Archive for November, 2015


From time to time, we all have moments when we feel completely and blissfully alive; moments when the world around us becomes more real and beautiful, when an atmosphere of harmony seems to pervade everything, when we feel one with nature and a feeling of intense well-being fills us. These are sometimes called spiritual experiences, or higher states of consciousness – but I prefer to call them ‘awakening experiences.’

I believe that normal human consciousness is a kind of ‘sleep’ which we wake up from in these moments. Most human beings are asleep in the sense that we normally perceive the world in an automatic way, so that a lot of time we don’t pay attention to our surroundings, and aren’t able to sense the is-ness and alive-ness of the world. We are asleep in the sense that we see all things as separate to each other, and experience ourselves as separate entities, as egos enclosed in our mental space with the rest of the world ‘out there.’ In sleep, life appears meaningless, and the universe can seem an indifferent and even hostile place.

But in my book Waking From Sleep, I suggest that this state of sleep is a psychological aberration, and it is natural and normal for us to be ‘awake.’ Many of the world’s indigenous peoples live in a state of wakefulness: they naturally possess(ed) a heightened perception, a sense of the aliveness of things and, an awareness of spirit-force pervading the world. Young children are naturally awake too. They see the world in a much more real and intense way than adults, experience a powerful natural well-being and often have intense spiritual experiences, where they become one with the world, or see it pervaded with an intense spiritual radiance.

As we grow into adults, we lose this natural wakefulness. This is due to the development of the ego. Our adult egos become too strong and powerful; they give us a strong sense of individuality and separateness, and so create a powerful barrier between us and the world. As a structure, and through their constant activity, they use up a massive amount of energy, leaving little energy available for us to put into perception, resulting in the automatic perception I described earlier. The development of the ego creates a ‘fall’ away from the natural wakefulness of children and indigenous peoples.

However, human beings have always sensed that their normal consciousness is limited and sought temporary awakening experiences. In Waking From Sleep, I examine the methods which we have used throughout history to induce the experiences: e.g. fasting, sleep deprivation, psychedelic drugs, meditation, nature, sex, sports and music. I also examine the paradox of how the experiences can be triggered by intense mental and emotional turmoil, and how the simple presence of an enlightened person can generate them.

I suggest that awakening experiences have two basic sources: they can be caused by a dramatic change to our normal physiology or brain chemistry (e.g. through fasting, sleep deprivation or drugs) or through what I call an ‘intensification and stilling of life-energy,’ through meditation, yoga, general relaxation, listening to music, etc.

If we know what causes them, we should be able to generate awakening experiences whenever we desire. But ultimately, we need to make wakefulness our normal state again. We can attain a permanent state of wakefulness by creating a new state of being in which our life-energy is permanently intensified and stilled. This means changing the structure of our psyche, so that the ego is no longer as powerful, and no longer monopolises our energy.

In Waking From Sleep, I suggest five essential practices which will change the structure of our psyche and create a state of permanent wakefulness: meditation, mindfulness, moderation, detachment and service.

We need to wake up for ourselves, to become free of the illusion of separation and of the psychological discord which fills our lives with suffering, and so that we can stop squandering our lives and our potential in discontent, anxiety and conflict. We need to wake up for the sake of the human race as a whole, in order to free ourselves from the social chaos and conflict which have blighted the last few thousand years of history. The only possibility the human race has of living in harmony – without warfare, inequality, and the oppression of women and different ethnic groups and social groups – is through transcending the over-developed ego which gives rise to conflict. We also need to wake up for the sake of the earth. The only sure way to avoid ecological catastrophe and learn to live in harmony with nature is to transcend our sense of separation to it, and become able to sense its alive-ness and sacredness.

View Here Steve Taylor’s
Waking from Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make them Permanent

Thilo: What is the real relationship between brain, spirit and consciousness, or could one say that the human being with a functional brain is the prerequisite of consciousness being aware of itself?

I’m currently reading the German edition of your Book “The Transparency of Things”. I have one question in my mind, which I even asked Eckhart Tolle but didn’t get an answer. I think he gets to many question to answer them all. May be I have more luck asking you.

