Seeing Everything and Nothing ~ Adyashanti

In this satsang, Adyashanti illustrates how our essential being is simultaneously a profound, silent “nothing” as well as everything within existence.

Advertisements

“Transformational Life Mapping” with Tina Amorok (Part 1 – 4)

“Transformational Life Mapping” with Tina Amorok (part 1 of 4)
Beginning the Map
Visionary: Tina Amorok, PsyD

At the IONS 2007 Conference, “Consciousness in Action,” Tina Amorok took the audience through a process called “Mapping Your Own Transformative Life Path.” You too can now participate in this exercise! In this first segment Tina guides you in indentifying transformational practices and experiences in your life, and describes what activities might be considered transformative. She suggests taking 30 minutes to ‘map’ your transformational practices and experiences with broad strokes in seven year increments.

“Transformational Life Mapping” with Tina Amorok (part 2 of 4)

“Transformational Life Mapping” with Tina Amorok (part 3 of 4)

“Transformational Life Mapping” with Tina Amorok (part 4 of 4)


At the IONS 2007 Conference, “Consciousness in Action,” Tina Amorok took the audience through a process called “Mapping Your Own Transformative Life Path.” In this fourth and final segment Tina explains the process of extending the map to the future. She begins by reviewing how transformational experiences and transformational practices can both bring about a transformation and she further defines what a transformation can be. Tina then guides us through creating an action plan to identify what kinds of transformations we’d like to experience, and provides a quote from Angeles Arrien who tells us that transformation is something that we can manifest.

WorldShift 2012 ~ BarbaraMarxHubbard

The Greatest Truth Never Told: 15. Men Go Mad In Herds 16. What You Really Fear 17. Always Fed The Exception 18. The Decision Matrix

15. Men Go Mad In Herds

16. What You Really Fear

17. Always Fed The Exception

18. The Decision Matrix

The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientists’s Case for the Existence of the Soul by Mario Beauregard, PhD and Denyse O’Leary

Reviewed by Diane Hennacy Powell, MD

Do we have religious/spiritual/mystical experiences (RSMEs) only because our brains are hardwired for them?

Or does the brain activity measured during RSMEs provide evidence that people really are in contact with Divine Consciousness?

Is consciousness generated by our brains,

or do near-death experiences prove that our consciousness can survive beyond our brains?

Neuroscientist Mario Beauregard and journalist Denyse O’Leary teamed up to explore such questions in their book, The Spiritual Brain.

Most neuroscientists and evolutionary psychologists ascribe RSMEs to the brain’s chemical and electrical activity. Their underlying assumption is that the identification of biological correlates for RSMEs is proof that they are illusions, and sensationalized claims have been made of discovering a “God gene,” a “God module,” a “God spot,” and even a “God helmet” that electromagnetically induces RSMEs.

Beauregard and O’Leary maintain that these conclusions are products of faulty and reductionistic reasoning: “The fact that mystical experiences and states may have identifiable neural correlates (which are the only aspect that neuroscience can actually study) has typically been interpreted by journalists as suggesting that the experiences are somehow a delusion.In itself, that is a confused idea, equivalent to assuming that if hitting a home run has identifiable neural correlates, the home run is a delusion.”

The Spiritual Brain is rich with observations from scientists, theologians, philosophers, and others that reveal a variety of attitudes and beliefs about science and religion. For example, neuroscientist Zvani Rossetti, who opposed allowing the Dalai Lama to speak at the 2005 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, asserts, “Neuroscience more than other disciplines is the science at the interface between modern philosophy and science. No opportunity should be given to anybody to use neuroscience for supporting transcendent views of the world.” Beauregard begs to differ, perhaps because of his own transcendental experience. He is among the scientists trying to understand, rather than discount, these experiences.

Beauregard obtained permission from reclusive Carmelite nuns to study their brains during RSMEs. The 14 nuns who participated in his research had collectively spent 210,000 hours in silent prayer, which made them masters at feeling a sense of communion with the Divine. Beauregard used MRI (which uses powerful magnetic fields to measure the brain’s blood flow) and QEEG (which measures electrical activity by using scalp electrodes) in his study.

Both methods showed brain activity in the nuns during RSMEs that involved different regions in a variety of functions, “such as self-consciousness, emotion, body representation, visual and motor imagery, and spiritual perception.” While Beauregard plainly states that “the results of the studies . . . dispose of the notion that there is a God spot in the temporal lobes of the brain that can somehow ‘explain’ RSMEs,” he also concedes that science will never be able to prove or disprove the existence of a God or higher consciousness “from one side only. What we can do is determine the patterns that are consistent with certain types of experiences.”

The book’s main objective is to show that science has been misdirected, especially in its materialist view of the mind and brain as bluntly expressed by artificial intelligence guru Marvin Minsky: “The human mind is a computer made out of meat.” Minsky’s view is incompatible with our sense of free will, our sense of self, and the power of our minds to rewire our brains through psychotherapy and contemplative practices. It also will never lead to resolving the question of how something material—that is, our brains—could generate something as immaterial as consciousness.

To support their case for a nonmaterial mind, Beauregard and O’Leary briefly discuss research on near-death experiences, the placebo effect, psychic abilities, the efficacy of prayer, and the connection between spirituality and health. Evidence that the materialist model needs to change is definitely available, but it appears to be insufficient to change the minds of many scientists. As artificial intelligence pioneer Alan Turing explains: “These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately, the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one’s ideas so as to fit these new facts in.”

If you would like a better understanding of the ideas that need rearranging and why, The Spiritual Brain is a good place to begin.

