Archive for August, 2013


Two Visionary Teachers Invite Us to Explore the Path to Spiritual Awakening
Spiritual realization expresses itself differently through different teachers. With Realization Unfolds, two of our generation’s most pioneering and influential spiritual teachers present a six-session on-demand online course that explores their respective perspectives on spiritual awakening and what it means to live an awakened life.

The first three sessions of the course are drawn from our live recording with A.H. Almaas and Adyashanti in San Rafael, California, on October 23, 2010. The next three sessions were recorded live in late March and early April 2011.

As you watch the video of the dialogue, we invite you to reflect deeply on what is being discussed and its relevance in your own life. After each video presentation, you will be offered a series of questions and contemplations. If you wish, you may write out responses to these in the online journal provided.

For the duration of Realization Unfolds, Adyashanti will be referred to “Adya” and A.H. Almaas will be referred to as “Hameed,” the names most commonly used by their friends and students.

Adyashanti and A. H. Almaas: Realization Unfolds

Highlights

Is psychological self-knowledge necessary for spiritual realization?
What about human uniqueness and individual person-hood after awakening?
What is the role of the spiritual teacher and transmission in the awakening process?

The Diamond Approach — a way to investigate reality and work on oneself that leads to maturity and liberation.

Essence: “Almaas demystifies enlightenment, helping us to see it, not as some mysterious event, but rather as a down-to-earth, understandable process with definite stages and sign posts–a process in which the personality gradually releases its grip on our being, and allows essence to emerge and transform the personality itself.

“Essence is a revolutionary book in its synthesis of Western and Eastern approaches to psychological and spiritual development.” Yoga Journal

Contents:

Presence and Essence
Essence
The Loss of Essence
The Retrieval of Essence
The Development of Essence

The Elixir of Enlightenment:

“An excellent introduction to the process of true Spiritual training.”

A.H. Almaas answers the question, “Why do most people on spiritual paths fail to attain what they seek?” by exploring the active relationship between personality and Essence as it inspires and impedes the search. In the light of his own contemporary Diamond Approach, he examines the teachings of Krishnamurti, Rajneesh, and Buddhism, providing invaluable insight for students and teachers on any path.
Contents:

The Situation
The Problem
The Solution

A. H. Almaas is the pen name of Hameed Ali, the Kuwaiti-born originator of the Diamond Approach, who has been guiding individuals and groups at the Ridhwan School in Colorado, California, and Europe since 1976. He is the author of Spacecrusier Inquiry, The Pearl Beyond Price, Facets of Unity, and other books.

Click here to take a look inside.

The Illusive Self – Hameed Ali (A H Almaas)

This is a clip from Hameed Ali (A H Almaas) talk at Science and Nonduality Conference 2012 in San Rafael, CA. For the complete talk please visit: http://fora.tv/conference/science_and…

Self can refer to our spiritual true nature as when we speak of true self, or mostly it refers to the ego self that functions as the primary impediment to spiritual realization. I will discuss how enlightenment can be seen as self realization or selfless realization. However, I will focus on the obstacle of the self, its physical/psychological/spiritual nature, the illusiveness of this nature, and the question of whether it is our creation or a natural expression of reality. What does freedom from self means?


A real eye opening lecture on consciousness and its wonder, quite fascinating..!!!


Published on Aug 12, 2013

http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/

This talk was recorded at SAND 13, Doorn, The Netherlands.

SHANTIMAYI
For the past three decades, ShantiMayi has cast seeds of actualization 
into thousands of receptive, hearts and minds throughout the world. 
 Her spirituality ripened in the light of a sublime affinity with her 
Spiritual Master, Shri Hansraj. 
Though her Master was Hindu and India was the ground of her 
’rite of passage’, ShantiMayi is not held within any particular tradition. 
 She eclectically draws upon the quintessence of many traditions and though this is so, 
she speaks from her own direct experience, relentlessly pointing us back to ourselves. 
She says of herself, ” I am but a reminder, perhaps … a poetic mirror”.

 http://shantimayi.com/

At the heart of Buddhist teachings is a crucial ambiguity that has become increasingly problematic as Buddhism has globalized. Today it’s clear that this ambivalence needs to be resolved if the Buddhist tradition is to help us address most effectively the challenges that now confront us.

