Awakening to the Obvious by Adyashakti (Author)

ATTENTION: This book is by Mark Canter (Adyashakti), not by Steven Gray (Adyashanti). My Sanskrit name means “Primordial ENERGY” (Shakti), while Steven’s name means “Primordial PEACE” (Shanti). Got it? Okay!

In January, 1994, after a contemplative practice of more than two decades, I awoke to the transcendent heart. That fact, plus a couple bucks, entitles me to a (small) cup of Starbuck’s coffee. I’ve waited almost 20 years to publish these essays about my experience of awakening—in order to give the stink of enlightenment time to wear off.

I’m a former national magazine editor, and an award-winning author of several novels. I’m married (for more than a quarter century), with two grown sons, a grizzled old greyhound, and a nearly paid-off mortgage. I am not a guru, lama, roshi, or spiritual master, nor any kind of “purified” or “perfected” human being. I am not living in a special state of grace, nor undergoing unusual experiences, nor do I possess super-normal abilities. Indeed, without wearing glasses, I would not even be able to clearly see these words as I type.

In short, nothing about me as a personality could be called extraordinary. Yet this does not detract from the matter at hand: I do understand my original nature, as described in Buddhist and other mystical teachings of the past twenty-five centuries. I have seen beyond the limits of conventional identity, into the open nature (free capacity) of consciousness itself.

This book offers no special doctrine the reader can adhere to. “The Great Way has no back,” said the Chinese sage Lao Tzu. “Thus, it cannot be followed.” However, the essays herein may help you to reconcile with the inherent mystery of life as it is, and thus be one with (no longer at odds with) the Great Way.

Like the taste of fresh, clear water, enlightenment is subtle to describe. Yet it is here for the tasting, and even the most carefully chosen words become obsolete as soon as you take the first sip.

For essays about non-dual awareness, please visit my blog:

Adyashakti (“Primordial Energy”) is the pen name of Mark Canter, who was raised in a tiny farm town–population 400–along the Ohio River in Kentucky, where he and his family were the only Jews in the universe.

Canter is the former Senior Editor of Men’s Health magazine, and his non-fiction also has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Yoga Journal, Shambhala Sun, Writer’s Digest and other periodicals.

His short fiction has been published nationally and his novels have been translated into Swedish, German, Polish, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish, Catalan, and Japanese.

Canter holds degrees in journalism and the humanities, with highest honors, and taught for seven years as an adjunct professor in the Florida State University Department of Religion.

“I’m a true romantic,” says the author, “and by that I don’t mean that I always do something special for my wife on Valentine’s Day—although that happens to be the case. I mean that I believe in the Redemptive Power of Love. Every one of my novels expresses the same moral theme: Love (not power) is the only force that can render us fearless.

“That’s also a central theme of Romanticism–the artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that began in Europe at the end of the 18th century and peaked in the 19th century, and included the works of Whitman, Emerson, and Thoreau. Another recurring idea that drove the Romantic Era is the revelatory wisdom and beauty of nature. My novels always explore the wonder and wildness, bliss and terror of the human body within the natural world (Eros writ with a capital ‘E’).”

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Hidden Journey: A Spiritual Awakening by Andrew Harvey (Author)

At twenty-five, Andrew Harvey abandoned a career at Oxford to return to his native India. He didn’t know why, except to escape the ‘concentration camps of reason’ and recapture ‘the strange and boundless joy I always felt when I thought of India.’

At first he was cynical, scoffing at devotees and ashramites. Then he met the extraordinary Mother Meera, a 17-year-old girl who appeared to be the incarnation of the Divine Mother. He raised every possible argument against the existence of another reality – and watched each one dissolve in the face of extraordinary mystical experiences.

Although written after his most famous book, A Journey in Ladakh, this is the first part of Andrew Harvey’s autobiographical spiritual journey. In this engaging – and courageous – account, he tries to describe the indescribable, his own spiritual transformation, with a remarkable degree of success. Every encounter Harvey has with the divine Mother is described in vivid language, using beautiful spiritual phrases, full of depth and sincerity, inviting the reader to share his experiences. It is a spiritual autobiography unlike any other. Every page touches the soul and heart.

Destined to become a classic of spiritual autobiography, Hidden Journey is a candid and beautifully written account of a rational atheist’s spiritual transformation in the face of an unexpected encounter with Mother Meera, an 18-year old Indian woman, seen as the embodiment of the Divine Mother.

At 25, Author Andrew Harvey abandoned a brilliant career at Oxford to return to his native India. A rationalist atheist, he raised every possible argument against the existence of another reality and watched each dissolve in the face of extraordinary mystical experiences. Here is the story of his spiritual awakening and transformation.

