Archive for January, 2014


In February, the desire for change at the grassroots level intensifies. The speed at which personal values and attitudes are transformed accelerates. The acceleration can be very disorienting.

Expect a little more confusion in interpersonal communications, especially with Mercury retrograde most of the month. But it won’t be just Mercury retrograde. The planets are targeting our minds with transformative energy and it could very well affect the way our mind works. Trying to use your mind while the planets are working on it could cause “issues.”

Published on Jan 30, 2014

In this video clip, Rupert describes how the feeling of being a separate self is generated in the body.

Whether it is called enlightenment, pure awareness, or the “unconditioned mind,” there exists an awakened state of pure liberation that is at the heart of every contemplative tradition. Yet, according to Peter Fenner, this experience of boundless consciousness does not have to exist separately from our day-to-day, “conditioned” existence. Rather, we can learn to exist as unique individuals at the same time as we rest in a unified expanse of oneness with all existence–in a state he calls “Radiant Mind.” In Radiant Mind, Peter Fenner shares the insights, techniques, and exercises he has developed in teaching the thousands of students who have attended his sold-out workshops, including: – How to observe and dissolve fixations, to live in the here and now without being controlled by our desires – Listening and speaking in a way that moves us toward pure openness–and lets us share this experience with others – Tools for identifying our conscious and unconscious sources of suffering–and learning to transcend those patterns “As extraordinary as unconditioned mind may sound,” teaches Peter Fenner, “it isn’t distant from our everyday life; it’s always readily available to us.” Now, this respected authority on both Eastern spirituality and Western psychology introduces readers to a set of practices available to anyone open to the complete possibilities of their spiritual evolution–and to the experience of the unconstrained bliss of Radiant Mind. A master of nondual spirituality teaches practices for integrating the liberated state of unconditioned awareness into your everyday life.

Peter Fenner, Ph.D.
studied as a monk for nine years with many notable Buddhist lamas, including Sogyal Rinpoche, Zopa Rinpoche, and Thubten Yeshe. He is founder of the Center for Timeless Wisdom, and the author of numerous books, including Reasoning Into Reality (Wisdom Publications, 1995) and The Edge of Certainty (Nicolas-Hays, 2002). He has taught workshops at Stanford Medical School, Columbia University, and elsewhere.

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Peter Fenner 1-5 ‘Awakening Unconditioned Awareness’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Peter had the good fortune to meet the Tibetan Lama Thubten Yeshe, founder of the Foundation for the Presentation of the Mahayana Tradition in 1974. Lama Yeshe accepted him as his student and in 1978 he was ordained as a monk. In 1983 he completed a PhD in the philosophical psychology of the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism. His other teachers included Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, Geshe Thubten Loden, Geshe Lhundup Sopa, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche and Sogyal Rinpoche. After nine years as a celibate monk, Peter handed back his ordination. As a postmonastic he embarked on an intensive exploration of Western forms of healing and therapy. In 1986 he began offering adaptations of Mahayana wisdom to mental health professionals. His workshops integrated Buddhist Non-Dual wisdom with an understanding of group dynamics. He subsequently founded the Center for Timeless Wisdom, a Californian non-profit organization, which offers contemplative dialogues and retreats in Australia, USA, Europe and Israel. In response to requests from the many mental health professionals who attended his workshops, Peter has taught the principles and practices for a Non-Dual psychotherapy. He also offers individual counselling sessions to clients in many countries. Peter’s books include “Radiant Mind – Awakening The Unconditioned Awareness” (Sounds True, 2007) “The Ontology of the Middle Way” (Kluwer, 1990) “Reasoning into Reality” (Wisdom Publications, 1994) “Essential Wisdom Teachings” (with Penny Fenner, Nicolas-Hays, 2001) and “The Edge of Certainty: Paradoxes on the Buddhist Path” (Nicolas-Hays, 2002). “Sacred Mirror: Non-Dual Wisdom and Psychotherapy” (Editor, Omega Books, 2003). His psychological essays have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Contemplative Psychotherapy, Revision, Journal of the International Association for Spiritual Psychiatry, Psychologia (Tokyo).

One of the popular metaphors employed in the pedagogical and didactic exposition of Advaita Vedanta is that of the rope and the snake. When asked: How can this world, characterized by diversity, be accounted for if the ultimate reality as Brahman is claimed to be one and unique? The answer given is: just as a rope can be mistaken for a snake, Brahman is mistaken for the universe.