The Spiritual Brain: Interview with Denyse O’Leary

http://www.paranormal-enews.com/2009/12/spiritual-brain-book-denyse-o-leary.html

The Greatest Truth Never Told: 10.The Mathematically Inevitable Collapse 11.The Largest Event In Human History 12.The Great Depression Is The Best Case 13.The Paths To Success 14. Aware and Prepared

10. The Mathematically Inevitable Collapse

11. The Largest Event In Human History

12. The Great Depression Is The Best Case

13. The Paths To Success

14. Aware and Prepared

…To Be Continued

Awesomeness Fest 2010 : Carol Tuttle – “Understanding your Chakras”

Carol Tuttle’s talk at Awesomeness Fest 2010 in Costa Rica.

Having helped tens of thousands of people worldwide strengthen their chakras, internationally acclaimed energy guru Carol Tuttle locates our chakras and tells us how they impact our lives. Check out her presentation to find out what your chakras are like…

To learn more about Carol Tuttle and chakras visit: http://www.chakrahealing.com

Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream Speech – August 28, 1963

I Have a Dream Speech
Martin Luther King’s Address at March on Washington
August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

The Greatest Truth Never Told: 5.The Pyramid 6. I Think? 7. What Are We Holding On To? 8. The Shift 9. Things That Cannot Go On Forever

5.The Pyramid

6. I Think?

7. What Are We Holding On To?

8. The Shift

9. Things That Cannot Go On Forever

To Be Continued…..

The Greatest Truth Never Told : 1. The Riddle 2. Believe Nothing 3. The Tea Cup 4. Total Freedom

Part 1. Denial

The Greatest Truth Never Told (TGTNT) is a video series that has been 7 years in research and development. It is centered around the truth that humanity has been enslaved over and over again throughout history. TGTNT lays out the case for even the most cynical and indoctrinated individual that…

The paradigm which we operate under is mathematically going to end.
The end of the world as we know it does not mean it is the end of the world.
The way of life we are currently leading is pulling humanity down and should be shown the door.

We cannot change the world to make our self happy or free.
We must change our self to make the world happy and free.
The awakening process is a very hard road for those with no guidance.
All of the problems we face in the world start and stop within our consciousness.
When you realize that you have this power, nothing can stop this change.
Humanity can has the ability to truly free themselves once and for all.

And that is just Part 1. of Denial.

1. The Riddle

2. Believe Nothing

3. The Tea Cup

4. Total Freedom

.....To be continued

THE ONLY VIDEO YOU HAVE TO SEE – J. KRISHNAMURTI “Totally Absolutely Without Conflict” [4/4]

Please we are looking at it together

Your own consciousness

Which is you

Fear

And with it naturally goes hatred

Where there is fear there must be violence

Aggression

The tremendous urge to succeed

Both in the physical as well as in the psychological world

Fear has many factors, which we’ll go into when we are talking about fear

And the constant pursuit of pleasure

Pleasure of possession

Pleasure of domination

Pleasure of money, which gives power

The pleasure of a philosopher with his immense knowledge

The guru with his circus

Pleasure again has innumerable forms

And there is also

Sorrow

Pain

Anxiety

The deep sense of abiding

Endless sense of loneliness

And not only the so-called personal sorrow

But also the enormous sorrow of mankind has brought about through wars

Through neglect

Through this endless sense of conquering one group of people by another

And in that consciousness there is the racial group content

And ultimately there is death

This is our consciousness

Beliefs

Certainties

And uncertainties

Great sense of anxiety

Loneliness

Sorrow

And endless misery

This is a fact

And we say this consciousness

IS MINE

Is that so?

Go to the Far East or the other east,

India, American, Europe

Anywhere you go where human beings are

They suffer

They’re anxious

Lonely

Depressed

Melancholy

Struggling conflict

Same like you

Similar like you

So is your consciousness from the other?

I know it’s very difficult

Maybe to logically accept

Which is intellectual verbally say yes

That is so

Maybe

But to feel this total human sense that there is no humanity except you

You are the rest of mankind

That requires great deal of sensitivity

It’s not a problem to be solved

It isn’t that, ‘I must accept that I’m not an individual

And how am I to feel this global human entity?’

Then you’ve made it into a problem

And the brain is ready to solve the problem

Do this

Don’t do that

Go to a guru

You know all the circus that goes on

But if you really look at it

With your mind

With your heart

With you whole being

Totally aware of this fact

Then you have broken the program

See

It is naturally broken

But if you say ‘I will break it’

You are getting back in the same

I wonder if you understand

Shall I go over ii again?

Is it necessary for the speak to repeat

But please don’t accept this because the speaker feels this

To him this is utter reality

Not something verbally accepted

Because it’s pleasant

But it is something that is actual

Then if that is so

Which is logically

Reasonably

Sanely examine and you’ll see

It is so

But the brain which has been accustomed to

This program of the individuality is going to revolt

Which you are doing now

Which is the brain is unwilling to learn

Where as the computer is willing to learn

Here we are frightening of losing something

And if you don’t understand this

We’ll go over and over again

But a serious person confronting the world situation

The world catastrophe

The terror

The atom bomb

The endless competition between nations

That is destroying human beings

It’s destroying us

Each one

And the decision comes

When you perceive the truth that you are not an individual
song: godspeed you black emperor – sleep
speaker: jiddu krishnamurti – learning that transforms consciousness

Occupy Buddha: Reflections on Occupy Wall Street ~ Lewis Richmond

The word “Buddha” means to wake up. More precisely it means to see what is really going on (in other words, “dharma”), and understand that it has always been so. The Occupy Wall Street movement and its 1,000 offshoots worldwide is that kind of awakening. Its overarching theme is inequality: rich and poor, haves and have-nots, just and unjust. It has always been so, but the scale of it varies through time. In the U.S., the objective reality and statistical fact of this economic divide has been brewing since the 1980s (for an excellent historical perspective, see this article by Bill Moyers in The Nation magazine).

