughout the ages have advised us to meditate – to transcend our thoughts and feelings, our memories, desires, worries and plans – in order to obtain a complete, and all comprehensive insight into the mechanics of life, the mechanics of creation. In the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to transcend all phases of relative experience, and just be:

‘Nistraigunyo bhavarjuna
nirdvandvo nityasattvastho
niryogakshema atmavan’

‘Be without the three Gunas, O Arjuna,
freed from duality, ever firm in purity of awareness,
possessed of the Self.’ (Bh.G. 2.45)

Be without the three Gunas: Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, the three qualities of nature that are responsible for conducting all processes of change, all transformations, and all processes of evolution in the universe. Transcend them, Arjuna. Just be yourself, be established in your simplest form of awareness, get out of the field of change, and experience pure being, the source of all change.

That is to say, establish your awareness in the state of unity, beyond diversity, beyond thoughts and feelings. In that state, the mind is freed from boundaries. When the mind has transcended itself, and has identified itself with pure, unbounded consciousness, it is absolutely free. Thus we see that pure consciousness, transcendental consciousness, is the state of real freedom. To put it even more clearly: freedom is a quality of pure consciousness. The more our consciousness is pure, the more we experience freedom in daily life.

Absolute freedom
The freedom that we experience in the waking state is just the reflection of the absolute freedom which is inherent the nature of pure consciousness. Thus it is a universal experience that we only experience real freedom when our mind has identified itself with pure awareness, pure consciousness, pure being. We are not the mind, we are not the body, we have a mind and we have a body. Mind and body are the instruments through with we are able to express our Self.

Having established ourselves in the state of being, the singularity of pure consciousness – we feel subjectively free. This freedom is of an absolute nature, because now we have identified ourselves with the Unified Field of all the Laws of Nature, the intrinsic quality of which is absolute freedom. This experience – which is now easily available through the technique of Transcendental Meditation – is traditionally described as ‘liberation’, or ‘moksha’, in the language of Vedic Science.

Having established our awareness in a state of absolute freedom, does this mean that our thinking, speech, and behaviour becomes lawless, or anarchistic? Rather the opposite is true. Once we have established ourselves on the level of transcendental consciousness, all stresses in our nervous system which impeded and disturbed the natural and efficient functioning of our mind-body system are dissolved. In Transcendental Meditation, this occurs simultaneously with the expansion of consciousness. The growth of purity in our mind-body system automatically leads to more balanced functioning of both the physiology and the psychology, which makes behavior more natural and more balanced. In other words, we begin to act more and more in accord with all the Laws of Nature.

The Uninvolved Witness
Thus, we make the paradoxical discovery that the more we experience real freedom the more we become open to the fact that all our thoughts, speech and actions are conducted by the eternally fixed Laws of Nature. What is crucial in the context of the mechanics of creation – the mechanics of our consciousness – is that, when we have taken our stand in our real Self, in the purity of our consciousness, we start to be a witness, an uninvolved witness to all the activity that goes on in our mind, body, environment and the universe at large. This witnessing aspect of our consciousness is called ‘saakshi’ in Vedic Science.

This witnessing quality of consciousness is inherent in the very nature of consciousness. In a sense, all that consciousness ever does is witness. When our awareness becomes grounded in Self-awareness, we simply become more and more aware of this witnessing role that our consciousness has always been playing. We no longer identify ourselves exclusively with our mind-body system. In cosmic consciousness, we experience our real Self as pure awareness, and we are aware that the mind-body system is simply a part of the whole of nature which performs its actions spontaneously and automatically.

Cosmic Consciousness
Cosmic consciousness is the concrete experience when pure consciousness, gained first in meditation, has become an established feature of our being – pure consciousness, as the witness, is spontaneously and naturally maintained during all activities of the waking, dreaming and sleeping states of consciousness. In this state of all comprehensive awareness, or cosmic consciousness, we find the resolution of the eternal paradox of free will and predestination: Subjectively we are absolutely free, but objectively speaking, all our activities are carried out by all the Laws of Nature. From this cosmic perspective, we are able to see the truth about both the subjective and the objective sides of our existence. Subjectively, we know we are part of the eternal and absolute silent value of consciousness; and objectively, we know that we are part of the eternally dynamic value of existence.

In cosmic consciousness, we directly experience that our subjectivity belongs to absolute silence, and that our objectivity belongs to the eternal dynamism of the ‘automatic production line’ of creation. When we no longer identify ourselves with the mind or the body, we know we are just the silent witness of all that is, was, and will be. Or, as the Bhagavad Gita puts it,

‘Naiva kincit karomiti yukto manyeta tattvavit’
‘He whose awareness is united and knows the truth,
he will maintain “I do not act at all”.’ (Bh.G. 5.8)

Not that the mind-body system stops being active after having gained a higher state of consciousness – we simply become aware of the fact that we are not acting, and that in the past we have never been acting, and that in the future our true Self will never be acting!
What is it then that makes our mind, body, intellect, and senses act? It is nature, nothing but nature, as Lord Krishna says to Arjuna:

‘Prakrityai va cha karmani kriyamanani sarvashah,
yah pashyati tathatmanam akartaram sa pashyati’
‘He verily sees, who sees that all actions are done by nature alone, and that the Self is actionless.’ (Bh.G. 13.29).

The Yoga Vasishtha confirms this experience, which is the characteristic of cosmic consciousness:
‘When thus one realizes the supreme, which is the only essence of truth beyond this ocean of Samsara, one realizes “I am not the doer, but cosmic Creative Intelligence alone is the doer, not even in the past did I do anything”.’ (Y.V. 6.1. 32)

The more our awareness is anchored in eternal silence and absolute freedom, the more we become aware that it is the cosmic Creative Intelligence that conducts all activities of mind, body, behavior, and environment. These mechanics of creation are also revealed by a verse of Rik Veda:

‘Yatinam brahma bhavati sarathih’
‘For him, whose awareness is withdrawn from the field of change, whose awareness is established in its own unbounded nature, the cosmic Creative Intelligence become the charioteer of all actions.’ (Rik Veda 1.158.6)

The more that we are consciously identified with our essential nature as pure consciousness, the more we become aware of the perfect and orderly development that characterizes the ‘automatic production line’ of the universe.

Absolute Freedom and Absolute Predestination
The more self-referral we are, the more we realize the mechanics of nature’s functioning. In this experience of higher states of consciousness, we resolve the paradox of free will and predetermination. In one and the same process of establishing our awareness in transcendental consciousness, we have discovered the truth about freedom, and we have discovered the truth about predestination! From the perspective of cosmic consciousness, we are able to see that these two fields of life exist side by side. Both are 100% in their own right.

In cosmic consciousness, we experience absolute, eternal freedom as the essential quality of our own consciousness, and on that basis, from that transcendental viewpoint, we see the truth about activity – namely that it is conducted by the Laws of Nature, by almighty Nature itself, which moves according to a cosmic plan, outlined in the ‘instruction manual of creation’, the Veda.

However new and perhaps unbelievable this may sound to people in the world, it is exactly the experience in cosmic consciousness. Not that the freedom becomes 100% available in cosmic consciousness, we only become aware of the freedom that has always been there. Likewise, not that predestination becomes 100% operable in cosmic consciousness, we only become aware of the predestination that was eternally there. Vedic Science is not a religion. Nobody is asked to believe anything of this description of life. Vedic Science can verify that it is so! And this is exactly the job that Jyotish performs for us.

In Chapter Three, we mentioned the Vimshottari Dasha system, which allots different Grahas to different periods of our life. With the help of this timetable, we have an overview over the entire ‘production process’ of our life. When we combine this system with the study of the actual position of the Grahas at any given time (the so-called Gochar or transit system), we are in a position to gauge the actual mechanics of our life on a day to day basis!
Having performed this experiment hundreds of times, we have become absolutely convinced that everything develops according to the cosmic plan. All processes of thinking, speaking and acting are the expression of the cosmic mechanics of creation. Having observed this to be true, over and over again, we develop an intuition, a feeling for the perfect and orderly set up of creation – even when our subjective experience is still limited to the waking state of consciousness.

In this way, the study of Jyotish is helpful in expanding our consciousness into cosmic dimensions. In the event that we are meditating, the study of Jyotish becomes supportive to the development of our consciousness that results from regular experience of the absolute level of awareness in meditation. Maharishi emphasizes that knowledge and experience always go hand in hand. Combining the intellectual study of Jyotish with the experiential development brought about by the regular practice of TM, we soon begin to experience glimpses of the cosmic reality, and, in due time, this most natural, blissful, and most exalted state of consciousness becomes a permanent feature of our daily life.

Mere coincidence?
Having secured our subjective existence in absolute bliss consciousness, we begin to recognize that everything big or small, important or non-important is organized by the Creative Intelligence of nature. We start to cognize that all actions and all events are products of the Laws of Nature. In the normal waking state, we were not able to figure out reasons for many events in our lives, and, indeed for many events that were happening in the world at large. But now, when the comprehension of the mind has reached a cosmic perspective, everything begins to make sense to us.

Wise men throughout the ages have had insight in the perfect, just and mathematically precise functioning of Nature. In his Essay on Man, dated 1774, Alexander Pope in England wrote:

‘All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
all chance, direction which thou canst not see;
all discord, harmony, not understood;
all partial evil, universal good;
all chaos, reason which thou canst not see;
One truth we know there is – whatever is, is right’.

These poetical expressions do not come from what we can call the ‘normal’ waking state. These enlightening words come from an experience of a higher state of consciousness, where an intimate unity is experienced with Nature. This experience enabled him to see that ‘all is well and wisely put’ as another great poet once said. The Laws of Nature operate with absolute precision. There is no ‘mere coincidence’ in creation. Every single event, big or small, important or unimportant, good or bad, perfect or imperfect, future or past, is part of an all-embracing, cosmic evolutionary process, in which consciousness is manifesting itself.

God is Not Playing Dice
Is ‘normal’ waking state, we may not comprehend the truth, but that does not mean that it isn’t there. Experiencing the enriched, enlightened state of consciousness, wise men have always tried to awaken us to this cosmic truth. For instance, there is a popular song in India, that says:

‘Dane dane pe lika hai, khane wale ka naam.’
‘On every grain (of rice), the name of the eater is written.’

Here we are also reminded of the great Albert Einstein, who is known to have said:
‘God does not play dice.’
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Einstein of consciousness, once said:
‘Everything is fixed, all the transformations are fixed..
The exact moment of gaining enlightenment is forever fixed.’

Fatalism?
Must these expressions of wise and enlightened men lead the mentality of the world to a kind of fatalism? No, not at all. This would be a wrong conclusion, drawn from perfect knowledge. Admittedly, these wrong conclusions do exist, and they form part of the wide-spread misunderstanding in which the world is today engulfed. But of course, these misunderstandings also form part of the cosmic plan. They must serve some purpose. But the fact that all processes are fixed, does not mean that we are forced to accept the situation as it is, without trying to do something about it. The tendency to help fellowmen who are in distress is just natural.

To give food to the hungry is just human. To give shelter and affection to the needy is just an expression of human nature. To help others to enlightenment, and to experience freedom and success in life, is only natural. To strive for happiness, health, wealth and enlightenment is just natural, embedded in the structure of life itself.

Two Sides of the Same Coin
Brahman, the wholeness of consciousness, the wholeness of all that exists – contains all: knowledge and ignorance, light and darkness, birth and death, freedom and predestination, creation and destruction, good and evil, positive and negative, yin and yang, past and future, perfection and imperfection. To say that everything is ordained and organized by nature should not bewilder the wise. To say that everything is fixed does not mean that we cannot improve anything. To say that everything is fixed does note mean that we are not absolutely free! Our freedom is absolutely fixed. We are all destined to be free. We have the total freedom to create our destiny. Freedom and predestination are two sides of the same coin, the coin of life. Maharishi once said: ‘Life is a composite of a 100% freedom within a 100% determinism.

Master of Our Own Creation
Miraculously, all of us are essentially and totally one with cosmic intelligence, which makes each one of us our own predestinator, whether we are aware of this fact or not. Man is born to be the master of his destiny – we have heard this saying many times. It means that all of us are bound to realize that we are essentially one with the cosmic Creative Intelligence. The more our life evolves in the direction of this realization, the more intelligent and creative our thinking, speaking and acting will be.
Once we start to experience that we are the masters of our own creation, we automatically start to behave in a more and more evolutionary way. We no longer obstruct – as it were – the cosmic force of evolution working in each and every one of us. In this way we start to make use of our full mental potential.

The only reason that we are not making full use of our Creative Intelligence is because of certain stresses that are inhibiting the normal and natural flow of energy and intelligence in our mind-body system. Stress gives rise to frustration, and even to destructive behavior. Crime is the natural expression of stress. It is stress that restricts our awareness and makes us feel bound, makes us feel forced to a certain type of negative behavior. When the stresses are gone, we feel free and unrestricted, and automatically we start to think, speak and act more in accord with the evolutionary Laws of Nature; we feel more supported by the almighty forces of evolution. This results in more positivity, and in health, wealth and wisdom in life.
It is in this light that Maharishi once said:
‘Human life is all divine.’