If the subject, I, mind/body, makes an experience of an object, which, as you expressed in your book is an illusion, because subject and object are the same pure consciousness, what happens if there is a physical defect preventing this experience.

Rupert : Whatever is experienced, is experienced by consciousness. A so-called normal person, a blind person, a person with Alzheimer’s, a dog, an ant, a bird, a flea…..whatever is known or experienced by each of these creatures is known or experienced by consciousness. In other words, a person does not know; it is known.

If the brain is impaired, thoughts will be affected, but the consciousness that knows the thought remains the same. Consciousness is independent of the condition of the body and mind. Therein lies its innate peace and freedom.

T: For example, a blind person does not see a flower, he or she could not see the beauty of the flower.

R: Beauty cannot be seen. It is that which sees or experiences. The experience of beauty is the transparent recognition of our own being. It is always available, whatever the condition of the body or mind.

T: The visual experience is not possible, but the blind person is consciousness too.

R: You are starting with a model that presumes the independent existence of objects or world and then trying to fit the non-dual understanding into it. It doesn’t fit! You are presuming that there are things such as independent stones and blind people and then trying to imagine that they are both equally consciousness. But there is no such thing as a blind person or a stone as they are normally conceived, that is, as separate individual entities.

T: Further if a person has a brain defect, he could not think over the form of experience, as you did in your book. Everything you wrote down in your book was possible because you have a functioning brain. You have been thinking over the form of experience. You could not have written one note on this if that were not case. Doesn’t this mean the consciousness or the self awareness of consciousness is tied to a functioning brain.

R:
The consciousness or the self awareness of consciousness is not tied to a functioning brain. Consciousness knows itself by itself, through itself, in itself and as itself, without the need of a human mind. And its knowing of itself is not something that comes and goes. It knows itself alone, eternally. In other words, the recognition of consciousness has nothing to do with the condition of the mind. It is already the case, even when there is no mind.

T: Imagine a person with Alzheimer, which could not stay in present awareness or even watch their own thoughts arising.

R: There is no question of a ‘normal’ mind or one with Alzheimer ‘staying’ in present awareness. Awareness does not sometimes remain in itself and sometimes leave itself. It is ‘always’ (not always in time but eternally now) ‘in’ itself. It is only thought that imagines consciousness goes in and out or off and on. Likewise, there is no possibility of a person being out of awareness. The only place a person can appear is in awareness.

T: A stone in is essence may be consciousness as every other form appearing in the space. But the stone does not know this, or is not self aware of that fact. I suppose that an animal is not aware that it is pure consciousness in is essence.

R:
A stone in is not “in essence, Consciousness.” That is to start with an object, such as a stone, and consider it to be impregnated with consciousness like a sponge is saturated with water. It’s not like that. Nobody has ever experienced a stone, as it is normally conceived, that is, an an object existing independently in its own right. All we know of the stone, and indeed of the world, is perceiving. In fact, even that is not true….all we know is the ‘knowing of perceiving.’ And that knowing is made of consciousness alone. In other words, all that is known is consciousness and it is consciousness that knows itself. There are no objects, as such, to be either permeated or not permeated with consciousness. There is only consciousness.

Whatever is known is known by neither a stone, an animal or a human being. It is consciousness alone that knows. Stones, animals and human beings are known (apparently); they do not know.

T: What is the real relationship between brain, spirit and consciousness, or could one say that the human being with a functional brain is the prerequisite of consciousness being aware of itself?

R: Consciousness doesn’t have relationships. In order to have a relationships there must be two objects (duality). Consciousness does not know duality; it does not even know an object (although, as a half way stage, we may say that consciousness is conscious of objects). The only way consciousness knows an apparent object is by being it, in which case the object ceases to be an object. That is, there is never an object there to begin with. In other words, the way that consciousness knows ‘something’ is in identity, not in relationship. In other words, consciousness doesn’t know objects. Its way of knowing is far more intimate than that. Another name for this kind of knowing is ‘love.’

Learn to live a life that’s good–for yourself and for the world.