Angel Soto, 32, of Staten Island, meditates at the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park, Sunday, Nov. 6 in New York. Now entering their seventh week, the protests have continued to attract demonstrators young and old across different income classes and cultural backgrounds.

But now in times of unemployment and bread-line level deprivation, that reality has broken through the veil of public unknowing, taken form as the Occupy movement and has been transmitted at light speed from city to city courtesy of social media and the web.

Many of my Buddhist friends are sympathetic to this movement, and want to help. Many of them, like me, were themselves youthful demonstrators once, long ago when the issues were civil rights and the Vietnam war. Just as now, that awakening in the 1960s was to perennial truths to which we had up to then been oblivious. “Black people in the South can’t vote! They are oppressed!” Yes, as they had been forever. “This war is unjust. It’s horrible! The innocent die!”–another perennial truth. In those days it was television, rather than the internet, that broadcast these truths into everyone’s living rooms and woke us up.
OCCUPY NOW

I was once one of those youthful anti-war protestors, linking hands and facing down riot police armed with batons and guns. We self-righteously referred to the police in those days as “pigs,” ignoring the unwiseness of hurling such insults at a phalanx of heavily armed men. We too were beaten, bloodied, and in a few cases killed. When I look back through the lens of my own youth at today’s protestors and their pithy slogans (“We are the 99%”) I see myself.

However, we Buddhists all need to remember that Gautama was in his time a one-percenter or worse–he was, after all, a prince. He had his own awakening from unknowing (or so the accounts of his life tell) when he walked out of the palace as though for the first time and saw what was really happening — “People are old and poor! People are sick! They die! Look, a monk!” This is an archetypal moment (referred to in Buddhist literature as the “four sightings”); I think it happens in some fashion for each generation–an onrush of awakening that keeps societies from sinking totally into the quicksand of their own corruption.

My Buddhist friends think of conveying well-meaning instructions to today’s Occupiers about non-violence, compassion, and meditation, so they will not become angry in the face of the injustice they see. This is good, but I am not sure that is exactly the right medicine. Maybe it is good that they are angry. Maybe they don’t need meditation instruction just now. Gautama, after all, was not schooled in meditation when he experienced the four sightings. He just opened his eyes, which anyone can do.

OCCUPY BANKS

Members of the Los Angeles Police Department guard the Bank of America plaza while members of Occupy LA meditate in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles. The protest was part of a ‘Day of Action’ marking the two-month anniversary of the movement that started in New York as Occupy Wall Street.

Others say the Occupiers need a goal, demands, a program. Perhaps. I’m not sure today’s protestors need anything right now except to be appreciated for the truths they are speaking and the role they are playing at this critical time in the development of human consciousness. They have already discovered what the Buddha taught in his second Noble Truth — that the root cause of our unnecessary suffering is grasping, clinging, selfishness, and greed — often for money, sometimes for emotional or physical safety, nearly always for power. The energy of greed is the prime distorter of human community. The Buddha clearly saw this.

My feeling is that we are seeing the first raw beginnings and baby steps of a giant leap forward, one that will transcend and outgrow whatever form the Occupy movement is currently taking. Let it develop, let it learn what nourishment it needs. If it needs or wants our gray-haired advice — and it may not — then let it ask. I am ready if anyone asks, knowing that my time on the barricades was long ago and that I may not know the answers. If no-one asks, I am content to be watchful, to appreciate, and to allow this fervent historical moment to unfold.

As part of the 15 October 2011 Global Day of Action, Occupy Dataran held a 12-hour program at Dataran Merdeka. Over 200 people attended it, the largest since it started on 30 July 2011.

One last note: much later, when I had become a Buddhist teacher, I met a policeman who had been on that police line where I demonstrated in front of the Oakland, California Army Induction Center so long ago. By now he too was a Buddhist. He told me how it was for him back then. “We were scared,” he said. “We didn’t know who you were or what you would do. We didn’t know what weapons you had or whether you would riot. And when you started screaming at us and calling us pigs, we got mad. We weren’t pigs (well, a few of us were brutes, he admitted) we were just people trying to do a job. I understood that you were angry, but I didn’t like being called a pig. I wasn’t a pig.”

The policemen, the firemen, the teachers, the workers everywhere — they are all part of the 99%. And more to the point, this really isn’t just about the 99%, it is about the 100% — in other words, all of us. Who knows what Gautama was like in the years before he walked out of the palace. He may have been a self-satisfied aristocratic twit — until he woke up. People can change. That is the unwritten liner note to the 2nd Noble Truth — the deep truth of human suffering is for everyone, it is about the 100%. For Buddhists, this 100% is not just human beings, but everything living, the air and the clouds, even the whole earth itself.

Occupy Buddha!

Possibly a New World (Part 2) ~ Deepak Chopra

It’s a well-worn truth that the modern world is built upon science and technology. But this truth doesn’t dominate everyday life as much as one might think. Science is materialistic, and it explains the world through objective data. People lead their lives, at least partly, apart from materialism. The spiritual side of life exists and always has, which defies objective data. So does art, which isn’t mystical, not to mention emotions, intuition, morality and much else that makes life worth living.

Most of the time we are satisfied with this kind of catch-as-catch-can dualism. One of the easiest precepts from Jesus to follow is “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s.” If you substitute “science” or “materialism” for Caesar, everyone does exactly that, compartmentalizing personal and spiritual experience in a separate box from iPads, microwaves and space shuttles.

The problem is that a compartmentalized life feels inadequate, which is why a public debate has been ongoing for 200 years about whether God or science is the ultimate master of reality. The answer matters. If you plump for God then miracles, mysticism, the soul and invisible forces have a chance to be real. If you plump for science instead, then physical existence can be completely trusted and the rational mind will in time solve all apparent mysteries. In either case, dualism no longer pinches; some kind of non-dualism wins the day.

