Adyashanti – Different Qualities of Awakening

Talk from a retreat at Omega center with Adyashanti.

Adyashanti, author of Falling into Grace, True Meditation, and The End of Your World, is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” Based in California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, Associate Teacher of Open Gate Sangha. He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

“Adyashanti” means primordial peace.

Five Spiritual Mysteries: #2 Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen? ~ Deepak Chopra

In every spiritual tradition, different as they are, God is taken to be the moral compass for human beings. He may or may not be a punisher. He may or may not sit in judgment, watching and weighing our every move. He may or may not be a He, since the God of Judaism, for example, is without form. But in some way the notion of good and evil, right and wrong, the light versus the dark, goes back to a divine source.

In secular society this link isn’t as strong, and for someone with no religious beliefs, morality has no connection to God. Yet the connection has been crucial for at least two thousand years in the Judeo-Christian world. In the Indian spiritual tradition, particularly Vedanta, God is not personified. The deity is conceived as cosmic consciousness. One of the strongest arguments offered by atheists is that a just and loving God doesn’t exist. If God did exist, why do bad things happen to good people? If there is divine love, how can the Holocaust even be conceivable? For opponents or religion as well as mild, everyday doubters, a God who sits back and permits wholesale suffering is on shaky ground.

Is there a deeper mystery here, or have we been duped into accepting a myth, as militant atheists insist?

We must approach the question without assumptions, and as it happens, both sides of the debate stubbornly cling to a large number of assumptions. Sometimes these preconceived notions overlap, which further muddies the waters. Here are some preconceived ideas that you may well believe:

1. God is human and has human traits.
2. God shares our human sense of time and is watching us minute by minute.
3. God’s reasons cannot be understood by human beings.
4. The divine notion of right and wrong is the same as what we call morality.
5. There is an eternal cosmic war between God and Satan.
6. God and Satan represent absolute good and absolute evil.
7. God doesn’t need to justify his judgments to us here down below.

I think most people have been exposed to these seven assumptions one way or another. Each one is a double-edged sword, offering proof of God to believers and a source of ridicule for militant atheists. Yet none of these assumptions stands up to the demand for proof that we’ve become used to in the age of science. They are articles of faith; in some cases they are the inheritance of archaic ages. Insofar as militant atheists accuse religions of fostering cultural mythology, their case is pretty credible. What is Satan, for example, but an inherited myth?

If you think that God is like a loving Father sitting above the clouds, or a punishing patriarch quick to anger, either conception is a projection. The infinite has been reduced to the finite; a mystery has been unraveled by turning it into a human predicament. To feel that you are a good person who is suffering unjustly is a very human predicament, and it’s just as human to cry, “Why is God doing this to me?” But there can be no credible answer if we stay within the limits of everyday morality. A loving father who arbitrarily punishes his child would be guilty of abuse — he would be a very bad human father, in fact.

So the question of why God allows bad things to happen isn’t a simple human question, even though the answer makes a tremendous difference to how humans live their lives. It’s a spiritual question, a mystery that requires deeper thought. In the world’s wisdom traditions, the following possibilities exist.

– God knows the true nature of our souls and treats us accordingly.
– God set the universe in motion and then walked away from his creation.
– God has a larger view of good and evil than we can comprehend.
– God is transcendent and can only be understood in a state of higher consciousness.

Depending on which of these views you accept, God’s relation to bad things changes radically. A God who knows your soul and is treating you accordingly is a God who puts the whole burden on the believer. The believer must figure out how to avoid sin and live virtuously, while God peers through an X-ray machine into every crevice of the believer’s life, exposing secret darkness and hypocrisy. At the other extreme, a God who created the universe and walked away delivers no judgments of any good, neither punishing sin nor rewarding virtue. The cosmos operates mechanically, and we are caught in the machinery, subject to accidents and the grinding of it gears.

Yet all four conceptions have the advantage, if we are intellectually honest, of doing away with a God who is simply a human being in disguise, a projection of human traits write large. In the next post we’ll see which line of reasoning leads to the best answer of how God relates — if at all — to the bad things that happen to us.

(To be cont.)

Susanne Marie ‘Embodiment Is Never Ending’

Susanne Marie – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

My passion is to help inspire, support and celebrate with others to live our common essence as Love and Unity with all life. My work is based upon living as authenticity, and shares common elements with the worlds ‘non dual’ wisdom teachings, mirroring those aspects which have been a part of my own self-exploration.

We can only long for what we already know to be true, somewhere deep inside. The shift that happens when what has always been true moves from the background (covered up by mind) to the foreground reveals our birthright: that we are all of Life, and not separate from it. The experience of feeling separate from life is a time-bound, limited perception that can be dissolved. Simply an innocent function of the mind, feelings of separation can be deeply looked into and seen through. Being drawn home is the natural evolutionary cycle.

I call this work Transformation through Presence, as that is what in my mind occurs. We (as manifest reality), transform (mind, body, habits, all things affected by believing in separation), by remembering what we are — Life, God, spirit, presence, or awareness, whatever you want to call it — and that what we are is the true transformational power, full of inherent wisdom.

What we are is awake, alive Presence. Becoming aware that we are aware, is being awake to this presence. In my Invitation to Remembering meetings, and in my one on one sessions, I offer guidance in pointing to the awake presence that we are, assisting in dismantling structures of belief which may be in the way of someone realizing the truth of their being. My other area of expertise is in assisting those who are already integrating awakening in their life, and who desire support and assistance in navigating the new perception of Unity, which is our natural state of being.

This journey into the heart of what is true began as a child. I noticed that the adults around me were not always being authentic, which had a great impact on me. Gradually the world that I knew as whole began to take on the hypnotic dream of separation that those around me existed in. I was painfully aware by ten that something was changing which I tried to give voice to, and for which I had no support or understanding. What was occurring was that the experience of Unity was ebbing. As soon as it started to fade, I went on the search for that lost part.

As a child I lived in various European countries, resulting in the experience of having to learn several different languages from scratch in a short period of time. Out of necessity, and an innate interest in what people are really communicating, an ability to understand the energetics of language itself, and what is really being said beyond words (an intuitive faculty), emerged.

I developed an interest in mysticism and philosophy in my early teens, seeing nature as a magical realm, where I felt most at home. I took some hypnotherapy classes at 16, and would put my friends and family members in ‘trances’, exploring alternate states of mind. Later I would become a certified hypnotherapist. There was a deep pull to go within, and not being interested in developing a persona (back then I was more confused than clear as to why), I dropped out of college at 21, and instead studied Yoga and meditated intensely, lived in an ashram and worked for a time as a Yoga and meditation teacher. When my beloved brother Daniel died in 2002, the search for truth took a nose-dive deeper into reality as I endeavored to understand where he went. It was an incredibly difficult time, as three major life altering events all occurred within a year’s time. What ensued was a deep letting go of much that I had relied on and imagined, including spiritual beliefs. Up until that time, I had been a natural mystic, easily communing with beings and guides from other realms, with a rich dream and inner life. In essence, I felt myself to be on a guided progressive path eventually leading to what I believed freedom was. All that got left behind, as a stripping of all that I thought to be true fell away. Emerging out of this passage into the unknown, following a period described best as a stark landscape (a time of emptying out of content), a deep remembering into the nature of reality occurred, and continues to unfold. Concurrently, raising two children, now teens, takes much of my focus. Along with working one on one with individuals, I lead a bi-monthly Satsang Tea Salon: An Invitation to Remembering in my community, at times inviting guest teachers to co-lead. Sharing in this way feels true to my being, is a movement of love, and is evolving in its own organic, joyful, way.

Susanne Marie ‘Embodiment Is Never Ending’ Interview by Renate McNay

Net of Being by Alex Grey , Allyson Grey (Contributor)

How Alex Grey’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness
• Includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork

• Contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances

• Offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the Networked Self

Revealing the interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit that illuminate the core of each being, Alex Grey’s mystic paintings articulate the realms of consciousness encountered during visits to entheogenic heaven worlds. His painting Net of Being–inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey–has reached millions as the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album, 10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses–from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos–embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.

The book explores how the mystical experience expressed in Alex Grey’s work opens a new understanding of our shared consciousness and unveils the deep influence art can have on cultural evolution. The narrative progresses through a successive expansion of identity–from the self, to self and beloved, to self and community, world spirit, and cosmic consciousness, where bodies are transparent to galactic energies. Presenting over 200 images, including many never-before-reproduced paintings as well as masterworks such as St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution and Godself, the book also documents performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that Grey cofounded with his wife and creative collaborator, artist Allyson Grey.

Click here to browse inside.

Alex and Allyson Grey — Interview Part 1

Published on Mar 13, 2014

Authors of “Net of Being”, interview, part 1

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