Like a wise friend or kind teacher, Deborah Schoeberlein David–educator, meditator, and mother–walks you through a complete, easy-to-follow curriculum of mindfulness practice.

Beginning with the very basics of noticing your breath, David shows how simple mindfulness practices can be utterly transforming. Each practice builds on the previous exercise like a stepping stone, until you have the tools to bring mindfulness into every aspect of your life including sex, parenting, relationships, job stresses, and more.

This is an approachable guide for anyone who desires positive change.

Deborah Schoeberlein David is a teacher, education consultant and curriculum developer. Deborah’s most recent book is Living Mindfully: At Home, At Work and in the World (Wisdom, 2015). AN earlier title, Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything (Wisdom Publications, 2009), is now in its fourth reprint and has been translated into Spanish and Korean. Deborah’s other publications include multiple articles in professional journals and trade magazines; and online postings, including more than 60 blogs for the Huffington Post.

Read Sample HERE


Published on Nov 28, 2015

An excerpt from Amoda’s Talk at Science & Nonduality Conference in San Jose, California, October 2015 – Amoda answers a question from the audience about spiritual practice.

Stop Bothering Life and Life Will Stop Bothering You


What is the use of nondual philosophizing or spiritual practice, when there is a world of injustice and ecocide out there? Charles explores how the nondual outlook gives birth to a different “theory of change” that disarms cynicism, lifts despair, and opens the road to vastly expanded effectiveness for the activist.

Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books, most recently Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale, a decade in Taiwan as a translator, and stints as a college instructor, a yoga teacher, and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA with his wife and four children.

View his book Here

By bodymindsoulspirit by Annarita,

1. Changing sleep patterns: restlessness, hot feet, waking up two or three times a night. Feeling tired after you wake up and sleepy off and on during the day. There is something called the Triad Sleep Pattern that occurs for many: you sleep for about 2-3 hours, wake up, go back to sleep

Visit the website HERE

It is common for people who encounter this teaching to fear a dissolution of their identity. What do we fear disappearing with the recognition of our true nature? It’s true that what seems to define us as a person — our thoughts, feelings, ideas, name and form — is going to disappear.

If we were truly afraid of letting go of the individual characteristics of our particular body and mind, we would be afraid of falling asleep at night. But we do so happily; we even look forward to it! Without a moment’s thought we give up our body, our mind and our world as we fall asleep, and are left only as the peaceful Self – pure Awareness – that we essentially are.

We don’t miss our body and our mind when we are asleep. We’re perfectly happy there without them. Then, in the morning, we happily ‘get dressed’ in our body and mind again. First we put on our mind, then our body, and then the world.

All the time, underneath the body/mind/world that we assume, we are always this peaceful Self that is inherently unattached to the body, mind and world. What we essentially are is no more attached to them than it is the clothes we’re wearing. We don’t have to work hard to detach ourselves from thoughts, sensations and perceptions. We just see that what we essentially are is already unattached to any particular object.

So, why are we afraid of letting a collection of thoughts, sensations and perceptions disappear? What do we think we are going to lose? The reason we fear it is that we have invested our identity in a collection of objects — ideas, knowledge, history and the sensations that we know as the body — in something that comes and goes.

To say, ‘we have invested our identity’ means that our essential Being of pure Awareness, or the simple experience of being aware, has mixed itself up with a collection of thoughts and feelings to such an extent that it can no longer distinguish itself from them. By allowing our Self to be entangled with an object or a collection of objects, we have allowed our true nature to be veiled.

Once we have consented to limit ourselves in time and space and seem to have become, as a result, a temporary, finite entity that lives in and as the body, we are destined to experience in a way that is consistent with that consent, and are thus destined to suffer. The experience of suffering is like a red flag signalling us, ‘Stop, you have mistaken yourself for an object. You have consented to limit yourself to a mind and a body.’

From the point of view of Awareness, which is the only real point of view, there is no veiling of itself. To say that we have allowed ourselves to become entangled with the body and the mind is a concession to the apparently separate self that believes and feels itself to be temporary and finite. So the statement is made to that apparent one that we believe and feel ourselves to be.

The implication of the phrase, ‘We have allowed ourselves to become entangled’ is the possibility that we could not allow it, that we could choose not to become entangled. This then raises the question, ‘Do “I”, the separate self, have the free will to choose whether or not I become entangled with the body/mind?’

The idea that we have the freedom to choose whether or not to become entangled with thoughts and feelings is a concession to the separate self we believe and feel ourselves to be. From the separate self’s point of view, it has choice, freedom. If we think we are a separate self, then by definition we feel that we are making choices.

For this reason the teaching says, ‘You have the choice. You have consented to limit yourself. You can choose not to. Choose to disentangle yourself. Make that your first choice in life, to disentangle yourself from the body and the mind and to know yourself as you truly are.’

As an apparently separate self, the highest choice we can make is to turn our attention away from the objects that we seem to know, towards the Knowing with which they are known. Making that choice effects this disentanglement of our self from the body/mind, and, as a result, our true nature stands revealed as it is.

When the mind returns to the heart — when the separate self is divested of its separateness and stands revealed as the true and only Self of pure Awareness — it becomes clear that there was never a separate self to begin with, and therefore the question as to whether or not that separate self has choice is moot.

The choice of refusing to be limited by the body and mind is open to everybody. At every moment there is the possibility to turn the light of our attention around on itself so as to know the nature of our Self, that is, the nature of the Knowing with which we know our experience.

This experience of being aware has never left us. We have never ceased to be this ‘I am aware’. Just give your attention to that. Instead of shining your attention on an object — a thought, feeling, sensation or perception — shine that Awareness on the experience of being aware, in other words, on itself. Allow your attention to come back to itself, just to rest in itself. That experience is peace itself.

Just abide there. Give your attention to your Self. Allow the Self to give its attention to itself. You’ll simply forget about the fear of losing your identity, of disappearing. This knowing or remembering of our own Being – its knowing of itself in us – will formulate itself in the mind as a kind of conviction: I am not just aware; I am eternally aware. I have never experienced myself disappearing. I never go anywhere. I have never been hurt. No experience has ever left a trace on me, yet I am totally intimate with all experience. I never die.

~ Rupert Spira

What are the three Gunas which control our lives? James Swartz Vedanta Bad Meinberg 2015

Published on Nov 25, 2015

Three Gunas:

Rajas:
Agitative Mind
Doing, doing, doing
To Gain certain things in the world: a Partner, Money, House, Children, … Business Mind
Downside? Stress, Burn-Out, Unhappy, Jealous, Over-Stimulated, …
Food: Sugar, Carbohydrates, Fast Food,…

Tamas:
Dull and Lazy Mind
Can’t do anything, can’t get up, I don’t want to do that, Fearful…
Downside? : Depression, Lack of Maturity, No Responsibility, Boredom, Blaming …
Food: Pizza, Fatty Food, Sauces, Carbohydrates, Cheese, Meat …

Sattva:
Clear Mind
Being able to make decisions, staying calm and making appropriate decisions,…
To understand the World, to understand Life
Downside? Arrogance, Becoming too Comfortable, Attract lots of needy people,…
Food: Salad, Fruits, likely cooked vegetables, raw food, certain proteins,…

All mistakes, poor editing and poor video quality is solely my responsibility: Georg Schiller georgvedantin@gmail.com. Neither James Swartz or anybody else is responsible for any of my mistakes.


Published on Nov 24, 2015

Science goes where reality leads it, but what happens when reality itself comes under question? Since the quantum revolution over a century ago, the solid, tangible nature of reality has been undermined. Scientists were faced with three linked mysteries that are only now being seen as inseparably linked:
What is the nature of the universe?
What is the nature of consciousness?
What is the origin of both the universe and consciousness?

The era has ended when consciousness and the universe could be treated as separate and unrelated. Once accepted as independent, material reality depends on observation – the “measurement problem” in quantum mechanics. At the same time, mind/consciousness/awareness can no longer be considered epiphenomenal, a complex product of brain processes having no bearing on reality.

On the way to making the case for “consciousness first,” the following issues will be considered:

Can exploring consciousness through spiritual methodologies lead to some of the same insights as science?

