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”…As an artist, already from an early age, I’ve noticed how every experience has a certain resonance… a certain texture, a certain color, a certain flavor… And even a certain dimension where the experience felt most compelling…

These experiences were the budding impulses of creative outpouring eager to blossom within my being, with the senses as the apertures, both capable of absorbing or allowing the light of my own awareness to illumine reality into an extraordinary event filled with presence, or to rob me of my own Self…

How all these was arising was not always clear, but there was this mixture of intimacy and detachment – I knew this to be an inseparable part of my own self as a passionate but uninvolved spectator.

Wasn’t long before that I’ve realized the terrifying Power of Beauty as the delight incomparable to any as the essence arising deep within my own being.

…I’ve never really considered myself to be a seeker and the quest was not so much in finding the way out, but rather the way in… into that mystery of perception where the sanctity of the senses – as divine agencies – culminate in a state of the Aesthetic Rapture… where the Self beholding its own magnificence as this experience…

Way before the mind could be converted into other possibilities and philosophies where this phenomenal existence is seen and dismissed as an illusion arising in consciousness, I’ve realized, that my own breath is the ebb and flow to measure infinity itself… and my senses are divine instruments eager to be tuned into their finest level of resonance, so as to hear the ‘unheard’ voice of Creation arising within my own Being…

This (teaching) is an invitation to re-evaluate the nature of experience and to reclaim your divine status. The only quest here is in beholding life awakening through you as existence itself… This is the Path of Beauty…

The quality of our experiences are based on the level of our consciousness. The World out there is the way we perceive it in here and that’s not a static affair, for our reality changes with our perception of it. Everything unfolds in that creative tension between the subject and the object and the relationship between them. It is for that reason the refinement of perception is seen as an indispensable part of any spiritual progress… until subject and object, lover and beloved, are drowned in the Sea of Love…

This is not a concept but a revelation upon which the sanity of our lives depends. The sanity of our civilization… This revelation is what connects us to the very ground of existence.

This sanctity is life awakened to Silence steeped in Bliss – it is a stream flowing through you as wakefulness of your own awareness…

That sacred flow – though an inherent part of the river of being – is in need to be invoked through direct partaking, and diving into the depth of that invocation… again and again…”

© Igor Kufayev – Mill Valley, California. November 28, 2014

Website: http://www.igorkufayev-vamadeva.com/

Filmed & edited by Caroline Harrison: http://www.thehivestudios.org


Adyashanti discusses the essence and impact of enlightenment and describes his own remarkable spiritual journey in this revealing and hear-felt interview with transpersonal therapist Dr. Bonnie Greenwell. This deep and rich dialogue describes what it means to be enlightened, the true essence of emptiness, and the unconditional love that is part of awakening. After 15 years of Zen practice and a series of every-deepening realization, Adyashanti’s Zen teacher asked him to teach. Since the, many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti. Adyashanti’s unique expression of living truth emerges spontaneously form emptiness, free of any tradition or ideology. His teachings have been compared to early Chan (Zen) masters and the nondual Indian wisdom teachings of Advaia Vendant. Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D. is a transpersonal psychotherapist who specializes in spiritual emergence issues. She has researched, written and lectured internationally about kundalini awakening since 1986, co-founded the Kundalini Research Network.


I’ve enjoyed being a transpersonal psychologist and a non-dual teacher in Adyashanti’s lineage for many years, and through this work have met thousands of fascinating people engaged in a spiritual awakening process. My books are a reflection of all I have learned through my own spiritual journey and by listening to and supporting the spiritual awakening of many others. My intention is to provide guidelines that help people through the challenges of kundalini activation (should it occur through yoga, energy or spiritual practices or spontaneously), and the many other shifts that make adjustments necessary after a genuine realization of your true nature. These are profound transformative events that can strip away every bit of your previous identity, while at the same time bringing joy, bliss and astonishing insight. They change your perspective, your energy field and your life. My work has been to find ways to live with the challenges until they pass into the deeper peace that is available to all hearts that enter this process.

During the years of my own awakening process I finished my doctorate, raised 3 kids, became a grandparent, and managed to stay married. I traveled to Europe and to India, helped to found and then facilitated conferences for the Kundalini Research Network, wrote books and carried a private practice. I have learned it is possible to find joy in everyday life by being present with whatever arises, and that the shifts triggered by awakening open doors within and without once you let go of being the one in charge. My life has been very graced. I hope my writings will lead those who seek Truth and peace into the relaxation of their own unique engagement with life.

Conversation between Bonnie Greenwell and Adyashanti in which they discuss the meeting of two approaches to awakening– the principles of Kundalini and the philosophy of nonduality.

After two centuries of the tug-of-war between science and religion, it’s clear science occupies the dominant position. It has passed the “So what?” test, meaning that science as applied to practical daily life has been immensely more important to modern people than God. This has given atheism, both casual and militant, the upper hand. As much as belief in God has deep human significance, he (or she) doesn’t pass the “So what?” test. If you put a video camera on the shoulders of an atheist and a believer, without knowing which was which, it’s hard to claim that the believer will have a better life because of his belief. Atheism therefore looks like just as good a choice.

I’ve always felt that this lopsided advantage we automatically give to science, and therefore to atheism, is unfair. In a new book, The Future of God View Here I turn the tables, proving as best I can that God isn’t just a humane, comforting, or moral choice but the most practical source of well-being. This will certainly come as surprising news to millions of the faithful who have been leading divided lives. Their practical affairs are secular, taking advantage of technological advances, while in their hearts they leave a privileged space for God. Rarely do we hear that God is actually more rational than science and more practical than technology.

To accomplish this turn-around, first the playing field needs to be leveled. A few basic assumptions need to be cleared up. Let me do that in abbreviated form, since I don’t have space to elaborate at length, as I do in the book.

1. Science isn’t by definition anti-religious.
2. Atheists have a point when they accuse organized religion of a litany of gross failings, including
crusades, jihads, and the Inquisition. But religions are human institutions prone to every human
failing. Religious history is about us, not about whether God exists.
3. God can be approached without resorting to the cultural mythology of a humanized Father and Mother watching over us from Heaven. Atheists largely attack this myth, but smashing a myth doesn’t mean you’ve
smashed reality.
4. There is a rich tradition, both East and West, of an impersonal God. This God is the source of consciousness and all that we associate with consciousness: self-awareness, intelligence, creativity,
evolution, etc.
5. The experience of God is found inside our own consciousness, not “out there” in a supernatural realm.
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Both inspiring and enlightening, Conscious Being is a compelling resource for those seeking self-realization. It serves as a guide for awakened living, which is a state of higher clarity and presence and is a more natural condition than many are aware exists within each of us.

Author and spiritual teacher Tj Woodward creates a powerful philosophy for living by masterfully weaving personal stories, entertaining anecdotes, and deep, mystical truths. The result is a composition that offers practical guidance to show the benefits of spiritual transformation, while encouraging each of us to shift into a deeper awareness of our authentic inner wisdom.

Conscious Being shows us how the circumstances of our lives and what we call reality are created by our level of consciousness. It offers methods for unlearning and releasing self-limiting beliefs and the illusion of ego so we can come into alignment with an existence overflowing with compassion, love, and purpose. This “great remembering,” as Tj Woodward calls it, is available to us at every moment, for it is our true nature and our divine birthright. If you are ready to open your heart to a new way of being and embrace a life filled with profound peace, connection, and happiness, Conscious Being is the book for you!


TJ Woodward is an awakening coach, inspirational speaker, and addiction counselor who helps people profoundly change the way they experience life. He is the founder and minister of the Awakened Living spiritual community in San Francisco and the host of Awakened Living TV and Awakened Living Radio.

Excerpt from Conscious BEING View Here

Awakened Living TV- Episode 65 featuring guest TJ Woodward

Published on Feb 20, 2015

Awakened Living TV: Episode 65 “Conscious BEING” Air date 3/1/15. Guest hosted by Carsten Spencer. Spiritual teacher and author, TJ Woodward discusses his book, Conscious BEING. http://www.ConsciousBEINGbook.com


Do you worry about our planet, with its environmental crises, global warming, widespread violence, and global poverty? Do you feel powerless to change your life and impact your world? What in the World Is Going On reframes these crises as an invitation to open our minds and hearts to a new awareness of our fundamental interdependence with all beings. With breathtaking optimism, it offers courage and hope to all who hold the world in their hearts and grieve. Crises bring opportunities. We are poised to vastly expand our consciousness, allowing us to address our deep fears and create communities which embrace and serve all of us.

The rich conversation between Manjushri, the Tibetan teacher, and the student probes the roots of our fears and challenges our common assumptions about the roles of science and markets in our world. It rejects the inflated claims of our ego-selves and the stifling confines of materialism. The Teacher assures us everything can be changed. We can escape our isolation, celebrate our interdependence with all beings, and heal our communities. The worldwide web allows us to connect with like-minded people around the world. This epochal shift in energy and consciousness is well underway. The Teacher encourages all of us to trust our emerging visions, dissolve the fears shrouding our best selves, and allow our natural compassion to flow out into the world.

Penny Gill, Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities, has taught political science for forty years at Mount Holyoke College, as well as having served as dean. Long interested in comparative spiritualities, she has recently received teachings from Manjushri, a Tibetan master. She divides her time between Granby, Massachusetts, and Madeline Island, Wisconsin.

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MHC Penny Gill New Edits.mov

Published on Apr 24, 2015

The path of knowledge and the path of devotion are united in this teaching.

Published on Apr 23, 2015

http://www.shiningworld.com/now/

Published on Jan 30, 2015

This is a recording of a live video webcast with spiritual teacher Leonard Jacobson, recorded on January 6, 2015. For more information about free video webcasts with Leonard, visit http://www.leonardjacobson.com. 00:14 – Leonard’s introduction
08:34 – The benefits of being present
11:40 – Being present with everything showing up in your life
17:25 – Freedom from limiting beliefs
30:42 – The ultimate outcome for humanity
34:41 – Right relationship with your feelings
47:35 – Establishing a foundation in Presence
53:30 – Becoming a master of your mind and ego
59:00 – Making Presence your first priority
1:04:52 – The choice at the heart of freewill

Peter Fenner – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Apr 22, 2015

Peter is a leader in the Western adaptation of Buddhist wisdom. He is a pioneer in the new field of nondual psychotherapy. He was a celibate monk in the Tibetan Buddhist traditions for nine years. He has a Ph.D. in the philosophical psychology of Mahayana Buddhism and has held teaching positions at universities in Australia and the USA.

He has taught workshops at Naropa University, the California Institute for Integral Studies, Omega Institute, and other centers, and given invited presentations at JFK University, Saybrook College, Stanford Medical School, Columbia University, and internationally.