In early Buddhism the “end of suffering” is nirvana, literally “blown out” or “cooled off.” Yet it’s not clear what that metaphor means, because the Buddha described nirvana mostly with negatives (the end of craving, ignorance, etc.) and other metaphors (the Shelter, Harbor, Refuge, etc.). His reticence leaves the important question whether nirvana refers to something that transcends this world — some other dimension or reality — or whether it describes an experience that is immanent in this world — a state of being that could perhaps be understood more psychologically, as the end of greed, ill will and delusion in our lives right here and now.

Theravada Buddhism, which bases itself on what it believes to be the original teachings of the Buddha, understands nirvana as an Unconditioned realm that transcends samsara, this world of suffering, craving and ignorance. The ultimate goal is to escape the unsatisfactory world we now live in, by avoiding rebirth into samsara.

Whether or not the duality between this world and some otherworldly goal accurately reflects the original views of the historical Buddha, it is similar to what is found in most of the other spiritual traditions that developed around the same time, during the Axial Age (roughly 800-200 B.C.E.) that gave rise to Vedanta, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Judaism, as well as Pre-Socratic Greek philosophy and Platonism.

The Axial worldview was quite different from that of older empires such as Mesopotamia and Egypt, which believed that the gods related to humanity mainly through a king or emperor at the top of the social pyramid. The authority of such rulers was as much sacred as secular, because they were the only ones directly in touch with the divine realms. The Axial revolution brought about a new relationship between the transcendent and each individual. In fact, this relationship created the individual. Instead of connecting to the divine through a priest-king, now everyone has his or her own personal relationship with God, Brahman, or the Tao. In Buddhist terms, each of us has the possibility of awakening and attaining nirvana. This also implied a circle of empathy and compassion that incorporated everyone else who has a relationship with the sacred.

The most revolutionary aspect of this new relationship was a sacred demand that we transform ourselves. It was no longer enough to fulfill one’s social function by supporting the ruler’s sacrosanct role: now the transcendent expected each individual to take responsibility for his or her own life. In the Abrahamic traditions this was mainly an ethical requirement that we live according to God’s commandments. To risk a further generalization, the emphasis in India was more on liberation from this world of maya, usually translated as illusion. To awaken is to realize the really Real, which is something other than its appearances.

“Give me a place to stand and I shall move the Earth,” Archimedes said. Culturally, that leverage has been provided by (our belief in) transcendence, which offered the reflective distance — the alternative perspective — necessary to evaluate and try to improve oneself. To paraphrase something Renan wrote, the transcendent is the way that the ideal has made its appearance in human history. The world we live in today — including our concern for democracy, human rights and social justice — became possible because of that “other world.”

Nevertheless, such cosmological dualism has also been problematic. It became a split within us, between the “higher” part (the soul, rationality) that yearns for escape from this vale of sorrow and the “lower” part that is of the earth (physical bodies and emotions). As the Buddha emphasized, this world is a place of suffering and death. Much of the attraction of the Axial religions, including Buddhism, is that they seem to offer an escape from mortality. Dread of death also explains our degradation of the material world, nature, animals, our bodies, sex and women (who remind us that we are conceived and born like other mammals). We don’t want to perish: We want to be immortal souls that can qualify for heaven! Or no-selves that might attain nirvana. All the Axial spiritual traditions were or became patriarchal: the hierarchy between higher and lower worlds became reproduced in the hierarchy of men over women.

The problem with those approaches today, of course, is that science has not discovered anything that supports such cosmological dualisms, which may have outlived their role.

Largely in reaction, a this-worldly alternative has become widespread in contemporary Buddhism: understanding the path as a program of psychological development to help us deal with personal problems, especially one’s “monkey mind” and afflictive emotions. The aim is to gain insight into how our minds work, in order to make our lives less stressful.

Although this is a beneficial development in many ways, what we might call the “psychologization” of Buddhism tends to de-emphasize its ethical precepts, community life and awakening itself, all of which are central aspects of Buddhism in its Asian context. This is especially true of the mindfulness movement, which extracts one technique from a tradition that has so much more to offer, including a deeper transformative insight into one’s true nature.

Without denigrating such practices, we need to ask: Do psychological and mindfulness approaches help to develop an awakened society that pursues social and ecological justice? How do they address the challenge of growth-oriented corporations that are damaging the sustainability of life on Earth? Is Western Buddhism being commodified into a self-help and stress-reduction program that does not raise questions about consumerism and our dysfunctional economic system, but helps us adapt to them?