Can the conscious observer and ‘self’ be understood through introspection – self awareness, self reflection, transcendence, and conscious choice making and intentional self – observation?

Is there a difference between perceptual experience and fundamental reality?

Where do consciousness and conscious experience occur?

In Vedanta, reality changes as consciousness expands. What brain states in neuroscience correlate with different states of consciousness?

Enlightenment or nondual awareness also referred to as liberation (moksha), has been the ultimate goal of life in Vedanta. How does this state of unity bear upon modern science?

This workshop will discuss theoretical topics, but also take attendees through various meditation techniques to gain experiential insight into these ideas. Harnessing the power of synchronicity can be achieved by the sutras taught in yogic traditions as a means to shifting from local to nonlocal awareness.

In Zen’s famed 10 oxherding pictures, the ox is enlightenment and the herder is you, the meditator. Created by 12th-century Chinese master Guo-an Shi-yuan, the oxherding pictures have mapped the path for Buddhist practitioners ever since, inspiring countless commentaries and new renderings. Here is a contemporary take by graphic artist Mark T. Morse, with commentary by Boundless Way Zen teacher Josh Bartok and a Vajrayana perspective from the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

1. Searching
2. Seeing the footprints
3. Glimpsing
4. Catching
5. Taming
6. Riding home
7. Transcending other
8. Transcending self-and-other
9. The source
10. Returning

View Here


Published on Nov 24, 2015

Amoda talks about the imperative to dissolve all inner division and how seeing through the eyes of wholeness is true healing. This is a full-length recording from the Meeting at the Open Circle in San Rafael, November 2015.
More info about Amoda and her teachings at http://www.amodamaa.com

What is the Key to Enlightenment? Non-Duality James Swartz Vedanta

Published on Nov 24, 2015

This is a very short video of the Panchadasi, India 2015 video set.

In this lucid and masterful book, Richard discusses how spiritual maturity is our capacity for intimacy and conscious relationships. This is a book about deepening connection with ourselves, each other and the whole of life. Guidance is given into healing early childhood trauma, deepening the incarnation of spirit, meeting the ego’s original perception – the fear of loss of self. Learn how the quality of your attention can work miracles.

“Reading the Second Miracle is like entering a shamanic journey, where everything is present in multifaceted fullness – and all a once. I can only liken it to those times when listening to a beautiful piece of music, you know for a moment, the infinite nature and full radiance of Life.” -Ronda LaRue, writer and psychologist.

Look Inside

Inspirations with Lisa Garr: Richard Moss Reveals the Secret to Changing Your Consciousness

Richard Moss discusses the key to finding yourself in present moment awareness in this interview with Lisa Garr. He says that by allowing your mind to select the evidence it needs for the negative, you are going to have a negative body and a negative experience. The concept of those thoughts always exists as part of a twin, so it is just a matter of reprogramming your thoughts to select the positives that will allow you to see a situation differently. He says that you can tell yourself two different stories and your brain will select the information it needs to back up either one. Once you realize you are telling youself these stories, they will drop and you will be able to find yourself in the present, ready and open.


I grew up in a hard working family, none religious. At the age of 18 I learned that the Father I’d known all my life was not in fact my biological Father. This new found fact destabilized the identity I had become accustomed to. The idea of who I was came under question. I was left asking, who am I. What then followed was ten years of drinking. At 27 I found myself in recovery from alcoholism. I spent three and a half years examining all the aspects of self identified traits in order to find an honesty that would propel me into a more productive direction. After three and a half years I came to see that all willful attempts at modifying the self still remained within the paradigm of self will. I had not transcended into honesty. It was at this point in a room one evening in 99 that I handed all attachment to the mind for any orientation to ongoing recovery. In doing so, not knowing what lay beyond, there was to be a complete self realization.

Book: Walking Awake View Here


Jean Houston discusses her optimism for a future of personal and social transformation. She offers a personal account of the events that lead her to establish the Foundation for Mind Research and become a leading proponent of the Human Potential Movement, and engages in a wide-ranging discussion of the approach to mystery. She talks with David Rome, Senior Fellow at the Garrison Institute.

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