Dialogues with Emerging Spiritual Teachers by John W. Parker

A popular book since its publication at the end of 2000, John Parker’s fascinating interviews cover a wide variety of teachers, from Advaita to Native American, from Hindu to Christian, none of whom, as he says in the introduction, have yet transcended the ’emerging’ phase!

The fourteen teachers include Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, John Sherman, Mira, … and Pamela.

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Being yourself: The stillness of pure consciousness

The following is a partial excerpt of an interview with Eckhart Tolle from a book called Dialogues With Emerging Spiritual Teachers by John W. Parker.

I also started reading on Buddhism and immediately understood the essence of Buddhism. I saw the simplicity of the original teaching of the Buddha compared to the complexity of subsequent additions, philosophy, all the baggage that over the centuries accumulated around Buddhism, and saw the essence of the original teaching. I have a great love for the teaching of the Buddha, a teaching of such power and sublime simplicity. I even spent time in Buddhist monasteries. During my time in England there were already several Buddhist monasteries.

I met and listened to some teachers that helped me understand my own state. In the beginning there was a Buddhist monk, Achan Sumedo, abbot of two or three monasteries in England. He’s a Western-born Buddhist. — Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle on Being Yourself

Come face to face with Eckhart Tolle, for a transformational meeting with this respected teacher and influential author. In clear language, Eckhart explains the process of entering the “miraculous” state of presence that is always available to us. We are lost, he says, in the maze of our own compulsive thoughts.

More excerpst of an interview with Eckhart Tolle from a book called Dialogues With Emerging Spiritual Teachers by John W. Parker. click to preview here

The Presence Process: A Journey into Present Moment Awareness by Michael Brown

“Personal peace is not given to us by others – it arises through our response to ourselves.”

The Presence Process invites us to experience present moment awareness as a way of life, a daily approach to living on this planet. The Presence Process makes it possible for anyone to experience Presence and present moment awareness without having to take the long, challenging path most of us usually take

Why is it so difficult to simply be present?

The reason is that our deeply suppressed emotional imprints from childhood—which Eckhart Tolle calls “the pain-body”— distract us from an awareness of the present moment. Until this “emotional charge” from our past is integrated, all our attempts to quiet our thoughts and access the peace, joy, and love that are bedrock to our beingness are of only limited success. We all long to be free of our discomfort and experience inner peace. However, the attempt to get rid of our discomfort is misguided. We’re not broken and don’t need to be “healed.” Rather, our discomfort needs to be integrated.

Because Presence is universal, it has the miraculous ability to manifest in our daily experience the exact circumstances required for us to integrate the dysfunction that keeps us from experiencing the radiance of present moment awareness. The Presence Process is a journey that guides us into taking responsibility for our emotional integration. It’s a way to consciously “grow up.”

We are each responsible for determining the quality of our personal experience. The Presence Process teaches us how to exercise authentic personal responsibility in a practical manner. It reveals the mechanics that shape the way we feel about our life. It offers a simple, practical approach to accomplishing and maintaining personal peace in the midst of globally accelerating change, discomfort, conflict, and chaos.

Michael Brown
Until 1989 South African-born Michael Brown was living what he called ‘a blissfully unconscious life’ as a music journalist. During this period of his life he developed an acutely painful neurological condition called Horton’s Syndrome. After four years of suffering through conventional medical approaches, he embarked on a quest to integrate his experience through personal inquiry.

As Michael’s quest for resolution unfolded, he began entering an state of being he calls ‘present moment awareness’ – a paradigm of heightened consciousness running parallel to our conventional and mundane world experience. He discovered that his repeated entry into this enlivened state of being, which he accomplished through ceremonial practice, plant medicines, and consciously connected breathing, resulted in a decrease of his own painful condition to the point that it subsided completely.
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Michael Brown – Introduction to the Presence Process

In this interview excerpt Michael Brown’s voice time travels from 2008 to talk about some of the most pressing topics of our present-day. Michael lays out an integrative worldview that puts emotional processing of the microcosm into context with the large scale problems of our society. From this perspective it becomes clear what role emotional integration plays in the global Shift.