We are all the creators of our destiny – whether we know it or not! Our mind, the human mind is so infinitely powerful that it creates whatever it contemplates – whether we know what is going on in our mind or not! When the nervous system is free from stress, we have a clear mind, and we naturally create a life that is pleasant for all of us. When stress no longer obstructs our mind-body system – as is the case in cosmic consciousness – we are more and more aware of our infinite free choice in life. Naturally, we choose for progress and happiness. In the state of enlightenment, we naturally desire ‘all good to everyone, and non-good to no-one’.

Becoming enlightened just means that we claim our birthright, and that we start to make use of our inborn potential, which, according to Vedic Science, is unlimited in its scope and power.

When we become dedicated to the idea of creating a heaven on earth, it is bound to happen. And in fact, the study of Jyotish is an excellent aid to that: we study the wonderful orderliness and harmony of the celestial mechanics, and apply this knowledge here on earth. This is the whole purpose of Jyotish and, in fact, the whole purpose of each and every branch of Vedic Science. Each of those branches of ‘Brahma vidya’ – knowledge of the totality – gives a complete insight, each from its own vantage point, into the mechanics of creation. Each branch of Vedic Science offers the potential to raise life to its full dignity – enlightenment to the individual and a disease-free, problem-free society for every nation.

As It Should Be
The whole truth about life – the whole truth about freedom and predestination – is summarized in a little interaction of Maharishi. A few years ago Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was interviewed by a French journalist, who asked: ‘Maharishi, how does the world look like in the highest state of consciousness?’ Then Maharishi said:

‘Then you see that everything is exactly as it should be’.
The man, not realizing the depth of this expression, asked: ‘But why then, are you working so hard to improve the situation?’ Whereupon Maharishi smilingly answered: ‘Because that is exactly as it should be’.

In this little anecdote, the whole wisdom of the Vedas and the Vedic literature is contained. Thus, it forms a beautiful summary of the solution to the riddle of free Will and Predestination!

Copyright © Drs. Frans Langenkamp, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Author’s Bio:
Frans Langenkamp is Vedic Astrologer and Vedanta Expert. His specialties are Life Purpose Readings and Cosmic Coaching.

Progress is only possible through longing. And as the path of progress is infinite, there should be infinite longing. Thus longing becomes itself a form of the infinite, to be desired for its own sake. This is why the mystics idealize longing. The other name for longing is love.
Irina Tweedie

What a wild ride this human life is. Every moment is an opportunity to show up fully as who we are, an opportunity to create and to be created. The choice is always between turning our back to the moment or turning our vulnerable, open heart and belly toward the moment.

The divine feminine is radical in the way she guides us into a territory way beyond the confined limits of our thinking. Although our minds love to reach conclusions, to achieve goals, to me—at least—this life doesn’t seem to have any goal outside the meaningfulness inherent in this unfolding, this evolution, this play of life itself. While your ambitious mind may desire to reach an ultimate state of enlightenment, your wild heart is fully involved in a never-ending enlightening process.

In the territory of feminine embodiment, we are guided by different rules than just the linear, the logic and rationale. And isn’t this what we long for, to have these golden moments of rest from our chattering minds, where we just are? Where we are immersed in a current bigger, wilder, and wiser than us?

The feminine embodiment practices are processes of remembering. You will remember, not old dusty dogmas or tidy models of reality, but rather the capacity to stay awake, present and in the body, at the very edge of each moment. It is here at this edge that evolution is happening. It is here—right here in this breath—that you become a co-creator of your future. You will remember how thrillingly alive you feel when you are fully here, fully present. You will remember not mental theories, but life itself, lived in its most awake expression. You remember love.

We dive into the intimate process of embodying our awakening and from here our relationship to our spirituality fundamentally changes. We will no longer seek to “transcend” or get rid of our humanness, but to open ourselves to a multi-dimensional life right here in the midst of it all.

In this directly experienced spirituality, we learn to see through our habits of dividing the “mundane” from the “spiritual”, every dimension of life is experienced as part of the same whole. We sense the suffering intrinsic to any kind of duality, and we start to breathe awareness down into our bodies, welcoming human life as an opportunity to awaken, to learn and to contribute. Our spiritual concepts transform into a tangible, embodied love.


Chameli Ardagh
Founder of Awakening Women Institute

Chameli is a leading pioneer in contemporary feminine spirituality, and she has inspired thousands of women around the world with her breakthrough methods for living and embodying feminine awakening. She is especially appreciated for her love of mythology and storytelling as a method for illuminating our hidden strength and beauty.

As a teen Chameli embarked on her journey as a spiritual explorer, which, at the age of twenty, led her to India, which she has returned to more than fifteen times. She has studied with many remarkable mentors and undergone thousands of hours of intense practice of meditation and spiritual studies. The last 15 years she has been a student of ShantiMayi, a wisdom teacher based in India and France.

The Goddess Durga & the real source of Feminine Power ~ Chameli Ardagh

Chameli Ardagh, Founder of Awakeningwomen.com speaks about the Goddess Durga and a vision on a new feminine source of power

Published on Oct 10, 2017

Tara Talks: Not Enough Time – with Tara Brach

The more stressed we are, the more likely it is that we’ll mistake the needs of someone we care about for “an interruption.”


In this video, Eckhart Tolle tell us how we can transcend suffering!

We live in the age of awakening. More and more people are concerned about this: Who or what am I? I’m just the sum of my personal life story, memories, experiences, thoughts and sufferings? Or is therein me a hidden dimension of a mysterious consciousness, which is superimposed by the noise of my personal life stories?

The spiritual awakening means for the person the ability “to clearly see that what I perceive, experience, think or feel, is after all not the same as what I am.” As soon as a person recognizes who he or she is not, immediately comes the recognition of who he or she actually is: “The light of consciousness, in which perceptions, experiences, thoughts and emotions come and go. This consciousness in the background, is the deeper, real self.”

The Presence thus created (conscious alertness) brings about the sense of tranquility and internal peace. The sustained conscious attention launches the spiritual process of transubstantiation that leads the individual to conscious alertness, new perspective and new ways of observing. This process, by transforming the consciousness of the person, changes the entire personality of the individual.

The transformation of the conscience, the beginning of spiritual consciousness, is when the person experiences that he or she is the consciousness that perceives the operation of Ego. In Tolle’s opinion, when a person is aware that he/she is thinking, the consciousness that experiences this is not part of the person’s thinking. This is another dimension of consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle believes that this conscious alertness has already appeared at a small, but rapidly increasing part of mankind.

Following the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, Frank M Wanderer created the Conscious Alertness Scale and carried out its statistical analysis. The purpose has been developing a new measuring instrument for the recognition of spiritual consciousness. An attempt has been made to find out whether this new consciousness exists at all and to what extent it is present in the population concerned (college students).

The measuring instrument thus created was used to seek an answer to the question as to whether the Conscious Alertness was present among college students, and whether there was any difference between the two genders in this respect. Eight hundred and fifty-four students were involved in the survey.

Frank research has verified his research hypothesis, that is, Conscious Alertness is present among college students.

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The Conscious Alertness Scale revealed three dimensions of the Presence:

1. Reduction in the functions of Ego
2.Transcending the functions of Ego
3.Alert consciousness in the present

Among college students, the Alert Consciousness in the Present dimension of the Conscious Alertness had the highest prevalence.

Within that dimension, the sense of an “inner body” (an internal vividness behind the external body) was the most common. Of the students, 14,4% experience this feeling several times a day and 13,1% of them at least once a day. An individual is only able to experience this emotion if he or she is consciously experiencing the current moment. Of the college students, 9,8% experiences an emotion several times a day and 9,1% does so once a day that the surrounding world is the reflection of the universal existence. Of the students, 8,5% see themselves in moments of clear conscience several times a day and 4,6% of them experiences this at least once a day. Of the students, 5,9% experience the sense of peace and happiness without any particular reason every day, and 3,3% of them are visited by this feeling several times a day.

The second most common dimension of Conscious Alertness was Reduction in the Functions of Ego. Within that, the reduction of the desire to possess things was particularly conspicuous.

Of the students, 9,8% rarely and 3,3% of them never or almost never experienced the longing for something more. Being offended and nursing, sustaining the sense of being offended as the strategies of reinforcing the Ego also had a diminishing tendency among many of the college students (rarely: 6,5%, never or almost never 2,6%; nursing the sense of being offended: rarely 5,2%, never or almost never 2,6%). The prevalence of experiencing the sense of “I am right” as a strategy of sustaining and reinforcing the Ego also diminished considerably among college students. Of those college students, 5,2% of them rarely and 3,3% of them never or almost never experience this emotion. Of the college students, 7,8% rarely experience the recklessness and dissatisfaction rooted in dissatisfied want and desires, and 1,3% of them almost never do. The withdrawal of the Ego was the least spectacular at complaining (rarely 2,6%, never or almost never 1,3% of them complain) and boasting (2,1% boast rarely, 0,7% never or almost never do so).

The prevalence of Transcending the Functions of Ego was the least common among the components of the Conscious Alertness.

Within that dimension, transcending thinking and emotions were the most frequent patterns of behavior. 3,3% of the students experience this impression daily and 2% several times a day. Of the students, 2,6% have the impression that their thoughts and emotions constitute only a small fragment of their real personalities, and 0,7% of them encounter this feeling several times a day. In the frequency of occurrence, this was followed by the detachment from external things, which was experienced by 3,2% of the students every day and 0,7% of them several times a day. Students appeared to be least capable of transcending the perpetual operation of thinking; only 1,4% of them experienced that the stream of their was aimless and repetitive.

Eckhart Tolle argues that the emergence of the Conscious Alertness is relatively independent of gender; it appears in men as well as in women.

Frank research findings underpin this opinion, as we were unable to reveal any considerable difference between the genders in any of the dimensions of Conscious Alertness.

~ Frank M. Wanderer

We have now seen that Jyotish is one of the limbs (Angas) of Rik Veda. In fact, Jyotish is considered the most important of all the six Vedangas. Just as Vedanta, the most important of the six Upangas, contains within its fold all the knowledge and principles enumerated in the other five Upangas, so Jyotish forms both the synopsis as well as the culmination of the other five Vedangas.

The term Jyotish consists of two words namely “Jyoti” and “sha.” “Jyoti” means “light” while “sha” means “the best, the most excellent, eternal.” Thus, Jyotish refers to the most excellent of all lights. What actually is the best of all lights? Is there any eternal light? All the Upanishads are there to declare that the light of the Self, the light of the consciousness of man is the light of all lights, the source of all visible lights. It is identified with the eternal light of Brahman, the essence of the entire creation.

Yajnavalkya in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad declares that when all visible lights have gone, the inner light of the Self still remains, guiding man in all his thoughts, speech and actions (See Br. Up. 4.3.6.). Thus, Jyotish refers to the light of all lights, the light of pure consciousness, the Self of all beings. Jyotish is therefore really a limb of the Veda, since the Veda is nothing but, if not the encyclopaedia of the structuring dynamics of consciousness, which are responsible for the creation and evolution of all that exists in the universe.

Traditionally, Jyotish has been regarded as the eyes of the Veda, the eyes of pure knowledge, by which the structure of the Veda itself can be known and understood – indeed, by which the entire creation can be known and understood. Because Jyotish is such an important limb of the body of Rik Veda, we should be able to locate the basic ingredients of Jyotish in Rik Veda. Let us, therefore take a closer look at the structure of the Veda, as revealed by Maharishi’s Apaurusheya Bhasya. The Apaurusheya Bhasya on Rik Veda

The Rik Veda consists of ten Chapters called mandalas. Maharishi’s Apaurusheya Bhasya (uncreated commentary) on the Rik Veda has made clear that all the knowledge of the ten mandalas of Rik Veda is concentratedly available in the first mandala, consisting of 192 suktas (hymns).

Furthermore, the commentary indicates that all knowledge of the first mandala is contained in the first sukta, consisting of nine richas (verses). And that all knowledge of the first sukta is contained in the first richa, consisting of nine words. And that all the knowledge contained in the first richa is contained in the first pada (a group of eight syllables). And that the knowledge contained in first pada is contained in the first word. And that the knowledge of the first word is contained in the first syllable “Ak.” And that the knowledge of the first syllable is contained in the first letter “A.”
Maharishi is the first commentator of the Rik Veda throughout the long corridor of time, who is aware of this perfect orderly and sequential structure of Rik Veda. Furthermore, Maharishi is the first commentator to give importance to the gaps between the syllables, words, padas, richas, suktas, and mandalas.

The 9 grahas associated with the 9 words of Rik Veda
We have seen earlier that the nine grahas are the point values of the nine basic universal Laws of Nature, which are responsible for creating, maintaining and dissolving the entire universe. Please note that the grahas are not identical with the Laws of Nature; they are the physical representation of the Laws of Nature. (In the case of Rahu and Ketu, they are just mathematical points, invisible but calculable as the intersection of the Moon’s orbital plane with the ecliptic.) The nine grahas taken together represent all the forces of nature, responsible for the creation and evolution of everything in the universe. This being the case, as is taught to us by the ancient Maharshi’s, all qualities and characteristics of the nine planets must be considered part and parcel of the whole text of Rik Veda.

Thanks to Maharishi’s Apaurusheya Bhasya, we know that the entire Veda is contained in all its levels of elaboration. If the Veda is the expression of all the Laws of Nature, and if the nine grahas represent all the Laws of Nature, then certainly the knowledge of the nine grahas must be contained in all levels of expression of Rik Veda. As we learned earlier, the entire knowledge of the Veda is in compact form available in the first letter, the first syllable, the first word, first pada, first sukta and first mandala.