Beyond Transcendence and Immanence

If transcendence encourages dis-identifying from our lives here, because focused on escaping this world, psychological appropriations of Buddhism (including the mindfulness movement) tend to accept this world as it is — to presuppose the prevalent, Western-derived worldview about who we are, what the world really is, and our role within it.

Do both miss the point? Buddhist awakening is a profoundly transformative realization that this world as we usually experience it, including the way that I usually experience myself, is neither real nor unreal, but a psychological/social/linguistic construction that can be deconstructed and reconstructed, which is what the spiritual path is about.

The most problematical aspect of this construct is the sense of myself as a being separate from the rest of the world. Because it has no substantiality or reality of its own, the sense of an “I” that feels separate from others is inherently insecure and anxious.

Awakening, from this perspective, is not an escape from this suffering world, nor a grudging acceptance of its existential and social realities, but letting-go of oneself (Dogen calls it “forgetting yourself”) and “falling into” the world, to realize one’s nonduality with it. Meditation enables this process, because we let-go of the mostly habitual ways of thinking, feeling, etc., that normally work together to sustain one’s sense of self.

As Nisargadatta put it:

When I look inside and see that I am nothing, that’s wisdom. When I look outside and see that I am everything, that’s love. Between these two my life turns.

If there is no inside (my mind), the outside (external world) is not outside! Wisdom and compassion: the two wings of the dharma.

This way of understanding enlightenment has important implications. If awakening involves transcending this suffering world, we can ignore its problems. If the Buddhist path is psychological therapy, we can focus on our own problems. But both of those approaches reinforce the illusion — the basic problem — that I am separate from others, and therefore can be indifferent to what they are experiencing.

Then the bodhisattva path is simply a more developed stage of personal practice. One learns to live in a way that embodies what has been realized. There is no individual salvation from the ecological and social crises that confront us today. They are just as much spiritual crises, because they challenge us to wake up and realize that our own well-being cannot be separated from the well-being of others, or from the health of the whole Earth.

David Loy advises the Ecobuddhism project.

David R. Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. His essays and books have been translated into many languages. He lectures & leads workshops nationally and internationally on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity, social and ecological issues.

Publication Date: Jun 14 2014

A verse-by-verse examination of the guide to self-transformation presented in the Bhagavad Gita

• Reveals the scientific approach to personal development and spiritual enlightenment laid out in Krishna’s advice to Arjuna

• Shows how the Gita prepares you to work with a guru, advocating authenticity and skepticism rather than blind devotion and obedience

• Explores Krishna’s advice on which societal limitations to reject to overcome your fears and reconnect with the suppressed parts of your inner being

Drawing on his more than 40 years of in-depth study of the Bhagavad Gita under the tutelage of his guru, Nitya Chaitanya Yati, author Scott Teitsworth explores the scientific approach to self-transformation and spiritual enlightenment encoded within Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. Providing a verse-by-verse examination of the first two chapters, he reveals the Gita’s lessons to prepare the seeker to meet and successfully work with a guru–whether an outside teacher or the intuitive knowledge that arises from overcoming the psyche’s limitations.

The author shows that the Gita advocates not blind devotion to a guru or god but rather personal development, victory over your fears, and liberation of the psyche. He demonstrates how Krishna’s advice provides tools to guide us out of our fear-based experiences to reconnect with the suppressed parts of our inner being. He explains how Arjuna’s doubts and confusions represent the plight of every person–we are born free but gradually become enslaved by the demands of our society, continuously dependent on outside authority for answers and disconnected from our true inner nature. He reveals how Krishna’s advice offers guidance for dealing with life’s conflicts, which societal limitations to reject, and how to see through the polarizing notion of good versus evil to form a balanced state of mind superior to both.

Restoring the fearless vision of the ancient rishis, who, like today’s scientists, prized skepticism as an important technique for accessing truth, Teitsworth reveals the Gita as a guide to an authentic guru-disciple relationship as well as to constructing a life of significance, freedom, and true sovereign adulthood.

Scott Teitsworth is a lifelong student of Indian philosophy and modern science under the guidance of Nitya Chaitanya Yati, himself a disciple of Nataraja Guru. He hosts the Portland branch of the Narayana Gurukula along with his wife, where they have taught classes on the Bhagavad Gita and Indian philosophy since the 1970s. The author of Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

View here on Dr. Dean Radin’s latest book “Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities”

With its beautifully rich prose, Robert Sardello’s newest book invites us to experience silence as a companion presence, a creative heart-felt experience that renews, restores, and deepens the body’s response to the internal and external world.

