ShantiMayi- Meditation, Ego, and the Great Mystery

ShantiMayi – Meditation, Ego, and the Great Mystery


Tara Brach Discusses Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice (02/03/2016)

Published on Feb 18, 2016

Tara Brach Discusses Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice (02/03/2016)

A key spiritual inquiry is, “In this moment, what most serves awakening?” Rather than a particular style of meditation practice, it is our way of relating to our experience – our attitude – that frees our hearts. This talk explores the attitudes that are an expression of our innately open, wakeful and loving awareness, and that carry us to realization.

Tara’s website:

Secret Beauty – Seeing the Goodness – Solstice Talk ~ Tara Brach

Published on Feb 18, 2016

From Tara Brach: Secret Beauty – Seeing the Goodness – Solstice Talk (12/23/2015)

This solstice talk explores two pathways to realizing the Secret Beauty that is our essence. One is through the compassion that arises when we stay with vulnerability and suffering, and the other is through love that arises as we learn to see the goodness that shines through all beings.

Tara’s website:

Will Human Suffering Ever End? by Nikki Noce M.D:

Human suffering is indeed very prevalent and is happening for many reasons.

Eckhart Tolle & Marianne Williamson: Is Good or Bad an Illusion?

Both Eckhart Tolle and Marianne Williamson offer their perspective on the subject of good and bad and ultimately end up in the same place.

Just because “good” and “bad” are judgments of the mind, does NOT mean that no action should be taken for certain behaviors performed by delusioned beings.

Eckhart And Marianne Williamson discuss specifics about “Good” and/or “Bad” and boundary lines. .. Eckhart TV. I do not own this video, it is for educational purposes only.

Love Is a Place

By Rupert Spira

The first thing I want to say, and I’m afraid this is going to be a little disappointing to you, is that we are going to hear and speak a great many words this week about the nature of Consciousness, and not a single one of them is going to be absolutely true.

If we wanted to speak the truth about the nature of Consciousness, experience or reality, we would have to remain silent. That is why it’s said that the highest teaching is silence.

However, very few of us are sufficiently mature to intuit the reality of Consciousness from silence. Therefore, the spiritual traditions have elaborated various paths, various skilful means, tailored to various levels of our understanding. So it is in that spirit that I speak of the nature of Consciousness.

The first thing I would like to do is to give a definition of Consciousness. Of course, Consciousness cannot really be defined, but this would be good provisional definition of Consciousness: Consciousness is that in which all experience appears, that with which all experience is known and that out of which all experience is made.

What do I mean by ‘experience’ in this context? Anything objective: thoughts, memories, ideas, concepts, feelings, sensations of the body, sights, sounds, tastes, textures, smells, and so on.

All of these appear in something. That something is what we call Consciousness or Awareness. The common name for it is ‘I’, or myself. The religious name for it is God’s infinite Being. But all these refer to that in which experience appears, with which it is known and, ultimately, out of which it is made.

Now, even from a conventional point of view our thoughts and feelings appear within ourself. What is not so obvious is that the experience of the body, which we experience mostly as sensation, also appears in ourself, that is, in Consciousness. And what is even less clear is that our perceptions — for instance, sounds and sights — also appear in the same Consciousness, or the same field, in which our thoughts, feelings and sensations appear.

I just want to pause here and make sure you are really connecting with what I’m suggesting, not just intellectually agreeing or disagreeing.

Take a thought, or allow a thought or a series of thoughts to appear, and notice that those thoughts appear in some kind of field. They appear in something, so let us say they appear in space. Consciousness is not actually a space — in fact, it has no dimensions — but let us provisionally give Consciousness a spacelike or fieldlike quality, and see that whatever thoughts are appearing are appearing in this spacelike, aware field.

We should close our eyes for a few minutes to do this. Establish again that your thoughts appear in an aware, spacelike field. Now, listen to whatever sounds are present, the sounds of people talking or any other sounds that are appearing.

Now, with your attention, go back and forth between the thought and the sound. Ask yourself the question, ‘Does my attention ever leave the field of Awareness?’

Notice that the sound appears in exactly the same field that the thought appears in. Conventional thinking would have us believe that the thought appears inside what I am and the sound appears outside what I am. But if we look for a line that divides the two in our actual experience, it is never found. Just as a line is on the map but never in the territory, so the line is in belief but never in experience.