It should be possible to demonstrate that the knowledge of the nine grahas is completely available on each of these levels of elaboration of the Vedic text. Preliminary research has shown that this is indeed very well possible. We are in the happy circumstance that we are in the possession of Maharishi’s written commentary on one of these levels of elaboration, i.e., the first richa of Rik Veda.

Is it a coincidence that this first richa of Rik Veda, comprising the totality of Rik Veda, consists of nine words? Jyotish informs us that their are no coincidences in this universe. Could it be that there exists a correspondence between these nine words and the nine grahas?

Maharishi’s written translation and commentary on this first richa of Rik Veda can be found in a publication, issued in 1976, under the title Creating an Ideal Society – a Global Undertaking. In this book, Maharishi elaborates on the inherent meaning of each of the first nine words of Rik Veda, in the context of describing the 16 versions of the Constitution of the World Government of the Age of Enlightenment. The first richa of Rik Veda reads as follows: “Agnim ile purohitam yagyasya devam ritvijam hotaram ratna dhatamam.” (Rik Veda 1.1.1)

Let us take up Maharishi’s in-depth descriptions of these first nine words of Rik Veda, and see whether they can be related to the basic qualities, the essential nature of each of the nine grahas. The definition of each of the nine words, given below between quotation marks, has been taken beginning with page 128 of this publication.

Agnim
“…contains within its structure, in seed form, the full knowledge of all Laws of Nature, all evolutionary processes, and all forms and actions in the universe. A such it represents the whole value of Supreme intelligence…”

Clearly this relates to Surya, the Sun, who in Jyotish represents pure consciousness, Creative Intelligence, the Self, the source of all knowledge and action. The superficial word meaning of Agni is “fire,” and the Sun is the only graha that consists of fire and is illuminating with its light all the other grahas of the solar system. Just as Agni is the source of the whole Veda and the Vedic Literature, the Sun can be seen as the source of all activity and life forms in the solar system.

Ile
“…displays the Mechanics of Creation, contained within the word Agnim. … It expresses the first awakening of the Laws of Nature as they initiate activity within the field of consciousness.” This relates to Chandra, the Moon, because in Jyotish the Moon represents the mind, which is just another expression for “activity within the field of consciousness.”

“By virtue of being awareness, transparent to itself, consciousness emerges from within its pure potentiality (Agnim) and, curving back on to itself (Ile) establishes an “observer-observed” relationship within its own structure.” It is activity in consciousness that structures the subject-object relationship within the indivisible wholeness of consciousness. Here, we have the description of how the mind relates to pure consciousness, or in terms of Jyotish how the Moon interacts with the Sun and further how it reflects the values of the Sun. “Ile,”

Maharishi states, “is the first sprouting of the supreme intelligence to become the first expression of Creative Intelligence.” This passage describes how the mind arises out of pure consciousness. Maharishi has stated that Ile means “to repeat over and over again” – in terms of Jyotish, this mainly refers to the Moon, since the Moon represents anything of a cyclical nature. During the process of Transcendental Meditation, the mind “curves back onto the self,” like the Moon is merging into Sun every month again. This illustrates the fact that Ile relates to the qualities and characteristics of the Moon as described by Jyotish.

Purohitam
“…is pure potentiality in motion … it is the wholeness of consciousness enlivened by self-knowledge and capable of initiating action within its own unmanifest structure… the silent initiator and inner controller of all action, the fountainhead of all authority, law and power…”
In Jyotish, Mangala (Mars) is described as the army general, the initiator of action, the archetype of power and authority. Maharishi emphasises that the power and authority exhibited by Purohitam, is derived from Agnim – this is precisely the case with Mangala, the army general, whose power and authority are based upon the strength of the king Surya (the Sun).
These points establish the fact that Purohitam relates to Mangala.

Yagyasya
“…expresses the code of action by which any desired goal can be achieved. The mechanics of achievement are that consciousness, simply by following its own nature, puts its infinite potential to use in the field of action.”
Consciousness expresses its nature through desiring. Desiring is the ultimate means of achieving anything. This principle relates perfectly to Rahu (the Northern lunar moon node), since its very nature is to desire, and to achieve one goal after another.

Rahu is the locomotive of life, the locomotive of desire, by which creatures follow their own nature. It is interesting to note that the Shrimad Bhagavatam, one of the two Mahapuranas, makes mention of a boar incarnation of God. This boar is the embodiment of all Yagyas. Yagyas are subtle technologies of Vedic engineering, by which any desired goal can be achieved.

In the Second Chapter of the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Parashara enumerates the ten incarnations of God, and classifies them with reference to a certain graha. In this classification the boar incarnation relates to Rahu.. From these points it is evident that there is a cosmic correspondence between yagyasya and the qualities of Rahu.

Devam
“…is the impulse of Creative Intelligence that spontaneously leads all activity in an evolutionary direction.”

Clearly, this is the function of Guru (Jupiter), who is the guide, the teacher, the spiritual preceptor of the Devas, (impulses of Creative Intelligence, personified as gods). Of all the grahas it is mainly the quality of Guru that makes us go for evolution, expansion, enlightenment, etc. Guru shows us the way toward the realization of evolutionary goals and aspirations. From this consideration it is clear that devam is an exact expression of the Guru principle.

Ritvijam
“…is the absolute, non-active value of Creative Intelligence. The supreme intelligence is so unlimited that it can function without functioning – its very presence regulates activity so that it is spontaneously right” … it is … “the element which maintains wholeness of consciousness and witnesses all activity.”
These attributes of consciousness [remember: we are speaking of different qualities of one and the same consciousness] remind us of the characteristics of Shani (Saturn). Shani represents the Absolute, the silence, meditation, introspection, the state of yoga, the witnessing aspect of our consciousness, the gate to perfection in life. It represents our conscience, the inner guiding light for all our thought, speech and action. Thus it is clear that ritvijam represents the essence of the Shani principle.

Hotaram
“…is Creative Intelligence in action. Whereas ritvijam faces himself, Hotaram faces activity”… by which … “the whole range of activity can be endowed with the infinite potential of Creative Intelligence, so that every action yields the greatest results. Its goal is lively fulfilment in the waves of living.”
This description clearly relates to the Budha principle represented by the graha Budha (Mercury), who is the fast moving graha of Creative Intelligence in action. Budha infuses intelligence, creativity, liveliness and joy into all phases of our daily life and even in our professional sphere.

On the level of the superficial meaning of this first richa of Rik Veda, hotaram refers to the actual performer of a yagya (Vedic performance) – the person who is reciting the appropriate mantras of the Vedas, while dextrously pouring prescribed oblations into the fire. This is exactly the characteristic of Budha, who in Jyotish parlance, is said to know all the four Vedas by heart, and is the dextrous, skilled performer of intelligent actions. All these points clearly establish a connection between hotaram and Budha.

Ratna
“…the pure brilliance of Creative Intelligence shining in its most concentrated form between silence and action, Absolute and relative”… it is “the grace of life in its highest form, the culmination of all processes of evolution.”

Clearly, this description can only relate to Ketu (the Southern lunar node), since Ketu is known as the “mokshakaraka” the bestower of moksha, liberation, which Vedic Science declares to be the culmination of all processes of evolution. Ketu stands for total knowledge, total enlightenment, which is shining in its most concentrated form between silence and action, between Absolute and relative. Consciousness is found in the gap between all opposite values. Ketu, as such, is nothing – it is only a mathematical point, defined by the interaction between the Sun and the Moon – between the Absolute (the Sun) and the relative (the Moon), between silence and dynamism. Ketu in Jyotish symbology is related to the Sun, as the pure brilliance of Creative Intelligence.

It is interesting to note that Rahu relates to the Moon, which in Jyotish symbology represents the mind. According to Vedic psychology, every activity of the mind is intrinsically an expression of desire, thus relating the Rahu principle both to the Moon as well as to the performance of yagyas as we have seen earlier.
On the superficial level of the word-meaning, ratna means “jewel”, and, as such, it also relates to Ketu, since Ketu stands for brilliance, sparks of fire, and any unusual or striking phenomenon catching the attention. In the description of the next word “dhatamam,” Maharishi refers back to ratna, as symbolising enlightened people. All these points establish a relationship between ratna and the Ketu principle.

Dhatamam
“…shows consciousness as having grown to such a degree of concentrated fullness and purity that it overflows to radiate its value in the environment.” In dhatamam, Maharishi writes, “consciousness is shown as the giver of the supreme value of life, as bestowing enlightenment and making it universally available.”

On the level of the word-meaning “dhatamam” means giver. Giving is an expression of love. Giving is the spontaneous result of the overflowing of the fullness of consciousness. The values represented by “dhatamam”, can therefore be related to the nature of Shukra (Venus), who stands for the principle of love and sharing, spontaneously radiating its value to the environment.

Maharishi implies that the value of overflowing, contained in dhatamam, is the spontaneous result of the concentrated fullness and purity of consciousness. It is interesting to note that the word-meaning of Shukra is “pure.” The love that Shukra stands for in Jyotish parlance is the spontaneous result of the fullness of consciousness. Only when the Self is experienced in all its purity and fullness then love can then spontaneously emanate from this experience of Self-awareness. All these points confirm that dhatamam is related to the essence of the Shukra principle, the principle of love and sharing.

Copyright © 1998. Drs. Frans Langenkamp, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Author’s Bio:
Frans Langenkamp is Vedic Astrologer and Vedanta Expert. He lives and teaches in the Netherlands and in Germany

Posted on October 8, 2017

Donna Quesada: Well, Leonard it’s really nice to meet you. David gave me your book a few weeks ago and I sure have enjoyed it and I was just delighted to know.

I would be talking with you today. So on a personal level thank you and thank you for sharing your time with Awaken.

Leonard Jacobson: Well, thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

DONNA: Thank you very much. I spent some time in Sydney. Many years ago, though. One day I’ll make it back. Well, as you know the web site is called Awaken.com, so we have a little tradition…so, if you’ll indulge us, we like to start with the question of what it means to awaken. So, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your thoughts on that?

LEONARD: Ok. Well, for me, it’s very very simple. We have to ask the question, “what are we awakening from?” And, “what are we Awakening to?” What we are awakening from is the world of the human thinking mind. The mind that never stops thinking. And whenever we think, we take ourselves into this world of the mind and it’s really the world of the remembered past and the imagined future. Sometimes I call it “the world of the mind.” Sometimes I call it “your story.” Everything outside of this moment is your story. It’s based in the past or imagining into the future. So, sometimes I call it “your dream.” It’s a world of illusion because it’s made up of memory, imagining, concepts, ideas, beliefs. And it’s also a world of separation because we’ve actually separated ourselves from the truth in life and the truth of who we are. The truth of love, the truth of God. So it’s a very limited level of consciousness when we’re functioning within the world of the mind. And we are actually governed by the ego. It’s almost like the ego is the custodian in that world of the mind…in the story…within the dream. And it has a very specific role that it plays within that limited level of consciousness.

When we are in the mind…that part of ourselves speaking, goes all the way back to our childhood. In fact, it goes all the way beyond that. It goes into past lives, but we don’t need to concern ourselves with that for now. But it goes all the way back to childhood, so when you are living with the mind, you are living with all those limited beliefs that form in the mind when you are a child. For example, limiting beliefs like, I’m all alone…there’s no one here for me…I’m not good enough…I can’t do it…there must be something wrong with me…I’m not loved. All of those sorts of limiting beliefs that affect our experience of life and affect our experience of ourselves.

We also live with all of the repressed emotions that have accumulated within us since childhood and they are still with us. These repressed emotions play havoc with our lives. So, that’s what we are awakening from. A world of illusion and separation. Filled with all the limiting beliefs and repressed feelings and false concepts and beliefs. What do we Awaken to?

We Awaken into the world of Now. The real truth. The present moment. And as we awaken into the world of now, into the present moment, we begin to experience ourselves in a completely different way. Almost like we are experiencing a new dimension of ourselves. A new dimension of life. And our experience of life is dramatically changed. So, that’s what I mean by awakening. Awakening into the world of now and then we’ll experience the truth on many, many levels.

DONNA: You know, it’s an interesting thing. You were saying how we are either swinging like a pendulum into the past, or otherwise into the fantasies of the future, but this is something that I’ve thought about before…too much thinking is exactly the problem. But, even when we are in the present, it seems like the mind is still in its fantasies because we are busy judging and we are only judging what we see, which is part of the story. So, we are sabotaged even when we are here. Is that the work of the mind as well?

LEONARD: What’s happening is that you’re not really present. You think you’re present but at the level where you are free of all this. So, you really need to be able to distinguish. When you are truly present and awake in the present moment and when you are in the mind, it is very subtle. We need to be able to distinguish those two dimensions, so we can never be mistaken again. And I have a very clear test, a very simple test that distinguishes whether we are truly present or whether we are in the mind. It’s very similar to that test we did at school, the litmus test. Red, Blue or Orange. Whether it’s acid or alkaline. It’s simple and it’s clear and as non-negotiable as that test. So, the test of presence is very simple. It is the test of science. If you are truly present in this moment, your mind is silent, which means there are no thoughts. You’re not trying to stop thoughts, but you are so present that thoughts stop all by themselves because you are present.