Drawing on images and ideas from the Trials of St. Anthony, Anthroposophy, Depth Psychology, and Phenomenology, the book delves deeply into the subtleties of silence, exploring the phenomenon as a source of wholeness and revitalization.Sharing his own insights from years of experience in spiritual psychology, Sardello takes us on an inner journey beyond the chaotic noise of the ego to a place of inner communion and self-healing. Silence: The Mystery of Wholeness opens our eyes to the importance of cultivating the nurturing aspects of silence in our personal relationships and enables us to awaken the inner currents of spirituality that ultimately lead to a path of universal compassion, service, and healing.

Robert Sardello, PhD, is the author of several books on the power of the soul. Formerly the head of the psychology department and the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas, Sardello has had a long and distinguished academic career.The co-founder of the School of Spiritual Psychology in North Carolina as well as the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Sardello has spent thirty-five years developing spiritual psychology based on a synthesis of phenomenology, depth psychology, and the Spiritual Science of Rudolf Steiner. He is now an independent teacher and scholar who guest lectures at many institutions in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., as well in the Czech Republic, the Philippines, and Australia.

Click here to browse inside.

The spiral is the natural form of growth, and has become, in every culture and in every age, man’s symbol of the progress of the soul towards eternal life.

As the inward-winding labyrinth, it constitutes the hero’s journey to the still center where the secret of life is found. As the spherical vortex, spiraling through its own center, it combines the inward and outward directions of movement.

In this original and engrossing book, Jill Purce traces the significance of one man’s central symbols from the double spirals of Stone Age art and the interlocking spirals of the Chinese Yin Yang symbol to the whorls of Celtic crosses, Maori tattoos and the Islamic arabesque. Many of the superb images here were intended as objects of contemplation; for the spiral is a cosmic symbol.

Art and Imagination series: These large-format, gloriously-illustrated paperbacks cover Eastern and Western religion and philosophy, including myth and magic, alchemy and astrology. The distinguished authors bring a wealth of knowledge, visionary thinking and accessible writing to each intriguing subject. 174 Illustrations, 32 in color

A Brief Description of Jill :

JILL PURCE pioneered the international sound healing movement through her rediscovery of ancient vocal techniques, the power of group chant, and the spiritual potential of the voice as a magical instrument for healing and meditation, and introduced Overtone Chanting and other Healing Voice Workshops into Europe, North America and Japan.

More Ways Than One – The Mystic Spiral (BBC) – Jill Purce

Published on Dec 16, 2012

A BBC documentary about the early pioneering work of Jill Purce on the spiral, showing her interdisciplinary explorations into nature, consciousness, science, art and religion. German composer Karlheniz Stockhausen, physicist Fritjof Capra and biologist Maurice Wilkins, who with Watson and Crick, received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of DNA, were all influenced by her work, and appear in the film to discuss her ideas.

Pioneer of voice, family and ancestral healing, a musician and artist, Jill is a former fellow of Kings College, London, Biophysics Department, General Editor of the Thames and Hudson “Art and Imagination” series, and author of “The Mystic Spiral, Journey of the Soul”. For more information on Jill and her “Healing Voice” and “Healing the Family and Ancestors” workshops, visit http://www.healingvoice.com

Sound and Healing – Jill Purce

Published on Dec 16, 2012

Jill Purce discusses the vibratory universe, sound as a bridge between the worlds, how voice is used as a spiritual practice and its connection with the nature of mind itself; voice as a sonorous yoga of presence; the nature of mantra and resonant fields; her groundbreaking work with Alzheimer’s patients; a discussion and demonstration of overtone chanting, its importance and her pioneering role in bringing it to the west.

Jill Purce Overtone Chanting St.Paul’s Cathedral

Jill Purce and friends invited to overtone chant in St.Paul’s Cathedral London

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar elaborating on the nature of enlightenment.

What happens when a young Florida champion athlete and his high school sweetheart resolve to do whatever it takes to unravel the mysteries of human spiritual transformation? John Wilder and Devi Duran go on a revolutionary journey of change through heart, mind, body, breath and sexuality. Join them as they uncover The Secrets of Wilder – sacred techniques for cultivating deep Inner Silence, Ecstasy and Enlightenment. Their discoveries are destined to change the world, but at what cost?

Click here to browse
inside.

