Lord Buddha and Shankaracharya – A talk by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Lord Buddha and Shankaracharya.


Maharishi on Guru Dev and the Holy Tradition of Vedic Masters

A beautiful Question about the Nature of Love towards Maharishi and Maharishi’s answer:
Guru Dev and our love for Maharishi
Rishikesh, 1968

Question: Something comes frequently to my mind, but I do not really dare to ask you that. But in the end I probably will ask you anyway.

MAHARISHI: Be bold. (laughter)

Question: It is very personal and it has to do with the Holy Tradition. I have more feelings and affection towards you than to Guru Dev. Guru Dev is more like a passed away grandfather to me, someone I do not really know.

MAHARISHI: A very scientific evaluation, it is very natural.

Question: It don’t feel uncomfortable to do the offerings to him, but I don’t know how to have feelings of an overflowing heart towards someone I don’t really know. Is it possible to kind of transfer the love towards you also to Guru Dev?

MAHARISHI: Yes. The greatness of the gardener is in the full bloom of the beautiful flower. And that is it – we enjoy the flower and hold high the gardener.(laughter) The gardener is not there, just from the flower we know he must have been good and great.

Love for me is very natural, it is just very natural. But what we are faced with here is the effect that the attitude of the initiators is going to produce in the preservation of the knowledge. The attitude of the initiators, generation after generation, in the preservation of the wisdom.

Reverence to me is alright, but what I intended from the beginning was that – personal I am just an individual, just out of nothing – but something that is coming on from times immemorial, this great Holy Tradition coming on from times immemorial and because it speaks of truth, it represents the truth, and that is why it is coming on.

And therefore this movement which has in view thousands of years of human population, should be tied down to something eternal. Fortunately for the world Guru Dev happened to be Shankaracharya. And therefore we got both the things – not only the knowledge, but the most valuable tradition has been attached to this knowledge.

When I started the movement I could have started a religion. So many religions have been coming up and coming up. But I thought another religion will be another river flowing towards the ocean. It won’t present to the world the source of all the rivers, which again ultimately is the ocean itself. All the clouds they come from the ocean and then the streams go back to the ocean.

Just for that thing with thousands of years ahead in view, I thought not the person but the photo of him, who has been the source of this wisdom for me, Guru Dev. Directly he is the source of wisdom for us, very directly. I know the reality of all this. It has only been due to the innocent surrender- innocent sense of service, just innocent sense of service.

And his personality was so great, it is all divine. And just as the midday sun, the blazing sun, is just…that great sun of the divine effulgence, it just held me gripped in his grandeur. And very naturally the transparency of all that he stood for. And all what he stood for was pure divinity, pure knowledge, eternity, absolute.

This imbibing of the knowledge of integration of life in totality, in completeness, is from that level of innocent surrender. It is now that I am able to analyse the whole thing and see the mechanics which have brought the whole wisdom in its completeness from both points, practical and theoretical.

During those days I was just living Guru Dev. I was living him in my life. That’ s innocent. And it was this that has grabbed the wisdom. It was a great fortune for all the future times that he was taken to be the Shankaracharya, installed as Shankaracharya. Therefore whatever wisdom came, it came in all the dignity and fullness, complete fullness of it.

And that is the reason why for us it is of immense value that we tie down our feelings and our emotions and our understanding, everything to him who really presents the last point of the tradition nearest to us. Very, very important. It is absolutely important.

And fine, it is no harm singing of the glory of the bulb that is there, but all the glory is transferred to the powerhouse. Actually electricity is generated there. (laughs) And therefore not an individual, but the most illumined star in the galaxy of stars. And to him we point our mind and heart and this. It is fabulous to have that thing…

Guru – The Connection between Time, Space & Mind / 7 Mantras for 2012 ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living.
In 1982, Sri Sri entered a ten-day period of silence in Shimoga located in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique, was born. With time, the Sudarshan Kriya became the center-piece of the Art of Living courses.

7 Mantras for 2012
1. Reflect on your life in relation to the Cosmos.This will drop the smallness in you & you will be able to live fully.

2. Remind yourself of the highest goal in Life. You are not here to grumble or complain. You are here for something bigger.