You see, thoughts are always past, future. There is no possibility of thinking within the present moment. It’s impossible. You have to leave the present moment to think about it. So, all our thoughts take us into the past or future. So, that’s the real test. How do you be truly present? You feel like you are truly here and nowhere else and your mind is silent. Even if it’s just for 10 seconds. That’s actually okay. Because slowly, slowly, the space between thoughts will get wider and wider. A huge gap is possible until you wake up one morning and you find that your mind is essentially silent. And you are essentially present. Now, you can still think, of course. You can still think, but now you are thinking consciously. It’s not that stream of uninvited, unconscious thoughts.

DONNA: This is a great subtlety…because I’ve heard it said that you can not stop thoughts—that the mind just generates thoughts. I remember one Zen Master called them “secretions.” And so, the idea is not to stop them, but rather, to not be attached or engaged or busy with them…attending to them.

LEONARD: Well, you know, that is true. And what you are saying is absolutely true. If you have any intention whatsoever, to try and stop thoughts. Well, that is a judgment of thoughts, therefore it will strengthen the thought. So really, we could say that the thought is really not your business! You just focus on being present and if you reach a certain level of presence you’re really here and nowhere else. The thoughts will stop by themselves, without you trying to stop them. I’m not saying they will stop forever. I’m saying they will stop in this moment. And as long as you are truly present the way I’m describing, then the thoughts will remain silent. Your mind will remain silent until you again get caught up in that thinking process.

You see the truth is that we are all very, very hopelessly addicted to thinking. It’s the strongest addiction. It’s stronger than the addiction to heroin…gambling…sex. Anything else you can think of. We humans are completely addicted to thinking. And we are habituated to living within the world of the mind, which is a very low level of consciousness. And there is a significant obstacle to us coming out of the world of the mind. And that obstacle is the resistance of the ego. The ego wants you to be spiritual. It would love you to be enlightened, but it doesn’t know anything about being present. And so, when you find yourself present and your mind is silent…the ego doesn’t like that. It’s open to enlightenment, not silence. It was looking for the big bang, not silence. And so, it’s very skilled at pulling you out of the present moment. So. in order for us to remain fundamentally present, we have a certain process to go through, which I describe in my teaching as Step Two of the Two Step Path to Awakening.

DONNA: I’m going to be asking you about those two steps. But I love what you said, that “the thoughts are none of our business.” I love that.

LEONARD: We notice them when they are arriving, but don’t get involved. Don’t try and stop them.

DONNA: You mentioned the ‘E’ word. “Enlightenment.” So is there such a thing as enlightenment? Or, is it a step by step moment kind of affair?

LEONARD: The problem is, when you read about people’s enlightenment. It will describe what it is like to be enlightened. What they are really talking about is enlightenment experiences. I’ve had very profound enlightenment experiences. As much as anyone you’d ever read about…ever. In terms of experiences. But all experiences pass. And what doesn’t pass is the one experiencing…so who is experiencing the enlightenment? I am.

You see, many people become identified with the experience itself and then they get caught again into the story, thinking they are enlightened. If somebody says to me “I am enlightened.” The first thing I’ll say to them is “Who is enlightened?” The only answer is…the truth is, “I am.” So, it is the I am that you are. I am presence, which is that dimension of you that is of this moment and only of this moment. This is the Awakened you. I much prefer the word “Awakened” to “Enlightened.” Because everyone has an idea and a concept of Enlightenment, which is just a concept. It doesn’t really mean anything. So if I was going to give you a definition of enlightenment, I would say you are now so fundamentally established in presence that you never get caught up or lost in your story. You might still have a story, you still play in the world of time but you never get lost anymore. You know where the truth is. It is you, fully present in this moment. Present with what is here.

Now you’re open to the mystery. You’re opening into the oneness at the deeper levels of presence. That is where it becomes very, very interesting and engaging because at the deeper levels of presence, the illusion of separation that we live with within the mind is gone. And now, you open into oneness. And at the deepest levels of presence, we literally can experience the living presence of God in all things. In other words, God has Omnipresence. At the very deepest levels, awakened presence is quite a point that heaven on Earth will be revealed for you. It wont be revealed for everyone. It will be revealed to those that are totally present…the past and future is no longer projecting onto the present moment. We are experiencing the present moment in its very pure state. We are experiencing what is really here, free of projections, your opinions, your past experiences, your judgments. All of that is just gone.

DONNA: Before I get to the process of how to get there, I want to get a little heavy for a moment. Many spiritual teachers talk about the “Dark Night of the Soul.” Tolle refers to it as “limit situations.” And one of my teachers, who is one of David’s teachers, shares his experience of having a near death experience, which sort of propelled him, or served as the impetus for his own spiritual path. Do you think a person needs to have a “crisis” in order to open to the desire to awaken?

LEONARD: Well, I’ll tell you how it works from my perspective, which is…almost everyone on this planet is living almost exclusively within the story…within the dream. Let’s call it “the story” for now. Now, who wants to wake up out of that happy story? The answer is, no one! Very few people will be motivated to wake up out of a happy story. But if our story becomes more and more full of suffering, maybe we’ll get to a point where we will spontaneously awaken out of that story full of suffering.

I’ll give you two examples of who went through that. Number one: Eckhart Tolle. He describes it very clearly that he was so down, so depressed…his story was so painful. He was just sitting on a bench somewhere and suddenly he awakened out of his story. It can happen quite spontaneously like that. The story becomes so difficult, so full of pain and suffering that we have a spontaneous awakening out of it. Another example is Buddha. He tried everything…followed every path…every condition…everything. He finally realized he couldn’t get there. So he gave up and in that giving up, of course, it opened up.

DONNA: Surrender.

LEONARD: Yes, It’s a surrender. I give up, I surrender. I can’t do this. And it’s in that moment of relaxation that the truth is revealed for him. I think Jesus had a similar experience when he was baptized in the water by John the Baptist. Symbolically anyway, it washed away his past. His personality was momentarily washed away. Now here’s the real problem though. If you ask yourself who is behind the suffering in our stories…my answer is very simple. It’s God. God is increasing our suffering because what God wants of any of us is to awaken out of our suffering, our story. But no one will wake up out of a happy story, so God keeps making our story incrementally more difficult and painful. The problem is, nobody wakes up out of a…very few wake up out of the story. They stay in the story…trying to make it better. And that’s the trap. It’s easier to wake up out of the dream, than try and fix the dream. Everyone is lost in the dream trying to make it better and the more you try to make it better, the more you get lost in the dream.

DONNA: So would you say to the people, the happily deluded people…is there any need to wake up at all?

LEONARD: No, Maybe it’s not their turn. Not their lifetime. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Some people are just sort of naturally awake and that’s why their lives are flowing so well. And there still is a happy story. And other people…maybe it’s not their time. It doesn’t really matter. Each individual has to find their way to this path and usually it’s the soul that drives us to this path to awakening, even though we’re not aware of it.

Continued in Part II…

Source: AWAKEN

Shinzen Young answers the question: Is Enlightenment a Myth?

This short-video clip is from an upcoming full length feature film on a conversation between Shinzen Young and Chris Hebard about mindfulness and more.

This clip and the upcoming film is a Stillness Speaks production (https://www.stillnessspeaks.com). It is produced by Chris Hebard (Pruett Media : http://www.pruettmedia.com/). Filmographer (including video editing) is Jonathan Mugford (jonathan.mugford@gmail.com).

Video clip copyright holder is Stillness Speaks & Pruett Media LLC.


In this video, Eckhart Tolle says that there are no problems, but only challenges and these challenges are here to awaken us!

Published on Oct 5, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle tells us that if we listen to the egoic patterns then we are bound to lose ourselves in the world!


Marianne Williamson and Vera de Chalambert speak about the pitfalls of positive thinking and the importance of getting honest and real with our feelings. Excerpt from Sister Giant. Learn more about Vera and her work at http://www.healingawakening.com and read Kali Takes America on Rebelle Society: http://www.rebellesociety.com/2016/11…


Spacetime is doomed. It, and its particles, cannot be fundamental in physical theory, but must emerge from a more fundamental theory. I review the converging evidence for this claim from physics and evolution, and then propose a new way to think of spacetime: as a data-compressing and error-correcting channel for information about fitness. I propose that a theory of conscious agents is a good candidate for the more fundamental theory to replace
spacetime. Spacetime then appears as one kind of interface for communication between conscious agents.

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive scientist and author of more than 90 scientific papers and three books, including Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See (W.W. Norton, 2000). He received his BA from UCLA in Quantitative Psychology and his Ph.D. from MIT in Computational Psychology. He joined the faculty of UC Irvine in 1983, where he is now a full professor in the departments of cognitive science, computer science and philosophy.

He received a Distinguished Scientific Award of the American Psychological Association for early career research into visual perception, the Rustum Roy Award of the Chopra Foundation, and the Troland Research Award of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was chosen by students at UC Irvine to receive a campus-wide teaching award, and to be included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Hoffman studies visual perception, visual attention and consciousness using mathematical models, computer simulations, and psychological experiments. His empirical research has led to new insights into how we perceive objects, colors and motion. His theoretical research has led to a “user interface” theory of perception—which proposes that natural selection shapes our perceptions not to report truth but simply to guide adaptive behavior. It has also led to a “conscious realism” theory of consciousness—which proposes a formal model of consciousness and the mind-body problem that takes consciousness as fundamental.

Published on Oct 6, 2017
A man asks Rupert to comment on the idea that ‘thoughts create one’s reality’.

Published on Oct 6, 2017

TAKING THE ONE SEAT
Spiritual Autonomy and the Soul’s Discovery of Meaning

Published on Oct 4, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle talks about the egoic patterns that run our lives through and through! Awareness is the key to put an end to them!

OCTOBER 4, 2017

How can we possibly play an integral role in global peace when our own world seems to be in such disarray? On the surface it seems a bad news story is permanently happening, and this filters into our day-to-day mindset. Not to despair we are here to share a beautiful insight to how we are making a contribution to good news! Our mindset not only shapes our own internal patterns and state of mind but also reflects how we relate to the outside world.

Each of us has our own unique life journey and how we interact with Mother Earth and each other. When we look outside, in many ways we see little progress towards serious issues that affect the planet and her citizens. Today, we are able to make a far more positive contribution, by reaching peace within our self.

Peace within conveys a particular energy to the outside world. After all, we are all part of the collective consciousness. When we make positive choices in our own lives, this immediately is converted into an energy, which ripples outward. As the energy flows outward, within us, we become far more aware and conscious of all that is.

A shift in consciousness is happening across the globe, yet we very rarely hear about it. Modern day technologies allow us to connect with other like-minded individuals, bypassing mainstream media. This is a tool that is being utilized far more, by awakened souls, to convey their messages. Switching off the television, or not reading the news, is one sure way to hook into the higher consciousness. In reality, not listening to the noise, allows our mind to seek something far more powerful.

Inner peace is not something that is achieved overnight; it is a process that, in many ways is a game. The game is played between the mind and heart/soul which is literally all within our self. We begin to reach the very core of our life, and remove anything that is not our own truth. Simultaneously, we open up to the powerful energies within, to truly transform our life path. It is a free will choice, as always, the way in which we choose to live our lives.

With so many imbalances in the world today, and the lack of true solutions by the powers that be, it is in our own power to make a change in the balance. Each day we can contribute to ending global poverty and other serious issues, by making an action. Whether that be to take a walk in a park to call in the energies of Mother Nature, or to make simple changes in our living habits. Taking responsibility for our own contribution is an assertion, that will impact others lives. As more of us make these conscious choices and focus on inner peace, rather than global peace, we are sending a message.

Inner peace sets us free from the mainstream but does not prevent us from living a normal productive life. In fact, our lives become full of positive manifestations and self-abundant. Maintaining inner peace will be a daily task and one that will represent the best investment ever. Dedicating time and energy to ourselves is an investment and one we shall make sooner rather than later.

The changes necessary all begin with our actions and choices on a daily basis, ones that will bring amazing returns and rewards. What better way to create a positive impact in our lives, and that of others. Positive changes that do not rely on money or technology – just our own true self! Reward yourself and others around the world, and invest a little time and energy towards Inner Peace. It will be the best investment you have ever made – because Inner Peace is a priceless commodity!

About the author: Deane has created unique personal development programs for those who are awakening and wish to make a smooth transition to the new templates. He has a passion and in-depth understanding of past life memory, its interpretation and how to address this in current life. To understand who we are today, we need to get to grips of who we have been – through unraveling the truth within, we can create a new template for the way we live our lives – in truth! You can find more of his work on http://askdeano.com.

 

What does it mean to be Awake? It has happened to all of us that we came under the spell of a moment some time during our life. A beautiful landscape, a sunset, a beautiful piece of art, the rhythm of music enchanted us. It may even happen that we are just lost in the silence of a peaceful moment.

The identification with the forms and shapes loosens a little bit for a short while, and in that instant we may experience an entirely different state of Consciousness.

See 7 qualities of the Awakened Soul.