Peter’s way of teaching is known for its dynamic and engaging deconstruction of all fixed frames of reference that block entry to unconditioned awareness, and for the purity and depth of natural, uncontrived silence that emerges in his work. He also has a unique capacity for sharing the skills and states of his transmission in a way that other’s can easily understand and begin to replicate the nondual transmission.

Peter Fenner ~ Book on The Radiant Mind and An interview Conscious TV View Here

Published on Apr 21, 2015

(Note: Sound quality improves after 11:45 minutes)

What is a good student?

A Master in the making.

– Mooji


We fear nothing more than being truly independent. True independence does not mean in the social context in regards to individual job titles, nor does it mean in the collective sphere of nationalistic independence, though both may be derivatives. Real independence is spiritual sovereignty, meaning the individual truly lives psychologically from the Heart with no agenda and is free from the attachment to social, cultural, and religious programs which imprison our mind. Some may argue that we all need a philosophical framework psychologically to navigate our way through this life to give us a sense of meaning. And others may say that we need to eliminate all philosophical frameworks from our mind, whether it is social, cultural, or religious, because then we can move freely in the world and have a mind that Zen Buddhism would say “is a mind of no deliberation,” meaning that it doesn’t stick to any type of formula to understand life. From the opposing perspective this still may be thought of as a type of framework as Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor points out in his work by explaining that formulating and taking on frameworks may be inescapable for the mind. But this could also be viewed as just being extremely clever in an attempt to be victorious in this ongoing game of spiritual and philosophical one-upmanship, while also not taking into account the actual experience of the individual which is hard for anyone to judge from an external point of reference.

No matter how you view both perspectives on an individual level is not the point. The real emphasis is about how we depend on philosophical frameworks that we were once naturally drawn to but have over time become a crutch that obscures our ability to perceive reality without names, labels, or a prior agenda. This conditioned habit is carried over into the spiritual and religious philosophies we turn to when we yearn for liberation. Paradoxically the spiritual and religious philosophies we convert to originate from different environments than our own. Essentially they are built on an archetype diametrically opposed to the one embedded within our psychosomatic organism.

This is evident more visibly when we find Western people interested in Eastern philosophy and other esoteric wisdom traditions. In our search for enlightenment, or real independence in other words, from social, cultural, and religious mental concepts we discover the eternal depth of the East and its ability to reveal our underlying true nature beyond the claustrophobic walls of our ego. Yet the dependence we seek to transcend is projected onto the spiritual temperaments of the East.


For example, the Eastern character and temperament of devotion and surrender to God or guru/master becomes a crutch for both Eastern and Western seeker if their dependence on either eclipses their real faith and union with the irreducible essence of the universe. Again this is more visible when we observe a Westerner trying to embrace and mimic the Eastern archetypal structure. None more so than when we witness Western spiritually inclined people diving at the feet of a guru to kiss their feet or put their forehead on the guru’s feet in a so-called gesture of respect through the action of wiping the dust from the guru’s feet with the forehead. Deep down in the sacred intelligence of the gut, which is not connected to the ego, we know this is not genuine and is basically spiritual materialism because it is based on how we should appear to look towards others in the outside world and also to fulfill an image of ourselves that we have in our head. Though some may argue that this external behavior has an internal effect, and it does to some degree considering we have to completely humble our ego to kiss someone else’s feet who we acknowledge has more wisdom than us, but the problem is the attitude of devotion and surrender to either God or guru is based on the imitation of the archetypal temperaments of the East. (Note that in Oriental iconography a common image is the two footprints that symbolize divinity. They represent the feet of the divine that we kiss and touch with our hands as this action symbolizes that we are reaching in and kissing God in our heart). The Westerner will take on Eastern philosophical thinking and dress sense, for example, to hide and suppress the psychological habits and latent tendencies that cause us suffering. We imitate in the hope that these habits and tendencies will be transcended. The Easterner in turn does the same form of imitation when they try to take on the Western archetypal framework of social and materialistic success, but that topic is not of importance here.

A sincere spiritually inclined individual has no need to imitate nor do they to the contrary have to uphold their social, cultural, and religious programming. We can appreciate that kissing the feet of a guru is primarily an Indian archetype and is a sacredly beautiful aspect of India when we observe the people of India in their childlike innocence practicing such devotion and humility to God and guru. But this is not practiced anywhere else in the Far East, whether that be China, Korea, Japan, or even South East Asia. And astonishingly the Far East and South East Asian spiritual and cultural traditions are heavily influenced by India where Hinduism gave birth to aspects of Buddhism and Buddhism traveled over the Himalayas to Tibet then China to mix with Taoism which eventually became Zen Buddhism in Japan.

All along the way the environment especially in the Far East never deviated unnecessarily from their archetypal temperament to show honor and respect to a master and each other with a humble bow instead of the Indian version of kissing the guru’s feet. We would think it is extremely strange if a disciple of Japanese or Korean Zen Buddhism kissed their masters feet because it is not a spontaneously genuine response of the unconscious which is the archaic part of the mind before the later developing ego within our prefrontal cortex. It is this later developing part of the brain that we are intellectually making a decision as Westerners to kiss the feet of the guru or master, it is not naturally spontaneous. This is not an authentic sign of humility, surrender, or devotion, as the Western equivalent for showing gratitude and reverence to a teacher and each other is a hug of loving embrace.

Westerners, and also Easterners for a matter of a fact, make the critical mistake of intellectually associating devotion to an image of God or with kissing the feet of the guru or staring at an image of who one believes is the supreme intelligence of the universe. This is an error because the habit and tendency to follow and depend on an external structural framework is the same egotistic conditioning we learn from our society, culture, and religion. Westerners who imitate Eastern temperaments, especially those who submit to the guru’s will, parade their so-called freedom or enlightenment around as authentic surrender and devotion. In doing so, people believe they have destroyed the ego, yet they still follow. Those who seek to follow a guru/master and kiss their feet become blind to the fact that one of the primary characteristics of the illusory ego is to follow. We need to keep in mind that the ego is a social and cultural product. The society and culture is what builds our personality (ego) and separates our consciousness from the real unified consciousness that we are. Our absurd belief that we need to depend on a society and culture puts us in a double-bind that we are free but we must conform to what is socially acceptable, thus not truly free. As a result we develop this following tendency which cuts us off from being and feeling one with the universe and so ultimately it is a trait of the ego. To truly have that sense of unity within means that the dualism of following, whether guru or society, is to not attach or conform to any external limitation because this separates us from the awareness that the universe is the real you deep down.


Blindly following cuts this awareness off. To follow and submit is what our society, culture, and religion teach us from birth which builds the foundation of our isolated ego and coincidently the last spiritual flaw we need to transmute. Even in India, following in the form of devotion to a physical or mental image of God or guru without understanding the real you as the undifferentiated Self (Atman in Sanskrit) as identical to the irreducible essence of the universe (Brahman in Sanskrit) is thought of as the lowest temperament of yoga (bhakti yoga in Sanskrit), because of the social and cultural habit of depending on a separate “higher” power, either in family, society, or religion. This usually makes the individual think of themselves in terms of a low subject to the higher king and this builds our hypnosis that God is a monarchical being lording it over “his” humanly subjects. To perceive reality in this way is purely dualistic and not related at all to the mystery of the universe that is the source of all being. (Real bhakti yoga can only be sincerely lived when we know and understand “what” we love, otherwise it is purely idolatry. We can only have devotional love to God, or whatever name you choose, when we know God through the light of knowledge that breaks through our ignorance that the individual and the universe are separate. This known as jnana yoga in Sanskrit and is thought to be the highest temperament of yoga. From the jnana yoga perspective, how can we love anything without knowing it and understanding it first?)

Westerners interested in the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta become lost in believing the numerous gods are actual monarchical and hierarchical entities without realizing that they are in reality mythological images that are supposed to ignite our imagination about the universe and our place in it. Not our place in it as an isolated ego, but as “it” doing and being “it.” Even Ishvara, the highest of the Hindu gods, is purely a mental concept that people gave anthropomorphic form, which suits the narrow understanding of those individuals with a materialistic or extroverted view of the world. Ishvara is thought of completely different when we consider the deeper understanding that the Hindu gods represent mythological images of the archetypal unconscious. (Keep in mind that the former representation of Ishvara is the highest Hindu personal god from the medieval era texts and is to not be confused at all with Brahman the Ultimate Reality).

All genuine masters should have realized that for people to follow them unquestionably as a servant to king is still dualism and not the non-duality they profess. A genuine master realizes that we are all ultimately one through their evolved perception, and the only thing that differs between them and the common man or woman is they have realized this underlying unity as the nature of reality and act accordingly. They have completely surrendered to the mystery of life that we all sense within when we have the spiritual courage to not move to the gravitational pull of our conditioning in the mental plane which keeps us following the beat of somebody else’s drum that our ego hypnotically dances to. The real egoless state has no need to depend upon a philosophy, God or guru because their psychological independence (enlightenment) is a mirror of the enduring quality of change in the universe as one is not drowning in regression but instead moving freely with it in the same way water moves freely down a mountain stream eventually to the greater ocean.


The difference between water and us is water follows no one else’s nature because its nature is pure when it moves with the contours of the path that has been laid out before it and only becomes stagnant and toxic when it resists this path and its own nature. This relates to our spirituality as we become stagnant and toxic when we cling and depend on external agencies because our internal nature is independently free and devoid of psychological conditions. We are scared to move and surrender in unison with our own path that spontaneously reveals itself every day without conceptual response, spiritual or otherwise, because all concepts, including the one of God, will be destroyed as we truly surrender and devote our life to that unnamable mystery which we are. Surrender your life to life and devotion will be the life you live in correspondence to the entire universe which you are.

Source: Jason Gregory

For more on Jason Gregory View Here

“Compared to the age of the Earth, your life is like a moment. In this moment, recognize the value of being alive.” In his many speaking engagements around the world, Prem Rawat addresses the age-old quest for human fulfillment with refreshing humor and compassion. He advocates the art of appreciation, the art of trusting one’s own self, and the art of living a life fulfilled. These six chapters edited from his talks invite the reader to explore the realm of the self, where real peace dwells and can be enjoyed by anyone. With vividly colored photographs and illustrations, “Your Moment” offers a unique and entertaining approach to living in a busy world while learning to enjoy the most profound within everyday.

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Lighting the Flame of Peace / Prem Rawat (English)

‘It is remarkable how atheism is becoming fashionable. It has become almost compulsory to say that you do not believe in God. – I believe that science itself points in a very different direction. There is a huge amount of evidence for the reality of a spiritual dimension to the world.’ There is a level of being that is deeper than the physical universe, writes Keith Ward. It has purpose and value, and we can sometimes feel it and find in it resources of strength, hope, and inspiration. Through an exploration of six areas of human experience – the arts, morality, philosophy, science, religion and personal experience – Ward demonstrates the existence of more than simply physical facts. His evidence builds to an impressive argument for a ‘sense for the spiritual dimension’ that is beyond and yet expressed in and through physical facts.