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Andrew Harvey – ‘The Death And The Birth’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Andrew Harvey ‘The Death And The Birth’ Interview by Iain McNay
Author of 30 books including ‘Hidden Journey,’ ‘The Hope,’ and his forthcoming book ‘Radical Passion’ talks about his life, his awakenings, his ‘dark nights’ and his work these days encouraging people to explore and engage in Sacred Activism. Talks about his time with Mother Meera, the importance of shadow work, and how as a human race we are right on edge of death, but also a new birth.
‘Compassion in Action is the marriage of practical action and spiritual wisdom to create a holy force capable of transforming our world crisis and preserving our planet.’

To Be On A Spiritual Path –by Jan Phillips

“To be on a spiritual path means to live mindfully, paying attention to the signs along the road and being conscious of our body — the vehicle we are traveling in — and of the needs and safety of others on the journey.

“To be on a spiritual path means to look inward as often as outward, knowing that the externals of our lives are reflections of our thoughts and words, manifestations of that which we are imagining and energizing into being with the fuel of our passion.

“To be on a spiritual path means to use the rearview mirror to be sure that the path behind is clear of debris and that we do not obstruct another’s journey with clutter of our own. It means making peace with our past, knowing our future contains it, and summoning the courage it takes to acknowledge, forgive, and release whatever we have clung to that impedes our movement.

“To be on a spiritual path is to take responsibility for creating our own creed, based on our commitments, and to respect the rights of others to do the same. It also means to reflect anew on what beliefs we’ve inherited to be sure they are compatible with our wisdom and compassion.

“To be on a spiritual path is to embrace the mystical paradox that while we are singular, physical beings on this journey, we are also profoundly connected to one another, animated and sustained by the same vast Spirit that abides in the star, the petal of an iris, the howl of the wolf. […]

“To be on a spiritual path, it is necessary to forgive yourself for wrong turns, for failing to yield, for driving under the influence of others. These are minor and forgivable infractions. The more important rules of this road are to be attentive, to notice when you stray, and to get back on the path as soon as possible.

“We could all use a road map for the journey inward, a guide away from the crowded thoroughfare to the quiet path of our own true calling; a reminder that it is not the destination, but the journey, that is important. The fourteenth-century Italian saint Catherine of Siena once wrote, ‘All the way to heaven is heaven.’

Perhaps this is roadmap enough — this one stark line enough to keep us walking, reminding us that the wind we feel on the back of our necks is nothing less than the breath of God.

– Jan Phillips, from “Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Path: A Road Map to Joy and Rejuvenation” –

Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals (book) by Cassandra Vieten PhD, Shelley Scammell PsyD

Religion lies at the heart of many clients’ core values, and helps shape their perception of themselves and the world around them. In this book, two clinical psychologists provide a much-needed, research-based road map to help professionals appropriately address their clients’ spiritual or religious beliefs in treatment sessions.

More and more, it has become essential for mental health professionals to understand and competently navigate clients’ religious and spiritual beliefs in treatment. In Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice, you’ll find sixteen research-based guidelines and best practices to help you provide effective therapy while being conscious of your clients’ unique spiritual or cultural background.

With this professional resource as your guide, you will be prepared to:

  • Take a spiritual and religious history when treating a client
  • Attend to spiritual or religious topics in a clinical setting
  • Hold clear ethical boundaries regarding your own religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Know when and how to make referrals if topics emerge which are beyond the scope of your competence

This book is a must-read for any mental health professional looking to develop spiritual, religious, and cultural competencies.

About the Author

Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, president and CEO of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and a scientist in the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Her research has focused on spirituality and health, development and pilot testing of mindfulness-based approaches to cultivating emotional balance, and transformative experiences and practices. She is coauthor of Living Deeply (New Harbinger/Noetic Books 2008) and author of Mindful Motherhood (New Harbinger 2009).

Shelley Scammell, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with a twenty-year practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and has taught psychology at Sonoma State University, as well as at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Formerly, she was an associate professor of English at New York University, and taught at Baruch College and Mount Holyoke. As copresident of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology, she was fundamental in developing the sixteen competencies. She has published articles on the competencies in APA journals as well as presented them at several APA national conventions. Her extensive background in Western and Eastern spiritual practices and studies has informed her diagnosis and treatment of clients in spiritual struggles. Her clinical experience has fostered a desire to share this expertise with fellow clinicians.

Foreword writer Daniel J. Siegel, MD, is executive director of the Mindsight Institute and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is author of The Developing Mind, The Mindful Brain, and other books, and founding editor of the Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology.

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Spiritual & Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice

Published on Nov 4, 2015

Cassandra Vieten and co-author Shelley Scammell talk about their new book: Spiritual & Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals. Purchase the book at:…

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