In my posts, articles and books I’ve argued that science can expand to include miracles and mysticism. There is no need to deny the miraculous if everything is a miracle. There is no mystery surrounding mysticism if we look into the subtle essence of the human mind. More importantly, a non-dual world based on consciousness would be a better world. The fact is that science won’t reach answers to every riddle, so plumping for materialism is an empty gesture — even a hoax — when it comes to explaining a broad range of issues:

What is a thought? Who is thinking?
What connects body and mind?
Where does meaning come from?
Why and how does the body heal itself?

These questions seem so abstract, not to mention so huge, that everyday life seems content to pass the by, and materialists are content to call them metaphysics, putting them high on a shelf to gather philosophical dust. But I’d argue that no questions are more relevant to my life and yours, once we reduce them to the personal scale.

Why do I have the thoughts I have? Where are they taking me?
Can my mind change my body in positive ways when it comes to disease and aging?
What does my life really mean?
Can I make a difference in how my body heals?

One could add many other important issues to the list, but all would have one thing in common: until you understand the mind, you haven’t truly understood reality. Life comes to us as experience. This is true of driving a car, raising a child, catching a cold or building a super collider in order to detect subatomic particles. Experience is how we participate in the universe. The super collider isn’t set aside in some objective space, even though data tries to be objective. Every moment in every scientist’s life is a subjective experience. It consists of sensations, thoughts, feelings and images.

You can claim, as non-dual materialists do, that the subjective side taints the objective and should be considered an unreliable guide to truth. But to say this makes two mistakes, and they are whoppers. The first mistake is that the mind cannot be located in the material world. Primitive peoples, as we like to call them, believed that spirits inhabited physical objects, a perspective known as animism. Trees contained tree spirits, the sky was the home of rain gods, and little demons lurked all around. Yet when it says that mind exists in the brain, neuroscience is committing the same fallacy. The brain is made up of atoms and molecules. It is a thing, like a tree, and to say that the mind is only the brain means that you have attributed consciousness to atoms and molecules. No one has ever explained how mind suddenly arises in blood sugar when that sugar crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is simply assumed.

The second mistake, intimately connected to the first, is that observers can stand apart from what they observe. Instead of being a participatory universe, science asserts that outside reality is separate from us; we are like children with our noses pressed to a bake shop window, staring through the glass but never going inside. This view reduces experience to data and then goes further by saying that data is superior to experience. This cannot remotely be true. The data about your body, such as blood pressure, heart rate, hormone levels, etc., is essentially the same as the data from Buddha, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso. It seems obvious that when you throw out all the factors that make these individuals unique, you have thrown out something pretty essential — the very meaning and purpose of life.

I’ve argued that a new world is being born in which nothing needs to be thrown out, and such a world can only be based on experience. Experience covers billions of people leading different lives, but one element is always present: consciousness. Thoughts and actions occur in consciousness. This is so obvious that it feels a bit meaningless, like saying that all marine life occurs in the sea. But the world’s wisdom traditions exist to open our eyes, seeing beyond the obvious to something incredibly important: If you delve into consciousness, you will find the essence of existence, meaning it purpose, direction and goal. You will know deeply and fully who you are, and when that unfolds, you will know what reality is.

Non-dual consciousness doesn’t celebrate subjectivity over objectivity. To do that is simply to take the mistakes of materialism and turn them on their heads. Non-dual systems all make the same claim: “Everything is made of X.” Science says that everything is made of matter and energy. Non-dual consciousness says that everything is made of mind. An alien landing on Earth in a spaceship, lacking bias either way, could easily see why these two worldviews consider the other preposterous. To say that everything is matter and energy is preposterous when you are trying to get at the mind and subjective experience. Non-dual consciousness is preposterous when you are trying to figure out where stars and galaxies come from. In other words, the physical seems secure in making its claims on us, while the mental seems just as secure when telling the story of inner life.

The great challenge is to decide which preposterous claim is, believe it or not, actually true. For thousands of years human beings had no difficulty believing that Creation was happening in the mind of God; the spiritual origin of the universe was certain. Today, people have no trouble believing that tiny physical things called atoms and molecules will reveal why we fall in love, create art and have thoughts in our heads. I’m not defending an ancient bias as opposed to a modern one. Rather, there has been an evolution, bringing us to the point where we can go beyond crude animism, whether of the spiritual or materialistic kind, at last seeing how consciousness works in the whole scheme of reality.

We can explain the galaxies and personal experience at the same time by finding the same origin for each. If nature goes to the same place — an invisible workshop beyond time and space — to create a supernova, a rose, human love and our craving for God, then non-duality solves everything. My position is that non-duality must be based in consciousness, since it is inescapable that the only reality we know comes through experience. Without a doubt we live in a participatory universe, and the sooner we surrender the delusion that data is superior to experience, the closer we will come to transforming the world.

A New Year, And Possibly A New World ~ Deepak Chopra

It’s fascinating, as time turns another small corner, to think of how worlds shift and collide. There is no evidence that a person as brilliant as Shakespeare understood that Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo had already revolutionized the human mind. The same thing may be happening now, and many brilliant people seem unaware of how our present-day world — meaning our conception of reality — may undergo a seismic shift.

I’m not thinking of fossil fuels and Arab uprisings, not even of the 99% as against the 1%. Upheavals in the outer world are secondary, in the long sweep of history, to inner revolutions. We may be on the verge of such a one. What makes me think so is a trickle of medical articles, now greatly expanding, that are proving troublesome to mainstream medicine. These articles sometimes deal with cancer, sometimes with antidepressants, sometimes with the dashed hopes for gene therapies that seem constantly out of reach.