Living as a River ~ Bodhipaksa

To face reality is to embrace change; to resist change is to suffer. This is the liberating insight that unfolds with Living as a River. A masterful investigation of the nature of self, this eloquent blend of current science and time-honored spiritual insight is meant to free us from the fear of impermanence in a world defined by change.

The primary vehicle for this journey is Buddhism’s traditional Six Element Practice, a deconstructive process of deep reflection that helps us let go of the belief in a separate, static self—the root of unhappiness. Bodhipaksa takes readers through a systematic yet poetic analysis of the self that supports the realization of:

>A sense of spaciousness and expansiveness that transcends the limitations of the physical body
>Profound gratitude, awe, and a feeling of belonging as we witness the extent of our connectedness with the universe
>Freedom from the psychological burden caused by clinging to a false identity
>The relaxed experience of “consciousness, pure and bright”

Engrossing and incisive, Living as a River is at once an empowering guide and a meditative practice we can turn to again and again to overcome our fear of change and align joyfully with the natural unfolding of creation.
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Bodhipaksa was born Graeme Stephen in Scotland, and currently lives and teaches in New Hampshire. He is a Buddhist teacher and author who has been practicing within the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order since 1982, and has been a member of the Western Buddhist Order since 1993. He runs the online meditation center WildMind.org, whose mission is to increase awareness of the positive effects of meditation.

Bodhipaksa on “Living as a River”

“Living as a River” is a book about embracing change.

“To face reality is to embrace change; to resist change is to suffer. This is the liberating insight that unfolds with Living as a River. A masterful investigation of the nature of self, this eloquent blend of current science and time-honored spiritual insight is meant to free us from the fear of impermanence in a world defined by change.”

The Successful Retirement Guide: Hundreds of Suggestions on How to Stay Intellectually, Socially and Physically Engaged for the Best Years of Your Life ~ R. Kevin Price

Using your mind and body, and interacting with others are keys to a happy and healthy retirement life. Yes, good genes and money help, too; but you can t pick your ancestors, and your financial situation is whatever you have made it. Successful retirees strive to live each day to the fullest, exercise their minds and bodies, and challenge themselves to continue to learn and grow personally.

The Successful Retirement Guide will assist retirees in identifying activities that will help them remain intellectually, socially and physically engaged with life whatever their financial resources. Readers will discover:

* The importance of being intellectually, socially and physically engaged during your retirement years

* Hundreds of ways to keep your mind exercised and challenged

* How to build a supportive social network while participating in fun and rewarding programs

* Numerous ways to exercise your body that are right for you without the need to join a gym or health club

* How to identify activities that will enable you to live each day to the fullest

* Prescreened books, websites and other sources of information for activities you can pursue in greater depth

* Checklists to help you select the activities that are right for you

Includes 5 Appendixes: Life Expectancy Calculators; Senior Olympics; Collectibles; Veterans Organizations; and Volunteer Considerations and Opportunities.
Successful retirement.

What makes a retirement successful . . . or not?

Financial resources? Health? Friendships? Family? A long life? Time to relax? Time to spend doing things you love? Time to spend trying new things you never had before?

Certainly all of the above factors, as well as others, have a bearing on the quality of retirement. The premise of this book is that the single most important factor in a successful retirement is the extent to which you remain intellectually, socially and physically engaged with life. This introduction explains why this is the case; and the remainder of the book gives you the opportunity to explore ways to make your retirement a successful one.

Average life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last century. For people age 65, it now averages an additional 17 years for men and 20 years for women. If you want to check out how long you might live there are several interactive online tools (see Appendix A) you can use. It can be an eye-opening experience. The author, for instance, (a 61-year-old male in reasonable health), is projected to live until 92. That means I have many years during which I may not be in the traditional workforce. Assuming your life expectancy is not dissimilar to mine, what are you and I going to do with all this time?

To maintain mental/cognitive well being we need to exercise our brains in new and challenging ways. Ballroom dancing, solving puzzles, learning a foreign language are all excellent activities. And it is important to note that research proves that you can continue to learn and develop at any age and stage of life. Don t believe that ancient adage: You can t teach an old dog new tricks, because you can. It may take a little longer, the teaching techniques might need to be modified, but the boom in life-long learning programs and the continuing appeal of Elderhostel all demonstrate the appetite for new and challenging learning opportunities for the mature adult.

A plethora of research demonstrates that to maintain physical well being we need to exercise and live a healthy life. (Have you checked your life expectancy yet?) You can also learn about the physical aging process what is normal and what isn t. It s surprising how little most of us know about what to expect as we age and what we can do to offset age-related declines…

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Kevin Price grew up in Stamford, CT and graduated from St Basil’s Preparatory School, Manhattan College and the University Of Connecticut School Of Law.

He worked more than 30 years in the financial services industry holding a variety of positions in group insurance, human resources, claim services and corporate administration. His final position was Senior Vice
President and Corporate Secretary at HSB Group from which he retired in 2002 at age 55 following the acquisition of HSB by another company.

He enjoys being physically and intellectually active, and in particular, educational travel, sailing, yoga, guitar, and studying architecture, art, religion, history, music theory, geology, meteorology and Italian. In retirement he set out to discover what it means to be successfully retired. The result is his book: The Successful Retirement Guide.

Kevin and his wife Barbara have two grown (and on their own) sons, two grandchildren, and, with their golden retriever Rufus, live in West Hartford, CT and Falmouth, MA.

Dimensions of Time: Archetypes and Timelines I ~ Humanity Healing Network

The Perception of Time
Through our limited eyes of duality, we can only perceive creation in developing itself through a linear, unidirectional flow: past, present and future; the divine mind reveals itself and then it conceals itself again.

No doubt that the less understood element of our reality is the concept of time. Being an intrinsic part of our living construct, time seems to be the most intangible and fleeting component of our lives. The dualistic matrix induces us to perceive reality through a framework which encompasses three dimensions of space and only one dimension of time. We can therefore only perceive, through our limited gauge of perception, a linear flux of time.

Nevertheless, through a metaphysical standpoint, immeasurable and infinite are the ways that the Universe organizes itself in order to continue to offer unlimited possibilities of perpetual unfolding and evolution. Through the many transpersonal and individualized understandings on the path of self–realization, one can recognize a quite diverse spectrum of experiences and finally realize the multidimensionality of and multi-directionality of time.

The ancients understood empirically the different aspects of Time and populated their imaginary with different archetypes and myths that help them understand the meandrous transitory aspects of time, creating an organized map for their own understanding.

The temporal structure of modern civilization usually employs a single word to mean “time”.

The Ancient Archetypes of Time
The God Chronos

Chronos was a God of pre-Hellenic mythology to whom was ascribed functions related to agriculture, but with a negative and sinister character. Acknowledged to be the first classic guardian of time; in Rome, he was known as Saturn. In Greek mythology, he was the youngest of six major Titans, being the son of Uranus (Heavenly sky) and Gaea, or Gaia, (the earth) and the Commander of the Titans. Annoyed with the fact that every time she had a son, the God Uranus returned him/her to her womb, Gaia conspired with one of her sons, Chronos against her husband.

Thus encouraged by his mother and helped by the brothers, the Titans, Chronos waited for his father to fall asleep and castrated him. Through this powerful act, he separated heaven from earth.

From the blood of Uranus that fell on Gaia, the Giants were born, then the Furies and the Meliae or Meliai. The Testicles of Uranus thrown overboard, formed a sperm-foam from whence sprang Aphrodite-Urania, the goddess of love.

Chronos proceeded to take the place of his father and married his sister, Rhea, becoming the first king of the Gods. Since then, the world was ruled by the bloodline of the Titans which, according to Hesiod, was the second divine generation of Gods.

He reigned during a period of prosperity known as the Golden Age of Earth. Nonetheless, his reign was threatened by a prophecy that said he would also be overthrown by one of his own sons.

Fearing the prophecy, Chronos also devoured all the children birthed by his wife Rhea; until one day Rhea, resentful of her husband’s ways, managed to save Zeus, her sixth child, hiding him in a cave on the island of Crete. She gave her husband a stone wrapped in a cloth to eat instead, which he devoured without realizing the difference.

When Zeus grew up, he took his place in the pantheon of the Gods after he, in turn, got rid of the Cyclops, his uncles, and in association with the Oceanidae Metis, goddess of wisdom, Styx and her children and Prometheus, son of the Titan Iapetus, the latter being also a child of Gaia and Uranus.

With the help of Métis magic potion, Zeus made Chronos vomit all the other brothers and sisters: Demeter, Hera, Hades, Hestia and Poseidon and the Dactyls[1] , and expelled him from Olympus, banishing him with their allies, the Titans to Tartarus, a place of torment. As the father Chronos symbolized the regular dualistic time, by defeating him, Zeus became himself immortal and established the kingdom of the immortal Gods. Chronos reign over the linear time of our immediate reality and helps us organize our daily activities and calendars.

The God Kairos

In Greek mythology, Kairos (“the right time” or “appropriate” time) is the son of Chronos, and he is also the god of time and god of the seasons. The Greeks called Kairos the God of the existential time, or the internal time, with its transitory flow regulated by the emotional dimension of our beings. Kairos expresses the need to ordinate and organize past, present and future within our minds and souls. Many times we feel that an event that took place in the past is still relevant and influential in our present lives. These events exist in the construct of interior dimension of Kairos, not Chronos.

In Greek and Roman philosophies, it translates by the experience of the right moment, the perfect timing. The Pythagoreans called it Opportunity. Kairos is the time potential, eternal time, while Chronos is the duration of a movement, a cycle of life and creation, the fleeting moment.

Usually he was considered a minor child of Zeus and Tyche, but inside of the genealogy of the gods, Kairos seems to be associated with all of them as a manifestation of either: Kairos, and son of Zeus, Zeus may be the same; Kairos can be Chronos (Time) but also Aevum (Eternity); Kairos is Athena (Intelligence) and Eros (Love), even Dionysus can be Kairos.

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: Kairos and Chronos. While the former refers to chronological time, or sequential, time that is measured, the latter is an indeterminate moment in time in which something special happens, the experience of perfect or right timing. It is also used in theology to describe the qualitative form of time, “God’s time” while Chronos is quantitative, the “human time.”

In Christian theology, we can say that chromos, the “human time”, is measured in years, days, hours and its divisions. While the term kairos, which describes “God’s time”, cannot be measured, because “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.”

In monotheism, Kairos and Aevum become attributes of the one God, gathering ideas precedent of classical Greek philosophy.

The God Janus

Janus, the ambivalent Indo-European deity with two faces, one on each side of the head, was one of the earliest gods of Rome. He is a god that sort of incarnates a cosmological principal of time and of memory. Being considered a solar god, he was the patron of the daylight, as a guardian of the celestial doors of heaven. It was said through tradition that he was the creator of the civil laws, of spiritual ceremonies (especially of the beginning of them) and the cunning of coins-money. Originally, he was known as the god of gods and benevolent creator, he became the god of change and transitions such as the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, and of one universe to another and young people’s growth to adulthood; along with all humans rites of passage.

He was god of the gateways and the presiding deity of the beginning of anything and everything. The function of ‘god of beginnings[2]‘ has been clearly expressed in numerous ancient sources, among them most notably perhaps Cicero, Ovid and Varro. As a god of motion he looks after passages, causes actions to start and presides over all beginnings, and since movement and change are bivalent, he has a double nature, symbolized in his two headed image.

The opening month of the year (January, from janua, “gate”) was sacred to him, as was the first day of each month. He presided over the start and the vestals took care of the completion of any enterprise. In general, Janus is at the origin of time as the guardian of the gates of Heaven. Tradition says that Jupiter himself moves forth and back because of Janus’s working. He ruled the birth of gods, the cosmos, mankind and its undertakings. As warden of gates, which he opened and closed, he was depicted with a doorkeeper’s keys and staff. His two faces meant that he watched entrances as well as exits, and saw into the internal as well as the external world, left and right, above and below, before and after, for and against. His shrines were archways, such as gateways or arcades at crossing places.

[1] The Curetes or Dactyls were the five guardians of Zeus as a newborn in the cave Dictate and quietly took care of clashing their weapons and dancing to Cronus, so he would not hear the cries of the child he would want to devour.

[2] In the myth of Janus, it is said he was the first God to be mentioned in highly religious and spiritual ceremonies, and in this aspect is much like the Indian God Ganesha.

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