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).

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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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