What these articles have in common is that treating the body like a machine isn’t panning out. The next breakthrough in cancer or psychotherapy or genetically related disorders may come from an entirely different angle than the workaday materialism that “of course” looks at our bodies as physical objects like any other. That “of course” is the mark of a settled worldview. A thousand years ago, God “of course” created the world in seven days and the soul “of course” was more important than the body, which was a temporary shell while the soul worked its way through this vale of tears.

When settled worldviews crumble, we have to reinvent the world. So far, there have been only three categories from which to construct reality from the ground up.

1. Dualism, which separates mind and body.

2. Non-dual materialism, which considers only physical things and excludes the spiritual, mystical, and supernatural.

3. Non-dual consciousness, which traces reality back to mind and beyond mind to the very potential for mind.

Dualism no longer satisfies professional thinkers. Putting mind in one box and the body in another settles no questions about either. We are left with half a loaf, unable to say anything reliable about pure mind but also unable to connect the subtle way that the body responds to thoughts and feelings. Yet curiously, the average person is a flaming, if secret, dualist. We compartmentalize our lives in countless ways. God belongs on Sunday, the material world dominates the rest of the week. We treat our bodies sensibly, yet when a mortal illness threatens, it’s time to pray. This kind of compartmentalism is understandable, but in the long run it’s frustrating, as witness the countless people who feel anxious and empty in their search for higher meaning.

The same complaint could be aimed at non-dual materialism, but science, which is totally materialistic, has won a resounding victory on many fronts. Therefore, it’s an easy slide into believing that the scientific worldview must be correct. Non-dual materialism leaves no room for anything that cannot be turned into data. So it is incompatible with God, spirit, the soul, and even the mind. The average person has bought into the notion, publicized constantly by the media, that the mind is the brain. After all, we can now watch the brain in real time as a person experiences love, faith, compassion, and all other “higher” experiences that once belonged to the mind and the soul. But watching the brain at work is like watching an old tube radio light up when Beethoven is played. It would be naive to say that the radio composed Beethoven’s music. Yet just as naively non-dual materialists see no reason to look beyond the brain for an invisible thing labeled as mind.

This is the worldview that is crumbling while seeming to rise victoriously higher. Termites are silently chewing at the timbers. One notices this by being attuned to articles about the failures of the materialistic approach. Contrary to popular hopes, materialism cannot explain cancer or depression. It cannot tell you why talking to somebody can help your free-floating anxiety while tranquilizers may fail. Materialism sidesteps the mounting problem of side effects and the long-term damage to the brain from decades of taking psychotropic drugs. Materialism cannot explain what memory is, where it is stored on the cellular level, or why memories haunt us. There are many, many failures of this kind, and even in a field far removed from medicine like physics, peering into the void that gave rise to the physical universe has posed huge explanatory problems.

Which leaves the third worldview, non-dual consciousness, that is all but invisible on the scene. It has been invisible for a long time, certainly in the Judeo-Christian West, where only a handful of obscure names like Spinoza, Giordano Bruno and Meister Eckhart flirted with the idea that all is one, and that “one” is consciousness. Today, some farseeing speculative thinkers in physics are coping with the possibility that we live in a conscious universe. A tiny handful of neuroscientists are grappling with the possibility that the mind controls the brain and not vice versa. It’s exciting fun to be part of this splinter group, especially if you relish the scorn of experts who inform you that “of course” you are completely off your rocker, a charlatan, or a crypto religionist.

What the scorn masks is that “of course” will be thrown out the window if a new worldview takes hold. That’s what happened to the idea that “or course” God created the world according to Genesis. But the non-dual consciousness that was dominant three thousand years ago in Vedic India cannot return as it once was formulated. The modern world isn’t about to throw science out the window. Instead, science must expand, so that we look at cancer, depression or the Big Bang and say, “Now I see.” (In particular, the mind-body connection with cancer needs exploring, as we will do in a later column.) A worldview succeeds when it explains more than the old one, when it opens people’s eyes, and when it achieves practical results. In the next column, we’ll touch on how non-dual consciousness can do all those things.

(To be continued …)

Deepak Chopra is the author of over 60 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including “”War of the Worldviews: Science vs Spirituality.”

Creating Your Vision For Wealth And Well-Being In 2012 ~ Anne Naylor

Wealth is a difficult word these days because it seems we have been witnessing an abuse of our financial resources. Nevertheless, our experience of wealth goes way beyond money alone.

What does wealth mean for you, deep down? What is your intention for wealth now? Yes, you have basic needs to cover, possibly fewer than you think.

Wealth speaks to me of expansion, and not just in financial terms. Does more money translate to greater happiness and fulfillment? Does security in life come from having a good pension entitlement? What is the more, the expansion that truly counts for you?

Psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his TED talk asks Why are we happy? and suggests we are often mistaken about what makes us happy, including financially.

Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren’t we happy?

What is your vision for wealth in 2012? What is your vision for expansion and fulfilment? Do you enjoy the wealth of friendship you would like? Are you following a vocation that is true to your heart? Are you in tune with your spiritual values? Do you enjoy inner peace and serenity, or do you suffer nagging doubts and anxiety? Do you wake up in the morning, refreshed from a good night’s sleep and greet the day with joy and enthusiasm?

A basic message of Christmas is that wherever we may find ourselves, in the equivalent of a lowly stable perhaps, we can start afresh. Each day offers the possibility of a new beginning, a new way of looking at what is in front of us, of seeing clearly the opportunity present.

This blessing I hope may help to awaken you to a new vision for today, a vision in which you count in the wealth and expansion of your life.

Spirit of Divine Love, we bring ourselves forward into the generous consciousness of your loving and Light with our gratitude for all of the many blessings that we enjoy and that enrich us.

We offer ourselves for your guidance and infinite wisdom
to comfort, reassure and show us our best ways ahead.