Now, instead of just allowing your attention to move between the thought and the sound, allow your attention to go wherever it wants. You can keep your eyes closed if you want to, but feel free to open them. Just allow your attention to range freely over the entire realm of your experience, and have this question in mind: ‘Does my attention ever leave Consciousness? Does my attention ever leave the field of Awareness?’

In fact, you could play devil’s advocate with yourself. Try to leave the field of Awareness. Try to come in contact with or attend to something that appears just outside Consciousness.

And don’t just refer to your current experience: imagine and remember all possible experiences. You could imagine, for instance, that you had just landed on the moon. A completely new set of perceptions appear to you. Do those perceptions appear in Consciousness or outside Consciousness?

Imagine you are a brain surgeon, doing your first brain operation. That brain is a series of perceptions and sensations. Do any of those perceptions or sensations appear outside Consciousness?

Imagine you are deeply depressed. Does that experience appear outside Consciousness? Does your attention have to venture to a place outside Consciousness in order to come in contact with or know the feeling of depression?

See simply and clearly that nobody has ever, nor could anyone ever, come in contact with anything outside Awareness or Consciousness.

* * *

Our entire world culture is founded on a single belief, the belief that there is a substance that exists outside of Consciousness, called ‘matter’. Matter is believed to be the fundamental reality of all existence, and Consciousness is believed to derive somehow from this substance of matter. Whether we realise it or not, almost all our thoughts, feelings, activities and relationships are founded upon this primary assumption.

Strangely, the idea of matter was invented a few thousand years ago, and we have been looking for it ever since. Scientists are still looking for it — they haven’t found it! Many scientists believe that it’s just a matter of a few more years and a few more million dollars until we eventually find this stuff called matter. And philosophers have been thinking about the nature of matter and its relation to Consciousness for over two thousand years.

The fact that nobody once, for a moment, has ever glimpsed this substance seems not to have had too much impact on the debate. It’s like spending centuries discussing the eating habits of the Loch Ness Monster. The fact that nobody has ever seen the Loch Ness Monster is considered a detail and seems to have been overlooked. It is believed that one day we will find it, but in the meantime let’s continue to discuss its eating habits. That is how absurd the debate about matter is!

The second most important unanswered question that Peter mentioned last night is the ‘hard problem of Consciousness’. The question, ‘How can Consciousness be derived from matter?’ is a pseudo-question, a non-existent question. Did anyone else notice the contradiction in those two questions? The first question was, ‘What is the nature of the universe?’ and the second question was, ‘How is Consciousness derived from matter?’ Is the contradiction in those two questions not staring us in the face?

In the first most important unanswered question, ‘What is the nature of the universe?’, we acknowledge that we don’t know what the nature of the universe is. In the second question, ‘How is Consciousness derived from matter?’ we make a huge leap of faith. We presume this substance called matter, having already acknowledged in the previous question that we have no idea what the universe is made of, and then we ask how Consciousness is derived from it.

Even in the first question there is a subtle presumption, which turns out in the end to be a belief. In fact, it is a religion, the religion of materialism. It asks, ‘What is the universe made of?’ but nobody has ever found ‘the universe’. Has anybody here ever had an experience of the universe as thought conceives it? (Silence.)

What are we exploring when we try to explore the nature of the universe? Are we trying to explore something we don’t experience? All we know of a universe is a series of fleeting perceptions, and perceptions appear in Consciousness. Therefore, until we know the nature of the Consciousness in which our perceptions appear, it is not possible to know anything that is true about perceptions themselves, let alone to know anything true about the universe.

I believe that one day the highest science will no longer be considered the science of physics; it will be the new science of Consciousness. Until we know the nature of Consciousness, it is not possible to know the nature of anything that appears within it. Until we know the nature of the Knowing with which we know our experience, it is not possible to know anything true about the known.

We might ask why Consciousness is a more legitimate field of study than the universe. Is there anybody here who is not aware at the moment? (Silence.) OK, that’s the answer. When I asked, ‘Has anybody here ever experienced the universe as it is conceived by thought?’ there was a long silence; not a single person put their hand up. In other words, we never experience this universe that we are studying. But when I asked the question, ‘Is anybody here not aware?’ nobody raised their hand. Everyone is aware. Awareness is our experience.