Overview of AYP (1 of 4), Interview with Yogani

January 4, 2009 interview on KKCR Radio, Hawaii, with Dr. Ann West – “Truth From the Source.” Easily accessible practices that everyone can use to cultivate peace, creativity and happiness in everyday life. Overview of free lessons, support community, and results.

Overview of AYP (2 of 4), Interview with Yogani

Overview of AYP (3 of 4), Interview with Yogani

Overview of AYP (4 of 4), Interview with Yogani

As we hurtle through our day, crashing off of one obstacle after another, we rarely find the time even to dream about a life filled with peace and spiritual awareness. And when we do pause—usually from exhaustion—to wonder about those who seem to float along, feeling some sort of “other” connection, how many of us question the ability to do that and live in the real world?

Tammy Plunkett puts this age-old dilemma in crystal-clear perspective when she writes:
“Somebody has to stop meditating long enough to cook dinner.”

We don’t have to move to Tibet and live in a cave to find peace. The choices we make in our everyday lives serve as the bridge between our basic reactive state and our more aware higher selves. Being Human shows how we can use these choices to transform our own lives as well as the world we live in.

Have you ever had the feeling that something is missing? That there must be more to this experience called life? Then Being Human was written for you.

I started my professional life as a as a registered nurse in the cardiac and intensive care units. After twelve years of nursing, I switched gears. I earned my Diploma for Natural Health Consultant from the Alternative Medicine College of Canada in 2003 and my diploma from the Canadian Homeopathy Institute in 2005 then opened my own practice. My focus changed when I was blessed with a growing family, so I took a hiatus from caring for others to raise my four amazing children. But my life long love of learning could not be stifled. I learned the art of creative writing, for which I won an award in 2007. I also enrolled in Athabaska University studying psychology.

I continue to write and am currently working on Being Human: Regaining your freedom through balancing your drives with your higher self.

Click here to browse inside.

Being Human by Tammy Plunkett

In this long-awaited collection, Adyashanti’s heartful, lively poetry is woven together with short teachings and “one-liners” culled from journals, dharma talks, and dialogues with students.

With all the unpredictability of a dancing flame, Adyashanti celebrates life from the vantage of the laughing Buddha and gently invites the mystery to wake up to itself in the heart of the reader.

Throughout the book, Adyashanti illuminates the pathless path to sacred annihilation—the surrender into your own Divine self. Like the mystical love poetry of Rumi and Hafiz, the flame dances wildly, reverently, innocently, and playfully in this collection. This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves getting drunk on the truth or who still imagines they are thirsty and needs a long, sweet sip from the Beloved’s overflowing cup.

49 poems, 172 sayings

Adyashanti – Relationship With Thought, Silence Is What You Are

“Samyama – Stillness in Action, Siddhis and Miracles” covers a powerful yoga practice that has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. Yet, it is as close to us as our most immediate hopes and dreams, for it is the principles of Samyama that are operating behind everything good that is happening in our life. The key methods of Samyama are covered here, simplified to enable anyone to engage in daily practice leading to profound results. Our deepest desires can be enlivened by systematically letting go into our inner silence. Whatever we surrender will come back to us a thousand-fold, purified in a divine outpouring. This is “Stillness in Action.”

Yogani is the author of two landmark books on the world’s most effective spiritual practices: “Advanced Yoga Practices – Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living,” a comprehensive user-friendly textbook, and “The Secrets of Wilder,” a powerful spiritual novel. The “AYP Enlightenment Series” makes these profound practices available for the first time in a series of concise instruction books. “Samyama” is the fifth book in the series, preceded by “Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas,” “Tantra,” “Spinal Breathing Pranayama,” and “Deep Meditation.”

Super-Normal Powers (Siddhis), Audiobook Preview by Yogani

With Deep Meditation comes stillness and the ability to accomplish great things in life. This is stillness is action, and it is greatly expanded through the simple yet powerful technique of Samyama. Detailed instructions are provided enabling all of our actions to be conducted from within our inner divine realm of unlimited power.

Click here to begin reading this life-changing book.

Yogani is a long time practitioner of advanced yoga practices who wants to leave some useful information behind. Since 1970, he has crossed the lines between many traditions, developing an effective integration of methods. It is a flexible, scientific approach rather than a rigid, arbitrary one. It is open to public scrutiny, as all spiritual knowledge should be nowadays. He has no desire for guru status – only to have the joy of making a small contribution to helping the disciplines of effective spiritual practice become open to everyone. He wishes to remain anonymous, preserving a quiet life in practices. AYP is not about the author. It is about all who long for knowledge.

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