We appreciate your gifts to us, our natural talents and qualities,
the skills and strengths we have developed so far
and those we have yet to master.

We know that as we give, so we also receive,
that we are One with all of your creation,
celebrating the contribution that comes from our own divine essence.

Please show us the way, your way
that we may more fully enrich the world around us
and in so doing,
expand the boundaries of our own wealth experience.

In each moment when we stop to take account
may we know your presence more fully
and know ourselves as one with your magnificence.

We accept and receive your blessings
as we share our blessings with others.

Baruch Bashan — The Blessings Already Are

If you are anything like me, you may be feeling some uncertainty about the coming year. Try these three steps to realize your greater wealth and well-being:

1. Forgive: Any time you are feeling out of balance or a sense of lack, forgive yourself for forgetting that you are Divine. Forgive yourself for the judgements you may be making that cause you to feel separate, alone or lonely. You are never alone.

2. Be grateful: Count your blessings, even and especially the small ones. The little things count. Remember then. In the evening, write down a minimum of 5 things you have appreciated during the day.

3. Bless: Bless your day, your night, the neighbor and those who would in some way offend you. Wish well whoever is around you, whoever you may pass in the street. Bless your work, your projects, your computer, the hands that type on its keyboard, those who read what you have written — including yourself. Bless your world with a smile — you never know who might benefit from such a simple gesture. Be creative with your blessings — there is no limit to the goodness you can extend as you expand your wealth and well-being in 2012.

You do not have to be a saint or a savior to extend blessings. You may wish to bless others silently with your thoughts of goodwill. Your actions of caring and thoughtfulness may communicate blessings. The skills and talents you express at work are an expression of your blessings. The touch of a warm hand, a comforting arm to hold, a gentle smile all speak of blessings.

Through your forgiving, gratitude and blessing you might find greater stability and contentment within the changes that are happening around us. What is more, you may find that the changes themselves produce greater blessings than you could ever have imagined.

May 2012 bless you with many opportunities to expand beyond your former limits of wealth and well-being and into the greater appreciation of who you truly are.

How do you most like to express blessings? If you could receive one blessing this year, what would that be? Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

For more tips and hints for living a wealthy life from the inside out, turn to “The Wealth Book — Winning With Spirit”

Anne Naylor has been a Consultant in personal motivation since 1982. Author of three personal development books, Superlife, Superlove and SuperYou,
Anne gives Clear Results Consultations for individuals meeting life turning points, or wishing to improve the quality of their lives. Gifted with a talent for discerning the unique value in each of her clients, she communicates her trust in the power of each person to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life, however they define it.
Anne’s mission is: Building a better world on the solid foundation of
individual health, wealth and happiness and the appreciation of human value.
Through designing and presenting training programmes and seminars in self-
motivation, career development, personal success, leadership and team-
building, Anne has enabled a wide range of people to transform their personal and professional lives.

2012 Proof World Does NOT End – Metaphysia 2012 Movie

A MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY ADVENTURE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THE WORLD CAN & WILL SURVIVE

Featuring an All-Star Cast of Over 50 of Today’s Leading Alternative, Metaphysical and Native American Teachers

Described as “One of the most unique Documentary films in years .. a Cinematic Vision Quest”

..With one of the most captivating and emotional final scenes ever caught on film

Buddhist Teaching on Aging Spiritually: Worry Less, Care More and Find Out What Love is Before You Die ~ Lewis Richmond

The baby boomer generation has been criticized for making every stage of life — whether it be adolescence, college, child-rearing and now their aging — into a self-referential adventure of transformation and improvement. From that point of view, the notion of aging as a spiritual practice could be seen as just the latest of these baby boomer projects: “We’re going to do aging differently and better than anyone!” Some commentators have concluded that the baby boomers were a coddled, spoiled generation. To them, the bumper sticker “Life is hard and then you die” is more how things actually are.

Needless to say, I see things differently. Yes, we baby boomers came to maturity at a time of great social upheaval and change, and we participated in and helped engineer that change. And due to the affluence of the postwar America in which we grew up, we had the time and energy to devote to our own inner development and outer social transformation. In the 1960s, 70 percent of college students rated “personal fulfillment” as their most important life goal, while today the same percentage mention financial success as their life’s goal. Money and career seemed easy 40 years ago; now they seem hard.

In that sense, times have changed, and today’s Generations X and Y have very different priorities than we did. What has not changed are the fundamentals of the human condition, which includes aging. There is the old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” If only we had 60-year-old wisdom in a 30-year-old body! There have been a number of hit movies that have explored this fantasy. Well, dream on. It has never happened and barring some medical miracle, it never will.

We don’t worry about things we don’t care about. Worry and care go together. We care about our family and friends; that is why we worry about them. We care about the fate of the planet, or of the hardships of people losing their jobs or their homes. These things matter to us a lot, and it would seem that if we gave up worry we would also be giving up our care. That doesn’t seem right.

Buddhist teaching understands this connection between worry and care quite well. Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, spent his whole life working on this single problem: How can we relieve the unnecessary suffering that we impose on ourselves because we care so much and can’t see a perspective larger than our care?

Or to put it another way: How can we transform our conditional, limited love for just those people and things we care about into an unconditional love which cares equally about everyone and everything?

When I was a child in Sunday school, we would ask our teacher, “What is God? Who is God?” And we were told, “God is love.” I never gave a whole lot of thought to that answer at the time, I just accepted it as true without understanding what it meant. Now in our crisis-ridden world, where war and violence and hatred seem as prevalent as any time in the past, God as love seems a lot more complicated than it did when I first heard it. How is it that this unconditional love continues to elude us, generation after generation? How can we find it? What can we do?