This book argues that this metaphor is a good start but only a start in explaining the doctrines of Advaita Vedanta. In what is perhaps the first sustained and extended study of its kind it explores the utility versatility and occasionally even the inapplicability of the metaphor in the traditional as well as the modern study of Advaita.

Arvind Sharma is currently the Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at Mac Gill University, Montreal Canada. He has also taught in Australia at Brisbane and Sydney and in the USA at Boston and Philadelphia.

A leading historian of religion, he has also been acclaimed as one of the most significant Hindu thinkers since Radhakrishnan. His recent works include: A Hindu Perspective on the Philosophy of Religion (1991); The Experiential Dimension of Advaita Vedanta (1993) and the Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta: A Comparative Study of Religion and Reason (1995).

CONTENTS
Preface 9
1 Prolegomena: the Rope-Snake Metaphor in Mahayana Buddhism 13
2 The Rope-Snake Metaphor in Early Advaita 21
3 The Rope-Snake Metaphor in the Interface between Mimamsa and Advaita Vedanta 30
4 The Rope-Snake Metaphor in the Vivekacudamani and Beyond 34
5 The Rope-Snake Metaphor and Theories of Causation 40
6 The Rope-Snake Metaphor in Advaita Vedanta 46
7 P. T. Raju’s use of the Rope- Snake Metaphor 58
8 The Rope-Snake Metaphor and the theories of Error 63
9 The Rope-Snake Metaphor and the Doctrine of Maya 75
10 The Rope-snake Metaphor in the Advaita-Bodha-Dipika 84
11 The Rope-Snake in the teaching of Ramana Maharsi 89
12 Some Metaphysical Issues and their Mataphorical Clarification 94
13 The serpent and the Rope in the Modern World 104
14 The Limits of Metaphorical Exploration 109
Conclusion 123

In this volume L. Stafford Betty translates the provides commentary on a work by the sixteenth-century Hindu philosopher-theologian and poet Vadiraja. Vadiraja was a follower of Madhava, the originator of the system known as Dvaita (Dualist) Vedanta, which teaches that God is the Supreme Person and is different from His creation. Madhva’s system clashes head-on with the redoubtable Sankara’s Advaita (Non-dualist) Vedanta, which teaches that God is impersonal and is ultimately identical with all that is. As is today the case, in Vadiraja’s day also Sankara’s Non-dualism was regarded by the majority of India’s intellectual elite as her finest and purest presentation of the Eternal Truth enshrined in the Vedas.

In this work Vadiraja passionately contest Non-dualism’s supposed supremacy and fidelity to Scripture. Combining deft analogy, often charming metaphor, and a ruthless method of reduction ad absurdum, he cuts and swipes until the imposing Goliath of Non-dualism has been, to his mind, destroyed.

Professor Betty has provided a concise, fairly literally translation of the text, which is written in the extremely compact style characteristic of Dualist polemics. His extensive commentary, most of it original, is perhaps the clearest guide to the tortuous intricacies of Dualist-Non-dualist dialectic in any Western language.

About the Author:
L. Stafford Betty is a professor of Religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield. He has published articles on various aspects of Eastern Philosophy in Religious Studies (Cambridge University), International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy East and West, and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy.

Contents:

Foreword By Dr. B.N.K. Sharma

Introduction

Notes on the Translation

Section
I. Invocation
II. Vishnu’s Supremacy
III. Refutation of the Non-Dualist Interpretation of Scripture
IV. Refutation of the Non-Dualist “Vyavaharika-Doctrine”
V. Proof of God’s Difference from Souls from an Analysis of the Epic and Puranic Tradition
VI. Refutation of Non-Dualist Epistemology
VII. Further Refutations of the Doctrine That Objects we see are Illusion
VIII. Demonstration of the Impossibility of Valid Sense-Knowledge without a Subject-Object-Relation
IX. Final Considerations showing the Inexplicability of Knowledge through Superimposition
X. The Truth of Vishnu’s Supremacy and the Falsity of the Doctrine declaring His Supremacy “Merely Conventional”
XI. A Dilemma for Non-Dualism: Either Brahman Itself or mere Matter suffers Karmic Debts
XII. Refutation of the Reflection-Analogy used by Non-Dualists to show Brahman’s Identity with the Soul
XIII. Hymn to Difference
XIV. Proof of Difference through a Consideration of God’s Objectivity and the Soul’s Subjectivity – Refutation of the Non-Dualist Version of Brahman’s “Self-Luminosity”
XV. Refutation of Illusionism
XVI. The Importance of Sense-Experience in arriving at the Truth of Difference and the Falsity of Identity
XVII. Some Additional Consideration Negating Identity
XVIII. Conclusion
Who Is The Victor? An Estimate
Appendix –
Sanskrit Text of Nyayaratnavali
Select Bibliography
Glossary-Index