3. Serve! Engage yourself in community service to whatever extent you can.

4. Have faith & trust that the Divine loves you dearly & is taking care of you.

5. As we flip the calendar, we need to flip our mind too. Don’t fill future dates with past events. Learn & move on.

6. Smile more! True sign of prosperity is an unconditional smile on your face.

7. Nurture yourself with music, prayer & silence. Meditation,pranayam & yoga rejuvenate; give depth & stability.

The Symbolism of the Number Seven

“Seven is the number of realization of the space time”~Abellio

The number seven is known to be the number of creation, representing the live relationship between the human and the Divine.

The essential process of creation consists in the polarization of Light, and its refraction through a prismatic perspective, turning the original Light into different frequencies of rays, each with a different wavelength, including the seven visible colored rays.

The seven emanations are seen by tradition as the Seven Rays of Creation. These seven luminous vibrations correspond also to the seven sound vibration tones that originated the Creation:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (…) through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
~John 1, 3

The Original Vibration then multiplied and differentiated itself in form. These seven different vibratory planes of creation exist simultaneously and can be considered as successive emanations of the uncreated Source. In other words, the seven dimensions of our immediate Universe, from which our seven chakras are the psychophysical manifestation.

The number Seven has been used since time immemorial to describe the creations and ordinances of God and the subsequent patterns that appear in the natural world.

Our physical Chakras, referred to as “vortexes of power”, are the vehicles of manifestation of the pure cosmic energy; and, in its turn, designating seven different levels of manifestation of consciousness.

These seven stages of consciousness were symbolized in the Atlantean tradition, as transmitted by the Egyptians, by the seven veils of the Goddess Isis. In ancient times, sacred dancers performed the ritual of the seven veils as to reveal gradually the world beyond the immediate reality. Beneath these veils are concealed all the mysteries, ageless wisdom and learning of the past.

“I am all that has been, that is, that shall be, and none among mortals has yet dared to raise my veil.”

“The Egyptians were sublime philosophers who had dictated theology to the world. And in Chaldea arose the first astrologers who watched the heavenly bodies with curiosity as well as with awe, and who made divine discoveries, and who called themselves The Interpreters of God.

To each star they gave a name, and to each day in the year they gave a star.

And the Greeks and Romans, who were poets, wreathed these names into legends. Each name was a person, each person was a god.

From these stories of the stars originated the angels of the Jews, the genii of the Arabs, the heroes of the Greeks, and the saints of the Romish Church.

Now corruption grew upon corruption, and superstition flung a black and hideous veil over the doctrines of religion. A religion is lost as soon as it loses its simplicity: truth has no mysteries: it is deceit alone that lurks in obscurity.”[1]

Some examples of important Sevens are:

According to Ouspensky there are seven systems of Symbolism:

*Symbolism of numbers
*Symbolism of geometrical figures
*Symbolism of letters
*Symbolism of words
*Symbolism of magic
*Symbolism of alchemy
*Symbolism of astrology

There are seven stages of Alchemy: Calcination, Dissolution, Separation, Conjunction, Fermentation, Distillation, and Coagulation

The Bible is full of Sevens:

+There were seven days of Creation
+There are seven Seals in the Book of Revelations.
+The number seven is mentioned 77 times in the Old Testament
+The seven primary gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and the Fear of the Lord

There are Seven Sacraments in Christianity: Baptism, Penance, Marriage, Communion, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Last Rites.

Tradition also speaks of the Seven Virtues in Christianity: Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Prudence, and Temperance. Tradition also speaks of the Seven Vices: Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Avarice, Gluttony, and Lust.

The mystic Rudolph Steiner pointed out that the strongest prayer taught by Master Jesus to his disciples, the Paternoster, contains in itself seven distinct petitions.

Celestially, we are told that there is an influence, and that influence is connected to the seven “up there” and the seven “on your back”.

In ancient times the Pleiades were called “The Guardians of the Sky” and they had the mystical task to have the account of Time Keeping. The Egyptian texts allude to Pleiades’ archaic significance as Krittitas, judges of men, assigning them also to seven planetary spheres as the seven Hathors. The Pleiadean star system was the locus of our cosmic inheritance and the source of the mystical wisdom known by the High Initiates of the Mystery Schools of Isis.


9/11 healing: The mothers who found forgiveness, friendship

Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez’ son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi’s son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another.