I think this quest is the particular mission of elders, those who have lived long enough for youthful idealism to fade and deeper wisdom to dawn. The spiritual practice of aging, I think, is to add some words to that cynical bumper sticker. I would say it this way:

Yes, life is hard, and then you die, but before you do find out what love is.

Karma: Recorder, Awakener, Friend By Grace F. Knoche

How often we think of karma as a kind of nemesis or dread fate, falling upon us or our loved ones when we are least prepared, avenging some unknown deeds done, or left undone, in this life or in lives long past. Yet with the earliest Greeks, Nemesis was a goddess who personified our conscience, our inborn fear of committing wrong against the gods; or again, our reverence for the moral and spiritual law of harmony, of balance.

Later, in the 5th century BC, Pindar, the poet, and the historian Herodotus, described her as directing human affairs in order to restore disturbed equilibrium, so that the “right proportions” of either happiness or unhappiness should be meted out. Always, the chaste and humble heart was considered the open doorway to the gods; and if one were overproud of Fortune’s “gifts,” then losses and suffering were administered; or vice versa, the modest were blessed in ways that would bring them peace and contentment. Still later, the goddess, because she was depicted as a check upon extravagances, became in the minds of many an avenging or punishing fate that would in due time overtake the reckless or willful.

Seldom do we look upon the universal law of cause and effect as healing, merciful because of its restorative power for good. We forget that the gods are not separate from ourselves, but that we are an extension of their life-essence, their care for us being as intimate a part of our growing process as our protection is for the atomic lives evolving within the human hierarchy. It is this interrelationship that we need to understand and live with, and thereby to recognize that karma is not something inflicted upon us by god or devil or by any outside force, but is our very selves.

“Man is his own karma,” wrote G. de Purucker, meaning by this that there is not an instant in our lives when we are not impressing on our memory-cells — which are, incidentally, of many types — the quality of our thinking and feeling, lofty or base; and because of this, by the law of magnetic attraction, whatever comes to us we ourselves must sometime have desired, knowingly or not. It is we who have left those imprints on our atoms — our life-atoms, he calls them; and as the soul returns to earth life again and again, those very life-atoms return also, to form anew its several vehicles of expression, physical, psychical, mental and spiritual. It all seems quite logical, for how else would justice be assured? No one reaps a harvest that is not his or her own: in benefits and strength of character for good seed sown; in deprivations and weakness of will for tares.

To regard karma or nemesis as an avenging demon or a rewarding angel, as is often done, is to judge solely by externals, not by the inner purport of karmic reaction. Have we not all discovered, possibly only after years, that the most harrowing passages of our life-experience have yielded us lasting gifts? “Blessings in disguise” is the common phrase, indicating an intuitive recognition that pain and sorrow hold hidden beauties in the deepening love we feel for those in travail.

Marcus Aurelius, 2nd century Roman emperor, experienced more than the normal allotment of heartache, but was upheld throughout his tragic rule by his unshakable belief that whatever befell a man was prepared for him “from the beginning of time.” In his private admonitions “to himself,” called by later admirers his Meditations, he returned often to this theme:

In the woven tapestry of causation, the thread of your being had been inter-twined from all time with that particular incident. — x, 5

Love nothing but that which comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny. For what could more aptly fit your needs? — vii, 57

To Marcus, a philosopher and Stoic by nature and education, man was the offspring of divinity, a particle of the primordial Mind-Fire, and therefore nothing could touch him except that which truly belonged to him. We may be selfish, greedy, cunning in our lesser self; but in our essential core, we have been registering “from the beginning of time” on the tablets of our soul untold strengths. Every aspiration born in the deepest recesses of our being, as well as every low and evil desire, have sown their seed, to be harvested in due course, with effect equal to cause. We, then, are our karma, the recorders of our character, our destiny, pleasant or unpleasant as the case may be.

So much for theory. It is relatively simple to philosophize when one has reasonably sound health and comfortable circumstances. But where is the justice for the poverty-ridden; what can philosophy do for the millions doomed to die of disease if not of starvation? Shall we say it is their karma and they will have to work it through, with better luck, hopefully, next life? Obviously, it is their karma or they wouldn’t have been born into those exceedingly difficult conditions; but how can we isolate their karma from our own? We are one family of man, and all of us have had a share in creating their tragic lot.

Besides, is it not also our karma to be profoundly concerned, and where possible to seek to alleviate the awful misery that exists in so many parts of our globe? There is some comfort in the fact that the world conscience is awake, and becoming ever more sensitive and acute, so that an increasing number of self-sacrificing and knowledgeable laborers are already dedicating their lives in this field of service.

Most of us, however, can offer little if anything in the way of tangible relief, much as our hearts yearn to help. But there is not one of us who cannot work unceasingly to eradicate the causes of human suffering — deep-seated and long in the making — that have resulted in the present unconscionable plight. This is an enormously long-range goal, admittedly, but does this make it any the less urgent or worthy?

In this light we begin to grasp the inwardness of the story of the young Indian prince who, tired of the surfeit of pleasures his father had showered upon him, determined to move among his people and find out for himself what conditions were really like. On three successive occasions he went forth from the palace with Channa, his faithful charioteer; and even though the king had ordered that only beauty and magnificence should greet his son, the devas saw to it that one of their kind should afford him a “sign” — first, an old man, heavy with years; second, a man ill and parched with fever; third, a corpse being carried to the pyre.

Profoundly shaken, they became for him “awakeners”; why, for what purpose, should these afflictions be visited upon innocent human beings? Why bring children into this world of sorrow — his lovely wife had just the night before given birth to a son — if all that awaited them is unhappiness, disease, old age, and death? So a fourth time he ventured out, and this day he met a holy man, serene and self-possessed. No longer could Gautama hold back his vow to learn the meaning of life. He knew that henceforth he would abandon all lesser things, all enticements of mind and body, until truth was his, until he could find the causes of pain, and the way to rout them from human lives.