Published on Jan 28, 2014

The New Moon is in Capricorn, which is the feminine nature of Saturn, the planet of limits and endings and death. Facing the hardships of life make us mature, or keeps us stuck in immaturity.

The New Moon is in Shravana, which means “hearing”. It gives the power to hear the truth behind the words that are spoken. It is ruled by Lord Vishnu, the pervader of the Cosmos – where we manifest based on our ability to adjust.

This New Moon is hemmed between Mercury and Venus bringing a lot of ease to this cycle.

‘I invite you to come on a journey with me into one of the most important, yet often most neglected dimension of yourself, namely your heart. I want to help you discover, as I have slowly been discovering, that our hearts not only hold the key to our being able to live a fuller and more meaningful life, but also to our being able to play a part in helping heal our planet.’ The change needed is a shift out of our primarily head-focus into becoming increasingly heart-centred, where we are connected to our hearts and are potentially capable of moving mountains. We are only going to be good activists if we have plenty of heart in our lives – if we are big hearted with a well-activated Heart. A culture of Heart is vital if we are to heal the many wounds and splits that exist between different classes, religions, tribes and nations. The book has been written from a place of great hope and joy, based on knowledge that our world is changing and that the planetary heart is at last awakening.

Serge Beddington-Behrens, M. A. (Oxon), Ph.D is a transpersonal psychotherapist, a couples therapist, a holistic life coach and a spiritual educator. He lectures and teaches at seminars, workshops and retreats worldwide. He lives most of the year in Majorca, frequently traveling to carry out his work.

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Awakening the universal heart & spiritual activism – Serge Beddington Behrens

Serge Beddington-Behrens Book Launch

Serge Beddington-Behrens introduces his new book Awakening the Universal Heart – a guide for spiritual-activists at the Hotel Russell, London.

Joseph Campbell brought mythology to a mass audience. His bestselling books, including The Power of Myth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces, are the rare blockbusters that are also scholarly classics.

While Campbell’s work reached wide and deep as he covered the world’s great mythological traditions, he never wrote a book on goddesses in world mythology. He did, however, have much to say on the subject. Between 1972 and 1986 he gave over twenty lectures and workshops on goddesses, exploring the figures, functions, symbols, and themes of the feminine divine, following them through their transformations across cultures and epochs.

In this provocative volume, editor Safron Rossi—a goddess studies scholar, professor of mythology, and curator of collections at Opus Archives, which holds the Joseph Campbell archival manuscript collection and personal library—collects these lectures for the first time. In them, Campbell traces the evolution of the feminine divine from one Great Goddess to many, from Neolithic Old Europe to the Renaissance. He sheds new light on classical motifs and reveals how the feminine divine symbolizes the archetypal energies of transformation, initiation, and inspiration.

The first Joseph Campbell work to focus on the Goddess, edited and introduced by Safron Rossi, PhD, Curator of Collections at Opus Archives and Research Center, home to the archival collections of Joseph Campbell, Marija Gimbutas, James Hillman, and other scholars of mythology, Jungian and archetypal psychology, and the humanities.

Perhaps most responsible for bringing mythology to a mass audience, Joseph Campbell’s works rank among the classics in mythology and literature: The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the four-volume The Masks of God, The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, and many others. Among his many awards, Campbell received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contribution to Creative Literature and the 1985 Medal of Honor for Literature from the National Arts Club. A past president of the American Society for the Study of Religion, Campbell was professor emeritus at Sarah Lawrence College in New York until his retirement in 1972 at which time he devoted himself to his writing. He died after a short struggle with cancer in 1987.