 

  1. When our identification with a form ceases, a new space is generated between us and the form and we are able to see and recognize that we are not identical with that form.
  1. We virtually step out of the psychological time frame, we stop mulling over injuries of the past, and do not build our identity for the future
  1. Ego disappears, telling personal history stops, and the line of our accustomed identity is broken.
  1. We are awake, only the present moment exists for us. Our soul is permeated by the quiet of the Miracle, that is, the Consciousness and the Joy of the Existence.
  1. We are free and independent of the forms and shapes and of the necessity of choosing from them. All our suffering and problems have vanished, we are surrounded by peace and tranquility.
  1. There is only the pure existence, we are eyewitnesses, contemplating the dance of forms and shapes around us. We do not identify with anything, we are a Consciousness free of the obligation to make choices.
  1. We accept life as it is, and it is not done under pressure, since that acceptance is the result of our complete freedom.

In that state of Consciousness an entirely new dimension of existence opens up for us, showing us Existence from a completely new perspective. The unity behind the controversies is revealed in front of our eyes, and we no longer insist on looking on the sunny side of life, as we are able to discover beauty on the dark side, too.

Everything will be quiet and peaceful in us. We are beyond all good and evil, we are a mere Consciousness that does not analyze or judge, only contemplates. We realize that the same contemplating soul lives in everybody, so the differences between human beings are only superficial, and deep inside we are all the same. Experiencing that unity will bring us the ecstasy of Life, the perfect joy of Existence.

From the new book by Frank M. Wanderer PhD3 Stages in the Evolution of the Human Spirit EGO – ALERTNESS – CONSCIOUSNESS

 

Published on Oct 3, 2017


Posted on October 3, 2017

Deepak Chopra, M.D: Feeling in control is a critical issue in everyone’s life…
Most people are uncomfortable being out of control—a state that produces anxiety, uncertainty, confusion, panic, and loss of self-confidence, depending on how severe the loss of control is. Let’s see what a natural way of being in control looks like.

Control Starts at the Cellular Level

If you live entirely in the present, you are also in control. This isn’t a connection that seems obvious. But the best example is right in front of you. If you look at your body, each cell exists in a state of natural dynamic balance at every moment. A cell can’t afford to lose control. The multiple functions of a cell’s existence are handled simultaneously, and when the situation calls for a change, the cell responds flexibly. The cell’s multiple functions are reflected in activities familiar in your life: eating, drinking, breathing, reproducing itself, healing, renewing, and resting. But those are just broad outlines. A cell’s actual activities span a vast chemical array of proteins and enzymes managed with exquisite sensitivity by the cell’s DNA.

What does this have to do with you feeling in control? One connection is obvious: your body must be functioning well in order for you to feel that you are in a state of well-being. You can’t be in control without a good night’s sleep, because poor sleep leads to hormonal imbalances and the loss of motor control, among other things. You need a steady flow of energy from regular eating habits and a whole-foods diet. There cannot be constant stress, which steadily erodes the body’s ability to rebalance itself after the last stress response has occurred. Chronic low-grade stress is a major hidden health hazard in modern life.

Yet the issue of control contains a central mystery, because a cell’s ability to balance multiple functions simultaneously has never been adequately explained. It constitutes what could be called a field phenomenon; that is, all the disparate parts are regulated by a single controller that is holistic, the way the Earth’s magnetic field influences every magnet anywhere on the planet. But in the case of cells, no physical field explains how multiple functions can be controlled, as if by an invisible intelligence. Luckily for the cell, it has no choice but to trust in the field effect that keeps it running in perfect balance.

You are also embedded in the field of infinite intelligence that we call consciousness, but unlike a cell, you can lose contact with the field. To be in control requires tuning in to the level of consciousness that isn’t perturbed by external forces. This is actually a natural steady state, but in modern life, with its stress, distractions, and fast pace, remaining steady and centered requires consciously being mindful.

Present-Moment Awareness

Mindful of what? Mindful that you have been thrown out of the present moment. When you are present, you are in control. When you aren’t present, you have lost control. Everything happens inside. It’s not that you are immune to external forces, only that when you notice that you aren’t present, you get back there.

Meditation, if practiced over a period of time, makes it much easier to be mindful and also to return to present-moment awareness. Yet you can also do a quick remedy by finding a quiet place to be alone, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and find your center again. Doing this several times a day is a good routine, because it alerts you in a mindful way to what it feels like to be steady and present.

If you are present, here and now, you are in control. The ego makes a mistake by always trying to get its own way, putting up resistance, or being right. Countless people think of those things as being in control. In reality, nothing throws you out of yourself like demanding to get what you want, resisting other people, and always having to be right.

How to Stay in Control

To translate this into daily life, all you have to do is to imitate what every cell does:

  • Trust in your existence.
  • See yourself as multi-dimensional, simultaneously merging body, mind, and spirit.
  • Favor cooperation over competition.
  • Take a holistic rather than a fragmented approach.
  • Attend to any need that arises as soon as it appears.
  • Accept other people as your equal, treating them with respect and dignity.
  • Take healing seriously, meaning physical, mental, and spiritual healing all together.
  • Be as self-aware as possible.
  • Realize that the present moment is the only time that’s fully real.

See yourself as constantly growing and evolving, and live according to this vision.Quite a long laundry list, you might say. But it boils down to one thing only: Live with present-moment awareness. That’s the ultimate secret that no amount of self-control exerted by the ego can achieve. By redefining what it means to be in control, you can achieve something invaluable for your personal success and happiness.

Source: Chopra

Death of the Ego ~ Humanity Healing

Published on Oct 2, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle says that it’s possible to be free from dependence on external situations!
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When we are asked what we find the most important thing in our life, the most of us would be able to answer the question.

We would, naturally, come up with different answers, but that is not the point; the point is that we are able to answer. But as long as we are able to answer, we remain detached from the higher levels of Consciousness. How is that possible?

The Nature of Higher Consciousness

If we wish to find out how that is possible, we must first examine the nature of higher Consciousness. A number of people have experienced those higher levels, and there are thousands of reports about that state of Consciousness.

Still, if we penetrate deep into that experience, we find that no higher levels of Consciousness exist, only Consciousness itself. That Consciousness has only two states that we are able to experience: one identified with various forms and shapes, and one that is free of forms and shapes.

The Consciousness Identified with the Forms and Shapes

What does this identification mean? It means that we identify with a form (e. g. our name) that originally did not belong to us (we are all born without a name), but through identification this specific form has become a part of our existence.

When the Consciousness identifies with a form, the Ego appears. The Ego always means some sort of an identification, self-determination (I am a man, I am a father, I am an Englishman, I am Christian etc.) The Ego therefore rests upon our identification with things that are important for us ego.

If I am able to answer the question, ”What is important for me?” I am in the state of identification with the forms and shapes.

This state of Consciousness is always restrictive and exclusive. Identification is always preceded by a process of selection: this thing – this form – is important for me, whereas that one is not.

We usually choose the forms and shapes that we find beautiful, good and valuable, since these are expected to make us beautiful, good and valuable people.

Selection always comes hand in hand with anxiety and fear that we may loose what is important for us and, together with those things, we may loose ourselves.

The process of identification does not stop just because we have become spiritual helpers. But now different things are becoming important for us, for instance the extended state of Consciousness or the experience of the astral projection.

At that state of Consciousness, we identify with these experiences, these are the factors that are important for us, they provide the identity of our spiritual Ego. Nothing has really changed, apart from the forms and shapes we identify with.

The Consciousness Free from Forms and Shapes

There moments in everybody’s life when our identification with the forms and shapes loosens a little bit for a short while, and in that instant we may experience an entirely different state of Consciousness.

When our identification with a form ceases, a new space is generated between us and the form and we are able to see and recognize that we are not identical with that form. With the dissolution of the identification, the Ego also disappears.

When we are in that state of Consciousness and we are asked what we find important in life, we are simply unable to answer the question, as everything that we formerly regarded as important vanished together with the Ego. Still, we sense that we are alive, and we did not disappear with the Ego.

What we then experience may perhaps be best termed as Being. There is only the pure existence, we are eyewitnesses, contemplating the dance of forms and shapes around us.

We do not identify with anything, we are a Consciousness free of the obligation to make choices. We are free and independent of the forms and shapes and of the necessity of choosing from them. All our suffering and problems have vanished, we are surrounded by peace and tranquility.

Awakening from the Stupor of Identifications

On most occasions, one is only able to experience that state of Consciousness free of identifications for very brief periods only. This is, however, one of the most wonderful and certainly one of the most important experiences in our life. It wakes us up, in fact shakes us out of the stupor of identifications.

Once we have had that experience, our alertness will increase, and we will pay more and more attention to the present moment. When we are alert and shift the center of our existence into the ”here and now,” our identification with the forms and shapes will further loosen.

Such moments may therefore appear more and more frequently in our life. As we are bound to the forms and shapes to a lesser and lesser degree, the periods and intensity of these experiences increases. In the end it will remain the only reality for us.

~From the book: Frank M. Wanderer: The Revolution of Consciousness: Deconditioning the Programmed Mind

http://www.frankmwanderer.com

Posted on October 2, 2017
When you try to change your entire life in a day, chances are slim unless you’re being taken into the Witness Protection Program.

And when you think about the effort that change takes, it can be paralyzing. But there’s a much gentler option. Let a story about my friend and colleague nurse-researcher Dr. Janet Quinn, author of I Am a Woman Finding My Voice, tell you more.

Once upon a time, Janet went to Australia to spend a week with a group of aboriginal elders. One day they piled into a van to search the arid outback for bush tucker (Australian for “food”). Items such as Witchety grubs and honey ants may seem unattractive to Westerners, but they’re delicacies in the outback.

The van was bouncing along a rutted road when suddenly it slowed way down. There was a camel in front, loping along at its own slow pace. The driver honked. The camel went faster. Then it slowed down again, apparently unconcerned about the van on its tail. The cycle of honking, trotting, and slowing down was repeated over and over again. The sight of Janet imitating the wagging gait of the camel’s behind can’t be captured in words, but perhaps you get the picture.

As she sat in the van, contemplating the dromedary, it occurred to Janet that there were miles of uninhabited land in every direction, yet the camel stayed on the road. If it had made the tiniest adjustment to its course—even a fraction of a degree—it would have had endless miles of unmolested space to roam in, and there would be respite from the honking and trotting. But apparently the camel hadn’t thought this through, and it kept to its uncomfortable course.

A lot of people do the same thing. You may be stressed and unhappy about the course of your life, but you just keep on walking in the same direction. When I’ve asked people why they don’t change their circumstances, the most common response is “fear.” They know the box that they’re stuck in. Even though it’s uncomfortable, it’s at least familiar. But if they change, there’s a chance that the unknown will be worse than their current situation. The enemy you know seems safer than the enemy you don’t know. The second most common reason why people fear change is that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of work it will take. But think of the camel. A change in course of just a fraction of a degree would have resulted in unlimited freedom.

I knew a working mother named “Shawna” whose dream was to become a nurse, but for years she was like the camel and stayed on her old course. She had a lot of valid reasons: School takes time and costs money. How could she and her son possibly survive if she quit work to study?

Then Shawna took a small step. Since her job paid for continuing-education courses at the local community college, she signed up for biology and loved it. The professor alerted her to a scholarship for older women entering nursing, and Shawna applied and was accepted. Student loans covered most of her living expenses, and she waited tables twice a week to cover the rest. Shawna became a nurse during the recent shortage. The hospital she signed on with gave her a cash bonus large enough to pay off most of her loans. One small change . . . and unimaginable opportunities opened up.

Psychologist Ellen Langer discovered that people who try new things are healthier and happier than those who stay in a rut. Even choosing a different route home from work benefits you. In her book,Mindfulness, she makes the point that variety keeps us engaged in life. You might be able to zone out if you’ve taken the same route a hundred times, but if you’re on unfamiliar turf, you have to stay tuned in. Tuning in encourages curiosity and results in a more adventurous life. An acquaintance of mine chose to drive a new way to work one day and got rear-ended in a traffic jam. But all’s well that ends well. She married the man who slammed into her.

This week, try making two small changes every day. Take a different street to work, turn off the television for an evening, go to a restaurant that serves exotic food, change your brand of toothpaste, smile at someone you don’t know, show up at work wearing Groucho Marx glasses, go to a different supermarket, get a more daring hairdo, eat dessert first, or buy or borrow a piece of clothing in a color you never wear. The possibilities are endless.

At the end of the week, reflect on what these little changes produced. Then think about your life. If you’re in a rut like Janet’s camel, identify one small step you might take toward change. There’s a whole lot of landscape to explore once you leave the beaten path.

(Excerpted from Chapter 20 of Inner Peace for Busy People by Joan Borysenko)

Published on Sep 30, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle says that if we say yes to what is, then things change for the better!

Published on Oct 1, 2017
This video from “Meetings with Aisha Salem” Speaks about surrendering into a deeper surrender through the body. An invitation to bring being into matter.

Welcome to explore the teaching via:

Homepage https://www.aishasalem.com/

Published on Sep 30, 2017
Adyashanti – When You Can’t Find Yourself

“Enlightenment” in Western cultures has long been associated with the 18th century movement that brought about a new “age of reason.” As Zen, Buddhism, and other eastern wisdom traditions have captured the imagination of the West, “enlightenment” has come to be known as a specific state of consciousness attained by an individual on a spiritual or meditative path.

