Rumi: This is love

Rumi’s poem

This is love: to fly toward a secret sky,

to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.

First, to let go of live.

In the end, to take a step without feet;

to regard this world as invisible,

and to disregard what appears to be the self.

Heart, I said, what a gift it has been

to enter this circle of lovers,

to see beyond seeing itself,

to reach and feel within the breast.

The Way of the Explorer ~ by Dr. Edgar Mitchell with Dwight Williams

In February 1971, as Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell hurtled earthward through space, he was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness. He intuitively sensed that his presence and that of the planet in the window were all part of a deliberate, universal process and that the glittering cosmos itself was in some way conscious. The experience was so overwhelming Mitchell knew his life would never be the same.

For the next 35 years he embarked on another journey, an inward exploration of the ineffable mystery of human consciousness and being. Mitchell left NASA to form the Institute of Noetic Sciences. The Institute allowed him to initiate research in areas of study previously neglected by mainstream science and where he constructed a theory that could not only explain the mysteries consciousness, but the psychic event—what spiritualists call a “miracle,” and scientists dismiss altogether.

Mitchell also created a new dyadic model of reality, revealing a self-aware universe not predetermined by the laws of physics, nor preordained by deities, nor infinitely malleable. While human actions are generally subject to the laws of physics, these laws are also influenced by the mind. The Way of the Explorer traces two remarkable journeys—one through space and one through the mind. Together they fundamentally alter how we understand the miracle and mystery of being, and ultimately reveal mankind’s role in its own destiny.

Dr. Edgar Mitchell, a graduate of MIT with a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics, is the founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and cofounder of the Association of Space Explorers. As an astronaut, he was backup Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 10 and 16, and flew as Lunar Module Pilot on Apollo 14. He has spent 35 years studying human consciousness and psychic and paranormal phenomena in the search for a common ground between science and spirit. Mitchell lectures regularly at dozens of conferences across the world. He lives in Florida.

Dwight Williams, recipient of the 1989 Jovanovich Award for short fiction, is the author of Raising Lazarus. He lives in Colorado.

In this one minute video, Apollo astronaut Capt. Edgar Mitchell shares the extraordinary story of his mystical experience in space while returning from the moon, an experience that led him to shift his whole vision of reality. Yogis call such an experience “samadhi,” and it led Edgar to create the Institute of Noetic Sciences to explore the meeting of science and spirituality, as well as the creation of a new worldview.

Just how does Enlightenment/Self-Realization/No-Mind/Liberation happen? ~ Jarett Sabirsh

Lao Tzu’s famous poetic Tao Te Ching starts with the words “A way that can be walked is not The Way.”
Realize that it has nothing to do with the intellect or scientific proof, but that of firsthand experiential verification.
Realize that to truly know, rather than knowing ABOUT, involves BEING that which is to be known.
Realize that the truth doesn’t need the approval of the human ego in order to be truth. Absolute Truth already is what it is. It can’t be created by the mind.
Realize that because of karma, free will and reincarnation, EVERYTHING is perfect as it is, despite all the prevalent negativities in the world.
Realize that everyone is simply being the level of “truth” that they are currently aware of, and that the truth is only for those who want it.
Realize that people can’t help being that which they are. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
In The Words of Gandhi, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”, and “..lose yourself in the service of others”.
Realize that because everybody and everything is One, we change the world in far greater unseen ways as a result of what we ARE, compared to what we do.
Realize that separation, duality, polarity and opposites do not actually exist. All is One, which is Self, which just Is.
Realize that there is no duality of “love” and “evil”. There are only varying degrees of the absence of Love/Truth.
Realize that space, distance, form and time are illusions created by limited, relative and faulty physical senses and ways of thinking.
Realize that the physical body and the autonomous random repetitive thoughts of the mind are not the real “me” at all.
Realize that you are the Awareness that is aware of the mind and its comings and goings. The more it’s watched, the more it disappears.
Realize that everything and everyone is One. The observer and the observed are One. The knower and the known are One.
A Course in Miracles says “…you both HAVE everything and ARE everything.”
Realize that there is no duality, no opposites and no polarity. Nothing can exist outside of Existence, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. All is God/Self/Buddha/Atman.
Realize that even what the mind conceives and conceptualizes as being “nothing”, void, unmanifest or formlessness, is still within Existence.
In the highly evolved The Zen Teaching of Huang Po on the Transmission of Mind, it says “It is an existence which is no existence, a non-existence which is nevertheless existence. So this true Void does in some marvelous way ‘exist’.”
Realize that there can only be varying degrees of things within Existence, like degrees on a thermometer.
Realize that there is no individuality; no “you”, “me”, “this”, “that”, “here”, “there”, “inner”, “outer”, etc.
Realize that there is no individual “me”, “myself”, “mine” or “I.”
Realize that there is no “doer” doing anything, because that would imply there is an “individual” to do something.
Realize that since All is One, there can be no “other”, which means All is Self, or All is I.
Realize that Enlightenment happens by ITSELF when the little self is left to fall away like a disrobed peice of clothing.
Realize that there is absolutely NOTHING to be gotten, grasped, gained, obtained or attained because The Absolute/Self/Buddha/God already Is.
Realize that Awareness, Consciousness and knowing don’t require words, concepts, thoughts or thinking.
Realize that EVERYTHING is an irrelevant concept. All thought and thinking is essentially worthless because Silent Awareness is all-knowing.
It’s really just as “simple” as losing interest in all thought and thinking, right now, and not identifying thoughts as “me”, right now.
Realize that without the ego/mind interfering, everything just IS. Nothing more, nothing less. All perceptions, views, opinions, beliefs, likes and dislikes are irrelevant.
Realize that The Absolute is not subject to change and even “Is” is an irrelevant concept.
Realize all of this… but not with words and concepts. Just let go.

One sage says in his books, such as Be as You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, that “There will come a time when one will have to forget all that has been learned.” In I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta it’s explained that “When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.”

Using Zen and Buddhist terminology there’s the excellent The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma and The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind: The Significance of the Sutra of Hui-Neng.

Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness ~by Elizabeth Miller, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, PhD, and Cassandra Vieten, PhD

In this paper, we examine how increasing understanding and explicit awareness of social consciousness can develop through transformations in worldview. Based on a model that emerged from a series of qualitative and quantitative studies on worldview transformation, we identify five developmental levels of social consciousness: embedded, self-reflexive, engaged, collaborative, and resonant.

As a person’s worldview transforms, awareness can expand to include each of these levels, leading to enhanced prosocial experiences and behaviours. Increased social consciousness can in turn stimulate further transformations in worldview. We then consider an educational curriculum to facilitate the understanding of worldview and the cultivation of social consciousness as core capacities for twenty-first century students and global citizens.

David Nichtern “Becoming A Dharma Teacher”

A short clip of David being interviewed for “The United States of Enlightenment”, a documentary film about Western Buddhism in America.

David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

He writes a popular blog about Buddhism and meditation on The Huffington Post and leads yoga and meditation workshops worldwide with his wife Cyndi Lee (renowned yoga teacher and founder of OM yoga).

David is also a well known composer, producer and guitarist, and a 4 time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee.

Tibetan Buddhism’s Insights Into Virtual Reality ~ David Nichtern

During a recent tour of Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim and Bhutan, I found myself reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity is Near, a whopper of a book about the imminent fusion of biological and technological intelligence.

Along with his description of what would essentially be a new species of being, Kurzweil also talks about the onset of a virtual reality that would be essentially indistinguishable from what we currently call reality — i.e. a direct access to our inner fields of perception (via our brain) from inputs other than the external phenomenal world we live in.

Between my sessions of reading about this visionary high tech future (on our rickety old bus traveling down monsoon-soaked, single-lane, cow/goat/monkey-sharing, cliff-dangling, so-called “roads”) our group would periodically dismount and swarm (like a small group of bees) into some of the most awesome and impressive Tibetan style Buddhist monasteries in the world. They were replete with stunning wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling representations of the pantheon of Tantric Deities, said to be representations of our own layers of consciousness, but also readable as an alternate and parallel “virtual” reality of its own.

Huge blue and red and green rupas (statues with multiple arms, heads, ornaments), thangkas (paintings) and mandalas (symbolic representations of different Buddha fields) seemed to invite the viewer to step through a portal in his/her own mind into a sensuous, vivid and somewhat other-worldly realm in which enlightened beings with their full manifestation and retinues are completely present and manifest.

Buddhists who practice these disciplines (increasingly available in our modern Western culture) can spend hours a day and weeks or months on retreats conjuring visual (visualizations) and audio (mantra) of these environments, and at some point begin to recognize that the world which we take to be flat, ordinary, confusing, painful and uninspiring is actually the playground of these deities, and that we ourselves are in fact actual embodiments of them. Talk about virtual reality!

On our trip, I wondered about the future of our species, the nature of the singularity (near or far), and the future of a Buddhist country like Bhutan (whose 28-year-old leader is empowered as a Buddhist chogyal — dharma king — and who is a Harvard graduate). Technology is present in Bhutan (even the monks have cell phones) but many traditional methods of agriculture, crafts and daily life are still in place. In some sense Bhutan has the potential to work out a balance of social concerns, ecology, spiritual practice and material well being that could well be a model for future civilizations on this planet.

My hat is off to Ray Kurzweil for having the audacity to back up his ground-breaking vision of the future with considerable scientific and mathematical data. His view is something that at least every geek and nerd on the planet should be aware of, and should be of considerable interest to the rest of us ordinary folk, whether we buy into it or not.

And my hat is off to the people of Bhutan who were lovely, cheerful and very hospitable. They are also “keeping the faith” for Tibetan Buddhist practitioners worldwide.

May all beings, before and after the singularity, whether “actual” or “virtual,” be safe, happy, healthy and at ease!

With his usual wit and humor, David discusses the feelings of sensitivity and vulnerability that arise when one begins a regular meditation practice…

David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

He writes a popular blog about Buddhism and meditation on The Huffington Post and leads yoga and meditation workshops worldwide with his wife Cyndi Lee (renowned yoga teacher and founder of OM yoga).

David is also a well known composer, producer and guitarist, and a 4 time Emmy winner and Grammy nominee.

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