The story is familiar to us all, and how at length the young mendicant-prince fought the hardest battle of all, the battle of the self, and became victor, attaining under the Bo tree the full glory of perfect wisdom. His renunciation — of all that he had struggled so ardently to achieve — is the ultimate in compassion, the ideal of those who would follow his path.

So he returned among men and taught that change, growth, advancement was the way of nature; that all things of earth therefore are impermanent, subject to a succession of births and deaths and rebirths, and that the only way to end suffering was to do away with its cause, to cut the taproot of attachment to material concerns, for if man were master of his desires, then external influences would cease to trouble him.

But what has this to do with ourselves today? Few of us have the calm purposiveness of a Gautama, nor the equanimity of a Marcus Aurelius. We are ordinary men and women, striving to keep our equilibrium midst the daily karmic pulls and to grasp something of the why and wherefore of ourselves and our universe; yearning the while to assuage the longings of the soul and, not least, to better serve the greater good. How, then, do these “awakeners” that brought enlightenment to a young prince relate to us 2,500 years later?

There is so much awry in human relationships all over the world that we can’t help but feel that it will take many ages to set things right; no doubt we’ve tallied quite a karmic score against us that must be worked out. But we should not overlook the other, the positive side of the ledger, the nobler entries made by us in lives gone by. Could it be that this intensity of suffering and confusion of values is due as much to a karmic “awakening,” a stimulus from our higher selves, as it is to karmic debts still unpaid?

Surely we were meant to live our lives as a wholeness, with buoyancy of spirit, and not to be continually fractured by anguish or despair. Sorrow comes to us all, just as rain for the earth, to nourish and bring forth new growth. Yet how can parents plunged into the depths of grief from the accidental killing of their sons, or those facing terminal illness, or others helpless before the blasted psyches of loved ones. . . . how can they see karma as a friend? In the immediacy of their trauma, few words are called for. But love has its own wisdom, for “between hearts and hearts are ways.” Then later, when they seek to understand why, these ideas may be of help.

One day, in this life or in another, we will be able to look at all we have been through with the eyes of the seer we intrinsically are, as an eagle high above our earth-karma, and glimpse with panoramic vision our entire experience, past and present — not in detail, but in atmosphere. Then we shall know that all hindrances, all suffering, physical and mental, also death, are part of the unfolding pattern of growth, woven in the tapestry of our destiny kalpas ago, to etch into the soul the deeper perception, the truer love, the caring for all, not only for our own.

Karma — ultimate rectifier of disturbed equilibrium, recorder of ourselves, by ourselves, and for ourselves, from our radiant essence to those dark and foreboding corners — is indeed the stern but always beneficent reactor to previous action, the Lipika or “Scribe” of every movement of consciousness, not alone for man but for all entities.

Yet even were nature a mathematician of cosmic dimension, how could she handle the input of karmic impressions from the incomputable number of living beings that range from the infinitesimal worlds to the macrocosmic? Decentralization would appear to be the key. Each entity of every kingdom and of every evolutionary standing surely is his own Lipika, his own “Scribe” or Recorder, his own judge and comforter. And if we ourselves stamp our quality on every atom of our many-leveled constitution, every other hierarchy in nature must be doing likewise — one cosmic life-force, one cosmic stuff, one cosmic modus operandi.

Thinking along these lines is its own preparation, so that when the karmic onslaughts do come — as they will and must to us all if the soul is to awaken — there is a residue of calm, an inbuilt stamina, and a profound conviction, as Walt Whitman had to learn, that “what will be will be well, for what is is well.”

(From Sunrise magazine, Apr/May 83. Copyright © 1983 by Theosophical University Press)

Grace Knoche, died peacefully on the 18 February 2006, a few days after her 97th birthday. Leader of the TS Pasadena for 35 years, her passing is a sad loss for members and colleagues at Headquarters and around the world not to mention all her many devoted friends.

Grace’s unassuming and warm personality concealed deep wisdom and considerable ability. Her delicious sense of humour and lightning wit remained undiminished. She always gave utmost attention to whatever job or problem in hand with scrupulous attention to detail. It was the same with people. She genuinely cared for each and everyone she knew whether personally or through correspondence, as well as remembering names, respective families and circumstances. Grace instructed by encouragement and praise and was never imperious or dogmatic.

Grace leaves us a wealth of riches; her very readable books The Mystery Schools and To Light a Thousand Lamps provide students with clear and contemporary explanations of H.P. Blavatsky’s teachings. As Sunrise editor for 3 decades, her leading articles are treasures of wisdom written in exquisite yet accessible prose.

Those who were fortunate enough to meet Grace when she visited our shores during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s will no doubt have their own tributes. Fortunately all her Theosophical tour meetings here and in other countries have been recorded for posterity in print.

Grace’s unremitting work and inspirational guidance has safely carried the Theosophical Society Pasadena into the 21st century. All her writings and talks faithfully adhere to HPB’s original tenet: Altruism is the Key to Theosophy.

Our gratitude to Grace is immeasurable.

May Peace on Earth be Powerful

This song expresses the desire shared by people all over the world, for permanent, unshakable peace on earth.

Peace, complete harmony, is a concrete reality of nature on the level of the unified field, where coherence, power, and unity are infinite. Lasting peace can only be a reality when this deepest field of peace is enlivened within the consciousness of everyone.

Individuals practicing Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi Program naturally and effortlessly enliven this field of peace within themselves, from the deepest level of their Being. The individual is the unit of world peace, and peaceful individuals practicing the technologies of consciousness together radiate an exponentially more powerful influence of peace and coherence, in the same way that individual candles coming together radiate more and more light to the environment.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: