Archive for August, 2012


Synopsis

“No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
— John 3:3

For millions of Christians around the world, the acceptance of the Lord into their hearts and lives is a life-altering experience. It is a time that awakens the soul and sets it free! Now author and photographer Lucille Deith has created a unique illustrated book that tells the timeless story of growth, change, and splendor–through the life cycle of a monarch butterfly.

Through full-color photographs, Ms. Deith shows us the amazing transformation of this small creature from an ugly caterpillar to a hardened chrysalis to a beautiful butterfly. Accompanying these captivating images are eloquent biblical verses and inspiring prose that echo the visual miracle of change as it relates to everyone who has been reborn in Christ. The author has even included easy-to-follow instructions to guide readers in raising their own butterflies so that they, their friends, and their family can witness the miracle unfold.

In a world that seems to be spinning out of control, here is a story that anchors us to a simple, beautiful truth. Whether given as a gift, used as a church fundraiser, or read in the quiet of your home, The Butterfly offers young and old alike a lesson in the power of life-affirming faith.

Lucille Deith is a retired librarian who now pursues her love of gardening, photography, and raising butterflies. As a Christian educator, she presents biblical science lessons in Christian schools using the story of a butterfly. Mrs. Deith and her husband reside in central Florida.

Contents

A Butterfly

The Caterpillar

The Chrysalis

Spreading Its Wings

A Beautiful Butterfly

Creating Your Own Butterfly Story

About the Author

Introduction

A Butterfly

They flutter low and sail so high,
They rest on flowers and kiss the sky.
They sail through the air with graceful ease,
Land on my hand,“Oh, would you, please?”
Their colors so vibrant and markings unique,
I shudder with joy as one brushes my cheek.
A caterpillar no more as you flutter by,
Born again, a butterfly.

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Synopsis

“Well, here is the situation: although I have been around for almost as long as your creator, even after two thousand years of Christendom people get me wrong, misinterpret, and demonize me on a global scale . . . but nobody ever understood me. Actually, nobody even tries to understand me. Nobody comprehends my real role on this planet. That’s why I want to reach out to mankind through you. Together we shall write a new book!”


Dialogue with the Devil
is a unique book. For many centuries, human beings have been fascinated by a so-called supernatural being called by many names: Satan, Lucifer, a fallen angel, and the Devil. Whether feared, worshiped, ignored, or discounted, there is no doubt that the devil has played a major role on the planet. But who is he? For the first time, he himself explains who he is, where he came from, and most important, what his “job” is on the earth and in the scheme of the universe.

Challenging, controversial, and always fascinating, this book will shake the foundations of many a belief system and change the way we look at the Devil forever.

Yves E. Patak, MD, works as a general practitioner, acupuncturist (ASA), and hypnotherapist in Zurich, Switzerland. Writing is his passion, and two of his novels have been published. During his medical studies, Yves spent three months in Jamaica, where he experienced uncanny phenomena that he partly incorporated into his first novel, The Healer, and his current project, The Screener. Numerous stays in the Far East, India, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies brought him into contact with diverse cultures, rites, tribal medicine, and superstition. All these experiences have strongly inspired Yves in his work as both a physician and a writer.

Introduction

From the practical point of view, my life was perfect. I was a successful and popular physician, born into a wealthy family. I had an attractive, intelligent wife and three charming children.

Still, over the years a bitter suspicion had crept into my life, and eventually I came to the frustrating conclusion that I probably belonged to the species of the chronically discontented. While other people could not contain their enthusiasm about me and my life, all I could muster was a weary smile, while thinking to myself: “So-that’s all, folks?”

All my life I had been searching for ways to gain more experience, success, enjoyment-and I had found them. But now I had reached a point where nothing could really stimulate me any longer. I had everything one could aspire to with reasonable ambition, everything one could achieve with hard work. Life somehow had turned tepid and trite.

So I lived my life with this dark cloud above my head-up to that unforgettable day, which would dramatically change my life forever.

The conversation came very unexpectedly. On August 21, 2008, an unusually cold and rainy summer day, I had said goodbye to my last patient around 6 p.m. I scribbled a few notes in my files, shut down the laptop on my desk and closed the lid. Then, in the meditative silence of my practice I brewed myself a fragrant cup of Darjeeling tea, as I did every evening, and mentally went through the day’s events.

Part of the routine after the tea was to make the rounds through my office before leaving-checking that all the windows were closed, the lab machinery shut down, and the lights switched off. For a reason that I couldn’t quite explain I looked into my consultation room one more time-and stopped dead in my tracks. The laptop on my desk had been flipped open and booted up again! Bewildered, I approached the electronic tyrant. Humming softly it stood on the desk as if awaiting me. I felt my heart beating a little harder.

Of course I couldn’t rule out the possibility that I had pushed the “reboot” button instead of the “power down” key-but how the hell had the lid flipped itself open? Frowning, I approached this patiently purring object … then it happened-the event that would sound the bell for a new chapter in my life. Eyes wide open, I stared at the screen. A bombastic 36-point font said:

IT’S MY TURN TO SPEAK!

My back broke into gooseflesh that spread over my arms until all the hair stood erect. My legs turned to jelly. A strange atmosphere permeated the room, like some foreboding presence. With a queasy feeling I sat down at my word processor and stared at these words. Who the devil would write such a thing? And how? The sense of imminent disaster turned into a haunting premonition when I realized that the Internet connection was disengaged.

Spellbound, I was staring at a flickering Word file, which meant that nobody was pulling off a stupid joke via the World Wide Web-but that someone had been sitting at my laptop! But when? While I was making the rounds through the seven rooms of my practice? I probably hadn’t left my consultation room for more than three minutes. Feverishly, I tried to imagine the absurd scenario of a lightning fast burglar with a twisted sense of humor dashing to my computer just to leave me a note-an ominous line that didn’t mean much more to me than the Heisenberg uncertainty principle or a Japanese instruction leaflet.

I looked around. Everything seemed to be in its place. No signs of burglary, no evidence of vandalism, no stolen drugs or prescription pads. A spell of superstition made me pull out the wireless card that connected my laptop to the Internet. I wanted to be 200 percent certain that no hacker could have caused this inexplicable situation, some wacky PC pro who from a distance was taking me for a ride.

Then I pushed the power-down button once more. I waited for the screen to turn dark. That’s when things really became spooky. The screen had turned dark all right, but the computer kept humming-and suddenly those eerie words–IT’S MY TURN TO SPEAK!–were written in red letters on a black background. My apprehension changed to terror. What the hell had gotten into my computer?

I pressed the delete key and waited. The words disappeared at once. A few seconds later new ones appeared in crimson letters:

DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION NOW?

Bewildered, I stared at the blood-red line that seemed to float above the dark screen. As a psychologically trained physician, I knew at once that the best explanation for this uncanny occurrence was that I had just lost my mind. I tried to imagine a life where I’d have to swallow a red pill in the morning, a green one for lunch, and a yellow one at night just to keep from hearing voices or seeing alien texts on my computer screen.

The screen flickered, and three new lines popped up:

YOU’RE NOT PARANOID. I JUST WANT TO CHAT WITH YOU FOR A WHILE. BUT IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING–THERE ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH SOULS WHO’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM ME.

I had gone crazy! With this thought, a nauseating hodgepodge of emotions descended upon me. Fear, incredulity, tension … and, surprisingly, a considerable share of curiosity. If I had gone bonkers or someone had slipped some LSD into my tea, why shouldn’t I just go for it, enjoy the ride? Most probably I’d either wake up screaming in my bed, or someone would lead me away drooling in a tightly secured straight jacket. All right, I said to myself, let’s see where this is going! With this thought I put my hands on the keyboard and typed with clammy fingers:

Who are you?

Again a soft humming went through the computer. The screen flickered, and with a sudden chill in my heart I read:

SATAN!

Review
Severn Cullis-Suzuki’s Tell the World: A Young Environmentalist Speaks Out is another publishing oddity. Thirteen-year-old Cullis-Suzuki is, of course, the famed David Suzuki’s daughter. The book includes the text of her speechView Here at the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro held in June, 1992, as well as sections that explain the formation of Cullis-Suzuki’s environmentalist group and give pragmatic suggestions for action to other teenage activists. Cullis-Suzuki’s speech is perfectly decent rhetoric for a cause most of us would support. It is, however, nothing new. While the suggestions for activism are sensible and well presented, the young author seems blissfully unaware of how her privileged position as the child of a celebrity has influenced her effectiveness as an environmental activist. This is understandable and forgivable in a youngster. The decision to publish such ephemera is not.
Rhea Tregebov (Books in Canada) — Books in Canada

Severn Cullis-Suzuki – A Call to Action for Canadians for Earth Summit 2012

Hey everyone. Severn is our inspiration and a hard worker for environmental justice Here she speaks as as We Canada Champion http://www.earthsummit.ca @wecanada

At only 12 years of age, Severn Cullis-Suzuki spoke to world leaders at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, telling them that they needed to take action and save the planet. Now, nearly 20 years later, she asks all Canadians to demand action from our leaders at the 2012 UN Earth Summit.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is a world renowned environmental activist, a UN Commissioner for the Earth Charter, and a Champion of the We Canada Initiative.

Understanding Muladhara
Chakra Stats

Common Name: Root Chakra
Name in Sanskrit: Muladhara, meaning “Base and Foundation”
Color: Red
Vortices: 04
Element: Earth
Sound: Lam
Musical Note: C
Correlation Physics: Adrenal Gland/Kidneys

The base chakra is located at the base of the spine and has four small vortexes red. This chakra is the first physical connection between human beings and the planet Earth, not at the holographic level as with the Earthstar Chakra. The more open and vitalized the base chakra, the higher our provision of physical energy.

This chakra is generally associated with economic resources, survival, the basic needs of our existence; the ability to handle money, our independence from others, sense of direction and guidance in life; among other factors. It also regulates our ability to fight for the realization of our ideals.

Factors Regulated by the Root Chakra:

Survival
Self Esteem
Evolution of Identity
Achievement
Autonomy
Tribal thinking

The base chakra is also called the fundamental chakra, root, or basal kundalini chakra, because it is located at the base of the spine or backbone, near the sacrum-plexus.

During its spiraling movement, it presents itself through astral vision as only four lines, forming a suggestive picture of a cross an ethereal orange red color with red flares in its center.

It is the most primitive and simple of all chakras and in its “physical” manifestation, is one of the major outliner of shapes and stimuli of our organic life. It is the driver of the famous “Serpentine Fire,” an etheric center responsible for the flow of powerful energies emanating from the Sun and Earth intimacy: energy “mother of the world” because it is the main foundation of life in matter.

This chakra is also related to the first layer of our Auric field, our intermediate state of matter between the world and our perception as a personality-soul.

When this center is out of balance, we tend to fear more intangible things. Some of these dysfunctions can create a lack of emotional control, causing decontrol of sexual energies, and creating dis-eases in organs related to this center. It can also present a general agitated behavior and feeling of general discomfort in being with our physical body.

When there are physical pathologies related to this unbalance, they are all feared based: either of rejection, failing, to face the unknown, to assume a posture sexual guilt, and fears that were rooted in the personality-soul during traumas in past lives. Many of these problems can manifest as disturbances at the kidneys and adrenal levels.


Welcome to the Synthesis 2012 festival, A global gathering, world music festival and spiritual celebration in Piste pueblo and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. This 2012 festival will occur at the end of the Mayan Calendar on Dec 20th to 23rd this year. We will arrive on the 20th and participate in the global gathering on the Winter Solstice on the 21st. The Synthesis 2012 festival team is working directly with the local Mayan people, event producers in Mexico to produce this historical event.

Imagine yourself here at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan with the Mayans and thousands of others at the dawn of the new age and cycle this December.

Mayan Calendar Celebration
Contrary to media sensationalism, the end of the Mayan Calendar does not mean the end of the world. When we listen to the words of the Mayan Elders, we learn that the end of the Mayan Calendar is comparable to watching your car’s odometer roll over to all zeroes. The Mayan prophecies foretell of a transition to the age of the 5th Sun, a new time when consciousness, prosperity and the Divine Feminine prevail.

Mayan Calendar Dates
Although scholars may debate whether or not December 21st, 2012 is the exact ending date for the Mayan Calendar, we choose to celebrate this time of transition at Chichen Itza on this date because it is also the Winter Solstice and the Galactic Alignment. We invite you to come celebrate and co-create with us for 3 days of music, dance, ceremony and intention-setting for this bridge of transition to the golden age of the 5th Sun at our 2012 festival.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Attractions

We are currently offering international entertainment including Reggae, West African Drum & Dance, Steel Drums, Flamenco Fusion, Afro-Funk Fusion, Cuban, Mayan Music & Dance, Prehispanic Music and Mexican Dance as well as name bands such as Scott Huckabay, Chris Berry & Pangea, Human, Freedom, Diane Patterson, Al Torre, Mirabai & Ceiba. There will also be a variety of presentations by keynote speakers, a tour of the Mayan temples and access to special places known only to locals and regular visitors. Synthesis 2012 festival participants will also receive a copy of Transforming Through 2012, an in-depth compendium of experts on the meaning of 2012.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Amenities
We have arranged catering and ground transportation and several accommodation options for this 3 day 2012 festival celebration from December 20th thru 23rd.

Chichen Itza & Surrounding Grounds
Although the main attraction is the Chichen Itza Pyramid itself, we are utilizing the nearby grounds for most of the Synthesis 2012 festival ceremonies ad celebrations. Working with the people of the Piste pueblo, we have secured several areas nearby to Chichen Itza for camping, meals, entertainment and comfort lodging.

Chichen Itza Pyramid Tour
We have also made preparations for Synthesis 2012 festival participants to receive tour passes to the Chichen Itza Pyramid on Friday, December 21st.

So mark your calendar for the Synthesis 2012 Festival and celebration in Chichen Itza at the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Note from evolutionarymystic:
Just a short note that some years back I attended Dr. Jon Mundy’s course on ” What is mysticism?” , stretching over 3 to 4 week-ends conducted at the New York Open Center.

In 1976, a mysterious “Inner Voice” spoke to Helen Schucman, dictating what would come to be known as A Course in Miracles–a spiritual classic that would go on to sell over two million copies and influence countless people worldwide. Those who study this 1,333-page course can struggle for years to progress through its resonant but often difficult-to-comprehend truths.

Jon Mundy, who knew ACIM’s founders, uses passages from the text to illuminate its teachings on subjects ranging from the self and forgiveness to health and the afterlife. His lively storytelling and in-depth knowledge will help readers embrace the wisdom of this timeless text in their daily lives.

Jon Mundy, Ph.D. is an author, lecturer and the Executive Director of All Faiths Seminary International in New York City. He is the publisher of Miracles magazine, and the author of 9 books including his newest book Living A Course in Miracles by Sterling Ethos of New York City a division of Barnes & Noble’s. He taught university courses in Philosophy and Religion from 1967 to 2009 with a specialization in the History of Mysticism. He met Dr. Helen Schucman the scribe of A Course in Miracles in 1973. Helen introduced him to the Course and served as his counselor and guide till she became ill in 1980.

http://www.bestofyoutoday.com/ did an exclusive interview with Dr.John Mundy

Learn to Forgive to Live a Life of Peace and Happiness

If you are a spiritual seeker, there’s a good chance you know of A Course of Miracles (ACIM), considered one of the most influential works ever written. Author, lecturer and minister Dr. John Mundy has written Living a Course of Miracles to help followers put the teachings of the Course into practice. Here, Dr. Mundy gives us some insight into ACIM, its teachings and his involvement in the Course.

He is a retired lecturer of philosophy, religion and psychology at Interboro Institute, The New School and Mercy College. He has also taught inside Sing Sing and Bedford Hills Prison for Women, the State University of New York and Marist College. He is co-founder of Interfaith Ministries and publisher of MiraclesMagazine.org. He has authored several books, including What Is Mysticism?, Missouri Mystic, Awaken to Your Own Call: A Comprehensive Introduction to A Course in Miracles, Listening to Your Inner Guide, The Ten Laws of Happiness, Money and Jesus, Search for the Center, and Learning to Die.

BOYT: What is A Course in Miracles (ACIM) all about? What is the core premise?

Jon Mundy: When the great spiritual masters reach enlightenment, that enlightenment comes with the awareness that the thing we call an ego does not exist. It never has been and it never will be. It is a dream, a fleeting fantasy and it has no more reality than any of the billions of dreams that the many billions of people who inhabit this planet dream every night. Having no reality, the ego cannot be defined. We need, however, a “working definition” to be clear about the illusion we seek freedom from. We need more awareness so it will not “possess us” in an unconscious way.

My favorite definition of the ego is this: the ego is that which defines, interprets, projects, judges, and analyzes. It is that which is dreaming the dream or “making up the world.” For this very reason the world itself is a projection. The ego has no eternity in it. God is eternal, God is real. Love is eternal. Love is real. We simply dream that we are trapped in a body, in space, in time. The task of the Course is, therefore, to help us be free of the illusion of self (ego) so we can remember who we are in truth—not an ego, but Spirit and as Spirit also a part of God. As the Course says, (speaking metaphorically) “There is no place where the Son ends and the Father begins.”

After his enlightenment, Buddha said he was “awake.” According to the Course, learning always begins with the awakening of Spirit and a turning away from physical sight. Physical sight is limited to the body’s eyes. Physical sight shows us the outer world and that is never satisfying. No matter how many experiences we have or how many things we acquire, before long we will want more. The outer world provides, at best, some temporary satisfaction. Eat and before long you will be hungry. Have sex and before long you may want it again.

In the movie The Bucket List, the main characters played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman go off to see the greatest sights in the world. They sit and look at the pyramids and then they go off to look at something else. The eyes are never satisfied. Satisfaction is never found in the world or in any fantasy. When Jesus in the Gospels says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,” he doesn’t mean it’s in our bodies. The body is destined to die. While the ego mind can be possessed by illusions, Spirit remains eternally free.

BOYT: How did you become interested in ACIM and what has been your involvement?

Jon Mundy: In 1973 I met Dr. Helen Schucman, the scribe of the Course, when she and Dr. William Thetford came to a lecture I was giving on mysticism. The following year, I wrote a letter which was published in the newsletter of the American Association for Transpersonal Psychology. In the letter, I expressed interest in being in contact with anyone who was working in the fields of psychotherapy and spirituality as I was doing a dissertation on the conjunction of these two fields. Dr. Thetford saw my letter and suggested to Helen that it was a call for her to complete the writing of the pamphlet, “Psychotherapy, Purpose, Process, and Practice,” which she had begun but never completed. She agreed that my letter was a call for her to complete the psychotherapy pamphlet. She completed it in April 1975. She then called me saying that she had something for me. I agreed to meet with her, Dr. Thetford, and Dr. Ken Wapnick at Ken’s little studio apartment in New York City. There, Helen told me how the Course had come into being and she gave me a copy of the psychotherapy pamphlet.

I walked home that evening with the manuscript under my arm thinking that probably the most important thing which had ever happened to me had just happened, but I had no idea what it was. Not long thereafter, Helen met Judy Skutch. Judy and I were both on the faculty at New York University and had been friends for several years. Judy saw to it that a bunch of copies of the Course were Xeroxed and a small group of us started studying the Course in manuscript format. After the meeting at Ken’s, Helen became my counselor and guide and continued in that role until she became ill in 1980. I’ve been an active student and teacher since 1975; I’ve written eight books and produced a number of CDs based on the teachings of the Course.

BOYT: Why did you decide to write Living a Course of Miracles? What is your goal with the book?

Jon Mundy: It’s one thing to read the Course; it’s another matter altogether to put its principles into practice. You don’t do yoga by reading a book on yoga. In the same way, the Course becomes increasingly clear when I do what it is asking me to do. Living a Course in Miracles is a book about the practical application of the principles of the Course. What we are called to do is give up our judgments of everything in favor of seeing through what the Course calls “the Vision of Christ.” The Vision of Christ sees wholeness and innocence. It cannot see what is not there. I wrote the book in good part because my publisher, Sterling Ethos of New York City, asked me to do so, knowing there was a need for it.

BOYT: How would you characterize ACIM as a practice? Is it religion-based?

Jon Mundy: The Course says of itself that it is but one of “many thousands” of pathways back to God. There is nothing that says that anyone has to do the Course. There is no evangelism in the Course. To evangelize, I must believe that I am right and you are wrong and you need to see things the way I do. The Course is not a religion. It is a study. There are no rites, no rituals, no dogmas, no laws, no creeds, no required ways of believing, no temples, and no churches. There are no ministers. There are no priests. There is no hierarchy. Once you have a hierarchy, you have someone at the top, someone at the bottom, someone in the middle, and ego games going on to see who gets to be on top; who gets to be in the middle; and who has to stay at the bottom. The idea is to keep the ego out altogether. The Course is simply a spiritual discipline or study. It can be done completely on one’s own. It can also be studied in groups, and by attending workshops and conferences. It is essentially a spiritual psychology.

BOYT: Why do you call ACIM a radical philosophy that “asks us to engage in a total reversal in thinking?” What is that shift?

Jon Mundy: The word “radical” means “root” as in a “radish.” The Course is radical in that it goes to the root of the problem; namely, the decision we made to turn away from God, to try and do things on our own. This is pretty much the problem we find in the Adam and Eve narrative in the book of Genesis. Our basic problem is an authority problem. In essence, we say to God, “Thank you very much God, I would rather do it myself.” We have free will. Free will is a characteristic of divinity; therefore, as in the story of the prodigal son, God does not stop us from going off on our own. God also knows that one day we will find that all of our external searching is unsatisfactory. One day we will turn around, come Home (remember Heaven), and realign our will with His. It’s inevitable—so why wait for heaven?

The Course calls for a reversal in thinking. We’ve been looking at the world for so long through judgmental eyes that it takes a good bit of work before we can stop making up the world, let it be what it is, and switch our allegiance from seeing with judgment to allowing what is. We are called upon to let our brothers and sisters be who they are and not to make of love an enemy. If I point out the error of my brother’s ego, I must be seeing through my own ego. Once we stop the projection, we have an opportunity to see things the way they really are and the way they really are is fine. God really is in charge, always has been and always will be. In the end we see that it’s not about time—it’s about remembering the truth of our identity as Spirit, in every present moment.

BOYT: How does the Course compare to other spiritual teachings? Is it unique?

Jon Mundy: The Course is a universal curriculum available to everyone. Although Christian in context (i.e. it uses Christian mythology to explain the basic concepts) it is eastern in outlook and flavor. Dr. Thetford, Helen’s companion in the composition of the Course, said it was “the Christian Vedanta.” Like the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism, the Course is monistic. All there is in truth is God, Love, Truth, Life and Light—big words, all of which are synonyms. There can be no opposite to God, no opposite to truth, to love, etc. There is, therefore nothing to be afraid of. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. There is no hell, no devil, no body, and no world. Though they may look very real, ultimately all these things are ideas of the ego. They are all ephemeral. Like all dreams, they are born in time and they will disappear in time. Life is eternal and not delimited by time. Only that which is true is everlasting. Everything else is an illusion, a fleeting fantasy; it will one day disappear.

The Course is unique in its level of psychological sophistication. It is truly a document of the 20th and the 21st centuries. It could not have appeared before Freud, as it was not until Freud that we had a clear ego psychology. Freud understood the ego very well. Freud, however, thought we were stuck with the ego. He did not see any way for us to be free of it. Freud was an atheist. If he had studied eastern philosophy, he might have seen the way out. The Course, like much of eastern philosophy, is saying that we can be free of the ego by recognizing its non-reality. It is also important that Einstein passed by this planet before the Course came out, as it was not until Einstein that we had the theory of relativity. Time, said Einstein, can speed up. It can slow down and the really interesting thing is what happens when it stops. At that point, we can step out of time. The ego and its home, the body, are innate to time. Life is not bound by time or a body.

BOYT: For readers who might be considering ACIM, what are some of the personal benefits they might experience with the Course?

Jon Mundy: At one point, the Course says that the goal of the Course is happiness. At another point, it says that the goal of the Course is peace. At another point, it says that the goal of the Course is peace and happiness. If you are peaceful, you are probably pretty happy. If you are happy, you are probably pretty peaceful. Ultimately, the Course leads us to freedom from all the judgment and all of the external searching, which goes with the ego. Ultimately, only God is and all is well.

Mysticism and A Course in Miracles – Jon Mundy

If you liked this video – do consider making a small donation: http://bit.ly/FR8zRI Your support helps me to keep everything ad-free and to make even better content! Ken *

I speak to Dr. Jon Mundy, a well-known Teacher and Author in the ACIM community! Jon has been the editor of Miracles Magazine, the longest running ACIM magazine / newsletter, since 1985. Jon is an expert on comparative religion and philosophy, and taught university courses in philosophy and religion from 1967 to 2009. He is also the author of several books: including “Missouri Mystic”, “What is Mysticism?”, and the recently published “Living A Course in Miracles”.

We talk about Mysticism and A Course in Miracles:

– What is Mysticism?
– Some of Jon’s mystical experiences
– How ACIM and other spiritual paths seek to connect us to the pure non-dual state

We then move on to

– His personal experiences growing up in a farm in Missouri
– As a spiritual seeker in India, and meeting gurus such as Muktanada and Rajneesh (Osho)
– His personal experiences knowing Marianne Williamson and Helen Schucman years ago!
– Jon’s alter(ed) ego, the stand up philosopher-comedian Dr. Baba Jon Mundane
– His advice for new ACIM students

Jon’s website:
http://miraclesmagazine.org/


According to research, the origins of astrology had its cradle in the third century BC among the Chaldeans. Inside the tomb of the pharaoh Ramses was found a celestial chart showing the astral influences on all the organs of the human body. From there, Chaldean astrology made its way to Greece, aligning itself with philosophy and mathematics along with other sciences of the “holistic” ancient world.

In Rome, under the influence of the Church, astrological predictions eventually were considered superstitious, and astrologers, along with mystics and spiritualists, were to suffer the persecution of the Catholic Church.

The Arabs in northern Africa and the Mediterranean were the caretakers responsible for the continuity of astrological studies and traditions, adding to this knowledge with the development of more precise calculations, aspects, angles, and areas of influence in man’s life.

The Arabs were also pioneers in the study of treatment with herbs and medicinal plants. They were also the creators of the first known hospitals of the ancient world. Nowadays, herbs and flowers are still used in the preparation medicinal tinctures, teas and dyes. When these herbs are harvested on days and hours of specific planetary regencies, they become effective on the improvement or cure of specific diseases.

Our current society mostly cherishes the values of scientific research and tries to diminish the ancient value of these natural ways of healing in favor or allopathic pharma; as if the advancement of biochemistry are the only treatments possible for our physical ills.

We have a mainstream society where homeopathy and herbal sciences are not fully supported. Obviously, we must not forget that the allopathic treatments sometime are necessary, but we should never forget to add the advantage of a complementary and supplementary use of natural resources such as herbs.

The entry of the Sun in the Zodiac Virgo is a great cosmic cycle for the harvesting of herbs, flowers and roots in order to prepare tinctures and remedies. It is indeed perfect time integration with the healing force since Virgo is the sign of the sixth house of the astral map, reigning upon health and lifestyle.

The following lists contain the Astrological Herbal Correspondences for Elements, Planets and signs:

ELEMENTS

FIRE: Angelica, Basil, Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Carrot, Cedar, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Cumin, Frankincense, Ginger, Hyssop, Juniper berry, Mandarin, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Pennyroyal, Petty grain, Rosemary, Rue, Saffron, Sassafras.

WATER: Camphor, Cardamom, Chamomile, Cypress, Geranium, Ginger, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Lemon, Marjoram, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Pennyroyal, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Valerian, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang

AIR: Anise, Bergamot, Caraway, Clary sage, Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fir, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Myrtle, Neroli, Palma Rosa, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Sage, Spearmint, Thyme

EARTH: Balsam, Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Clary Sage, Myrtle, Narcissus, Oak moss, Patchouli, Rose, Sage, Spikenard, Thyme, Vanilla, Vetiver, Wintergreen

PLANETS

SUN: Angelica, Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Carrot, Cedar, Cinnamon, Frankincense, Juniper berry, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Rosemary, and Plants those are beneficial to the heart and circulation.

MOON: Camphor, Chamomile, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Labdanum, Lemon, Mugwort, Myrrh, (also many night blooming, white tropical flowers). Include Plants that may affect the activities of the subconscious. Plants living by the water.

MERCURY: Anise, Caraway, Clary Sage, Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Narcissus, Peppermint, Sage, Spearmint, Storax, Thyme, Wintergreen

VENUS: Balsam de Peru, Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Cypress, Geranium, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrtle, Oak moss, Palma Rosa, Patchouli, Rose, Sandalwood, Thyme, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ylang-ylang; herbs that calm overindulgence in food.

MARS: Basil, Black pepper, Carrot, Coriander, Cumin, Ginger, Pennyroyal, Petty grain, Pine, Rue, Sassafras

JUPITER: Bay Laurel, Bergamot, Cedar, Clove, Hyssop, Melissa, Nutmeg, Saffron, Sage, Sandalwood. Herbs that promote a positive frame of mind and expansion.

SATURN: Clary sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fir, Myrrh, Oak moss, Patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver

URANUS: Chamomile (blue), Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lime, Neroli. Herbs that energize stimulate and promote inspiration.

NEPTUNE: Honeysuckle, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Spikenard. Mystical herbs that are helpful in dream work.

PLUTO: Anise, Basil, Cypress, Pennyroyal, Valerian. Herbs known as beneficial for enhancing sexuality

SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC

ARIES: (Cardinal fire, ruled by Mars, sun exalted) – Bay laurel, Black pepper, Cedar, Frankincense, Ginger, Petty grain, Pine, Rue, Sassafras

TAURUS: (fixed earth, ruled by mars, moon exalted) – Bois de Rose, Cardamom, Geranium, Jasmine, Myrtle, Oak moss, Patchouli, Rose, Thyme, Vanilla.

GEMINI: (Mutable Aair, ruled by Mercury) – Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, spearmint, Storax

CANCER: (cardinal water, ruled by Moon, Jupiter exalted) – Camphor, carrot, chamomile, honeysuckle, jasmine, lemon

LEO: (fixed fire, ruled by sun) – Bay laurel, cinnamon, frankincense, Juniper berry, Mandarin, Neroli, Rosemary, saffron

VIRGO: (mutable earth, ruled by mercury, Mercury exalted) – Caraway, Clary sage, Narcissus, Spikenard, Wintergreen

LIBRA: (cardinal air, ruled by Venus, Saturn exalted) – Cypress, lavender, Marjoram, myrtle, Palma rose, rose, spearmint, thyme

SCORPIO: Fixed water, ruled by mars and Pluto, Uranus exalted) – Anise, Basil, Coriander, Cumin, cypress, ginger, labdanum, Pennyroyal, pine, rue, valerian

SAGITTARIUS:
(mutable fire, ruled by Jupiter) – Angelica, bergamot, cedar, clove, coriander, hyssop, nutmeg, sage, saffron

CAPRICORN: (cardinal earth, ruled by Saturn and Uranus) – Clary sage, Oak moss, patchouli, Spikenard, Vetiver

AQUARIUS: (fixed air, ruled by Saturn and Uranus) – Chamomile (blue), Clay sage, eucalyptus, fennel, fir, lime, Neroli

PISCES: (Mutable water, ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, Venus exalted) – Honeysuckle, Marjoram, Melissa, mugwort, sandalwood, spikenard, ylang-ylang

“At this time of transition, as humanity deepens
its self-destructive nightmare,
the light of the sacred is calling to us and we can still respond.”

A few years ago I came out of a meditation with a sentence that disturbed and surprised me. The words I was given were simple: “Those who follow the light follow the light. Those who follow the darkness stay here.” At that time the focus of my writing and teaching was on oneness: I was exploring how the next step in our evolution will be to awaken to the consciousness of oneness—the consciousness that we are all part of one interconnected spiritual organism. And here I was given a profound and almost paradoxical statement that said otherwise: that there would be a division between those who follow the light and those who follow the darkness. I was left with a strange sense of unease.

Over the years since I have meditated on this saying, trying to understand its message. Watching the outer world, listening within, and to the dreams and visions of others, I have come to believe that we have arrived at such a time of division, of separation between darkness and light. Looking around at a world covered in materialism, wrapped in a profound forgetfulness of the sacred, there is little to indicate a world of light.

Instead the forces of darkness, with their global exploitation and greed, with their unprecedented ecological destruction and desecration, appear to have taken over the world. Each time we have the potential to make a collective decision to help humanity and the environment, whether at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009, or this year’s Rio’s Summit, we have put exploitation before real care for our planet’s well-being. In fact at the Rio Summit the term “sustainability” mutated into “sustained growth.” Looking solely toward material progress, humanity has forgotten its sacred role as guardian of the planet.

And yet there are also signs of a global spiritual awakening. The principle of oneness, of being part of an interconnected living whole, is no longer a fringe idea. There is a longing within many people in different parts of the world to return to the sacred, to live a connection to the divine within themselves and within life. Many are dissatisfied with the values of materialism and the soulless civilization its fosters. Individually and as groups people are aspiring to create a way of life based upon a relationship to what is sacred. Often it seems that those who aspire to live by this awakening light and those who are drawn deeper and deeper into the addictions of materialism are living on different planets.

Some people are waiting, hoping that the prophecies of the Mayan Calendar mean that at the end of 2012 the awaited global transformation will take place. Others see darker signs on the horizon, sensing that we are at a few minutes to midnight in a global ecological or economic collapse, an unprecedented “tipping point” whose effects we cannot predict. We all have our hopes and fears, some shared and some secret. But we cannot deny that primal changes are happening in the inner and outer worlds. Is this a crisis or an opportunity, or both?

My own sense and deep sadness is that we have reached or even passed the “tipping point” and that humanity has made its collective decision. It has decided to pursue its dreams of economic prosperity with disregard for the environment and its own soul. Collectively we have refused to take real responsibility for our actions, for the massive depletion of species, global warming and the pollution that we continue to cause. Humanity has decided to remain in the darkness, forgetful of the sacred within all of life.

We cannot return to the simplicity of an indigenous life style, or to the ways of the hunter-gatherer. But we could have made a transition towards a real sustainability that cares for all of life and its sacred interconnected nature. Instead we have made a collective decision for “sustained growth,” regardless of its consequences. We have placed our own material welfare before the well-being of the whole. Our worship of the false gods of materialism has now become a globally destructive phenomenon.

What this means to the soul of humanity we cannot begin to understand. In its entire history, humanity as a whole has never made such a collective decision—almost all previous cultures lived a deeply rooted connection to the sacred, in whatever form that took; such a decision would have been unimaginable. And what is especially frightening now is our seeming lack of awareness of this choice or its possible consequences.

In our arrogance and ignorance we have decided to forget our sacred role as guardians of the planet. We have chosen not to listen to the cry of life itself, even as we poison its waters and bring its species to extinction. We do not even realize that there is also a spiritual dimension to our unprecedented ecocide that we are so heedlessly committing. Our desecration has created an inner wasteland vaster than the Tar Sands in Northern Alberta. And as a result, a sacred substance that is necessary to nourish the soul of humanity is growing weaker and weaker; soon it will no longer be accessible.

Traditionally this substance was nourished by the sacred ways of humanity, by its prayers, symbols and ceremonies. For example when the Pomo Indian people of Northern California wove baskets, the women would go out and pray over the grasses before they cut them. As they wove their baskets they would put the reeds or grasses through their mouths to moisten them, praying over them. The basket thus wove together the physical and the spiritual parts of life. All aspects of life were approached in this way, the warp and woof of physical and spiritual woven together into the single fabric of life that was never anything than sacred. Indigenous peoples saw their life as a communion with earth and spirit that nourished them and at the same time nourished creation, the two being so interwoven it would not have been possible even to think of nourishing the one without nourishing the other.

But we have lost these sacred ways and forgotten their purpose. And now our Western consumer culture that has no relationship to the sacred dimension of creation has become a global monster. The sacred substance within creation that gives deep meaning to our existence is hardly present anymore: humanity’s soul is starving and we do not even notice. Caught in the darkness we have created, does humanity have any choice but to remain in this soulless world?

And yet this darkness is not all that is present. There is a light that is calling to us. Those who are responding look towards a different way of being—a way in which they are not seduced by materialism and its accompanying forgetfulness of the sacred. In many different ways they aspire to live this light of the divine. But this light can no longer penetrate the darkness of our collective consciousness. It is more and more difficult for the light to exist in a world so devoid of the sacred—there is nothing to sustain it. The pathways of light have begun to separate from the world of darkness. The words that I was told those years ago begin to speak a truth I only now start to understand.

How can we access the light? The world of light is always present, only hidden by the desires of the ego and our instinctual drives. Our base instinctual drives, such as lust or aggression are very tangible: some of our self-centered actions and attitudes are also very visible. Other seductions of the ego, though, are more subtle. For example in our contemporary culture the ego has created an image of spiritual life that subtly serves the ego’s own purposes. The spirituality that is now sold in our market-place as a vehicle for self-improvement and self-empowerment, rather than service, has created a web of deception. Its promises, focusing on our ego’s needs and desires, hide us from the simplicity of our real Self. The true light of the divine cannot be marketed or sold, but like sunlight is free and belongs to all of us. However it carries the price of consciousness—awareness undistorted by the ego. With this awareness comes the real responsibility that is always in service to what is highest.

If we are to be present in the light we need to turn away from the ego and its patterns of self-interest. Then we will find a very different world opening around us. The higher knowledge that belongs to the world of light will gradually become accessible. In this light we will see more clearly the oneness of our multidimensional world, the “unity of being” that the mystic has long known to be the real nature of existence. And we will learn how to live according to the ways of oneness, which are very different to the struggles and demands of duality—the apparent world of separation we have inhabited for centuries. The sacred will once again be present though in a new way—not as something to be sought or longed for, but something naturally within and around us—the divine once again communing directly with us. And this relationship with the sacred will of necessity include creation: an awareness of the light of the divine throughout the whole web of life. Once again we will be able to read nature’s book of revelation and learn how to work with the real magic of creation. This is the future that is being offered to us at this moment in time.

At present these two realities appear to co-exist. People living in the same towns and the same streets are already in very divergent worlds. There are those who deny the dangers of climate change and think that we can safely continue our economic expansion. Believing in the myth of progress they look to technology to save us—blind to any real consequences of our unsustainable way of life. The effects of the ecocide we are perpetuating and the accompanying desecration of the inner world of the soul do not even enter their consciousness. And there are many others who know a very different reality in which inner and outer sustainability, and a reawakening of the sacred, are living principles. How these communities will continue together in the future is uncertain.

What really matters at this moment are the individual choices we make. In our world of free-will it is for each of us to make the decision: to follow the light or the darkness. The darkness is very present around us, and continues to entice us with the ego-centered desires and distractions of soulless materialism. The light will offer us a new way of being, a new awareness of our divine nature. And yet as with all transitions we will have to sacrifice something—our attachment to materialism, our focus on our self to the exclusion of the whole. At the moment there is still a bridge between these two worlds, still a way to journey from the darkness into the light. Soon the inner divide will grow too wide and the time for choice will have passed. But at this time of transition, as humanity deepens its self-destructive nightmare, the light of the sacred is calling to us and we can still respond.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D, is a Sufi teacher and author. His most recent book is Prayer of the Heart in Christian and Sufi Mysticism. Since 2000, the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and an awakening global consciousness of oneness. More recently he has written about the feminine, the Anima Mundi (world soul), and spiritual ecology.

Does grace exist?

How can we know if we’re fooling ourselves about it, one way or the other?

This hopeful and nourishing selection of quotes from Paul Brunton’s most mature writings penetrates layers of superstition and cynicism and takes us to the core of the matter.

Readers learn:

Ways to think about Grace
Ways to invite Grace
Ways to engage the mystery of its arisal
Ways to respond to Grace
How Grace heals helps and guides us
Ways Grace is transmitted
Ways to surrender control to its leading

“Grace fulfills the law of the individual mind’s effort by complementing it with the law of the Universal Mind’s activity inside the individual.”

Hope shines brightly in this selection of gems from Paul Brunton’s writings on Grace. Once we penetrate this deep teaching, Grace, with its assurance of growing goodness and light, becomes a certainty. Based on thorough study, scientific inquiry, intuition, and inner penetration, Paul Brunton establishes extraordinary revelations about the infinite reality and divine intelligence that supports, guides and inspires this life. Grace is a beacon of light that never allows us to go irrevocably astray as we run, walk, or crawl our karmic and evolutionary paths. This small volume presents a taste of Paul Brunton’s profound work on this subject.
Paul Brunton – Relax and Retreat

Quotes taken from Paul Bruntons Notebooks.

Paul Brunton (1898-1981) devoted his life to the practices, understanding, and realization of spiritual truths, first in others, then in himself, and finally in those new to the quest. During his public life he wrote fourteen books and lived on every continent but Antarctica—and no doubt would have visited there, were a saint or sage known to be in residence! He also wrote daily thoughts in little notebooks, interviewed hundreds of teachers, fakirs, “fakers,” and saints around the globe. While he discouraged people from becoming his followers, inevitably many who encountered him became students of his. For those fortunate individuals he offered his counsel and guidance when and where it was appropriate. (For example, when someone asked him to bless his new restaurant, his response was, “I can bless your enterprise, which will help you learn a spiritual lesson from the endeavor, but if you want it to be a success, I suggest you ask the advice of a businessman!”)

As Brunton grew in spiritual stature, he was increasingly inclined towards anonymity, so much so that by the time he reached full illumination (the state know in India as “sahaja”) in the early ’60s he was practically forgotten by the public. As much as he disliked “the cult of personality,” he treasured the free and open circulation of the deepest, most precious teachings the world has to offer.

To this end he committed his life to the task of creating a spiritual path suitable for the fast-paced world of the 21st century—a path that we now have before us in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton. In these remarkable volumes you will find a blend of his own inner insight with ancient traditions and contemporary teachings—a philosophy in the best sense of that word: “love and wisdom” combined, leading us ultimately to the Wisdom of Mind Alone and to the Love of our own higher self, the Overself.

Short clip of Deepak Chopra and Unity minister Wendy Craig-Purcell from the upcoming free video web series, “Jesus and the Awakening to God-Consciousness,” available on unity.fm beginning October 15, 2008.

Who is Jesus Christ?

In The Third Jesus, bestselling author and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra provides an answer to this question that is both a challenge to current systems of belief and a fresh perspective on what Jesus can teach us all, regardless of our religious background. There is not one Jesus, Chopra writes, but three.

First, there is the historical Jesus, the man who lived more than two thousand years ago and whose teachings are the foundation of Christian theology and thought. Next there is Jesus the Son of God, who has come to embody an institutional religion with specific dogma, a priesthood, and devout believers. And finally, there is the third Jesus, the cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the church built in his name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience, to attain what some might call grace, or God-consciousness, or enlightenment.

When we take Jesus literally, we are faced with the impossible. How can we truly “love thy neighbor as thyself”? But when we see the exhortations of Jesus as invitations to join him on a higher spiritual plane, his words suddenly make sense.

Ultimately, Chopra argues, Christianity needs to overcome its tendency to be exclusionary and refocus on being a religion of personal insight and spiritual growth. In this way Jesus can be seen for the universal teacher he truly is–someone whose teachings of compassion, tolerance, and understanding can embrace and be embraced by all of us.
Deepak Chopra Discusses “The Third Jesus”

“The Third Jesus” by Deepak Chopra is a book about the consciousness of Jesus which was in touch with the source of all creation. If you can aspire to be at one with that consciousness, then you too can be in touch with the source of all creation. The Third Jesus takes you on a journey of inner transformation.
Deepak Chopra’s The Third Jesus

Deepak Chopra, author of over 50 books, talks about his latest, The Third Jesus, in which he provides an answer to this question that is both a challenge to current systems of belief and a fresh perspective on what Jesus can teach us all, regardless of our religious background. There is not one Jesus, Chopra writes, but three.


Environmental activist Severn Cullis-Suzuki returned to Rio on 16 June 2012, some two decades after stopping the world with her impassioned plea to governments to do more to preserve the world and its ecosystems for future generations.

Severn is in Rio as part of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and delivered her first address in the Brazilian city since 1992 during the day-long “Green Cross Returns to Rio” event on 16 June 2012.

The Green Cross event recognized the issues and activities that drive the NGO founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev out of the 1992 Earth Summit.

This is an incredible video of a Canadian girl who spoke to the United Nations and left them completely silent and speechless for six minutes. Her name is Severn Cullis-Suzuki, and her speech was given at a U.N. assembly in Brazil when she was twelve years old. She had raised all the money to travel to the delegation, five thousand miles from her home, herself.