Power Animals – The Spirit of Bear in Healing

The protocol for helping someone in need is discussed as well as the relationship with animal helping spirits, sometimes called Power Animals. The Spirit of Bear is discussed in relation to assisting a person while going in for an operation. Jill Kuykendall is a Soul Retrieval Practitioner having completed over 4,000 soul retrievals for her clients. She teaches worldwide with her husband Hank Wesselman.

Stepping on the Shaman’s Path of Discovery

This video discusses how shaman’s are authentically initiated into their path of discovery. The shaman often must detach from worldly structures to go on a quest and journey. Once that journey is completed they come back and act as a bridge between the physical world and the spiritual worlds. Jill Kuykendall is a Soul Retrieval Practitioner having completed over 4,000 soul retrievals on behalf of her clients.

Expected Cosmic Events in 2012 by Pane Andov

Magnificent presentation by Pane “AstralWalker” Andov about the mega event that will take place at the end of year 2012 and beginning of the 2013. He explains that thousands of years ago from the galactic centre of the Milky Way, there was a powerful release of an enormous amount of energy, which like a huge, shining, circular wave is spreading across the galaxy from its centre to its edges.

The released energetic pulse is already affecting the whole galaxy including the little dot we call our solar system. Very soon it will reach us and hit us with full strength. He explains what kind of implications this spreading wave of energy will have on our solar system, especially to our star and our planet and how it will affect the DNA of life.
The way that Pane connects the dots makes it clear what our planet will face soon and what we as humans can do about it. He is also a contactee and delivers important messages which he backs up with scientific data. For the record, his DNA was changed when his biological body was only seven years old, enabling him to utilize abilities such telepathy, remote viewing, astral travel and to make contact.

He claims that from time to time numerous ET races communicate and deliver important messages to him as a result of alternations to his DNA in early childhood. One of those races is the positive race that is delivering the genuine crop circles, and they explained to him what the complex geometries mean. That’s how Pane was able to translate the complex geometric designs which contain the solution to the equation regarding what humanity is facing, when it’s going to happen and what can be done about it.

Adyashanti – The Truth That Is Always Present

Karen Armstrong: 2008 TED Prize wish: Charter for Compassion

As she accepts her 2008 TED Prize, author and scholar Karen Armstrong talks about how the Abrahamic religions — Islam, Judaism, Christianity — have been diverted from the moral purpose they share to foster compassion. But Armstrong has seen a yearning to change this fact. People want to be religious, she says; we should act to help make religion a force for harmony. She asks the TED community to help her build a Charter for Compassion — to help restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.

Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft

Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft is the first book to explore the positive evolutionary potential hidden in one of the most destructive events in history. In their examination of the evolutionary implications of 9/11 and its aftermath, the authors contend we are not falling into the grip of a new dark age at all, rather we are on the verge of a much brighter one as the Darwinian process of natural selection continues to advance humankind.

* * *

The authors’ inquiry led them to the roots of human suffering: the ego. That the ego underlies our problems as a species may come as no surprise. But a deeper look into the ego’s origin and history is full of unexpected revelations:

The modern human is dominated by a Stone Age brain
Energy consumption and the environmental crisis is nothing more than the evolutionary drive to survive gone haywire
Evolution has wired us to be riveted to bad news, bad outcomes, and worst-case scenarios
When beliefs are challenged it triggers a life or death stance in the human nervous system
Emotions are mostly physical, not mental

* * *

The self we identify with—along with its biases and beliefs—turns out to be an evolutionary tool that made its first appearance some 50,000 years ago during what’s called the conceptual revolution, arguably the biggest developmental leap in human history. The emerging ego accompanied our ability to construct complex tools, create art, and redefine social structure. For the first time as a species, we were able to imagine the future, consider the thoughts of others, and picture ourselves in our own minds. The ego is a cognitive trick of natural selection intended to insure the survival of the individual. Baumann and Taft say the problem comes when we take the ego’s conceptualization of reality as the truth about who we actually are.

* * *

Using the latest research from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, and paleontology, Baumann and Taft show that modern humanity may be on the verge of an expansion of cognitive abilities akin to the development of the ego. This next step will free the human mind to see beyond the confines of the prison, and open the vast potential of conscious

Peter Baumann
began his career as a member of the internationally acclaimed 1970s band Tangerine Dream and later founded the Private Music record label. Instead of being derailed by early fame and fortune, he asked himself this in his late 40s: “Given that I probably have about 10,000 days left on the planet, how can I use this time in the most meaningful and useful way possible?” To address this question, Baumann assembled a top-notch interdisciplinary think-tank, the San Francisco-based Baumann Foundation. He serves as a trustee of the California Institute of Integral Studies and as a fellow at the Mind & Life Institute.