However, the Judeo-Christian context, with its belief in a divine power “out there” and separate from the individual, hinders most Westerners’ ability to comprehend “enlightenment” in the Eastern sense. Our theistic conditioning leads to such common misunderstandings as perceiving enlightenment as the attainment of supernatural powers, or as something achievable only by those who are somehow “special.”

In this work, Osho deconstructs these misunderstandings and offers a radically different view of enlightenment, freed from all spiritual and religious beliefs – including the distortions of asceticism and renunciation that have arisen in Eastern and Western cultures both.
Taking the reader step by step through the history of how both East and West have approached the mysteries of the human mind and spirituality, Osho offers a simple science of consciousness that he calls “the psychology of the buddhas.” It is a science that in very clear terms shows how one can, through awareness and taking full responsibility for one’s life, go beyond all limited belief systems, habits, and superstitions of the mind. That process, he says, brings us back to our nature – and that is enlightenment.

Osho, known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, continues to inspire millions of people worldwide in their search to define a new approach to individual spirituality that is self-directed and responsive to the everyday challenges of contemporary life. The Sunday Times of London named him one of the ‘1,000 Makers of the Twentieth Century,’ and novelist Tom Robbins called him ‘the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.’ For more information about Osho and his work, please visit osho.com.

Osho’s teachings defy categorization, covering everything from the individual quest for meaning to the most urgent social and political issues facing individuals and society today.

His unique “Osho Active Meditations” are designed to first release the accumulated stresses of body and mind, so that it is easier to experience the thought-free and relaxed state of meditation. (Meditation -The First and Last Freedom, by Osho)

About his own work Osho has said that he is helping to create the conditions for the birth of a new kind of human being. He has often characterized this new human being as “Zorba the Buddha” — capable both of enjoying the earthy pleasures of a Zorba the Greek and the silent serenity of a Gautam Buddha.

Running like a thread through all aspects of Osho’s work is a vision that encompasses both the timeless wisdom of the East and the highest potential of Western science and technology.

Osho has been described by the Sunday Times in London as one of the “1000 Makers of the 20th Century” and by American author Tom Robbins as “the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.”

Biographical:
Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, ST. MARTIN’S Press, New York, available in multiple languages.

Osho – How Do You Experience Enlightenment?

“Enlightenment knows no duality. Hence, it is not an experience, but simply experiencing it.”

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are often transformative, not only on an individual level, but on a collective level too. This book contains a selection of inspiring stories from ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences that have changed the course and direction of their lives and opened each and every one of them to the power of divine love.

Recent years have seen a dramatic change of attitude towards NDEs. Unfortunately, the ongoing debates about NDEs have detracted greatly from the very important transformational effects that NDEs have and how empowering they can be for the whole of mankind. The NDE instils knowledge in those who experience it that we are all interconnected and part of one great whole.

This book aims to inspire people from all walks of life, creeds, cultures and faiths to the transformational power of the message of NDEs and show how the love experienced during the NDE has the capacity to heal minds, bodies and souls.

About the Author
Dr Penny Sartori PhD, RGN is an expert in NDEs, having been an intensive care nurse for 17 years and having undertaken the UK’s first long-term prospective study on them, for which she was awarded a PhD. She wrote the bestseller The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences (2014), which was serialised in the Daily Mail, and she lectures both nationally and internationally. She currently teaches at Swansea University.

Kelly Walsh is the founder of the Positivity Power Movement and Love Care Share charitable foundation. Her life’s work has been inspired by an NDE she had in 2009 following a suicide attempt and subsequent spiritual experiences she has had since.

Penny Sartori PhD The NDE Phenomena Documented Cases Near Death Experiences

Dr Penny Sartori worked as a nurse in a British hospital for 21 years, 17 of those being in Intensive Care. She is highly experienced and skilled in her role as an intensive care staff nurse; and has conducted unique and extensive research into the near-death experiences (NDEs) of her patients. In 2005 she was awarded a PhD for her research into NDEs.

Dr Sartori’s work has received worldwide attention and media coverage. She has spoken at many conferences both nationally and internationally and her work has received the attention of HRH Prince Charles.

https://www.drpennysartori.com


Short recommendation by Titus Rivas of the interesting book “The transformative power of Near-Death Experiences: How the Messages of NDEs Positively Impact the World” by Dr. Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh. The book is a publication of Watkins Publishing. ISBN 978-1786780331.

The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences

Dr Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh introduce their book ‘The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences’. All proceeds go to children’s charity.

Included in this promotional video are endorsements by Neale Donald Walsch, Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander MD.

Published on Sep 29, 2017

Eckhart Tolle – Accept Life

Check out this talk of him on your ultimate life purpose

If you have been involved in personal development and spiritual growth you have probably heard someone talk about surrender. Surrender can be different things to different people. When you see a movie and character surrender to the enemy it means giving up. That is the perspective from one level of consciousness. You either fight and win or quit and lose.

If you don’t know another viewpoint exists and you’re not looking at the larger spiritual picture, you might say, “Why would I want to surrender?”

WHAT IS SURRENDER?

From a spiritual perspective surrender is allowing “what is” to just be, or being with life “as it is” in this present moment. This kind of surrender doesn’t mean to give up or quit on yourself or life. Instead, it is more closely related to the saying, “Let go and let God” or let Spirit be your guide.
There are layers to understanding and experiencing surrender. Often times, we feel like we have surrendered when we are aware of being stuck and we finally decide to stop banging our heads against the wall. To surrender, in this sense, means letting go enough to be able to look at all of the elements in a situation that may be keeping you from moving in the desired direction. Meaning, you have relaxed your fixed thinking adequately and can allow deeper wisdom to inform your direction.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SURRENDER

Other times we become so fixated on a certain end result we keep fighting the cues that life gives us and probably feel stressed most of the time.
Perhaps we forget to look at what is necessary to do, or let go, in our lives in order to be moving with the flow of life. This flow allows for more peace and happiness and takes us ultimately to our True Self, where we really feel at home. Surrender can continue going even deeper to what some refer to as the ultimate surrender. The great spiritual teachers explain this as being completely one with life.

How do I begin to surrender like this and allow what is?

In order to do that you, would have to let go of your tightly held ideas of what you think must be. This would mean loosening and transforming the attachments that are connected to your personal Will in order to move with and relax into Divine Will. This profound movement towards surrender gives a sense of releasing into something bigger than us and our own personal agendas. One could even say that you were moving with the flow of your life and you can experience being held by life.

Now this doesn’t mean that we ask for divine wisdom to make our morning cup of coffee or wash the dishes while we lie in bed. We definitely set our own goals and intentions in order to co-create our lives. But as life moves on and some “things don’t work out” with our own ideas about how life is supposed to be, we use these failures as guides and lessons. They can lead us to a greater alignment with our life’s purpose and meaning. And though it might not always seems so at the time, Our Divine purpose will always be for the good of all.

HOW WILL I KNOW I AM READY TO SURRENDER?

For many of us there comes a point in personal development and spiritual growth in which the wisest next step can only be to surrender. We’ve been wrestled to the ground by life.

We can begin by noticing when we feel extreme stress towards a certain life situation or event and then look at where we might be trying to push the river, so to speak. When you are pushing the river and going against the current you often feel body tensions, adrenaline exhaustion and other kinds of physical ailments, along with emotional angst.

Once you observe that you are pushing so hard, then you can examine the deeper meaning of this difficult challenge. Is it simply that we need to stay steady and push past our limited feelings and belief systems? Is it to push ourselves to another level of consciousness? Or on the other hand, are we stuck in the mud about wanting what we want when we want it? Is it some form of an uninformed child-self that won’t let go?

We’ll want to examine our willingness to change and our limited belief systems that arise as we study the situation. It is important to observe the how and why we do whatever it is that is holding us back, so as not to keep repeating the pattern. Having greater consciousness around this situation allows us to be more deeply aligned with our divine purpose and the meaning of our individual existence and impact in life.

I would love to hear your thoughts about surrender….

Author’s Bio:
Dr. Howard is a licensed psychotherapist, healer, author, & professional speaker with more than 20 years of experience in helping people make changes in their lives. She has offices in Long Island, NY, and NYC, & has appeared on numerous national network TV.

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Published on Sep 29, 2017

In this meditation, it is seen that knowing, being aware or awareness itself is the ever-present and unchanging background of all knowledge and experience.

Published on Sep 28, 2017

Eckhart shares insights into the egoic mind

Awakening – Leonard Jacobson

Awakening involves crossing a threshold from one level of consciousness to another. There are three levels of consciousness…

The first is the level of mind. At the level of mind, your experience of life is always filtered through the past, and governed by your beliefs. When you are in the mind, the focus is on the past and the future, which are constantly projected onto the present moment. The reality of the present moment is never truly experienced, and the illusions projected by the mind are mistaken for reality.

You spend your whole life trying to solve problems, overcome limitations or heal wounds which are a part of your past and do not exist in the reality of the present moment. Life at the level of mind is the world of Maya. It is a world of illusion.

The second level of consciousness is the level of Presence. This level of consciousness opens within you as you become more fully present. You are focused in the here and now, experiencing the truth and reality of the present moment.

You are free from the bondage of the past. You have no anxiety about the future. You are no longer lost in illusion. Life is lived in freedom and joy. You have become grounded in silence.

The third level of consciousness is the Eternal level. It cannot be defined. It can only be experienced. It opens up at the deeper levels of Presence, and it opens up through grace.

At this level of consciousness, there is no time. Everything is in perfect order and harmony. You are in a state of perfect silence. You experience God, Eternity, Oneness. You are at home in the world of now.

Excerpt from Words From Silence [Revised Edition] pp.58-59.

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an author, teacher and mystic, 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 at Leonard Jacobson.com.

Source: AWAKEN

Published on Sep 28, 2017

Kabir Helminski holds a Sufi teaching “friendly conversation with a purpose”. In answering questions, Kabir outlines the Seven States of
“I-ness” and many other Sufi principles.

Published on Sep 26, 2017

Gangaji gives us the key to living a simple life, unthought, unplanned, with no notion of control. Can you give up the search for anything that you think separates you from what is always here, what is calling you home?

Article : Synchronsities : Dance with the Cosmic Flow

#Source :www.sherriedillard.com
#Author :by Sherrie Dillard

Source: DNA Activation 


Published on Sep 26, 2017

Tara Talks: What You Practice Grows Stronger – with Tara Brach

We may be very “loyal” to habits of anxiety and vigilance that evolved to ensure survival, but now exceed what’s needed and prevent us from enjoying life. We can undo this negativity bias by intentionally calling on more recently evolved parts of the brain and orienting in another direction.

The leading philosophy of Western science has been monistic materialism. Various scientific disciplines have described the history of the universe as the history of developing matter and accept as real only what can be measured and weighed. Life, consciousness, and intelligence are seen as more or less accidental side-products of material processes. Physicists, biologists, and chemists recognize the existence of dimensions of reality that are not accessible to our senses, but only those that are physical in nature and can be revealed and explored with the use of various extensions of our senses, such as microscopes or telescopes, specially designed recording devices, and laboratory experiments.

In a universe understood this way, there is no place for spirituality of any kind. The existence of God, the idea that there are invisible dimensions of reality inhabited by nonmaterial beings, the possibility of survival of consciousness after death, and the concept of reincarnation and karma have been relegated to fairy tales and handbooks of psychiatry. From a psychiatric perspective, to take such things seriously means to be ignorant, unfamiliar with the discoveries of science, superstitious, and subject to primitive magical thinking. If the belief in God or Goddess occurs in intelligent persons, it is seen as an indication that they have not come to terms with the infantile images of their parents as omnipotent beings that they had created in their infancy and childhood. And direct experiences of spiritual realities are considered manifestations of serious mental diseases — psychoses.

The study of holotropic states has thrown new light on the problem of spirituality and religion. The key to this new understanding is the discovery that in these states it is possible to encounter a rich array of experiences which are very similar to those that inspired the great religions of the world — visions of God and various divine and demonic beings, encounters with discarnate entities, episodes of psychospiritual death and rebirth, visits to Heaven and Hell, past life experiences, and many others. Modern research has shown beyond any doubt that these experiences are not products of pathological processes afflicting the brain, but manifestations of archetypal material from the collective unconscious, and thus normal and essential constituents of the human psyche. Although these mythic elements are accessed intrapsychically in a process of experiential self-exploration and introspection, they are ontologically real and have objective existence. The matrices for them exist in deep recesses of the unconscious psyche of every human being.

In view of these observations, the fierce battle that religion and science had fought over the last few centuries appears ludicrous and completely unnecessary. Genuine science and authentic religion do not compete for the same territory; they represent two approaches to existence, which are complementary, not competitive. Science studies phenomena in the material world, the realm of the measurable and weighable, while spirituality and true religion draw their inspiration from experiential knowledge of the aspect of the world that Jungians refer to as “imaginal,” to distinguish it from imaginary products of individual fantasy or psychopathology. This imaginal world manifests in what I call “holotropic states of consciousness” — the altered states in which experiences surface that, as stated above, are very similar to those that inspired the great religions of the world.

Spirituality is a very important and natural dimension of the human psyche, and the spiritual quest is a legitimate and fully justified human endeavor. However, it is necessary to emphasize that this applies to genuine spirituality based on personal experience and does not provide support for ideologies and dogmas of organized religions. To prevent misunderstanding and confusion that in the past compromised many similar discussions, it is critical to make a clear distinction between spirituality and religion.

Spirituality is based on direct experiences of ordinarily invisible numinous dimensions of reality, which become available in holotropic states of consciousness. It does not require a special place or officially appointed persons mediating contact with the divine. The mystics do not need churches or temples. The context in which they experience the sacred dimensions of reality, including their own divinity, is provided by their bodies and nature. And instead of officiating priests, they need a supportive group of fellow seekers or the guidance of a teacher who is more advanced on the inner journey than they are themselves.

Organized religions tend to create hierarchical systems focusing on the pursuit of power, control, politics, money, possessions, and other worldly concerns. Under these circumstances, religious hierarchy as a rule dislikes and discourages direct spiritual experiences in its members, because they foster independence and cannot be effectively controlled. When this is the case, genuine spiritual life continues only in the mystical branches, monastic orders, and ecstatic sects of the religions involved. A deep mystical experience tends to dissolve the boundaries between religions and reveals deep connections between them, while dogmatism of organized religions tends to emphasize differences between various creeds and engenders antagonism and hostility.

There is no doubt that the dogmas of organized religions are generally in fundamental conflict with science, whether this science uses the mechanistic-materialistic model or is anchored in the emerging paradigm. However, the situation is very different in regard to authentic mysticism based on spiritual experiences. The great mystical traditions have amassed extensive knowledge about human consciousness and about the spiritual realms in a way that is similar to the method that scientists use in acquiring knowledge about the material world. It involves a methodology for inducing transpersonal experiences, systematic collection of data, and intersubjective validation. Spiritual experiences, like any other aspect of reality, can be subjected to careful open-minded research and studied scientifically.

Scientifically conducted consciousness research has brought convincing evidence for the objective existence of the imaginal realm and has thus validated the main metaphysical assumptions of the mystical world view, of the Eastern spiritual philosophies, and even certain beliefs of native cultures.

The conflict between religion and science reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of both. As Ken Wilber has pointed out, there cannot be a conflict between science and religion if both these fields are properly understood and practiced. If there seems to be a conflict, we are likely dealing with “bogus science” and “bogus religion.” The apparent incompatibility is due to the fact that either side seriously misunderstands the other’s position and very likely represents also a false version of its own discipline.

An invited contribution to the Ervin Laszlo Forum on Science and Spirituality.

Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatrist and one of the founders of transpersonal psychology

Published on Sep 21, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle explains that we are not limited human form but the ever-free Consciousness!

God A HUMAN HISTORY By REZA ASLAN

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine, and sounds a call to embrace a deeper, more expansive understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as one long and remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.”

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

Photo: © Hilary Jones

Reza Aslan is an acclaimed writer and scholar of religions whose books include No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism), as well as the editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.

Reza Aslan – Talk to Al Jazeera

Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American scholar of world religions and the author of several books on faith. His most recent book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”, is a best-seller — and controversial.

He sat down with Tony Harris to talk about how he became acquainted with the subject of his latest book, as well as converting from Islam to evangelical Christianity before returning to the religion of his birth.


Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and lived in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London’s ‘West End’ as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji* by the many seekers and friends who visited him.

Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned advaita master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.

Mooji channel:

Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He occasionally gives lectures in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University and has served on doctoral dissertation committees at Saybrook University and CIIS. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For three decades he has been engaged in frontiers research on the nature of consciousness. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, Interval Research Corporation, and SRI International.

He is author or coauthor of hundreds of scientific, technical, and popular articles, three dozen book chapters, and three popular books including the award-winning and bestselling The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality (Simon & Schuster, 2006), a 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities (Random House, 2013), and Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe (Penguin Random House). These books have been translated into 14 foreign languages, so far. His technical articles have appeared in journals including Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Consciousness Studies; he was featured in a New York Times Magazine article; and he has appeared on dozens of television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon to PBS’s Closer to Truth. He has given over 400 interviews and talks, including presentations at Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Princeton, Virginia Tech, the Sorbonne, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Minnesota, for industries including Google, Johnson & Johnson, Rabobank, and for various government organizations including the US Navy, DARPA, and the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2010, he spent a month lecturing in India as the National Visiting Professor of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, a program sponsored by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. In 2013 and 2014, he gave invited lectures in Kuala Lumpur at the International Center for Leadership and Governance, an organization supported by the Central Bank of Malaysia. In 2015 he spoke at the Australian Leadership Retreat, a confidential program of briefings and discussions for Australian government, business, education, and military leaders.

Website: deanradin.com

David Welch: How is Yoga generally, and Kundalini Yoga specifically, a means and a method to awakening?

Donna Quesada: Because Kundalini Yoga offers specifically, a technology whereby we set up the physical conditions for awakening. So, as an analogy, just off the top of my head…say, it’s time to go to bed. You want to set up the conditions to better get a good night’s rest. So, you’re more likely to fall asleep if you lie yourself down and set the temperature the way you like it…close the blinds and make it dark and that sends the right kind of message to your brain…your brain starts to produce melatonin when it gets dark. And when this is habituated, your body starts to behave accordingly. You’re more likely to fall asleep. As opposed to getting on a tread-mill…you’re less likely to get to sleep.

What we are doing in Kundalini is akin to that. We are setting up the physical conditions for Awakening. Because as I explain in my video which you just posted on Awaken…there is really an energetic component to what we are doing in yoga. There’s the visible stuff where we see people in poses and people doing funny breathing exercises. But what is happening is…we are unblocking energetic blocks which allows the energy to move in such a way that it facilitates the experience that we call “Awakening.

In this video, professor, author, healer and Yogini, Dhanpal/Donna Quesada, speaking from her home, discusses advanced Yogic philosophy in a straightforward way. She makes clear how the spiritual practice of Yoga—culminating in the Kundalini awakening—relates to living and to dealing with stress. In other words, why do we want to raise the kundalini?

http://www.donnaquesada.com
http://www.presenceyoga.org

Or, we have other fancy names for it like, Self-Realization. Or, Samadhi, which means, the state of no separation. Non-distracted awareness. Presence. Samadhi. God Realization. Wholeness. Oneness. We have so many names for this experience. But that is the key—it has to be experienced. We can read all the books on our bookshelves and we can have Ph.Ds, proclaim ourselves masters of writing and intellectual understanding, and we’ll be no better off. And so, there is an energetic component to that experience…or, what facilitates that experience. And when the energy rises—what we call Kundalini rising—we set up the conditions for the experience of oneness. So, Yoga is a tool for that. All forms of Yoga.

David: A brief description of Hatha Yoga?

Donna: Hatha Yoga. The sun and the moon. Where we are balancing those opposites. You’re getting into that energetic component. Where you are balancing the yin and the yang. The sun and the moon. The heat and the coolness. So, within our bodies…within our spiritual vessels, we are creating balance. And in that state of balance, we experience a kind of harmony. A kind of Awakening.

David: And Bhakti?

Donna: Bhakti is devotion. That’s the Yoga that is closest to my heart. To me, this is what appears at first to be so elementary, but what is, in fact, the most difficult and sophisticated form, in my opinion. Because to truly surrender—and that is what Bhakti requires—to truly surrender the self, is what all spiritual practices challenge us to do. Whether your Yoga is Zen or service. Whatever it is. If you can surrender yourself…what the Buddhists call the ego… you are really practicing a kind of Bhakti…a kind of devotion…where everything is surrendered to the divine. The work that you do, for example, is surrendered. Your sense of control is surrendered and that’s bhakti. Through prayer…through chanting….the giving up of yourself…bowing…that is really at the heart of why we bow.

David: That’s what Namaste means?

Donna: Exactly. I bow to the divine in you and you bow to the divine in me. I can’t resist a funny story. I had a student once at the college, who said, “Oh, is that what they say at the end of Yoga class?…I thought they were saying ‘have a nice day.’”

David: Well, just slightly similar.

Donna: And that’s why we say, “Sat Nam,” too. Acknowledging the divine light within you. Which is no different than the true divine light within me.

David: What is a Kriya?

Donna: A Kriya is an action. It’s related to the word Karma, which just means action, or if you prefer, cause and effect. And so, in the context of Kundalini Yoga, a Kriya is a self-contained action which takes the form of a series of exercises or sometimes even one single self-contained exercise, like Sat Kriya, which is just one thing done in a very specific way, to facilitate a specific and predictable result. Cause and effect.

David: And a Kriya contains within it both a posture (asana) and breathing and sound.

Donna: In the context of Sat Kriya, that’s kind of the wowie zonkers of Kriyas. It’s got mantra…actually there is not much movement…there’s breathing, there’s mantra, there’s mudra. It’s not always action in terms of dynamic movement. But you are moving energy. So, there is that unseen element. Like…we were talking about trees…the roots are just as dynamic and expansive as the branches and leaves. There is this unseen component, which constitutes the active part.

David: Talk a little bit about mantra and why that is necessary and beneficial.

Donna: Yes, we use mantra a lot in Kundalini Yoga. Mantra is a sacred sound. And the wise ones, the seers in ancient India—they were called the rishis. They were the ones who had a longing to know God. They were the seekers. And in their enlightened state, they received these sacred sounds that we call mantra.

And so, when we repeat those sacred sounds we are using the vibrational component of the sound to experience what they experienced. So, we think of the sacred sound more as a vibration than as a sound in the ordinary sense. It’s a vibration like Om. Or…Aum. And we are vibrating that sacred sound again so as to facilitate the vibration within our body and the awakening within our soul. And to experience the state of samadhi as those ancient seers experienced.

David: Is there a difference between chanting and mantra?

Donna: Well, when you chant, you are chanting the sacred sound and you are giving your body a chance to resonate. And when we chant we are using three components. Projection. So, we project from our belly with intention, and through our heart with devotion.

The second component is pronunciation. Om . Bouncing the tongue off the roof of our mouth where we have all those acu-points, so as to send signals to the hypothalamus. So, there is the projection, there is the pronunciation and then, there is the repetition.

And so, when we chant mantra over and over again, we are using that third part, the repetition, so as to set up those conditions, to create a steady rhythm and vibrate that sacred sound.

David: How does chanting or mantra help to quiet the mind?

Donna: Yes. I’ll use another analogy. Have you seen those ice sculptures at events, like wedding receptions or something like that? Imagine putting a warm knife through it—it would slice right through that ice sculpture, so easily and without effort. And that is sort of what a mantra does to our bothered minds. Our mind gets to ruminating and into non-stop chatter and we drive ourselves crazy sometimes, with worried thoughts or anxious thoughts…repeated conversations or things we have to do, or just repeating the past. A lot of it is nonsense or judgment thoughts. Sometimes there just is no quieting the mind. Sometimes it keeps you up at night.

But imagine…like the ice sculpture…imagine a warm blade. It cuts right through that chatter in a way that nothing else can. It’s effortless and you can’t use brawn or might or muscle. You can’t will yourself to stop thinking. But if you can surrender and chant with your heart…and do nothing else but sing the sacred song, it cuts right through it. None of it appears relevant anymore. You don’t have to try anymore—it’s effortless. And the mind comes to that still point…samadhi.

David: How has Yoga transformed and changed your life?

Donna: Not as you might think. Again, for me—and everybody’s experience is different and that is what is so beautiful because Yoga is so all inclusive in that all paths are celebrated…your path might be different than my path, yet we are both yogis.

My path came to life when I was chanting at the foot of my teacher. It sounds almost poetic, so as to be corny. And when I gave myself over to chanting…chanting actually is my path…and when I chanted with all my heart, everything kind of crystalized and I knew at that moment what I was supposed to be doing. And my purpose became clear. And all of my worries faded away. All of my fears became less potent. They lost their grip on me. It’s not that they disappeared but they lost their emotional charge. And through a single tear that fell from my left eye…I surrendered and I just chanted the sacred mantra with my teacher. And a kind of joy and a kind of expansiveness and a kind of surrender came over me. And that is all there was to it. And since then, I have known that my form of Yoga is bhakti…prayer. Chanting. And that is how it changed my life. I surrender now. I trust. I’m more willing to get out of my own way. And to let go of my artificial state of control.

David:
What does Awakening have to do with the present moment?

Donna: Because the present moment is the gateway, or the portal to what we call Awakening. It’s where we find the door.

David: To me, it’s the portal or the gateway to the infinite.

Donna
: Yes.

David: To the oneness.

Donna:
That’s right.

David: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Awaken Community?

Donna: That it’s not about perfection. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other. That is why we call it a practice. Because we never master putting one foot in front of the other and that’s never been the goal. It’s not about perfection. Celebrate your quirks and celebrate the practice. And that happens right here and now. Wherever you are. However you are. All the quirks and the funny things about you. Celebrate those, too. It’s not about perfection.

David: Is diet important for you?

Donna: It is, but not obsessively so. This physical vessel is here to serve us, so we tend to it and care for it like we would our garden. Not to the point of rigidity. Because anytime we become rigid, then we squeeze the joy out of life. And we don’t want to do that.

David: What kind of diet do you usually have?

Donna: One that doesn’t cause harm to living creatures—to my friends.

David: And I would assume that means animals.

Donna: That means animals—my dearest friends here on earth.

David: We’re animals too.

Donna: We are. Sometimes we are the scary ones. And it’s up to us to be good stewards for the beautiful little creatures that depend on us. And I’m a fierce protector of those creatures.