Keith Ward is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at the University of Oxford and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and has written many popular books on philosophy, religion and Christian theology.

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The Evidence for God with Professor Keith Ward

Live from Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, Professor Keith Ward giving a lecture on the ‘Evidence for God’ and launch his new book, ‘The Evidence for God: The Case for the Existence of the Spiritual Dimension’.

Wild Spirituality shares a way of living well that is as unique as the individual experiencing it. It offers a direct means of witnessing reality in all its aspects, revealing a way to the green heart of being that is untamed but never undisciplined. Many of us now feel an authentic, autonomous impulse to understand and experience all expressions of existence, be they seen or unseen, human or non-human. Wild Spirituality accompanies the reader through this process of re-awakening, encouraging us to witness the life-force inherent in all creation as well as appreciating our own particular dance in the wild dream of life.

Living a deeply connected, and essentially natural, spirituality encourages inner and outer balance. It allows us to experience infinite consciousness – the Source of All Being – whilst remaining grounded with meaningful, earth-honouring practices. Through this seamless uniting of the questing, empathetic and intuitive aspects most needed in today’s world we may live more fully, with genuine compassion, integrity and awareness. Wild Spirituality advocates a means of expressing our inherent mysticism that is poetic, wholesome and mutually beneficial. It firmly rooted in the author’s own life-practice and extensive empirical examination of the hidden aspects of existence.

Poppy Palin is a qualified and experienced artist and teacher who uses her trained illustrative skills to enhance her own work and that of others. She has written and illustrated four non-fiction books on her life as a natural psychic, all of which are published by Capall Bann. She combines magical fiction and enchanting artwork in the Wild Spirit Tarot (Llewellyn 2002) and in her “Wild Spirit Trilogy” of novels which begins with The Greening. She is the author of The Craft of the Wild Witch (2004).

She recently illustrated The Hedge Witch’s Way written by English author Rae Beth and will be working with her on The Hedge Witch’s Oracle in 2002. Poppy’s artwork regularly appears in magazines in the ‘mind, body and spirit’ category.

Poppy is also an experienced tattoo artist who specializes in one-off pieces to commemorate rites of passage. She currently lives in Glastonbury, England.

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Published on Apr 21, 2015

A discussion about the essence of prayer.

Experience Oneness with the Divine and Light Up the World

On the publication of her first book, Larry Dossey, MD, author of Prayer Is Good Medicine, wrote: “Martella-Whitsett is a wise guide.”

Her new book makes the audacious claim that each of us can be “the light of the world” Jesus instructed his followers to be. Martella-Whitsett offers a path for living a deep and authentic life outside of the strictures of traditional religious categories. A refreshing approach, in essence, on how to be spiritual without being religious.

We need to jettison the idea of a God who is out there and above us. God is not a super-human who gives and takes, punishes and rewards. God does not require human suffering and repentance.

We truly find God when we go inside to connect with divine light, realize our oneness with God and others, and let our light shine in the world. Martella-Whittset looks at what “divine light” is and how it is both audacious and normal to claim it for ourselves. Next she introduces us to 12 spiritual powers we can all develop and learn to use on a daily basis: faith, understanding, will, imagination, zeal power, love, wisdom, strength, order, release, and life itself. When we consciously shine our spiritual powers on ourselves, not only are our lives improved, but all of humanity can be enriched and transformed.

Let your light shine!

Winner of 2011 Best Spiritual Author competition for her first book, How to Pray Without Talking to God, Linda Martella-Whitsett is an inspiring, respected Unity minister and spiritual teacher. Linda is the senior minister at Unity Church of San Antonio and a mentor for emerging leaders in New Thought. Her website is ur-divine.com.

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Divine Audacity Book Trailer

Published on Apr 19, 2015

Sri Karunamayi is revered in India as an embodiment of Divine Motherly Love, due to the love and affection that she showers liberally on all people, animals, and even plants, the spiritual knowledge and guidance that she gives freely to all of humanity, and the humanitarian works that she has undertaken. “Amma” as she is affectionately called by her followers, is simply the Telugu word for “mother”- Telugu being Amma’s native language.

Born in 1958 in South India, Sri Karunamayi spent a childhood immersed in an atmosphere of prayer and worship created by her deeply spiritual parents. Both of her parents had received visions indicating that Sri Karunamayi was not an ordinary child, and her astrological chart indicated that she would dedicate her life to serving humanity.

Naturally inclined towards charity as a child, Sri Karunamayi, or “Amma,” would often give away food and clothes to whomever needed them.

As she grew into a young woman, Amma felt an inner urge to begin spending more and more time in the family worship room, immersed in prayer and meditation. As she was now a first-year college student, she was forced to make time for meditation by reducing the time she spent sleeping. As her meditations deepened and intensified, she also began reducing her intake of food. These meditation sessions grew in length until one day Amma locked herself inside a room of the house and remained there in meditation for a month.

Though her family members were perplexed, they did not dare to disturb her, having witnessed the profundity of her meditations before. When she finally emerged, she seemed like a different person to her family members. Though she still showed the same sweet affection to which they were accustomed, her demeanor now expressed a more impersonal, universal love. Determined to fulfill the sacred purpose of her life, Amma gently told her mother that it was time for her to go into seclusion in the sacred Penusila Forest, to meditate there in solitude. Always respectful of her daughter’s divine nature, and trusting completely in God, Amma’s mother did not try to stop her from going.

Amma never felt that these meditations were done for her own sake, as she was following the example of India’s ancient Vedic sages, who meditated for hundreds of years in order to discover the best teachings for all of mankind. Through Amma’s austerities, she determined which of the Vedic teachings and practices would be of greatest benefit to people living in this difficult modern age. After performing such intense tapasya for over 10 years, Amma decided that it was time to share her knowledge with all those who thirsted for true spirituality, wherever they may live in the world.

Emerging from her seclusion in the sacred Penusila Forest, Amma began giving public discourses on various aspects of Sanatana Dharma, India’s ancient spirituality, and conducting sacred ceremonies to promote world peace and universal well-being. At this time, Amma also began Her work on serving humanity in the eradication of poverty, providing free medical care & housing for the disadvantaged, stopping child labour through free schooling and mentorship programs, and supplying water treatment facilities to those impoverished communities that have been severely affected from toxic water resources. After performing such intense tapasya for over 10 years, Amma moved to a more urban area to share her knowledge with all those who thirsted for spirituality, wherever they may live in the world.

In 1995, Amma began reaching out to the world, beginning with the US, where She offers yearly public programs. During these programs Amma gives teachings and blessings, holds meditation retreats, and performs sacred fire ceremonies for the benefit of all of humankind & the world. During her visits to each city, countless followers come to express their worries and problems and to request blessings or guidance. And to this end, Amma uses Her own sari to wipe away the tears from Her children’s eyes as She comforts every follower with Divine Motherly Love. Amma often likes to say that Her only work in this world is to remove the suffering from the hearts of Her children. This she does through Her kind, loving words of spiritual guidance and encouragement, Her healing touch, and Her divine knowledge and insight. Today Amma divides Her time between the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and India, fulfilling Her life’s mission of providing comfort, solace, and spiritual guidance to all who come to Her. Website: http://karunamayi.org

Books: Sri Karunamayi a Biography Blessed Souls I the Teachings of Sri Karunamayi (I) Sri Suktam with Samputita Sri Suktam YOGA IS UNION – The Yoga of Amma Sri Karunamayi

Interview recorded 4/13/2015


Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.

Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change. When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.

Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma. Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life. Here, Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist. They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others. It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us.

MARK EPSTEIN, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and the author of a number of books about the interface of Buddhism and psychotherapy, including Thoughts Without a Thinker and Psychotherapy Without the Self. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Harvard University.

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Mark Epstein: The Trauma of Everyday Life

Harvard Book Store welcomed psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without a Thinker Mark Epstein for a discussion of his latest book, The Trauma of Everyday Life, new to paperback.

Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. In The Trauma of Everyday Life Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development.

Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change. When we regard trauma with this perspective, understanding that suffering is universal and without logic, our pain connects us to the world on a more fundamental level. The way out of pain is through it.

Epstein’s discovery begins in his analysis of the life of Buddha, looking to how the death of his mother informed his path and teachings. The Buddha’s spiritual journey can be read as an expression of primitive agony grounded in childhood trauma. Yet the Buddha’s story is only one of many in The Trauma of Everyday Life. Here, Epstein looks to his own experience, that of his patients, and of the many fellow sojourners and teachers he encounters as a psychiatrist and Buddhist. They are alike only in that they share in trauma, large and small, as all of us do. Epstein finds throughout that trauma, if it doesn’t destroy us, wakes us up to both our minds’ own capacity and to the suffering of others. It makes us more human, caring, and wise. It can be our greatest teacher, our freedom itself, and it is available to all of us.

Tune in to nature, care for the sacred earth, and grow spiritually with 365 eco-friendly activities for deepening your connection with nature. Living Earth Devotional offers practical, soul-centered tasks, including meditations, craft projects, gardening and outdoor activities, journaling prompts, and more. Following the Wheel of the Year, this day-by-day guide will help you tune in to the energies of the changing seasons and build a greater appreciation for the earth’s beauty, power, and wisdom. Reduce your carbon footprint, recharge your creativity and intuition, and cultivate a connection with the world that inspires spiritual growth and personal transformation.

Clea Danaan (Colorado) has been gardening organically for over twenty years. Her articles on ecology and spirituality have appeared in SageWoman, Witches & Pagans, GreenSpirit, and Organic Family magazines. She is the author of Sacred Land, Voices of the Earth, Living Earth Devotional, and The Way of the Hen. Her background in Reiki, expressive arts therapies, outdoor education, and somatic psychology inform her integrated and ecumenical writings. Visit her online at http://www.CleaDanaan.com.

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Earth Devotional offers practical, soul-centered tasks, including meditations, craft projects, gardening and outdoor activities, journal exercises, and more. Following the Wheel of the Year, this day-by-day guide will help you tune in to the energies of the changing seasons and build a greater appreciation for the earth’s beauty, power, and wisdom. Reduce your carbon footprint, recharge your creativity and intuition, and cultivate a connection with the earth that inspires spiritual growth and personal transformation.


Many people are undergoing a profound personal transformation associated with spiritual opening. Under favorable circumstances, this process results in emotional healing, a radical shift in values, and a profound awareness of the mystical dimension of existence. For some, these changes are gradual and relatively smooth, but for others they can be so rapid and dramatic that they interfere with effective everyday functioning, creating tremendous inner turmoil. Unfortunately, many traditional health-care professionals do not recognize the positive potential of these crises; they often see them as manifestations of mental disease and repsond with stigmatizing labels, suppressive drugs, and even institutionalization.