Michael W. Taft is a serious student of evolution and the capacities of the human brain. A professional researcher and writer for more than two decades, Taft is fascinated by what neuroscience, biology, psychology, archeology, and technology can tell us about the human condition. Michael is a senior adviser to the Baumann Foundation. He lives in Berkley, California.

Between Death and Life / ‘Volunteer’ Souls, Past Lives & ETs ~ Dolores Cannon

Dolores explores the different levels of existence in the spirit realms beyond our Earthly plane, offering tremendous comfort to those in fear of death and providing invaluable insight to those with a healthy curiosity into what happens after we pass.

Dolores Cannon – ‘Volunteer’ Souls, Past Lives & ETs

Kevin Moore was joined by author and Past-life regressionist Dolores Cannon, she discussed the waves of people known as “volunteers,” aliens in human form, who are coming to Earth in increasing numbers, and other “lost knowledge” she derived from her hypnosis sessions with clients placed in deep trance. While ETs seeded the planet, and developed the human race from monkeys, it is only in the last 50 years or so, that volunteer souls from other planets and spiritual dimensions have been coming to Earth to be born in human bodies, she explained. The timing of this relates to the development of nuclear weapons in the 1940s, and the aliens’ concern that humanity might destroy itself, she continued. Because the ETs have a policy of non-interference, they felt that bringing new souls, without previous karma, to Earth could bring about a positive change from within, she said.

She delineated three waves of volunteers:

First Wave– These people would be in their 40s and early 50s now, finally adjusting to life after going through turbulent early years of feeling they didn’t belong here. A number tried to commit suicide or were treated for depression.

2nd Wave– Presently in their 20s and 30s, these folk had an easier time, and have been called “channels, generators, and antennas,” and project positive energy. Many have chosen not to have children, as this creates karma, and they don’t want to have to return to Earth after this life.
3rd Wave– The New Children are coming into the world with altered DNA, so they can function in a different reality (vibrations are pushing Earth into a new dimension).

Everything has consciousness,” and people have lived previous lives vibrating at different frequencies as plants, rocks, and even air, she declared. The ETs involved in alien abductions are among the “archaic ones” who created mankind—they’re monitoring humans over health and environmental concerns, Cannon said. Their original plan was to create a perfect species who could live forever, without disease, but a meteor hit Earth bringing bacteria and illness, she noted.

She also spoke about 2012 in terms of being a dimensional shift into “the New Earth,” and touched on her work with Nostradamus. She believes she communicated across time with the great seer, who told her the future is not set in stone, but there are certain “nexus points” (an event or personality) that have to happen.

Interview with David Frawley

Acharya David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is a unusual western born knowledge-holder in the Vedic tradition. He carries many special Vedic ways of knowledge (vidyas), which he passes on to students in India and in the West. In India, Vamadeva is recognized not only as a Vedacharya (Vedic teacher), but also as a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor and teacher), Jyotishi (Vedic astrologer), Puranic (Vedic historian), a Hindu acharya (Hindu religious teacher) and a Raja Yogi.
In India, Vamadeva’s translations and interpretations of the ancient Vedic teachings have been given great acclaim in both spiritual and scholarly circles. In America he is known as a teacher and practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine and of Vedic astrology (Jyotish) and has done pioneering work on both these subjects in the West. Most recently the integration of Yoga and Ayurveda has come to the forefront of his work.

Pandit Vamadeva (Dr. Frawley) presents authentic Vedic knowledge in the Western world and in a lucid presentation recognized by the tradition itself. He has worked extensively teaching, writing, lecturing, conducting research and helping establish schools and associations in related Vedic fields over the last thirty years. He has studied and traveled widely gathering knowledge, working with various Vedic teachers and groups in a non-sectarian manner.
Vamadeva sees his role as helping to revive Vedic knowledge in an interdisciplinary approach for the planetary age. He sees himself as a teacher and translator to help empower people to use Vedic systems to enhance their lives and aid in their own Self-realization. He sees Vedic wisdom as a tool for liberation of the spirit, not as a dogma to bind people or to take power over them. For him, Vedic knowledge is a means of communing with the conscious universe and learning to embody it in our own life and perception.

Though Vamadeva has worked in several different fields, he has endeavored to approach each of these with a great deal of specificity and precision, providing both the background philosophy and deeper practices. For a good overview of his work and background, it is best to examine his book Yoga and the Sacred Fire: Self-Healing and Planetary Transformation (2005).

An Interview with Eckhart Tolle by Mary O’Malley

We are living in a most incredible time, a time where more and more people are reawakening to life, to the field of Being that is available in the present moment. In this reawakening, we are ready to let go of defining ourselves from the content of thought and discover ourselves as something much bigger and grander than that.

ET:Yes. For many thousands of years, we have lived identified with the conditioned mind, deriving from it a narrow and ultimately illusory sense of self, a “little me” – always struggling, fearful, uneasy, in conflict with itself and others. We are now opening into our natural state of “self,” oneness with Being – the vast realm of consciousness or universal intelligence itself, of which the thinking mind is only a tiny aspect. This is the realm of inner stillness from where all the things arise that make life worth living: creativity, peace, aliveness, joy, love.

We each awakened to the unconditioned in different ways. Your experience was a spontaneous awakening. Mine was an initial awakening and then a many-year journey in which I had to see and let go of the conditioned mind.

ET:For most people, it is a gradual process, such as you experienced. This dimension emerges within them. It wants to emerge. For me, it happened suddenly, in my 29th year. I was in the middle of a suicidal depression, contemplating killing myself. The thought “I cannot live with myself any longer” kept repeating itself in my mind. Then, suddenly, I became aware of the strangeness of that thought. “If ‘I’ cannot live with ‘myself,’ there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ I cannot live with.” In that moment, my consciousness withdrew its identification from the unhappy, deeply conditioned and very fearful self. The withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self collapsed completely, much like a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left was my true nature as the ever-present I AM: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. I woke up the next day in bliss, which comes and goes. But the undercurrent of peace has never left me since then.

What do you see as the major obstacle to knowing the unconditioned consciousness?

ET:To not be able to stop thinking. This is a dreadful affliction, but we don’t realize this because almost everybody is suffering from it. So it is considered normal. This incessant mental noise prevents you from finding that realm of inner stillness that is inseparable from Being. It also creates a false mind-made self that casts a shadow of fear and suffering.

For me, the conditioned mind was full of fear. I truly tried to fix it and get rid of it. This only made me more contracted and cut off from life. It was only when I began to be able to see thought that I could become still and open again to life.

ET: Opening to life implies you are no longer interpreting the present moment in any way. That is the state of freedom. When you can allow this moment to be as it is without needing to label it wanting it to be different than what it is, you open to the vast power that is concealed in the present moment. It was always there, but it was covered up. This connection has nothing to do with the circumstances of your life at that moment. In fact, for many people it happens when the outer circumstances are so-called “bad.” It is the simple fact that you have allowed this moment to be that does it.

In my book, I go into passionate detail about the senses, for to me they are a doorway back into Being. As people let go of the busyness of life and cultivate their senses, they awaken again to the pure joy that is contained within the now.

ET: To be aware of your senses is a doorway into the present moment, into the state of presence. What that implies is that in that moment of acute awareness, the mind has become still. That is the state of consciousness that is free of thought, and that is the most precious thing that could ever happen to you. Some people experience it accidentally in a moment of danger, beauty, physical exhaustion. We now realize that we can consciously choose to enter that state.

In my awakening, one of the most difficult things I had to deal with was the opening and closing, the remembering and the forgetting. Experiencing the state of Being and then watching the conditioned mind turn it all into a problem again, I knew grief.

ET: Problems are embedded in the very structure of the conditioned mind. To survive and stay in control, the mind needs problems. It will never say that openly. It will say, “I want to be free of problems,” but it always recreates problems. A quick way, when you observe problems arising, is to ask, “What is the problem in this moment?” Then become very alert to the reality of this moment and see if the problem has any reality right now.

And it usually doesn’t! I can now watch my struggling mind with great tenderness. I think the reason why I can see it so clearly is that my heart is open to it. I have such mercy for this mind that has desperately tried to keep me “safe” until I became conscious enough to discover that I am safe.

ET: Recognizing that there never is a problem in the present moment is a very revolutionary realization. Sometimes, that is misinterpreted by the mind. It says that you are denying reality by not focusing on these problems. Of course, it is not that at all. There will always be challenges in life. The ability to deal with challenges is far greater when the attention is fully in the now rather than in the state of resistance. You can then ask, “In this moment, is there anything I can do?” If so, then doing happens; action is taken. Or maybe there is nothing you can do in the moment, and this moment is accepted the way it is. It enormously simplifies life. Challenges no longer turn into problems, and the heaviness goes out of life.

Another thing that helped immensely in my awakening is to not resist what is happening.

ET: To welcome whatever arises in this moment is the ultimate spiritual practice. If you practice just this one thing, you won’t need to read any more books or learn any other meditation techniques. Welcoming whatever arises in this moment, outside or inside of you, brings freedom. The conditioned mind will tell you not to do this, for it believes that by resisting, it will become free. The opposite is true. By resisting, you become even more stuck. When you no longer believe what the mind is saying, you realize that the quickest way for transformation to happen is to welcome what is. In that moment, life is free to move through you. The conditioned mind is no longer obstructing life.

When speaking about cultivating the now, it is easy to think that we are “putting down” the mind and its belief in the past and the future. It is not that at all. It is an exquisite tool that is needed to maneuver through life, but for most of us it has taken over our life.

ET: It is just self-identification with the mind that causes suffering. When this happens, the mind has a compulsive quality. When that goes, then the mind is a wonderful tool that can give expression to what arises from the deeper levels. In daily life, you need the past and the future, but your identity does not need to come from them. The illusion is to seek identity in the past, to identify with the past as “me.” The other illusion is seeking fulfillment in the future: I need to become something; become more complete; one day I will get there. Even enlightenment can become an illusion, if you seek it as some future state. When cultivating the now, you still remember things from the past, but the self-seeking has gone out of this remembering. And you still use the future for practical matters. The grasping and clinging, which is a recipe for non-fulfillment, isn’t there anymore.

The more I cultivate the now, the more joy I feel. My whole body experiences radiance as I soften and open back into life.

ET: I call what you are experiencing the “inner body.” Some people call it the light body. It is a general sense of aliveness throughout every cell of the body. The state of presence is not a head state; your entire being participates in it.

When I heard you speak last summer, I let go of listening to your words and opened to this light body.

ET: When one speaks from stillness, the words carry an energy transmission, a vibration. It is as if the words are secondary. It is the energy that comes with the words – or rather the stillness beneath the words – that is the greatest teaching.

Would you like to leave us with a last thought?

ET: People say that living in the now is hard. The opposite is true. The normal way is hard, not living in the now. To welcome the now is to welcome life itself, for the now is inseparable from life. So don’t make the now into an enemy. Make friends with it. In other words, accept each moment and whatever it contains as if you had chosen it. Immediately, life will begin to work for you, rather than against you. Then watch the miracle of life unfold.

Mary O’Malley “The Gift of Our Challenges”

Mary O’Malley “The Gift of Our Challenges” video is filled with beautiful photographs, music and an inspiring and uplifting message.

It conveys the concept that our challenges, instead of being an indication that something is wrong, are doorways into the peace and well-being that we have always longed for. These doorways open to the path of confidence, happiness, wisdom and peace. Your challenges are not here because something is wrong. They are the doorways into the joy of being fully alive in each moment.

Mary OMalley is an author, teacher and counselor who’s work awakens people to the joy of being fully alive. Her innovative and highly effective approach to compulsions replaces fear, hopelessness and struggle with ease, well being and joy.

Mary O’Malley is a counselor and spiritual teacher from Kirkland, Washington, and the author of Belonging to Life: The Journey of A wakening. http://www.maryomalley.com

Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife ~ Lisa Miller

What is heaven? Eighty percent of Americans say they believe in heaven, yet very few of them can articulate anything specific about their belief. Numerous questions surrounding the concept of heaven have existed for ages, and Americans continue to grapple with these ideas. In her new book, Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife (Harper; March 23, 2010; Hardcover; $25.99), Newsweek Religion editor Lisa Miller provides a groundbreaking history of the afterlife and offers a new understanding of this cherished spiritual ideal.

Notions of what heaven is vary widely, but the desire for afterlife has remained universal across all religious traditions throughout history. In Heaven, Miller journeys back over 2000 years to explore the roots of different beliefs in heaven. Drawing on her interviews with religious leaders, academics, and everyday Americans, Miller sheds light on many of the intriguing topics that influence our perceptions of heaven, including the ideas of resurrection, prophets and visionaries, and salvation. By exploring the earliest biblical conceptions of the afterlife and ancient theologies as well as modern-day views of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian believers, Miller examines what exactly these beliefs in the afterlife are, how they have impacted one another, and how they have evolved to meet the needs of their followers – for both good and evil – throughout the ages.

In tackling the many intriguing and enduring questions about the afterlife, Heaven addresses this complex notion in an accessible and engaging manner. Miller’s enlightening work offers a definitive look at a shared religious ideal and allows Americans to reflect on how their own views of heaven compare to both traditional and popular ideas on the afterlife.

Lisa Miller
Lisa Miller, author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination With The Afterlife,” is a senior editor at Newsweek. She oversees all of the magazine’s religion coverage and writes the weekly “Belief Watch column. She also is a regular contributor to the Washington Post’s “OnFaith,” an online global conversation about religion and faith

The Mysteries of Christianity: Part II

Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
Whoever has will be given more, and they will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand”
~Matthew 13:11

How can one affirm that through history, Christianity has been the only religion of ancient times that did not have a set of internal instructions? The question is more a matter of evidence than just a theory and it should be judged by the documents left behind, not necessarily by the hearsay of the modern Christians.

The New Testament and the documents left by the primitive church all point to the real existence of Mysteries of Initiation inside of the ancient church, with a list of requirements and Code of Ethics that should be followed by the initiate after the Rite of Baptism. It is a known fact that even the ritual recitation of prayers were cautiously instructed, with the prayer of the Pater Noster reserved for the recitation of those already adept in the new religion.

If we consider the diversity of different lines of thoughts, philosophy and cultures that influenced the early church, we cannot help but admit that Christianity in the early times, along with other school of Wisdom, did have its Gnosis and indeed was a repository of esoteric knowledge which gave it dignified position in the hall of Ancient Spiritual traditions.

If we analyze the New Testament and the four Gospels, putting aside the tedious discussion about the different interpretations, translations and knowledge of its authors; we find a common ground of study. There was a selective set of teachings that was transmitted to just a few of the disciples. This evidence can even be perceived through the writings of the Apostle Paul, who guided and inspired the early Church as the heir of the apostolic tradition of the Christ.

When Christ Jesus was alone, the twelve disciples and the others around him asked him about the parables.

He told them, the secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those on the outside everything is said in parables:

so that,

‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’
~ Mark 4:10-12

With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. (Mark 4, 33-34).

There is a tradition inside of the early primitive church that Jesus continued to visit his disciples long after his death; in the Gnostic treatise of Pistis Sophia, it is said that Jesus continue for eleven years, still guiding and instructing them on their path of mastership after his “passing”.

The process of initiation can hold different names and even classifications, in ancient times it could be called “Heaven on Earth”, “the Kingdom of God”, “the Narrow Door”, “Eternal Life”, “the Perfect”, ”the Second Birth”, “the Child”. Their significance as initiation is clear. The Perfect was an expression from the Essenes to denote one that had entered their society; the Child was another term for those that had been ‘born again” in spirit to the new religion.

We cannot stress enough that the master Jesus was one of the greatest Souls that ever incarnated, and therefore, he would never have discriminated or enforced a partial outlook for those that took recourse to him for assistance, healing and salvation.

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.
~ Luke 13, 22-24

No Savior of Humanity would imply that the fact of not reaching the “Narrow Doors” would lead one to the fires of hell, the “fires of Gehenna”. Jesus never said that non-Christians would not reach heaven and burn in hell. This inner teaching of this often misunderstood section of the Christian Bible refers to advancement of the soul. Gehenna was a place outside Jerusalem where the physical bodies of dead non-Jewish were burned.

If we analyze the statement as the doors of initiation and the conquering of the wheels of Karma and rebirth, it is sound truthful and even natural.

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.
~Matthew 7, 13-14

Source: http://humanityhealing.net (http://s.tt/180jy)

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