David: As we all should be. What would you say your life purpose is? Just generally, what do you think the purpose of life is? And specifically, what do you think your life purpose is?

Donna: It’s like my spiritual name Dhanpal, which means, one who shares her spiritual wealth. It’s up to me to share my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned, and am learning, along the way. I’m not perfect but I share what I’ve learned. We are all kind of hiking up together and reaching out and pulling each other along.

David: Can you talk a little bit about the ups and downs of your own awakening? I know through my own experiences that it’s not all up.

Donna
: Oh god, it’s two steps back and one step forward. To see it all as God’s play. Or as one of my beloved teachers, Carolyn Myss puts it, “to be able to step into the chaos” and not assume that the chaos is contrary to God’s plan. It’s all part of it. Embrace it all.

David: Any last words?

Donna: I think that’s about all.

David
: Thank you so much.

David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. He is the Producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed and daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.

Source: AWAKEN


Donna Quesada:
Leonard, is it necessary to have a spiritual teacher?

Some people are naturally like that, but what about those who want to wake up? Is it possible to self direct?

Leonard Jacobson: Well, I had my first awakening without any spiritual teacher. Of course, without any preparation for what happened to me. And what was interesting for me was, after I had this very powerful awakening that lasted for weeks in a completely altered state…I wasn’t prepared for it and I didn’t know what it really was, so in a way, my journey began after my first awakening.

DONNA: Could you share something of your journey with us? Would you be willing to?

LEONARD: I will briefly, but I just want to complete what I’m saying right now, which is in a way…I wanted to know what happened to me because it was so amazing. It was so wonderful. But I didn’t know what it was. So, then I began reading books by spiritual teachers. I visited a few different teachers…a few different masters to try and discover what had happened. And slowly, slowly it became clear. I was able to open up to that level again in a more gentle way. If you want to know about my first awakening…just very,very briefly…it’s just my story. It’s just another story. But back in 1989, I was attending a retreat. I didn’t know the teacher. I didn’t know any one there. I thought I’d just have a nice vacation. Something to do. And during this experience, I went through some very powerful emotional healings and I noticed I was becoming more and more present throughout these seven days of the retreat. But I didn’t know what it was. But I could see auras around trees, I could see auras around people. There were all sorts of mysterious things that happened. And then at the end of this retreat I had a significant opening which I won’t go into details about. But I was completely and utterly intoxicated with love. Very much like I imagine Francis of Asissi must have been. I was in the company of saints and saviors. I was being taken through a healing of my own childhood, my own past. All sorts of revelations were coming through about what had happened to me and how I’d gone astray. And then, it sort of generalized into what has happened to all of us. How the world had gone astray. And then all of a sudden the whole thing morphed and changed into…suddenly, I was in the presence of God. Don’t ask me how I knew that. But before this moment I was somewhere between atheist and agnostic. And then suddenly, in an instant, I was in the presence of God and all sorts of amazing things happened.

And that awakening lasted for maybe three or four weeks. I couldn’t function normally and had to be taken care of. I was in this completely altered state. And then it slowly settled down and I actually began teaching at that point and sharing what had happened with me. Three years later, I had a second awakening. More powerful than the first and then three years after that I had another awakening, more powerful than the first three. The first two…if I was to describe them…upon reflection because I didn’t know what they were at the time…I would say the first one was a massive opening into enlightenment…an opening of the heart. Because it was so characterized by intense, overwhelming love and oneness and God.

The second was an opening into Christ consciousness…because I experienced all these revelations about Christ and Christ on the cross and what really happened on the cross. And the third awakening, again, was totally over the top. I didn’t invite them. I didn’t want them. And I didn’t hold on to them. But they did last quite a while.

The third one was an extraordinary opening into God Consciousness. There is no way I can describe that to you. It was like a journey in one instant, from the beginning to the end and the end to the beginning. Everything just opening up. All these ascended masters somehow in my presence. I don’t know how that all works but it was life altering. I’ve never been the same since. It’s a little difficult for me to remember who I used to be.

DONNA: Thank you for sharing that. And you know…it’s interesting. You mentioned that you felt a kinship or a closeness to Jesus and his experience during one of your own experiences. And there is an expression I like, that “all rivers lead to the sea.” And as a seeker and someone who loves all of these wisdom traditions, I love it because it reminds us that all these traditions or religious paths are not antagonistic to one another. But rather, behind them there is a similarity…there is a pearl…there is a jewel that is the same. And truth that stands regardless of the facade. Would you speak to that?

LEONARD: First of all, I agree with you. And at the very core of all spiritual traditions…the very core of all religions is a very deep truth that is being revealed by the founders of that religion. Whether it’s Buddha, whether it’s Jesus, whether it’s Krishna, whatever. Or Mohammed. There is a core of essential truth there. But the founders of those paths, traditions or religions, experienced directly and tried to share as best they could. And these truths were emerging from the center of their beings. So, it wasn’t coming from the mind. Expressions from the truth, from presence, from God, from oneness, from mystery. The problem is when you take those truths that are expressed from presence, from God, from the mystery and you’re not in that state of consciousness yourself…but you take those truths and try to practice those truths.

DONNA: Or preach, themselves…

LEONARD: Or preach them. Now you have religion. Religion is attempt by those who are not aware to practice the truth of those that were aware. And it cannot work and it just creates more separation and more division and then you have the Jews wanting to kill these ones. And the Muslims wanting to kill these ones. It’s all insane. The Truth is, there is only one God. And if these three religions could recognize that…realize they are complementary to each other. Then we’d have a different world we live in. But because they are separate where they are, it’s creating a tremendous energy of separation and it’s thrown duality out of balance. And now we are all rust…in that state of imbalance and duality. And our politics are reflecting that. How out of balance we are, in the world. The whole of humanity is out of balance.

DONNA: If I can jump into the process now…if you’ll allow me. You spoke of a two step process of Awakening. I’m interested to know more about that and also the ego’s role as an obstructer. Why does the ego dislike presence so much? And how does that fit into your two step process, if you would?

LEONARD: First, I’ll talk about the process and then I’ll talk about the ego, as well. And I’ll make it very, very brief. The briefer it is, the more simple it is. When you’re in the mind or in the story or in the dream, you’re somewhere in the past or future. That’s a simple statement of truth. All thought takes you into that world of the past or future…because all thought is past or future. And if you believe in those thoughts, or opinions, beliefs… then you get locked in prison within the world of the mind. There is really no way out. So that’s the situation the whole of humanity finds itself in—in prison…of the world of the mind not knowing the way out. In order for you and any of your viewers to come out of the world of the mind…out of the past and future…it’s so simple: You just bring yourself present with something that is already here in the moment with you. It’s of the present moment, which you can see. It’s of the present moment. If you can hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it, smell it…it’s of the present moment. It’s really here. You’re not imagining it. You’re not remembering it. It’s really here.

DONNA: So that is the first step? To get into something here that the senses can perceive?

LEONARD: Exactly. The moment you adjust your focus and tune them into something that is here, rather than going wherever the mind is taking you…in a way, you correct that and bring yourself back without any struggle. No practice. No trying. It’s very gentle. You just bring yourself present with something that is here in the moment. Now, you could close your eyes. And because your body is breathing…because your body can only breathe in the present moment…you could be present with something you hear. This moment. I could say, “who is hearing a sound in this moment?” I am. “Who is present…aware of the body breathing in this moment?” I am. “Who is looking out through the eyes…looking with me in this moment?” I am.

It is the I am that is the awakened you. It’s the true master. Now here is the irony. Everyone on the planet is already a fully awakened being. Always has been. Always will be. It’s already here. Always has been. But to the extent that you become absorbed into the world of the mind…which we all have…then you disconnect from the truth that is ever present within you. So, awakening is not about creating something that is not here—it’s about finding your way out of the world of illusion, into the simplicity and truth revealed through this moment. You are the revealer of truth. You are the redeemer of oneness. You are the revealer of heaven on Earth. That’s who you really are. And I can say that to everyone on the planet. That’s who you really are. Have you forgotten who you are? And the truth is, yes, we’ve all forgotten. We’ve all become disconnected as we’ve become more and more absorbed into this story, this dream…this world of the mind. And then we stay there, not realizing that we are further and further from the truth.

DONNA: So are there degrees of unplugging from the center of I am? Are some people further lost than others?

LEONARD: Oh, absolutely. The further you are lost in the mind, the more insane you are. And I think that’s been demonstrated over and over again in our world. I won’t mention any names.

DONNA: So presence would be the first step then?

LEONARD The first step in the two parts to the path of Awakening. Mastering the art of being present. And it’s as simple as…you notice when you are thinking. That’s okay. You’re not going to hell. Because you are already there. So you just notice you are thinking, without any resistance to the thought. You just bring yourself back and bring yourself present with the moment. Even if it only lasts three seconds. The thoughts come back again. That’s okay. “Thinking”… and then back you come to presence. It could be something you see in the moment. It could be movement. There are so many ways to be present. We can be present washing the dishes. What I say to people is, when there is no need to be thinking, be present. When it’s appropriate to be thinking, then think clearly and well. But don’t get lost in that world of thought.

DONNA: Is that the same as being mindful? That’s become a buzzword these days. Is that mindfulness?

LEONARD: I’ve never really gone into that. For me, it’s not the same. But I can’t speak with great authority. Mindfulness experts talk about that. But my sense of it is, presence is deeper than mindfulness because if you’re being mindful than I have to ask, “who is being mindful?” Who is aware of what is arising within the mind? So the question you ask, “who is mindful?” Brings us back to, “I am.” So really, the I am presence is the awakened you. Now, I’m not sure that mindfulness will take you to the I am presence that you are. That’s for others to determine. But in this teaching, the goal is not to be mindful, the goal is to awaken into the truth of who you are. And then, of course, you are mindful which means, I’m present…when a thought arises, I am witness to that. I’m not for it, not against it. So, who is present? “I am.” It’s becoming grounded in the I am presence. Now, if you were to ask me, “who is present?” “I am.” There is nothing beyond that. Or, shall I say, there is nothing or nothingness beyond that. This point here…I am trying to show you with my hands. At the very deepest level, who you are is pure consciousness…beyond form and beyond contact. You can’t think about that. But that is who you are at the very deepest level. For me, the non-dualists take it too far and dismiss what I call Heaven on Earth, and say it’s not real.

DONNA: I see how it takes you deeper than what is usually referred to as mindfulness. It reminds me of something I heard once…let’s see if I get it right…that mindfulness is not concentration; it’s the awareness of when you’ve lost concentration. So, it’s almost like a lighter level of watching and awareness. But you want to bring us deeper than that.

LEONARD: Who is watching? This is all still the first step. It’s all about what it feels like to be present and what it’s like to be present. You see, most people who are seeking enlightenment…they are looking for bliss or ecstasy. Or some kind of liberation from the pain that’s in their story. As far as I’m concerned, that’s me, me, me…the ego involved. What’s in it for me? I want bliss. That is still what’s in it for me.

DONNA: What is your idea of bliss?

LEONARD: It’s very likely bliss will arise when you are present, but that is not what it’s about. If you are feeling bliss, I say “who’s feeling bliss?” “I am.” What is beyond the bliss? Perfect, infinite, eternal, silence. Perfect, infinite, eternal, peace. Acceptance…compassion. Now…I’m describing God. Now…I’m describing when you come into oneness with God. That very, very deep level of Awakened Presence. You see, what I say is, “God is real…God is here, now.” But we are not. We are lost in the past and future world of the mind. If you want to experience the living presence of God and all things present, you have to come to where God is…which is in the present moment. God is the Present moment, revealed. Do you have to call it “God?” No. But, I don’t know what else to call it. Whenever I call it “God,” it seems to open it up even more.

DONNA: I like the word.

LEONARD: Most people have to go through the process of decontaminating that word before they can experience the word God in it’s pure form. Contamination is put upon us by all kinds of religions.

DONNA: I like that! “Decontaminating it.”

LEONARD: What I say is that, believing in God is for those who don’t know God.

DONNA: That’s beautiful. I read that in your book.

LEONARD: And you can know God directly if you become present enough. Then you come into God’s world. I call it God’s world…the world of here and now…compared with the world of the mind.

DONNA: And so…Step Two.

Leonard: Step Two is all about coming out of the present and the future. Out of the mind and into presence. Because we are so habituated to living within the mind. We’re so addicted to thinking. It’s usually a very short time before they pull back into the story…into the dream…into the mind…back to that limited level of consciousness. Step Two involves bringing awareness into how that happens—witnessing how you are pulled out of presence and taking responsibility for that. How does it happen that you are pulled out of presence involuntarily? What is still unhealed within you that keeps you in the story? For example, judgment. Are you still caught up in judgment?…because that will keep you in the separation. So, Step Two really leads to mastery of the mind and ego. It’s not enough to be present. That’s enough for the cow or the donkey. But we humans have to master another fundamental step, which is…Yes, I’m present, but I’m also a master of my mind and ego.

So, I can no longer be involuntarily pulled out. So, that is Step Two. I’ve made Step Two very, very easy and simple…just four things to watch out for.

Continued in Part III

Source: AWAKEN

A discussion exploring Awareness after death and the notion of reincarnation.

Published on Oct 13, 2017

A 13-year-old boy asks if awareness has always existed. The presumption that time exists, inherent in his question, is then explored. 

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