In The Stormy Search for the Self, Christina and Stanislav Grof, the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of spiritual emergence, draw on years of dramatic personal and professional experience with transformative states to explore these “spiritual emergencies,” altered states so powerful they threaten to overwhelm the individual’s oridinary reality. This book will provide insights, assurances, and practical suggestions for those who are experiencing or have experienced such a crisis, for their families and friends, and for mental-health professionals. It is also a valuable guide for anyone involved in personal transformation whose experiences, though generally untraumatic, may still at times be bewildering or disorienting.

Increasing numbers of people are experiencing “spiritual emergency”–a crisis that occurs when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Here, the pioneers of the field of spiritual emergency validate that such episodes have profoundly healing potential.

Christina Grof was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Her original career as a teacher of art was interrupted when a powerful spiritual experience during childbirth launched her into many years of emotional turmoil, later identified as the manifestations of Kundalini awakening. She taught Hatha-Yoga and was deeply influenced by Swami Muktananda Paramahansa, head of the Siddha-Yoga lineage; she was his student until his death in 1982.

Her own unusual experiences generated in her deep interest in nonordinary states of consciousness and transpersonal psychology. Together with her husband, Stanislav Grof, she has developed Holotropic Breathwork, an experimental technique of psychotherapy that combines controlled breathing, evocative music, and bodywork. She and her husband have also organized international transpersonal conferences in Boston, Melbourne, Bombay, and Santa Rosa, California.

Christina’s particular area of interest is the relationship between mysticism and psychosis. In 1980 she founded the spiritual emergence network, an international organization providing support for individuals undergoing transformative crises. More recently, her interest has extended into the area of the spiritual aspects of alcoholism and addiction. In the last decade she has conducted lectures and workshops in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She is also co-author of the book Beyond Death.

Table of Contents

The Stormy Search For The Self Authors’ Note

Introduction

Prologues
The Uninvited Guest: Christina’s Story
God in the Laboratory: Stanislav’s Story

Part One: The Stormy Search for the Self
1. What is Spiritual Emergency?
2. The Dark Night of the Soul
3. Encountering the Divine
4. Varieties of Spiritual Emergency
5. Addiction as Spiritual Emergency

Part Two: Charts for the Inner Journey
6. Spiritual Lessons from the Other Times and Cultures
7. Modern Maps of Consciousness

Part Three: Living in Two Worlds
8. Strategies for Everyday Life
9. Guidelines for Family and Friends
10. Who Can Help and How?
11. The Homecoming

Epilogue
Spiritual Emergence and the Current Global Crisis

Appendix I
The Spiritual Emergence Network

Appendix II
A Vision for a Twenty-Four-Hour Care Center

Appendix III
Spiritual Emergency and Mental-Health Professionals

Bibliography

Christina Grof: Addiction, Attachment & Spiritual Crisis — Thinking Allowed w/ Jeffrey Mishlove

NOTE: This is an excerpt from the two-part, 60-minute DVD.
http://www.thinkingallowed.com/2cgrof…

Christina Grof describes her own struggle to overcome alcoholism and suggests that the impulse that leads to addictive behavior stems from our yearning for spiritual union. Crises of spiritual opening, she says, may often look like episodes of acute psychosis and are often difficult and even painful. Unlike psychosis, however, such crises can lead to higher states of personality integration.

Christina Grof is founder of the Spiritual Emergence Network. She is author of The Thirst for Wholeness, and is a developer, with husband Stanislav Grof, of Holotropic therapy.

Started on Apr 18, 2015

On April 18th artists, world leaders, and over 250,000 citizens are joining together at the National Mall to protect the planet and its people.

Published on Apr 17, 2015

True Happiness – Realizing Well Being (04/15/2015)

Well being is the deep contentment that arises from a relaxed, wakeful presence. This talk explores the beliefs and habits that contract us away form presence, and several key ways we can nourish our natural capacity for happiness.

Drawing from the best and most poetic of Richard Rohr’s essays from nearly a quarter of a century, each chapter in this new collection examines one of the seven core mystical truths. Organized according to the mystical paths that every worshiper must follow, Rohr identifies the despair of everyday life, promotes opportunities for change even in the face of pain, thereby transforming one’s deeper self into a beacon of light that aids in the perpetual metamorphosis of others.

Illuminating these insights with reflections on Christian and Jewish scriptures while citing the greatest religious writers throughout the ages, Rohr offers an unparalleled window into the wisdom of the mystics, within a succinct volume that represents the best treasury of his vast library of writing.

Richard Rohr is a well-known lecturer who founded the Center for Action and Contemplation. He has been a featured essayist on the NPR program This I Believe, was a guest on the radio show Oprah and Friends, and appeared in the documentary ONE, featuring spiritual teachers from around the world. He is a regular contributor to Sojourners and Tikkun magazines, and he is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Adam’s Return, The Enneagram, Everything Belongs, and The Naked Now. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Pre-order: What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Pre-order “What the Mystics Know: Seven Pathways to Your Deeper Self” at http://preorderthisbook.com/book/3811…
By Richard Rohr
Release Date: 2015-05-01

Drawing from the best and most poetic of Richard Rohr’s essays from nearly a quarter of a century, each chapter in this new collection examines one of the seven core mystical truths. Organized according to the mystical paths that every worshiper must follow, Rohr identifies the despair of everyday life, promotes opportunities for change even in the face of pain, thereby transforming one’s deeper self into a beacon of light that aids in the perpetual metamorphosis of others.

Illuminating these insights with reflections on Christian and Jewish scriptures while citing the greatest religious writers throughout the ages, Rohr offers an unparalleled window into the wisdom of the mystics, within a succinct volume that represents the best treasury of his vast library of writing.

In a remarkable true story of faith and blessings, a mother tells of her sickly young daughter, how she survived a dangerous accident, her visit to Heaven and the inexplicable disappearance of the symptoms of her chronic disease.

Annabel Beam spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals with a rare and incurable digestive disorder that prevented her from ever living a normal, healthy life. One sunny day when she was able to go outside and play with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst inside an old, hollowed-out tree, a fall that may well have caused death or paralysis. Implausibly, she survived without a scratch. While unconscious inside the tree, with rescue workers struggling to get to her, she visited heaven. After being released from the hospital, she defied science and was inexplicably cured of her chronic ailment.

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN will change how we look at the world around us and reinforce our belief in God and the afterlife.

Christy Wilson Beam was born and raised in Abilene, Texas where she was a teacher for several years. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she left to focus on raising the couple’s three girls. Christy and her family now reside in Burleson, Texas.

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bn:Girl knocked out by 30ft fall inside a hollow tree claims she went to heaven and met Jesus

Near Fatal Fall Cures Sick Little Girl’s Symptoms

Published on Apr 14, 2015

Annabel Beam was just five years old when she was diagnosed with two incurable disorders.

Treatments for pseudo-obstruction motility disorder and antral hypomotility disorder – life-threatening digestive disorders – kept her in and out of the hospital for years.

In 2011, another tragedy struck. While Annabel was climbing a tree, a branch gave way, sending Annabelle falling 30 feet headfirst into a hollowed-out cottonwood tree.

After several hours, an emergency fire crew managed to harness Annabel to safety and she was rushed to the hospital in a helicopter.

Incredibly, not only did Annabel survive the terrible fall without injury, the symptoms of her disorders miraculously disappeared.

Annabel’s mother, Christy, tells the story of her daughter’s amazing journey to heaven and back in the new book, “Miracles From Heaven.”

Annabel, now 12-years-old, and Christy joined Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “Fox and Friends” today to share their story of healing.

Christy explained that her daughter was in constant pain for much of her childhood. At one point Annabel even said that she wanted to die and go to heaven to live with Jesus.

Annabel revealed that when she fell out of the tree and was unconscious, she actually visited heaven.

“I saw heaven and it was really bright and I saw my Mimi who had died a couple years back,” Annabel explained. “And that’s how I knew I was in heaven.”

“I believe that I was cured because … I asked Jesus if I could stay with him, and he said, ‘No, Annabel, I have plans for you on Earth that you cannot fulfill in heaven … Whenever I send you back, there will be nothing wrong with you,'” Annabel said.

Since the accident, Annabel has not been hospitalized for her digestive disorders, which has confounded doctors. Christy revealed that Annabel is now asymptomatic and is currently on zero medications.


Published on Apr 16, 2015

A conversation about perception and the world.

The Indispensable Qualities of Awakening

In essence the entire spiritual endeavor is a very simple thing: Spirituality is essentially about awakening as the intuitive awareness of unity and dissolving our attachment to egoic consciousness. By saying that spirituality is a very simple thing, I do not mean to imply that it is either an easy or difficult endeavor. For some it may be very easy, while for others it may be more difficult. There are many factors and influences that play a role in one’s awakening to the greater reality, but the greatest factors by far are one’s sincerity, one-pointedness, and courage.

Sincerity is a word that I often use in teaching to convey the importance of being rooted in the qualities of honesty, authenticity, and genuineness. There can be nothing phony or contrived in our motivations if we are to fully awaken to our natural and integral state of unified awareness. While teachings and teachers can point us inward to “the peace beyond all understanding,” it is always along the thread of our inner sincerity, or lack thereof, that we will travel. For the ego is clever and artful in the ways of deception, and only the honesty and genuineness of our ineffable being are beyond its influence. At each step and with each breath we are given the option of acting and responding, both inwardly and outwardly, from the conditioning of egoic consciousness which values control and separation above all else, or from the intuitive awareness of unity which resides in the inner silence of our being.

Without sincerity it is so very easy for even the greatest spiritual teachings to become little more than playthings of the mind. In our fast-moving world of quick fixes, big promises, and short attention spans, it is easy to remain on a very surface level of consciousness without even knowing it. While the awakened state is ever present and closer than your feet, hands, or eyes, it cannot be approached in a casual or insincere fashion. There is a reason that seekers the world over are instructed to remove their shoes and quiet their voices before entering into sacred spaces. The message being conveyed is that one’s ego must be “taken off and quieted” before access to the divine is granted. All of our ego’s attempts to control, demand, and plead with reality have no influence on it other than to make life more conflicted and difficult. But an open mind and sincere heart have the power to grant us access to realizing what has always been present all along.

When people asked the great Indian sage Nisargadatta what he thought was the most important quality to have in order to awaken, he would say “earnestness.” When you are earnest, you are both sincere and one-pointed; to be one-pointed means to keep your attention on one thing. I have found that the most challenging thing for most spiritual seekers to do is to stay focused on one thing for very long. The mind jumps around with its concerns and questions from moment to moment. Rarely does it stay with one question long enough to penetrate it deeply. In spirituality it is very important not to let the egoic mind keep jumping from one concern to the next like an untrained dog. Remember, awakening is about realizing your true nature and dissolving all attachment to egoic consciousness.

My grandmother who passed away a few years ago used to say to me jokingly, “Getting old is not for wimps.” She was well aware of the challenges of an aging body, and while she never complained or felt any pity for herself, she knew firsthand that aging had its challenges as well as its benefits. There was a courage within my grandmother that served her well as she approached the end of her life, and I am happy to say that when she passed, it was willingly and without fear. In a similar way the process of coming into a full and mature awakening requires courage, as not only our view of life but life itself transforms to align itself with the inner mystic vision. A sincere heart is a robust and courageous heart willing to let go in the face of the great unknown expanse of Being—an expanse which the egoic mind has no way of knowing or understanding.

When one’s awareness opens beyond the dream state of egoic consciousness to the infinite no-thing-ness of intuitive awareness, it is common for the ego to feel much fear and terror as this transition begins. While there is nothing to fear about our natural state of infinite Being, such a state is beyond the ego’s ability to understand, and as always, egos fear whatever they do not understand and cannot control. As soon as our identity leaves the ego realm and assumes its rightful place as the infinite no-thing-ness/every-thing-ness of awareness, all fear vanishes in the same manner as when we awaken from a bad dream. In the same manner in which my grandmother said, “Getting old is not for wimps,” it can also be said that making the transition from the dream state to the mature, awakened state requires courage.

Sincerity, one-pointedness, and courage are indispensable qualities in awakening from the dream state of ego to the peace and ease of awakened Being. All there is left to do is to live it.

Source: Adyashanti

March 2015

About Sacred Plant Initiations

A practical guide to connecting with plants through ceremony

• Explains how to commune with plants and their spirits through the traditional shamanic method of “plant dieting” to receive their teachings and guidance

• Details 8 ceremonial plant initiations centered on common, easily recognized plants and trees such as primrose, dandelion, oak, and dog rose

• Provides instructions to develop your own sacred plant initiations and make ceremonial plant elixirs

• Includes four audio journeys to facilitate plant initiations

In this guide to sacred plant initiations, medical herbalist and shamanic practitioner Carole Guyett explains how to commune with plants and their spirits through the traditional shamanic method of “plant dieting.” A plant diet involves ingesting a particular plant over a period of time so you regularly receive the plant’s vibratory energy as well as its medicinal actions. Adding a ceremonial element to plant dieting offers a sacred initiation by the plant world, allowing you to connect deeply with all aspects of a plant, receive its sacred teachings, and forge a relationship for guidance and healing, benefitting both yourself and others.

Each of the eight ceremonial plant initiations detailed in the book was personally developed by the author through extensive work with her ceremonial groups. They each center on an easily recognized plant or tree such as primrose, dandelion, oak, and dog rose. These common plants have powerful teachings and healing guidance to share with those who communicate with and honor them. The initiations, for both individuals and groups, work with the Wheel of the Year, honoring each plant’s sacred timing and connecting with one of the eight Celtic and Pre-Celtic Fire Festivals–the solstices, equinoxes, and the holy days of Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain, and Imbolc.

Offering practical instructions so you can develop your own sacred plant initiations, the author also include access to 4 audio journeys to facilitate the initiations in the book. She also explains how to make plant elixirs for use in plant diets and for healing. She shows how connecting with plants allows us to deepen our relationship with Nature, access higher levels of consciousness and spiritual realms, and facilitate the full flowering of human potential.


Carole Guyett is a medical herbalist, shamanic practitioner, and Celtic priestess trained by a traditional wise woman in the Western mysteries. She has worked with healing plants for over 30 years. In 2010 she completed a 10-year apprenticeship with Métis Medicine Woman Arwyn DreamWalker, carrier of the Beauty Way Teachings. She offers workshops, teachings, healings, apprenticeships, and personal and group ceremonies both internationally and at her home, Derrynagittah, in Caher, Ireland.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Introduction

Ceremonial plant dieting is a traditional method of honoring the plant world. The ceremonial process offers a unique way to connect deeply with all aspects of a plant, opening gateways to spiritual realms and facilitating powerful transformation at physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. Plant dieting is a traditional term referring to a wide range of methods whereby plants are ingested in order to form a deep relationship with them and to receive their gifts of guidance and healing. This book presents a way of experiencing plants as conscious spiritual beings and aims to demonstrate how common plants in our hedgerows provide a form of “medicine” that can help us take an evolutionary leap to a new vision of reality.

In modern Western culture plant diets are often associated with plants known as Teacher Plants, Master Plants, or Plants of Vision. These are generally psychoactive plants like Datura, Sacred Mushrooms, Peyote, and many others that are described as opening gateways to higher consciousness.

The experiences described in this book are of plant diets taken with nonpsychoactive plants. These include plants and trees such as Primrose, Dandelion, Oak, Elder, and Dog Rose, all common medicinal plants not typically known for their consciousness-raising effects. However, in my experience, while not chemically psychoactive, the plants we are dieting most definitely can behave as entheogens, or “gateways to the divine.” With their help we can safely visit levels of consciousness that may have seemed reserved for so-called Teacher Plant ceremonies. Perhaps, when approached with honor and reverence, all plants can behave in this way.

6 Primrose Bealtaine
Initiation and New Beginnings

Primrose comes as one of the first flowers of spring, offering light and hope after the darkness of winter. Ruled by Venus and considered female in gender, her bright yellow flowers surprise and delight us, lighting up the fields and bringing splashes of illumination to the woods and hedgerows. She is associated with the element of earth and with spring goddesses. Primrose unlocks the spring and offers us a means to move forward. This is the “Key Flower,” a gift from the gods and goddesses to show us the way to the hidden treasure inside ourselves and inside the Earth. It is time to move toward the light, time for initiation and rebirth into the freedom of our creative potential.

Associated with the growing life force of spring, the Primrose has long been considered to have special powers. This is a traditional herb of Bealtaine (pronounced BEE-EL-TANA), bursting with bright, creative energy and initiating new beginnings. Primrose awakens both romantic love and spiritual transformation. It is an ideal plant to diet with at this season of fertile growth.

Bealtaine
A Time of New Beginnings

Bealtaine, otherwise known as Beltane or May Eve, is the major fertility festival of the year. This is the time when all of nature is rapidly growing and moving forward with rampant potency. It is a time to celebrate the fertility of the land and our own creative urges; a time of growth, expansion, and playfulness when sexual forces are at their peak. In Ireland, Bealtaine marks the start of summer. Traditionally, in our Celtic Pagan past this was the night to celebrate the union of the Horned God and the fertile Goddess. Young couples would make love outdoors in the forests and green fields, reenacting the sacred marriage between Earth and Sky to ensure the fertility of the land.

In modern times we can kindle a sacred fire and jump the flames in order to purify, to let go, and to bring forth our wildness and creativity. This is the time to take a leap in to the power of our own potential. Bealtaine is a time to gather with like-minded others, celebrating love, creativity, and the power of nature. Hawthorn trees (as well as the primrose) are particularly associated with this festival, and for some people the timing of Bealtaine is reckoned as the day the hawthorn first blooms. We can honor the trees by dressing them with ribbons and flowers, giving thanks and celebrating their burgeoning growth.

Primrose–The Key Flower

Primula vulgaris
Plant family: Primulaceae (Primrose Family)

Other common names: Samhaircin (Irish), Primev貥 (French), Primavera (Spanish), Primel (German), Key Flower, St. Peter’s Keys.

Description: A hardy, deciduous perennial growing to a height of 3 to 6 inches. It has a rosette of long, crinkly leaves from which grow pale yellow flowers with deep yellow centers. These flowers arise on individual stalks in April or May. Flowers are sweetly scented and have a pleasant flavor.

Habitat: Grassy banks, roadsides, sea cliffs, waste ground, woodlands, and fields.

Distribution: The genus is comprised of about 550 species. Native to Europe, Asia, and northern West Africa, Primrose is a protected plant in certain parts of the world, in which case the roots should not be disturbed unless being cultivated at home. Primrose is not a North American native, although it is locally established and a variety of cultivars exist throughout North America.

Parts used: Flowers (gathered April-May), root and rhizome (gathered March-April), leaves (gathered March-April).

Primrose as a Spirit Medicine
In my experience, Primrose has a very clear, pure, healing energy that washes away extraneous mental activity and brings feelings of deep peace. It clears obsessive thinking, bringing a calm, secure sense of connection with the Earth. At the same time it is light and playful, lifting feelings of heaviness from the heart, releasing stuck patterns and restoring hope. When we feel stuck or confused, Primrose clears the mind and enables us to gain a new perspective. It frees creative energy that can then flow unimpeded and without judgment. In this way Primrose can open a huge surge of creativity, facilitating major change in people’s lives and helping them in their quest for wholeness. When it appears in a healing session it frequently heralds a time of transformation.

Interview with Plant Spirit Healer, Carole Guyett

Published on Mar 26, 2015

Carole Guyett is a medical herbalist, plant spirit healer and flower essence practitioner who has worked with healing plants for over 30 years. A teacher and a ceremonialist, she has dedicated her life to plants and healing and the awakening of human consciousness. Her work blends the Celtic tradition with the teachings of the Beauty Way from North America.

“I’m trying to meditate one day but urgent thoughts keep intruding. Don’t forget to take cupcakes to school! I have to prepare for my presentation for the wellness conference! Is that lunch with the other moms tomorrow or next week? My to-do list is stampeding through my mind, trampling any chance of tranquility. I feel overwhelmed, yes, but there’s more: I feel…guilty. Guilty that I’m taking on too much, guilty that I’m not doing anything well, guilty that I’m giving short shrift to my kids, my husband, my job. And what about you, Mallika? a quiet voice asks. How are you shortchanging yourself?”

Living with Intent is a chronicle of Mallika Chopra’s search to find more meaning, joy, and balance in life. She hopes that by telling her story, she can inspire others with her own successes (and failures) as well as share some of the wisdom she has gathered from friends, experts, and family along the way— people like her dad, Deepak, as well as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Weil, and Dan Siegel. She also provides a practical road map for how we can all move from thought to action to outcome. Each chapter is devoted to one step on her journey and another piece of her INTENT action plan: Incubate, Notice, Trust, Express, Nurture, and Take Action. Chopra’s insights and advice will help us all come closer to fully living the lives we truly intend.

MALLIKA CHOPRA is the successful author of two previous gift books for parents, 100 Promises to My Baby and 100 Questions from My Child. She is a busy mom of two, a successful entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Intent.com and Intent Blog, a social media site and its sister blog. Mallika enjoys speaking to audiences around the world at venues like TEDx, Ideacity, the California Women’s Conference, and Prevention’s R3 Summit. She has degrees from Brown University and the Kellogg School of Management.

BROWSE HERE

Living With Intent With Mallika Chopra

Published on Mar 16, 2015

Learn more and get your copy of Mallika’s new book Living with Intent at http://amzn.to/1BU85Xv


Published on Apr 15, 2015

Three Liberating Gifts – Part 3 – Looking in the Mirror

This 3 part series is based on a teaching story from the Upanishads that shows our potential to awaken from an ego-based trance and discover the full luminosity and freedom of our natural awareness. In each class we’ll explore one of the three gifts considered as essential on the spiritual path. The first is the capacity to forgive, to let go of the blame and resentment that prevents our hearts from being open and free. The second gift is “inner fire,” the capacity to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to what we most cherish. The third gift is a “mirror” or the capacity to look deeply into our own hearts and minds and realize the truth of who we are. Each class includes guided meditations that explore how these gifts can be nourished right here and now in our lives.

Published on Apr 15, 2015

Three Liberating Gifts: Part 2 – Inner Fire

This 3 part series is based on a teaching story from the Upanishads that shows our potential to awaken from an ego-based trance and discover the full luminosity and freedom of our natural awareness. In each class we’ll explore one of the three gifts considered as essential on the spiritual path. The first is the capacity to forgive, to let go of the blame and resentment that prevents our hearts from being open and free. The second gift is “inner fire,” the capacity to devote ourselves wholeheartedly to what we most cherish. The third gift is a “mirror” or the capacity to look deeply into our own hearts and minds and realize the truth of who we are. Each class includes guided meditations that explore how these gifts can be nourished right here and now in our lives.


Published on Apr 13, 2015

Guy Finley explains that the question in every spiritual aspirant’s mind is, “When will I be free?” To know the answer, first you must awaken entirely to what it is that enslaves you. http://www.guyfinley.org/kit

Understanding the Moments That Touch and Transform Our Lives

Who hasn’t experienced that eerie coincidence, that sudden, baffling insight, that occasional flash of extrasensory perception that astonishes? Can these events be dismissed as mere chance, or do they have some deeper significance for us?

The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this classic explores the inter-relationship between these meaningful coincidences and our intuitive sense that we are part of some deep oneness with the universe — a oneness called Tao in Eastern philosophy and synchronicity in Jungian psychology. By relating the concepts of Tao and synchronicity, Dr. Bolen reveals important links between psychology and mysticism, right brain and left, the individual and the external world. The Tao of Psychology provides the key for each individual to interpret the synchronistic events in his or her life and gives fresh insight into the relationships, dreams, and flashes of perception that transform our existence.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, is a psychiatrist, a Jungian analyst, and an internationally known author and speaker. Her books include Goddesses in Everywoman, Gods in Everyman, and many others. She is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. She lives in Marin County, California.

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Jean Shinoda Bolen: Archetypal Psychology (excerpt) – A Thinking Allowed w/ Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove

NOTE: This is an excerpt from the full 90-minute DVD.
http://www.thinkingallowed.com/2jbole…

Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity, an acausal principle, connects the ego to the larger archetypal self. This connection is like the ancient Chinese concept of the Tao in that it cannot be rationally understood. Jean Shinoda Bolen suggests that the images of the ancient dieties represent powerful projections of the psyche.

From a psychological perspective, all of the gods can be viewed as suffering from dysfunctional relationships and character disorders. By studying the myths of the gods, we can learn much about ourselves. It is by facing the truth of our lives that we can die to our past ways and enter into a new order of being.

Our children can be our greatest teachers. Parenting expert Susan Stiffelman writes that the very behaviors that push our buttons — refusing to cooperate or ignoring our requests — can help us build awareness and shed old patterns, allowing us to raise our children with greater ease and enjoyment. Filled with practical advice, powerful exercises, and fascinating stories from her clinical work, Parenting with Presence teaches us how to become the parents we most want to be while raising confident, caring children.

An Eckhart Tolle Edition


Susan Stiffelman is a marriage and family therapist, a credentialed teacher, and a licensed psychotherapist. For over 30 years, Susan has worked with families to create greater harmony and deeper connection between parents and children. Susan also delivers weekly parenting advice for the Huffington Post as their “Parent Coach.”

Susan believes that children need to know that they can depend on their parents to guide them through the ups and downs of their lives. Just as a Captain is able to navigate rough and stormy seas, parents are meant to function as their child’s best source of comfort and direction by confidently steering the ship!


Published on Apr 9, 2015

Author Susan Stiffelman talks to Senior Editor Jason Gardner about PARENTING WITH PRESENCE, which is an inaugral title in Eckhart Tolle’s new publishing imprint at New World Library. For more info visit http://bit.ly/1D35TRJ.

 


How to Escape the Prison of your own Mind – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart explains that we must get our usual, conditioned, limited thoughts out of the way. We must become mentally silent. That silence leaves room for the voice of wisdom from within.

“How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens.”
Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat BK/DVD
“Stillness amidst the World”

Published on Apr 14, 2015

A conversation about the fear of death.

Published on Apr 13, 2015

Ellen’s deepest longing for the absolute was fulfilled when she met her teacher, Francis Lucille. In his presence, over many years, she awakened to her true nature of peace and happiness through continuous and deepening glimpses. The process of aligning and stabilizing her life to and in this beautiful non-dual understanding has never ceased to unfold since then.

As a child Ellen was in love with movement and dance. She knew without words the joy and limitless transparency that the body dissolved into when it was free and alive.

As an adolescent and young adult, she acutely felt and enacted suffering through her body, struggling with an eating disorder and with depression.

Thus, the experience that we call the body has always been central to all of Ellen’s experiences, both in the ignoring and in the recognition of her true nature.

Today, Ellen lives in Oxford with her husband Rupert Spira, a teacher in the tradition of non-duality. She has a private practice as a Psychotherapist, and facilitator of Authentic Movement. Her background of Dance-Movement Therapy and Transpersonal Psychology has been deeply influenced by the non-dual understanding.

Ellen also offers meetings called The Awakening Body, an exploration of the body and of perception sourced in the teaching tradition of Kashmir Shivaism, Jean Klein and Francis Lucille. During these sessions our true nature is explored at the level of the body and of the sense perception.

Credentials: Master Degrees in Dance Movement Therapy (New York University) and Transpersonal Psychology (John F. Kennedy University, CA). Certificate in Laban Movement Analyst

Other Teachers and Mentors: Janet Adler and Marion Woodman provided great guidance and support in the realms of feminine wisdom, archetypal energies and intuitive knowing.

Interview recorded 4/11/2015


Yogi, mystic and visionary, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serves as a reminder that yoga is a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times.

From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence.

For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.

While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.

In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.

Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.

At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.

Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs-including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation-and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase.

Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In February 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and is currently working with TED on a major international project to launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to be signed in the fall of 2009 by a thousand religious and secular leaders. She lives in London.

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Karen Armstrong “Fields of Blood”

In her latest comparative study, Fields of Blood, Armstrong, one of today’s leading historians of religion, and author of The Case for God, considers the roles violence has played in different faiths. Tracing the roots of Crusades, Jihads, and various non-violent practices, Armstrong looks back to humanity’s earliest societies and shows how notions of the sacred were accommodated to or supplanted the warrior ethos.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.


The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide, have been released in 170 countries and been translated into 80 languages.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil. In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote ‘The Pilgrimage’, an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

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The Alchemist – By Paulo Coelho (Full)

Published on Jan 29, 2013

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I admire the spiritual concepts of this book and overall the book is wonderful as well.
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A glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky

• Retraces the spiritual and mystical path Jodorowsky has followed since childhood, vividly repainting events from the perspective of an unleashed imagination

• Explores the development of the author’s psychomagic and metagenealogy practices via his realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree

• Includes photos from Jodorowsky’s appearance at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and from the film based on this book, which debuted at Cannes

Retracing the spiritual and mystical path he has followed since childhood, Alejandro Jodorowsky re-creates the incredible adventure of his life as an artist, filmmaker, writer, and therapist–all stages on his quest to push back the boundaries of both imagination and reason.

Not a traditional autobiography composed of a chronological recounting of memories, The Dance of Reality repaints events from Jodorowsky’s life from the perspective of an unleashed imagination. Like the psychomagic and metagenealogy therapies he created, this autobiography exposes the mythic models and family templates upon which the events of everyday life are founded. It reveals the development of Jodorowsky’s realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree and explains, through vivid examples from his own life, particularly interactions with his father and mother, how the individual’s road to true fulfillment means casting off the phantoms projected by parents on their children.

The Dance of Reality is autobiography as an act of healing. Through the retelling of his own life, the author shows we do not start off with our own personalities, they are given to us by one or more members of our family tree. To be born into a family, Jodorowsky says, is to be possessed. To peer back into our past is equivalent to digging into our own souls. If we can dig deep enough, beyond familial projections, we shall find an inner light–a light that can help us through life’s most difficult tests.

Offering a glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, The Dance of Reality is the book upon which Jodorowsky’s critically acclaimed 2013 Cannes Film Festival film of the same name was based.

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a filmmaker who made the legendary cult films El Topo and The Holy Mountain. His most recent film, The Dance of Reality, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Psychomagic, The Way of Tarot, and Metagenealogy. He lives in Paris.

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A Conversation With Alejandro Jodorowsky (Full Session) | Film 2014 | SXSW

One of the legends of ’70s cinema, a vanguard of the midnight movie, and just as famous for films he didn’t make as the films he did, Jodorowsky is not an artist whose body of work can be easily described. Cineastes around the world have been waiting for something new since the release of “Santa Sangre” in 1989, and in celebration of his new feature, “The Dance Of Reality,” SXSW proudly presents an hour-long conversation with one of the masters of surrealist cinema, Alejandro Jodorowsky. The conversation will be moderated by HitFix’s Drew McWeeny.

Francis clarifies meaning of perception, brain, mind and consciousness. Also, answers question regarding the distinction of maya and lila.

A message from Caroline Myss

Grace comes in many expressions. It intervenes in raging arguments, calming your anger so that you do not say what you can never take back. Grace whispers thoughts of hope in desperate times, giving you the stamina to hold on through the storms of life. And grace delivers inspiration, awakening creative resources deep within your being. The power of grace is endless, silent, and powerful.

A rare and rich but much too brief discussion of the activity of grace given in a graduate school lecture was brought to mind the other day while I was watching a program about the devotion the great opera star, Rene Fleming, has for assisting up-and-coming opera singers. It’s so amazing, really, how and when these flashbacks arise. You have no idea they remain hidden in the vast archive of memories that you are carrying around in your brain, like the words of all the songs from the 60’s that just pop into your head the moment you hear the melody.

First, I’ll share the long ago memory of this graduate class. I was in a class on mystical theology and while we were discussing something or other, the professor noted that one mystical phenomenon is that each person is given the gift of seven extraordinary days of grace each year. The grace given on these days is of the quality that it organizes the events of that day to transform your life – that is, redirect your life – in a most significant way. The rest of the class, as you can well imagine, was immediately devoted to the details of identifying that grace and the content of these extraordinary days. (I’ll get to that later – don’t worry.)

Anyway, I could not turn off this program about Rene Fleming, which actually intrigued me as I am not really an opera fan, but I have seen Fleming perform in person, thanks to my dear opera fan friend, Andrew Harvey. And she is beyond magnificent. During the program, you saw Fleming giving hands-on instruction to four lucky opera students, instructing them on how to advance their voices. She offered them the most interesting techniques that would assist them in perfecting a single note, a precise tone. Their devotion to the art of opera and to the art of their voice was stunning.

Later, Fleming was casually walking through the opera house with her four students when she said, “Remember, you have seven extraordinary days a year. You can’t waste them. You must be on alert for them.” As soon as I heard her say that, the memory of that day in graduate school flooded into my mind. How in the world did she know that? Why did she say that? Did she mean the same thing as my professor? And why don’t I have Rene Fleming’s phone number???

Immediately I dusted off my memory. What were the details of that lecture? I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, leaned back on the couch, and drifted back through the decades of my life to graduate school. I waited,waited,ah, yes. I remember,.

Your Seven Extraordinary Days of Grace

Let’s start with the obvious first question: Why seven? Perhaps it’s because there are seven days of the week, or seven days of creation, or seven chakras, or the scale of life is numbered at seven. Seven is a mystical number that notes a resonance to your soul. Let us, therefore, assume – though we have no proof as such – that this might be the reason and leave it at that. When it comes to mystical theology, we operate on observation, subjective experience, and the nature of law and order as revealed in the order of nature itself. A scale of “seven” is a repeated scale throughout mystical systems of order; therefore, it may well be that this scale functions within this phenomenon. (That was your first lesson in mystical theology.)

Next, in order to understand the nature and content of these seven extraordinary days of grace, you have to be very clear about what they are not. So, grace is not – repeat – it is not an obvious force. Grace is a silent breeze that enters into your essence, often to protect you from doing harm to yourself. Grace does not protect you from the consequences of your negative or foolish choices; rather, it seeks to prevent you from making those choices in the first place.

Now, let’s think about an ordinary year of life, beginning from January to December. During that year, you will plan or attend a handful of special occasions or trips that rate as extraordinary. Among these are: weddings, vacations, parties, dates with someone special, surprise events, holiday gatherings, birthday parties, spa trips, etc. What these have in common are the following:

You know about them ahead of time;
You will have expectations of how the event will play out;
You will either exaggerate the good time you intend to have or the bad;
In either case, your expectations will be disappointed;
The event will not go as expected in some way.

For all the above reasons, these days do not qualify as one of your Seven Days of Extraordinary Grace because you are fully convinced you are in charge of the event or you are directly influencing the psychic field with your attitude. In other words, you are exerting too much control toward wanting a certain outcome.
Finally, days burdened with expectations translate to you having to get what you want, the way you want it. From another perspective, these are days that reveal a sense of loss of control and personal insecurities.

The Nature and Character of Extraordinary Grace

Yet another mystical theological teaching is discernment: to look through the eyes of your soul into a situation in order to see and understand the significance of what is unfolding in front of your eyes. Discernment is unlike judging a situation, which tends to be an immediate and reactive response. A discerning response is one that requires reflective thought. With this teaching in mind, we now proceed into the deeper waters of discerning the nature of extraordinary days of grace.

You have no authority over your seven days of extraordinary grace; that is, you cannot decide when these shall be given to you. They come as they come. They are considered “gifts of the spirit,” bestowed upon you at a particularly advantageous time in your life – the operative word being advantageous. Now, how would you define advantageous? If I had you in a classroom at this moment, I would stop the lecture and ask all participants to answer that question in their notebook as I have little doubt that none of you has ever asked yourself this question. What do you consider a spiritually advantageous moment? Are you even prepared to give an answer to that question? Or should I begin with this question: Do you even understand the significance of that question?

This is the type of question that is introduced in a class on mystical theology. Inevitably the discussion that it opens up is intriguing, to say the least. A spiritually advantageous moment is one in which the “agents of change” in your life come together in such a way that only one spark is required to set them off. You may have several change agents at work in your life, none of which has the potency to motivate you to a next step. One more is required. Perhaps all that is needed is one more conversation, or a delayed flight that would allow you to make one more phone call to exactly the right person, or running into an old friend who happens to be the link to exactly the person you need to meet. You are not able to calculate when you have amassed a sufficient number of change agents in your psyche. You are able to discern, however, that an event or opportunity carrying an extraordinary potential of power has just been introduced into your life. As a result of making that phone call or running into that old friend, something new was provided to you. Maybe it was a suggestion, maybe it was positive feedback, or maybe it was a new contact. But you are left feeling renewed, as if you’ve just been rebooted in your own skin. One spark of grace lighted at the perfect advantageous moment is all it takes and life feels good again. Your life feels good again.

Let us examine the characteristics of a day of extraordinary grace:

An opportunity that requires a spontaneous response comes along. The ingredient of spontaneity is required, lest you begin to project fear and failure into the opportunity, thereby self-sabotaging the potential to redirect your life. While other opportunities come and go, one surrounded with extraordinary grace fills your solar plexus and not just your mind, making your “head swim” with greed and ambition. Grace goes to your gut, right into your sense of who you are and what you should do. It symbolically “grabs” hold of your identity.
Another expression of an extraordinary day of grace can come through finding out that plans you had set in motion months or even years ago, which you had given up as failed, have been resurrected. The time wasn’t right and all of a sudden, the time is right. A day of grace is the day everything “fell into place.”
Yet another expression of a day of grace occurs when you encounter a past love – only now both of you are available to be together. A day of grace is the day when life begins again.
A day of grace delivers an unexpected path of healing, which could be in the form of a renewed inner resilience or hope, or meeting a person who knows exactly how to understand and treat your condition. A day of grace is day when the tide turns in your favor.
Another expression of grace is endless delays, confusion, and chaos shattering all of your plans. You can only give up and survive the day, bit-by-bit, going wherever the road leads you. A day of grace is when all the wrong things deliver you to exactly the right place.
Yet another expression of grace is the day you discover that somehow a great mistake was righted through something else that you did. Perhaps it was something conscious or maybe not, but on a day of extraordinary grace, the forces work in your favor and a mistake is made right. A day of grace is when the rules are somehow bent in your favor, just once.
Another day of grace is when your life is saved, perhaps from a car accident or something exploding in your face or a random street incident. A day of grace is when your life is shielded from physical harm, knowingly or unknowingly.

As you can tell, you cannot coordinate these days. You cannot make them happen. They happen because of other circumstances you have set into motion. In other words, your extraordinary days of grace come into your life because of choices that you have made that have created gaps and needs – open spaces – that require filling.

Your challenge is to realize that you are experiencing a day of extraordinary grace and to appreciate the meaning, power, and significance of that day. Further, it is vitally important to act on opportunities offered to you on that day. Suggestions for your new business venture, for example, that came from a synchronistic meeting between you and another person should be followed up on. Merely telling friends about this incredible synchronistic conversation you had with someone is a waste of an extraordinary day of grace, to be direct. It’s up to you to follow through, to take action, to make things happen for yourself.

Remember, grace does not do work for you. It will not “heal” you if you are not doing your part in your own healing. Grace will not interfere with the law of cause and effect; that is, for every choice we make, there is an effect or a consequence. If we make a foolish or stupid choice, we pay a price by having to deal with the consequence of our choices. Grace does not compensate or erase our stupid or foolish choices, any more than prayer does. In order to appreciate the nature and power of grace, and the gift of an extraordinary day of grace, you have to grasp how the power of grace manifests in your life and how it does not. Grace is not a “fix-it” force. It is an inspirational, mystical power that awakens you from within.

As I thought about this subject, I queried a few friends on this question: Would you want to be in charge of determining when you received your seven days of extraordinary grace each year? We had such a fun discussion. One friend said, “I’m very frugal. I would hold on to them.”

Another friend determined that she would be very nervous about having that type of “wealth in a safe in her own home.” What a great analogy, I thought, yes? She was exactly right, as seven days of grace is exactly like having gold in a safe at home and you left to determine when and how to spend it. A third person said he would absolutely use all seven days in one month. He would “go for the gold” in one blast.

I asked each person, “Would you be more inclined to use a day of grace in the midst of a crisis or when you are calm and undistracted?” Would you see your days of grace as financial crisis solvers or a day of soulful renewal? Which is of more value to you?

Those questions ended up leading into one more fascinating area of discussion after another. It seemed like this subject opened a vast discussion. For that reason, I am carrying it over to the June Salon, which will be Part II on this topic. In the June Salon, I will explore those questions along with:

A discussion of grace and prayer.
What would most people do: take charge of their seven days or let heaven determine when they receive the gift of a day of grace?
Merging the Seven Days of Grace with Your Seven Chakras, just for discussion
Could each day contain this grace?

Let me encourage you to think about the days of this year – just this year – that have been game changers for you. They have contained certain ingredients that have motivated you to move ahead, to make positive changes, to do something you’ve been postponing, but on that day, you acted. See if you can identify the presence of grace in your life that day:

What was it about that day that made it different?
Do you remember how you felt that day?
What types of choices did you make that day that you would call “out of character?”
What results have occurred in your life as a result of those choices, and would you consider these results as special or surprising?
Have there been any changes in your life that qualify as “beyond your expectations” as a result of acting on a grace that you identified?

I’ll close this Salon by asking you to reflect on whether you would want to be in charge of when to receive your Seven Extraordinary Days of Grace, or whether you would leave the wisdom of that decision to the heavens. We’ll continue with this discussion in the next Salon.

Meanwhile, Happy Summer,

Love,

Caroline

The popular Patheos blogger wants to restore the cross as primarily a symbol of God’s overwhelming love for us and to rescue Christians from the shame and guilt from seeing our situation as “sinners in the hands of an angry God,” which was an invention of the medieval church and became enshrined as orthodox Christianity.

Many Christians believe that God the Father demanded his only Son die a cruel, gruesome death to appease His wrath, since humanity is so irredeemably sinful and therefore repugnant to God. Tony Jones, popular progressive Christian blogger, author, and scholar, argues that this understanding is actually a medieval invention and not what the Bible really teaches. He looks beyond medieval convictions and liberates how we see Jesus’s death on the cross from this restrictive paradigm. Christians today must transcend the shame and guilt that have shaped conceptions of the human soul and made us fearful of God, and replace them with love, grace, and joyfulness, which better expresses what the cross is really about.

How we understand the cross reflects directly what kind of God we worship. By letting go of the wrathful God who cannot stand to be in our presence unless he pretends to see Jesus in our place, we discover the biblical God who reaches out to love and embrace us while “we were yet sinners.” Jones offers a positive, loving, inclusive interpretation of the faith that is both challenging and inspiring. Did God Kill Jesus? is essential reading for modern Christians.