Biography

Severn Cullis-Suzuki was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Her mother is writer Tara Elizabeth Cullis. Her father, geneticist and environmental activist David Suzuki,View his Video and Book Review here is a third-generation Japanese Canadian.While attending Lord Tennyson Elementary School in French Immersion, at age 9, she founded the Environmental Children’s Organization (ECO), a group of children dedicated to learning and teaching other youngsters about environmental issues.In 1992, at age 12, Cullis-Suzuki raised money with members of ECO, to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Along with group members Michelle Quigg, Vanessa Suttil, and Morgan Geisler, Cullis-Suzuki presented environmental issues from a youth perspective at the summit, where she was applauded for a speech to the delegates. The video has since become a viral hit, popularly known as “The Girl Who Silenced the World for 6 Minutes”. In 1993, she was honoured in the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global 500 Roll of Honour.[7] In 1993, Doubleday published her book Tell the World , a 32-page book of environmental steps for families.
Cullis-Suzuki graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a B.Sc. in ecology and evolutionary biology.[3] After Yale, Cullis-Suzuki spent two years travelling. Cullis-Suzuki co-hosted Suzuki’s Nature Quest, a children’s television series that aired on the Discovery Channel in 2002.
In early 2002, she helped launch an Internet-based think tank called The Skyfish Project. As a member of Kofi Annan’s Special Advisory Panel, she and members of the Skyfish Project brought their first project, a pledge called the “Recognition of Responsibility”, to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August 2002 The Skyfish Project disbanded in 2004 as Cullis-Suzuki turned her focus back to school and enrolled in a graduate course in the University of Victoria to study ethnobotany under Nancy Turner.

The concept of Present Moment Awareness has become a huge spiritual phenomenon through the massive success of THE POWER OF NOW. Now, in this down-to-earth, practical book, Shannon Duncan brings us a truly accessible, step-by-step guide for living in the present.

A self-made millionaire, Duncan soon realized just how far removed happiness was from wealth. Through self-exploration and study, he began to understand that happiness only comes to us once we are at peace with ourselves. And that the key to finding our personal peace is through becoming truly present. Through easily-absorbed anecdotes and exercises, he shows us a simple process by which we can discover the true causes of our stress and discontent, drop our emotional baggage, calm our self-limiting worries about the future, and start enjoying the peace and happiness waiting for us now.

Shannon Duncan is an internationally published author, professional speaker and Certified Mindful Life Coach.

He began his efforts towards spiritual development and self-discovery at a very young age, and started his full time endeavors to help others in their personal and spiritual growth after retiring as an entrepreneur at the age of 29. He has taken many years of research, study and profound personal experiences with psychology, philosophy and spirituality and forged them into the heart of what has become Present Moment Incorporated – a company that is dedicated to providing sensible, practical and highly effective personal and spiritual growth tools.

Present Moment Awareness
From “Present Moment Awareness: A Simple, Step-by-Step Guide to Living in the Now” by Shannon Duncan
Living in the present moment is the full awareness and appreciation of the life we have, right here and right now. Present moment awareness is being aware of what is happening in ourselves and our world instead of being lost in random fears from the past and uncertainties, hopes, and expectations for the future. In the absence of those fantasies we have the opportunity to enjoy our day-to-day living. To get started, we need to gain a sense of what it feels like to be present. The ideas and exercises in this first section may seem simplistic, but they are crucial to understanding the deeper concepts that come later in the book. Like the layers of an onion, we are peeling away the causes of our discontent, starting with the most easily recognized symptoms.

Right Here, Right Now

When we are living in the present moment, we are using our bodies for the purpose for which they were designed — to feel the raw, uncontaminated reality of life. By learning to be deeply aware of our physical senses, our thoughts, and our emotions, we can greatly increase the clarity of that experience. In making this effort to be present with ourselves, we are fostering the opportunity to grow.
Most of us carry a great deal of fear over what is yet to come, which leads us to react blindly to the inevitable obstacles that appear from time to time in our lives. In being so absorbed in our worries, we miss out on the only real life we have — the one happening right here and right now in the present moment. Because so many of us are not used to simply “being” with ourselves, without some kind of distraction, it is not uncommon to find the barriers of anxiousness or restlessness blocking our way. This is completely normal and should not be allowed to distract or dissuade us from our efforts here. As we shall explore later, these can be some of the greatest inhibitors to the enjoyment of our lives.

Try this

A Glimpse of the Present Moment

When we are present in the moment, we are not thinking about our environment. We are simply experiencing it. The goal is to observe without judgment, analysis, or thought.

Take some time to notice what you are experiencing in this moment. To do this you should pay attention to all of your senses. What is the temperature? How bright is the lighting? Are your hands cold? Feet warm? What do you smell? Do you notice random thoughts floating through your mind? Are you feeling any specific emotions? Are you relaxed or tense? How does it feel to be supported by your chair? How does this book feel in your hands? What sounds can you hear?

For example, if your cat’s litter box is a little rank, don’t consume yourself with thoughts of changing it. Simply experience the smell “as it is,” and allow any thought of changing the litter to float by. Notice how you can be aware of something, such as a stinky litter box, without having to conduct a mental dialog about it. You can be aware of what needs to be done without having to think about it. This excess thinking is mental static, a noise in your mind that distracts you from the reality of the present moment.
Close the book now and take this opportunity to glimpse the present moment. When you feel comfortable with this exercise, please continue.

Welcome back. In doing this exercise, you may have experienced a few moments of being present in the here and now. Usually most of us only become truly present during moments of breathtaking beauty that defy analysis. An amazing sunset or holding a newborn baby can leave us in awed silence as we simply absorb the experience. Our efforts here are to become aware of how often we allow ourselves to become absorbed in mental static instead of appreciating the endless opportunities to really enjoy our lives that present themselves all the time.

During this exercise, you were present if you were aware of yourself and your environment. If you did in fact notice the smell of your cat’s litter box, for example, you simply allowed yourself to be aware of it. You then experienced the unpleasant way it affected your sense of smell. Being present means that when the thought to clean it appeared, you simply acknowledged your awareness of the thought and allowed it to float by. If thoughts such as “When am I going to do it?” or “Why haven’t I done it yet?” entered your mind, you simply let them pass in and out of your awareness.

Pponder this: Using Your Time

This exercise is a simple illustration of your powerful ability to choose and to be at peace with your choices. This exercise is meant to deepen your idea of what it means to be in the moment and to get you thinking in terms of how being present can give you some objective distance from needless worry and negative thoughts.

What was the last task you “beat yourself up” for not doing? How did this thought process make you feel? What if instead of becoming lost in your mental static about it, you had just given yourself three simple choices?
1. Do the task now.
2. Do the task later.
3. Do not do the task.

Could you ever see yourself selecting one of these options and letting it go at that? Can you see how much time and energy you would free up in doing so? How many times a week do you become absorbed in needless mental static about a task?

Excerpted from PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS Copyright © 2003 by New World Library
DailyOM © 2004-06 DailyMedia, Inc. – All Rights Reserved

Life Ahead presents lessons that move far beyond the traditional forms of education taught in most schools and colleges. Drawn from transcripts of talks given to Indian students, the book covers a wide range of universal topics.

In short, accessible chapters, Krishnamurti explores the danger of competition, the value of solitude, the need to understand both the conscious and the unconscious mind, and the critical difference between concentration and attention, and between knowledge and learning. Krishnamurti exposes the roots of fear and eradicates deeply entrenched habits of tradition, limitation, and prejudice. The life he holds forth requires a complete change of thought, even a revolution, one that begins not with theory and ideation,” he writes, but with a radical transformation in the mind itself.” He explains how such transformation occurs only through an education that concentrates on the total development of the human being, an education carefully described in this simple yet powerful book.

Radical Revolution – J. Krishnamurti

We will see how very important it is to bring about, in the human mind, the radical revolution. The crisis, is a crisis of consciousness. A crisis that cannot anymore, accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions. And, considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression, and so on… Man is still as he was. Is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive. And, he’s built a society along these lines.

Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Imagine being able to access your greatest creativity; imagine being able to arm yourself with infinite possibilities. Every major spiritual tradition has sought enlightenment and now its mystery is revealed. Renowned author, teacher and spiritual adviser Deepak Chopra discloses the path to enlightenment with 14 secrets.

Based on Dr. Chopra’s best-selling book, The Third Jesus, View his Video and Book Review here these secrets, taken individually or collectively, have the power to transform your world view, bringing insight and inspiration and helping you understand your unique connection with the universe.

In this intimate discussion, Dr. Chopra offers profoundly sage observations that can help you find your true identity, lose the fear of death, be comfortable with uncertainty, and feel connected to all creation. Instead of merely waking, sleeping and dreaming, you can finally discover your place in the universe as you approach a state of grace.

This special 10th anniversary edition re-examines our place in the natural world in light of the sweeping environmental changes and the recent advances in scientific knowledge.

Since its first publication, Sacred Balance has sold over 100,000 copies. In the meantime, global warming has become a major issue as glaciers and polar ice caps have begun to melt at an alarming rate, populations of polar bears have dwindled, the intensity of hurricanes and tsunamis has drastically increased, coral bleaching is occurring globally, and the earth has experienced its hottest years in over four centuries.

At the same time, scientists have made significant discoveries about the current state of the Great Lakes and other ecosystems of the world; the science behind the mother/baby interaction and the relationship between deprivation of affection in childhood and serious illness in midlife; the workings of the brain, including its ability to create a narrative, anticipate the future, and order the past; and the biological underpinnings of religion, among other findings. In this new and extensively revised and amplified edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on these changes and examines what they mean for our place in the world.

The basic message of this seminal, best-selling work remains the same: We are creatures of the earth, and as such, we are utterly dependent on its gifts of air, water, soil, and the energy of the sun. These elements are not just external factors; we take them into our bodies, where they are incorporated into our very essence. What replenishes the air, water, and soil and captures sunlight to vitalize the biosphere is the diverse web of all beings. The recently completed human genome project has revealed that all species are our biological kin, related to us through our evolutionary history. And it appears that our need for their company is programmed into our genome.

As social animals, we have an absolute need for love; without it, we suffer dire psychological and physical consequences. The strength of that love is reflected in healthy, vibrant families and communities supported by full employment, security, and justice and free of threats of genocide, terror, or war. Finally, we have spiritual needs, which are ultimately rooted in nature, the source of our inspiration and belonging. These are the real requirements of all humanity and should form the basis of any society aspiring to a truly sustainable future.

These truths remain. But the cataclysmic events of the last decade require that we rethink our behaviour and find a new way to live in balance with our surroundings. This book offers just such a new direction for us all.

David Suzuki donates his royalties from sales of The Sacred Balance to the David Suzuki Foundation.

David Suzuki is an acclaimed geneticist and environmentalist, the host of The Nature of Things, and the founder and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is the author of more than forty books, including Good News for a Change, From Naked Ape to Superspecies (both co-authored with Holly Dressel), The Sacred Balance (co-authored with Amanda McConnell), and David Suzuki: The Autobiography. He is the recipient of the Unesco Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environmental Medal, the UNEP’s Global 500 award, and has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. In addition, he holds eighteen honorary degrees and he has been adopted into three First Nations clans. He was selected as the 35th most important green campaigner of all time by the British newspaper, The Guardian. Suzuki lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Amanda McConnell has written more than one hundred documentary films, many of them for The Nature of Things. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature, and she writes and gardens in Toronto, Ontario.

Adrienne Mason is the author of numerous books for adults and children, including The Nature of Spiders, The Green Classroom, Living Things, and Oceans. She is managing editor of the science magazine KNOW: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids and has been nominated four times for a Science in Society book award. She holds a B.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, and she lives in Tofino, British Columbia, with her husband and two daughters.

Biography

David T. Suzuki, PhD, is an internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster who has spent over 40 years educating people about science and environmental issues in the classroom and over the airwaves.

Dr. Suzuki is acclaimed for his ability to explain the complexities of science in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. His face is familiar to millions around the world from the popular science TV show The Nature of Things, which he has hosted since 1979.
David Suzuki: School Years

A third-generation Japanese-Canadian, David Suzuki was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1936. During World War II, six-year-old David and his family were sent to an internment camp in the Slocan Valley in the B.C. Interior—a wartime measure prescribed by the federal government.

After the war, the Suzuki family moved east to Ontario: first to Islington, then to Leamington, and finally to London, where David attended high school. He continued his education by winning a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating with an Honours B.A. in Biology in 1958; which he followed with a PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.

A respected geneticist and a gifted lecturer, Dr. Suzuki was a professor in the University of British Columbia’s zoology department for 30 years (1963–93). For the eight years leading up to his retirement in 2001, he taught as a professor at the university’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, where he is now a professor emeritus.
David Suzuki: Television and Radio

After dabbling in the medium since 1962, David Suzuki’s television broadcasting career began formally in 1969 when he appeared on screens across Canada as the host of Suzuki on Science. The show played only two seasons but led to Dr. Suzuki hosting another Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) series called Science Magazine for five years, from 1974-79.

David Suzuki shifted to CBC radio in 1975 to host Quirks and Quarks, a weekly science show. He hosted for four years.

In 1979, David Suzuki left both Science Magazine and Quirks and Quarks to become host of CBC television’s The Nature of Things. Seen today in over 50 countries around the world, The Nature of Things has helped make David Suzuki a household name.

In addition to hosting The Nature of Things weekly, David Suzuki has produced numerous other television series and specials, including:

A Planet for the Taking (1985), which won an award from the United Nations,
The Sacred Balance (2002), which was later turned into a book,
A PBS series on DNA, The Secret of Life (1993), which was praised internationally,
A five-part series for the Discovery Channel, The Brain: The Universe Within (1994).

For CBC Radio, David Suzuki created two influential documentary series on the environment: It’s a Matter of Survival (1984) and From Naked Ape to Superspecies (1999).
David Suzuki: Author and Books

In addition being a broadcaster, David Suzuki has authored more than 40 books for adults and children. His most recent is the second volume of his life story, David Suzuki: The Autobiography, published by Greystone Books in hardcover (April 2006) and paperback (April 2007) editions.
David Suzuki: Awards and Accolades

Over the years, David Suzuki has received numerous Canadian and international awards for his work. Some notable awards include:

UNESCO prize for science
United Nations Environment Programme medal
Companion of the Order of Canada
19 honorary university doctorates from schools in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

In addition, David Suzuki has received many tributes from Canada’s First Nations people, along with five names (Big Mountain; Man Who Knows Much; My Own; Sacred Mountain; Mountain Man; Eagle Child) and “adoption” by both Haida and Heiltsuk families.

In 2004, CBC television viewers nominated him as one of ten “Greatest Canadians” of all time.
David Suzuki Foundation

David Suzuki is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He has devoted himself wholeheartedly to educating the public about the importance of the natural world and the need to protect it.

In 1990, David and his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to find ways for people to live sustainably in balance with the natural world and which uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. David Suzuki currently serves as chair of the Foundation.

David Suzuki lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his little free time, David says he enjoys fishing, camping, and exploring the world of insects and tidal pools.
David Suzuki Interviewed at Occupy Montreal

Why? Simply Because and Jobbook scores an impromptu interview with known social activist David Suzuki on the first day of the Occupy Montreal movement. This protest was a satellite protest to Occupy Wall Street. Follow the movement at #occupywallstreet –

Thanks to Antoine de Brabant from Jobbook for the great help on the interview!

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