Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love by Stephan Bodian (Author)

Happiness is your birthright, your natural state. Beneath all the frightening and depressing stories you tell yourself lies a deeper level of intrinsic peace and well-being. Mindfulness teachers insist that if you practice certain meditations daily for months or years you’ll gradually get happier. But there’s a more direct approach—just turn around and recognize the inherent perfection and completeness of this moment right now, just as it is. This is the secret to fulfillment that the great masters and sages have taught for millennia—and it’s available to anyone who reads this book.

Drawing on his own awakening and his years of study with teachers of the nondual wisdom traditions of Zen, Dzogchen, and Advaita Vedanta, spiritual teacher Stephan Bodian offers powerful teachings and guided meditations designed to point you directly to your radiant true nature, beyond the mind, which is compassionate, joyful, and undisturbed by the roller-coaster ride of life. Prior to every experience and identity lies the ultimate experiencer, the one who is eternally wakeful and aware—and that is what you are!

If you came to mindfulness in search of spiritual awakening, here’s your bridge beyond technique. If you’re tired of efforting to get somewhere else, learn how to take “the backward step” to rest and abide in your own natural wakefulness and love. And if you’re already familiar with the “direct approach” and want to follow it all the way to enlightenment, this book will guide you home.

An internationally known author, psychotherapist, and teacher of mindfulness and spiritual awakening, Stephan leads regular retreats and offers spiritual counseling and mentoring to people throughout the world. His popular guidebook Meditation for Dummies has sold over a quarter of a million copies worldwide, and his digital program Mindfulness Meditation (with Mental Workout) has been praised in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His new book, Beyond Mindfulness, is now available on Stephan trained for many years as a Buddhist monk and edited the magazine Yoga Journal for a decade. His other books include Buddhism for Dummies and Wake Up Now.


Stephan Bodian – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Jan 26, 2015
Stephan Bodian offers satsangs, intensives, and retreats in the tradition of his teachers, Jean Klein and Adyashanti. His gatherings are noted for their humor, warmth, spontaneity, and intimacy and combine direct pointers, lively dialogues, silent sitting, and guided self-inquiry. He’s the author of several books, including Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love.

Stephan spent a decade practicing Zen intensively as a monk but left the monastery because he sensed that the rigorous practice of meditation was obscuring the truth he was seeking. After studying Dzogchen for several years, he met his guru, Jean Klein, a European teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who told him to stop meditating and instead discover the meditator. Shortly after meeting Jean, he had a profound awakening to his true identity as timeless presence. After Jean’s death, Stephan met Adyashanti, and in 2001 Adya gave him Dharma transmission and invited him to teach.

Stephan is the founder and director of the School for Awakening, an annual eight-month awakening intensive, and he leads regular retreats and shorter intensives In Tucson, Arizona, and at the Garrison Institute in New York.

Trained and licensed as a psychotherapist, Stephan also offers individual spiritual counseling and mentoring sessions to people throughout the world. His approach blends direct, experiential, nondual wisdom with the insights of Western psychology to support students in realizing who they really are while inquiring into the stories and patterns of thinking and behaving that continue to cause suffering.


Other books: Meditation For Dummies, w/Audio CD(Also available in various languages.) Timeless Visions, Healing Voices: Conversations With Men & Women of the Spirit

Interview recorded 1/24/2015

The Future of God : A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times by Deepak Chopra [Updated Jan 26, 2015]

Pub Date Nov 11 2014

From the New York Times Bestselling Author.
Can God be revived in a skeptical age? What would it take to give people a spiritual life more powerful than anything in the past? Deepak Chopra tackles these issues with eloquence and insight in this book. He proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore, any person can find the God within that transforms everyday life.

God is in trouble. The rise of the militant atheist movement spearheaded by Richard Dawkins signifies, to many, that the deity is an outmoded myth in the modern world. Deepak Chopra passionately disagrees, seeing the present moment as the perfect time for making spirituality what it really should be: reliable knowledge about higher reality. Outlining a path to God that turns unbelief into the first step of awakening, Deepak shows us that a crisis of faith is like the fire we must pass through on the way to power, truth, and love.

“Faith must be saved for everyone’s sake,” he writes. “From faith springs a passion for the eternal, which is even stronger than love. Many of us have lost that passion or have never known it.” In any age, faith is a cry from the heart. God is the higher consciousness that responds to the cry. “By itself, faith can’t deliver God, but it does something more timely: It makes God possible.”

For three decades, Deepak Chopra has inspired millions with his profound writing and teaching. With The Future of God, he invites us on a journey of the spirit, providing a practical path to understanding God and our own place in the universe. Now, is a moment of reinvigoration, he argues. Now is moment of renewal. Now is the future.