From the Back Cover

Christianity is about love (“God is love,” “Jesus loves me”), and Christians are to love self, neighbors, even enemies. So, when people are asked what Christians are known for today, why is “love” not listed?

Tony Jones, popular theologian, speaker, blogger, and a founder of the emergent church movement, claims that much of the fault can be placed at the foot of the church’s most common explanations of Jesus’ crucifixion. While the Bible and Christian experience tell us the cross is all about love, today’s most popular model for understanding the cross leaves us feeling guilty, ashamed, even unlovable, and thus disinclined to love others. How did the meaning of the cross change so radically from its biblical roots?

In Did God Kill Jesus? Jones takes us on an intriguing biblical and historical journey revealing just how this message of love was subverted and how it can be restored. He shows how many doctrines we think of as “biblical” were actually invented centuries later: how Augustine invented “original sin”; how Calvin added “guilt”; and how Anselm, an eleventh-century bishop, came up with the current majority view—God hates us sinners and so sent Jesus to be executed and pay our sin penalty so that God can pretend to see Jesus when looking at us. This is how we go from the Bible’s assurance that God loved us “while we still were sinners” to becoming “sinners in the hands of an angry God.” Jones argues that it should not be a surprise, then, that Christians feel guilty and unlovable—the very things the cross was meant to remedy.

Jones invites readers to join a movement to restore the cross as the potent symbol of love at the heart of the faith. By reconnecting us with what the Bible actually teaches and exploring how other traditions teach about Jesus’ death—as well as providing Jones’ own model—Did God Kill Jesus? will help us put love back at the center of what Christians believe and what they should be known for.

Tony Jones (M.Div., Ph.D.) is a theologian, professor, and writer. His most recent book is, DID GOD KILL JESUS? SEARCHING FOR LOVE IN HISTORY’S MOST FAMOUS EXECUTION. Currently, he serves as theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis, and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Tony has written a dozen books on Christian ministry, spirituality, prayer, and new church movements. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, kids, and dogs.

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Tony Jones Interview about Atonement: “Did God Kill Jesus?”

Adam interviewed Tony Jones about his upcoming book, “Did God Kill Jesus?” In the book, Tony uses the work of Rene Girard and Jurgen Moltmann. Adam and Tony discuss Girard, Moltman, and Atonement.

Guest writer, ZenGardner.com


One of the most beautiful occupations on Earth is that of the gardener.

You may witness as a small seed turns into a sprout, and then becomes stronger, striving to reach for the sunshine faster and faster. In the meanwhile, the gardener protects, nourishes and helps the small plant to develop as best as it can. Thanks to the diligent work of the gardener, the small plant grows into a mighty tree, offering cool shadow in the hot summer days and delicious fruit in the autumn, thus rewarding the hard work of the gardener.

The tiny seed of Truth is found in every human being, including, naturally, the Wanderer. Similarly to the seed of a tree, the tiny seed contains great potentials. If the Wanderer protects and nourishes that tiny seed, it will grow into the mighty tree of Truth.

A lot of people are unaware of that, and they try to find the Truth outside themselves, in the world of forms and shapes, wishing to make forms eternal. So the modest little seed in us stays dormant, waiting for better times. The better times come when the Wanderer realizes that all the external shapes and forms are transitory, so they turn their attention from the world of shapes to the internal world. Under the effect of turning inward, the small seed begins to sprout, and it starts slowly growing. I revitalizes the Wanderer, and a deep desire arises in them to see the flower that the small seed may become.

Then one of the Wanderers may try to use the little sprout to decorate his/her ego with it. Another one says: “Look, there is a lily of the valley growing in me! But I want to be a rose!” In their effort to become a rose, their attention turns back towards the shapes and forms, so the gentle sprout dries and the seed falls asleep again.

That is how the Wanderer has been playing games in the world of forms and shapes for a long time. It is true that the game is so beautiful and relaxing. The Wanderer will soon have favourite games and toys, as well as favourite playing partners. The more beautiful and better toys the Wanderer invents, the more powerfully they will insist on them. If they do not cling to the toys, they will cling to their partners in the game or to the game itself. By playing these games, the Wanderer will be trapped in the world of shapes and forms, and the modest little seed will sleep forever. When the Wanderer gets tired of playing, and during a brief rest turns inward, there is still the danger of treading on the gentle sprout during the next game.

Some Wanderers gather extra strength during the time they spend in the internal silence, and with renewed force they abandon themselves into the busy world of the forms and shapes. In the internal silence they find a means that extends their power and efficiency in the world. Naturally, it means that they will be lost even deeper among the forms, which sooner or later brings them new suffering, perhaps even worse than the previous one. Then they turn inward one more time, and the whole cycle starts all over again.

This process may be repeated infinitely in the life of the Wanderer. Still, the process does have its benefit, as the Ego may become tired of it after a while, give up the effort and fall into the silence. Only the deep-rooted desire for the flower remains in the soul of the wanderer. Then they realize that the real flower bed for the little seed is the silence, the non-action, staying in the alert Consciousness, free of concepts. In this internal silence the small seed develops into a beautiful flower. The world of forms and shapes loses its significance for the Wanderer. Only the Existence remains as the only reality.

Turning inward

The Wanderer’s turning inward is therefore a precondition for the germination of the small seed. Turning inward may be interpreted differently by different people, according to their own conceptual knowledge. In general, turning inward means that the person’s attention is diverted from the world of forms and shapes towards their internal world.

In this interpretation, there is a subject who is watching and an internal object (breathing, thought, concept, a conceptual image of God etc.) that is being watched. Here the intensification of the attention is equal to the increase of the duration of the attention. The little seed begins to sprout in the internal silence.

The next level of turning inward is when the attention is not focused on inner objects, but on the Consciousness sensing it. E. g. when somebody is watching his/her own respiration, after a while their attention will be shifted from the act of breathing (which is something outside the subject) to the subject itself (the Consciousness watching the respiration). One is only able to perform it lastingly when their concentration ability is sufficiently strong, trained by watching internal objects.

In this interpretation, intensifying attention means that the Wanderer submerges into this Consciousness to an increasing extent. After a while they realize that the Consciousness they focus their attention on is not yet the Self (at that point a lot of the Wanderers lose their way), but the Ego (the I-concept, body awareness). The little seed is now growing and becoming more powerful.

As the power of attention increases, the Wanderer begins to seek where the Ego is emerging from, and what nourishes that Consciousness. That is how they finally return to the source of the Ego, which is the Self (the witnessing Presence, the absolute Consciousness). Now the little seed is in full bloom, presenting the Wanderer with its wonderful scent, which is the pleasure of Existence itself.

The point is being a witness

When the seed is in bloom, the roles of the personality of the Wanderer, their reactions, the work of the mind continue to exist, but the Wanderer no longer intends to change them. The Wanderer does not want to be performing better or to obtain a better role. They plainly watch their own reactions. They no longer identify with the roles and allow the quality of their reactions to determine their self-image. They learn to laugh at themselves. As Witnesses they see and recognize that the Ego is nothing but a bundle of conditioned patterns of behaviour and emotion, and as such, it does not have any particular reality.

Intensity is Required for Awakening.

The Wanderer realizes that for awakening, that is, for the sprouting and blooming of the little seed requires intensity in the Now. What is that intensity provided by? The intensity is provided by the recognition that the Wanderer does not identify with the body-mind complex, but with the conscious Presence of true life. Once this recognition permeates the entire self of the Wanderer, then the intensity necessary for Awakening is ready and provided.

About the author:

Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D is a professor of psychology, a consciousness researcher and writer, and publisher of several books on consciousness. With a lifelong interest in the mystery of human existence and the work of the human mind, Frank’s work is to help others wake up from identification with our personal history and the illusory world of the forms and shapes, and to find our identity in what he calls “the Miracle”, the mystery of the Consciousness.

Connect with Frank at http://www.frankmwanderer.com/

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ZenGardner.com


Published on Apr 9, 2015

A conversation about sexuality and intimacy.

Published on Apr 9, 2015

http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/e…

with: Deepak Chopra, Robert Thurman, Rupert Spira, Peter Russell, Richard Miller

Consciousness is the greatest mystery ever encountered by humanity.

Mystics of all traditions have described consciousness as the ground of being in which the dance of life unfolds. Each tradition has developed different approaches and practices to explore the nature of consciousness, the paths of meditation, inquiry, prayer, art, mantras and movement…

Today the main lens through which our culture understands reality is science. For the past century science has viewed consciousness as something generated by the brain, yet there are major problems with this assumption. A new scientific paradigm is emerging which views consciousness as fundamental. Consciousness cannot be explained in terms of the existing laws of space, time, mass and energy. A new science has to be developed, a science that can accept consciousness as universal while investigating the connections between the existing laws and this new paradigm.

We might not yet have a theory of consciousness, but the process of studying it holds the key to understanding the universe, while possibly bridging the gap between the mystic’s experience and the scientific observations.

Join us to explore this great mystery of existence beyond dogma and doctrine, remembering that life is far more mysterious then we ever imagine! Oct. 21-25th 2015, San Jose CA.

As a three-month-old baby lying in her grandmother’s arms, author Marilou Trask-Curtin had the fantastic experience of remembering herself in other bodies, times, and places. In this fascinating book, she tells the stories of soul lessons and past-life relationships that were too powerful to ignore. With a supportive community of like-minded seekers, Trask-Curtin achieves a remarkable transformation, and now she is able to affirm this important fact: Reincarnation is real.

It’s not easy for anyone to move past the limiting teachings of our culture, but Reincarnation shares a comforting idea— death is not the end, but rather a glorious new beginning. Join Marilou as she explores her soul’s path, returning again and again to fulfill what was unfulfilled in other lifetimes. With the true stories of Marilou’s remarkable experiences, this book reaffirms that empathy, forgiveness, and unconditional love are our soul’s most important lessons.


Marilou Trask-Curtin authored In My Grandfather’s House: A Catskill Journal (ProStar Publications, 2006), Dreaming of the Dead (Llewellyn, 2012) and Reincarnation (Llewellyn, 2014). She was also an award-winning playwright and a screenwriter. Sadly, Marilou passed away in January 2015 just before the release of her final book Three Journeys to Heaven. Visit her website at MarilouTrask-Curtin.com.

Browse Here

Marilou Trask-Curtin on Schenectady Today

Marilou Trask-Curtin — Author “Dreaming of the Dead: Personal Stories of Comfort and Hope” will join us. Her first book was “In My Grandfather’s House: A Catskill Journal” (a memoir). She is currently working on several book projects, which she will tell us about. She is an award winning screenwriter and playwright.
Website: http://www.mariloutrask-curtin.com

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