The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell Foundation Executive Director Bob Walter talks about GODDESSES: Mysteries of the Feminine Divine and the Collected Works of Joseph Campbell

Listen to The 5 Spiritual Myths That Sabotage Your Conscious Evolution
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How Is Emptiness Nondual?

The most common connotation of “nonduality” is “oneness” or “singularity.” Many teachings state that everything is actually awareness; those teachings are nondual in the “oneness” sense in which there are no two things.

But there is another sense of “nonduality.” Instead of nonduality as “oneness,” it’s nonduality as “free from dualistic extremes.” This entails freedom from the pairs of metaphysical dualisms such as essentialism/nihilism, existence/non-existence, reification/annihilation, presence/absence, or intrinsicality/voidness, etc. These pairs are dualisms in this sense: if you experience things in the world in terms of one side of the pair, you will experience things in the world in terms of the other side as well. If some things seem like they truly exist, then other things will seem like they truly don’t exist. You will experience your own self to truly exist, and fear that one day you will truly not exist. Emptiness teachings show how none of these pairs make sense, and free you from experiencing yourself and the world in terms of these opposites. Emptiness teachings are nondual in this sense.

For those who encounter emptiness teachings after they’ve become familiar with awareness teachings, it’s very tempting to misread the emptiness teachings by substituting terms. That is, it’s very easy to misread the emptiness teachings by seeing “emptiness” on the page and thinking to yourself, “awareness, consciousness, I know what they’re talking about.”

Early in my own study I began with this substitution in mind. With this misreading, I found a lot in the emptiness teachings to be quite INcomprehensible! So I started again, laying aside the notion that “emptiness” and “awareness” were equivalent. I tried to let the emptiness teachings speak for themselves. I came to find that they have a subtle beauty and power, a flavor quite different from the awareness teachings. Emptiness teachings do not speak of emptiness as a true nature that underlies or supports things. Rather, it speaks of selves and things as essenceless and free.

Emptiness in Buddhism

According to Buddhist teachings, freedom from suffering dawns when we realize that we ourselves, as well as all things, are empty.

In Buddhism, suffering is said to come from conceiving that we and the world have fixed, independent and unchangeable natures that exist on their own without help from anything else. We expect that there is a true way that self and world truly are and ought to be. These expectations are unrealistic and prevent us from granting things the freedom to come and go and change. We like pleasant things to abide permanently, and unpleasant things to never occur. We experience suffering when we actually encounter comings, goings and change. Suffering often takes the form of anger, indignation, existential anxiety, and even a sense that, as they say in TV sitcoms, “something is wrong with this picture.”

But when we deeply realize that we and the world are empty, we no longer have unrealistic expectations. We find peace and freedom in the midst of flux.
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What Does Emptiness Mean?

What are things empty of? According to the Buddhist teachings, things are empty of inherent existence.

Being empty of inherent existence means that there is no essential, fixed or independent way in which things exist. Things have no essential nature. There is no way things truly are, in and of themselves. We will investigate the notion of inherent existence in more detail below.

Different Buddhist schools or tenet systems have different ways of characterizing emptiness; they have different ways of helping students reduce suffering. My characterization of emptiness adheres somewhat to the Tibetan Gelug-ba school of Prasangika or “Consequentialist” Madhyamika. This is not the only tenet system in Buddhism that discusses emptiness. There are other schools with slightly different interpretations of the emptiness teachings. I prefer the Tibetan Prasangika interpretation for pragmatic reasons. It has a greater number of publically available supports for studying and meditating on emptiness than I have seen in other Buddhist schools. The term “Prasangika” is Sanskrit for “consequence.” The “consequence” designation comes from this school’s method of debate and refutation, which follows Nagarjuna’s style in his Treatise.

Source: Emptiness Teachings by Greg Goode

Published on Jan 27, 2014

In this video clip, Rupert draws attention to the tendency of mistaking a state of bliss for the ever-present peace and happiness of our true nature.

Are there dimensions of existence beyond the material world? If so, can we connect with loved ones who have passed, and with higher levels of consciousness than our own? Messages of Hope is the page-turning story of a former skeptic who has found the answers to these questions and more through evidential communication with the unseen realms.

When Commander Suzanne Giesemann, former U.S Navy commanding officer and aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walked the halls of the Pentagon and flew on Air Force One, she did everything by the book. A personal witness to the horrors of 9/11, she saw things in black and white, with little time for spiritual seeking. Never did she expect that a personal family tragedy would propel her on a mystical journey that would turn her life's path in a most unexpected direction.

Follow Suzanne–now an author, speaker, and a practicing psychic-medium–as she moves from doubt and disbelief to full faith and trust in a reality beyond the physical senses. Laced with spirit-inspired poetry and compelling answers to many of life's big questions, Suzanne's remarkable story will leave readers with the comforting and credible message that this life is not all there is.


Hay House author Suzanne Giesemann is a psychic-medium and metaphysical teacher focusing on personal excellence and spiritual growth. She is a former Navy Commander who served for twenty years, including duty as a Commanding Officer, Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations, and Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11.Suzanne’s books include The Priest and the Medium, Conquer Your Cravings, It’s Your Boat Too, and Living a Dream. She co-authored with internationally acclaimed medium Janet Nohavec Janet’s how-to book of evidential mediumship, Where Two Worlds Meet. An avid adventurer, Suzanne and her husband sailed their 46-foot sloop across the Atlantic Ocean to Turkey. She now dedicates her time to sharing the comforting messages of mediumship with the widest possible audience. Suzanne shares spirit-inspired messages from her daily meditations on her blog, SanayaSays.com.

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Published on Oct 10, 2013

Suzanne Giesemann, an acclaimed author of 9 books and inspirational speaker, captivates audiences as she brings hope, healing, and comfort through her work. Suzanne addresses questions about the purpose of life, the nature of reality, and attuning to higher consciousness, including connecting with loved ones who have passed on. In her books, workshops, and presentations, she shares universal spiritual truths and ancient spiritual wisdom blended with modern discoveries in science and consciousness. She backs up her teachings with verifiable evidence received during hundreds of one-on-one sessions with clients as a professional intuitive. With a background that includes 20 years as a U. S. Navy officer serving at the highest levels, she brings unparalleled integrity to her work.
http://www.suzannegiesemann.com/index…


Renovate the rhythm of your life to create a healthier, happier you! Forget superficial fixes like fad diets or shopping sprees and instead learn how implementing simple daily habits can improve your quality of life. Author Michele Phillips will guide you in your quest to happiness by introducing you to helpful routines like

  • Listening to audio books in the shower
  • Spending time with nature
  • Establishing bad day emergency plans

As you read this practical guide to happiness, you will come to see that the confidence, vitality, and joy that you deserve are just a habit away!

Michele Phillips has had a zest for living life full out since she was a child. Inspired by her dad who always had her singing and dancing around the house, Michele unconsciously developed happy habits.

As the president of Key Performance Michele has been on a lifelong quest to help others create positive habits that build confidence, increase vitality, and help people move in the direction of their goals and dreams. Michele’s professional experience spans over 20 years facilitating engaging workshops, seminars, and coaching programs with Fortune 500 companies around the globe including, TAG Heuer, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Barclay’s Capital, Verizon Wireless, and COACH leather, just to name a few. An authority in the field of peak performance, Michele inspires others to action and helps individuals create lives filled with energy, joy, and positive habits.

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Happiness is a Habit Official Book Trailer

Order your copy NOW of Happiness is a Habit – Simple Daily Rituals That Increase Energy, Improve Well-Being and Add Joy to Every Day at http://www.happinessisahabitbook.com

Author Michele Phillips

One Self expresses the truth at the heart of the world’s mystical and philosophical traditions in a simple, direct and practical way. It shows us how to find our true self that is ever present and is beyond change and suffering. We are then able to trust the process of life’s unfolding, as we are led on a journey to discover a great treasure that we all possess yet are unaware of. It is in doing this that we also prepare ourselves for that ultimate moment of letting go, the death of the physical body.

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Philip Jacobs ‘The Pathless Path’ Interview by Iain McNay

Published on Nov 21, 2013

Philip is the Sheik for the ‘Turning’ group at Colet House in West London. He studied with Dr Francis Roles for many years. He talks us through his life. He first learned mediation at 16, started Turning when he was still a teenager, and had to deal with the challenge of being severely compromised, energy-wise, with Lyme disease for many years. “You discover that the only safe place where there is security and no fear is the present. When I awoke in the early hours full of fear, I would say, just stay in the present, just rest in that deep secure sense of Amness. You notice that you are in a place beyond fear, even physical pain becomes just another series of sensations that you are witnessing from a point of stillness.”

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