Deepak Chopra – The Future Of God
Published on Dec 24, 2014
Deepak Chopra – The Future of God: A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times
The Future of God is a brilliant exposition for the need of consciousness-based reality. It is consistent with the worldview of quantum physics which showed the importance of the mind and is a fitting answer to the claims of militant atheists whose science is based on outdated views now known to not be true and which became obsolete almost a century ago.

DEEPAK CHOPRA is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Visit him at DeepakChopra​.com.

Is the Ego Conscious?

Tan: Hi, Rob. Here are the answers to your questions.

Rob: Is the ego conscious? I have heard that the ego is just a thought.

Tan: We use “consciousness” and “awareness” as interchangeable words, synonyms.

No, there is only you, consciousness/awareness. The ego seems to be conscious because it borrows its consciousness from you, awareness. The reason is that the subtle body (consisting of three phenomena: intellect, mind/emotions and ego) is reflective and borrows its consciousness, like the moon borrows its light from the sun. In this metaphor you, awareness/consciousness, are the sun and the moon is the intellect-mind-ego. Another term for the ego is aham-kara, meaning “the source of the I-notion/thought.”

So the ego is just the thought “I am doing/being,” etc., like “I am feeling, I am thinking, I am running.” This I-notion can only be known in you, awareness.

Rob: James has said in videos that life is a zero-sum game. For every gain there is a loss. For every loss there is a gain. How does this apply to enlightenment? What is the loss and gain?

Tan: Enlightenment is actually neither a gain nor loss for you. You awareness can neither become enlightened nor unenlightened, because you are the awareness in whose light everything is known. Also, the notions “enlightenment” and “unenlightenment” are known through you. These are dualistic notions which appear in you, awareness. The dualistic intellect seems to lose the notion of being a body-mind-intellect and seemingly gains the notion “I am awareness.” Since this notion “I am awareness” is the truth and actually is knowledge that is always true and was always there before the confusion through ignorance, therefore it remains hard and fast when the subtle body is qualified.

Rob: Can you explain that “I am the body but the body is not me” teaching? I have heard James say this in his videos.

Tan: No, it is the other way around. I am sure James has said it the other way around. And to make it more concrete, let us use “gross body” as a refinement of the word “body.”

So it actually is (a) I am not the (gross) body but (b) the (gross) body is me.

Or to address you: (a) you are not the (gross) body but (b) the (gross) body is you.

To explain statement (a) we can use a teaching also called seer/seen discrimination (drig-dishya-viveka).

The seer (subject) cannot be the seen (the object). You see the body. So you cannot be the body. This is a very important understanding. Please see if you can follow that the subject cannot be the object. If you were object, the body, you would not be able to see the body. The eye cannot see itself. The hand cannot shake itself.

Also, another notion: if you lose your leg, are you less? Yes your body is less and smaller, but are you less? Is your “I” less?

One way to explain statement (b) is through the “location of objects” teaching. Here it is:

Where is the body? Or let us use a part of your body, for example, your hand.

Is your hand out there or in you?

The first intuition is to say the hand is out there but that is apparently true only if you identify with your body. Now let us think along these lines:

Light reflects off the hand and goes through the senses/eyes and is transformed into a pattern of knowledge (form/color of hand) in the mind. Now, actually the hand is only ever recognized and appears as hand-knowledge-pattern in the mind.

How far are you away from the mind? Not one inch. You do not have to travel to reach your mind. The mind is in you, consciousness.

So the hand appears in the mind and the mind appears in you. So the hand appears in you. So the body appears in you and is made out of you awareness. So the body is you. The body is like a wave that appears in you the water.

The wave is always water. But water is not always a wave.

Rob: What is meant by “awareness is impersonal”? It appears that there are things that are personal, such as likes and dislikes. “I want this, don’t want that.”

Tan: Yes, likes/dislikes seem to belong to the person. But are you the person?

You are aware of the person Rob with his likes and dislikes. But again, if you are aware of him can you be him?

Take, for example, in your dream you can be a totally different person or even an animal like an eagle and absolutely be sure that it is you. So you are there although you seem to be a totally different person or body. That is because you are awareness, in which every type of person or personality can appear. It is the same with the body. You – awareness – are not the person. But the person is you, awareness.

Awareness is that which is true and which never changes. All changing objects, like thoughts, feelings, observations, experiences, arise in you, awareness, and fall back into you. You remain constant. You are unchanging. The person constantly changes: the thoughts change, the body ages and changes, feelings change, etc. But you, awareness, do not change. You see all those changes come and go. Even the person and the likes and dislikes come and go. But you remain unchanged. That is why you, awareness, are impersonal. “Impersonal” is just another way of saying you are free from change.

~ Love, Tan


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