Therefore, Awareness is a legitimate field of study, simply because it is experienced. Everybody here is knowing or aware of their experience. What is the nature of the Knowing with which experience is known? That is the interesting question. Until we know the nature of the Knowing with which our experience is known, or until we know the nature of the Consciousness in which our experience appears, we cannot know anything that is true about the mind, the body or the world.

* * *

So how are we going to find out about the nature of Consciousness or Awareness? We first have to find out what it is that knows the experience of Awareness, of being aware. Only that could tell us anything about its nature.

If I were to ask each of you now the question, ‘Are you aware?’, everyone would pause for a moment, refer to their experience and answer, ‘Yes’. What happens in that pause?

Ask yourself the question again, ‘Am I aware?’, and just remain for a while in that pause before thought answers, ‘Yes’. That pause is a gap between two thoughts, the first thought, ‘Am I aware?’ and the second thought, ‘Yes’.

During the first thought, ‘Am I aware?’, we are not quite sure that we are aware, and by the time the second thought appears, we are absolutely certain, ‘I am aware’. In other words, the certainty of being aware takes place in between those two thoughts. It doesn’t take place in the mind.

When we hear the question, ‘Am I aware?’, Awareness directs itself towards the question. At the end of the question, there is a pause in which Awareness has nowhere to direct itself, and as a result it collapses for a moment, sinks back for a moment into itself, and then rises again in the form of the answer, ‘Yes’.

In this pause Awareness tastes itself, momentarily. In the pause between the question and the answer, we become aware that we are aware. Not only am I aware, but I am aware that I am aware. In that pause, Consciousness knows itself; it recognises its own Being.

It is Consciousness itself that knows that it is conscious. It is Awareness itself that recognises its own Being. In other words, only Awareness can know anything about Awareness. The finite mind, that is, thought and perception, can tell us nothing about Awareness. The finite mind is an expression of Awareness, it is made of Awareness, but it cannot know anything about Awareness, because the finite mind can only know something objective.

It’s easy to test that out in your experience. Try now to think of something that has no objective qualities. It’s not possible. The very best we can do is manufacture a blank object that mimics the presence of Awareness. Although thought is made only of Consciousness, it cannot know the stuff it is made of, just like a character in a movie is made of the screen but cannot know the screen.

Consciousness is an aware field, but because it has no dimensions, we can say it is more like a presence than a spacelike field. As we have just discovered, it is not possible to think, let alone speak, of something that has no dimensions, so in order to speak about the nature of Awareness we give it this spacelike quality. We describe it as the space of Awareness in which all experience appears, or the screen of Awareness on which all experience appears.

Consciousness is a spacelike presence in which thoughts, sensations, perceptions appear, but is not itself made of thought, sensation or perception. It has no objective qualities, and is thus sometimes said to be empty. It’s not really empty, but it is empty from the point of view of objects. It is empty of all objective content or quality. It has no finite qualities and is thus said to be infinite, not finite. Being infinite and empty, there is nothing in it that can divide it.

If there were, for instance, two Consciousnesses, there would have to be something about each of those two Consciousnesses that divided or distinguished them from one another, and those distinguishing qualities would be finite limits. But nobody has ever experienced a finite limit to Consciousness. When I say nobody, I don’t mean to suggest that it is a person that experiences Consciousness; it is Consciousness that experiences Consciousness. It is Awareness that is aware of being Awareness.

If we ask thought about the nature of Awareness, thought will tell us that every single body has its own package of Awareness. But if we ask the one who knows, that is, if we asked Awareness itself, ‘What do you know about yourself? What is your experience of yourself?’ Awareness would reply, if it could speak, ‘I have no knowledge of any border or distinction or form in myself. I am a single open, empty, indivisible, intimate field.’

That means that the Knowing or the Consciousness with which each of us is knowing our experience is the same Consciousness. It means that Consciousness can never be divided into parts or objects or selves. It means that if each of us were to take the thought ‘I’ and trace that ‘I’ to its origin, to its source, and if we were to trace it far enough back to the essential nature of each of our minds, we would all arrive at the same Consciousness. There cannot be two infinite, empty spaces.

The Knowing with which each of us knows our experience is the same Knowing. Each of our finite minds is precipitated out of the same infinite field of Consciousness. Each of our finite minds is a modulation of the same infinite, spacelike field of Consciousness. If we think of each finite mind as a field, we can say that part of the fields of our finite minds overlap, and we call that the shared outside world. Part of the fields of our finite minds don’t overlap, and we call that our private thoughts and feelings.

The religion of materialism uses the fact that we all experience the same world — the intersubjective agreement — as proof that there is a world made out of matter existing outside Consciousness. However, the reason we all experience the same world is not that there is a world made of matter appearing outside Consciousness. It is because each of our finite minds is precipitated within and from the same field of infinite Consciousness. It is because our minds share Consciousness that we feel we share the world. We do share the same world, but the world we share is made of Consciousness, not matter, and we are that very Consciousness that is informing all finite minds with its shared content.

So, the really interesting question, which I believe will sooner or later replace the top two questions — ‘What is the nature of the universe?’ and ‘How is Consciousness derived from matter?’ — is, ‘How is the appearance of matter derived from Consciousness?’

In other words, we will start with Consciousness. Why? Because Consciousness is our primary experience. That’s the obvious place to start. How is it possible for Consciousness or Awareness, which is seamless, indivisible, which has no objective qualities and therefore cannot be divided into parts, to appear as a multiplicity and diversity of objects and selves? That is the really interesting question.

All that is being experienced at this moment is Consciousness. Can anyone in this room, at this moment, find anything other than the knowing of their experience? Look around. Point to something that is distinct or other than the knowing of your experience. It’s not there. All that is known is Knowing. And it is Knowing that knows Knowing.

All that is being experienced at this moment is Consciousness, modulating itself in the form of the finite mind, that is, in the form of thought and perception. In the form of thought, it appears to itself as time, and in the form of perception it appears to itself as space. Time and space are Consciousness modulated through thought and perception.

* * *

How does something that is infinite take on the appearance of something that is finite? How does Consciousness appear to itself as a multiplicity and diversity of selves and objects?

In an attempt to answer this question I’d like to give you an analogy. Imagine a woman named Mary falling asleep here in Titignano. Mary’s mind is a single indivisible whole, like each of our minds, and Mary dreams that she is Jane walking the streets of New York. So, Mary’s mind has fallen asleep to its own infinite, indivisible nature and imagines instead that it has assumed the limited form of Jane’s mind. Jane is walking the streets of New York, seeing people, cars, buildings, which from Jane’s point of view all seem to be outside her mind.

When Jane closes her eyes the streets of New York disappear, and therefore she legitimately concludes that whatever it is that is seeing the streets of New York lives just behind her eyes. This and similar experiences convince Jane that the knowing with which she knows her experience lives just behind her eyes, or in her chest, in her body. All her thoughts, feelings and subsequent other activities and relationships are consistent with this belief.

One day Jane goes to a café, and sitting at the table next to her is a handsome man called David. David and Jane notice each other, they start having a conversation, and Jane feels a mysterious attraction to him.

Of course, David and Jane, the café and the streets of New York are all appearances in Mary’s infinite mind. Mary’s mind itself has not been divided into a multiplicity and diversity of objects and selves. It is still the same seamless, indivisible whole that it always is, and yet it has taken on the appearances of Jane and David, and the world in which they seem, from their point of view, to be located. Mary could have dreamt that she was David, instead of Jane, on the streets of New York, in which case she would have seemed to see her experience through David’s eyes instead of Jane’s.

When Jane feels this mysterious attraction towards David and they begin dating, she has a strange feeling that if she were to get closer to David, the pain that she feels in her heart, that she has been trying to escape from all her life, would somehow be alleviated. She feels that somehow to merge with David would give her relief from the pain from which she has been running all her life.

Eventually she and David do get together, and when they merge in friendship and sexual intimacy, she does indeed feel temporary relief from the pain of her longing. What is really happening? Why does Jane feel this longing? From where does the intuition come that it is possible to be relieved of her suffering? And what happens to her suffering when she and David merge?

In this moment of merging there is a temporary loss of all the limitations with which Jane defines herself. There is a temporary collapse of Jane’s finite mind, and in that moment she tastes the essence of her mind, which is Mary’s peaceful mind asleep in Titignano.

Now, of course, when Jane and David part, this temporary suspension of suffering comes to an end and she feels everything that defines her again. The suffering bubbles up again and she remembers, ‘Ah, the last time I united with David the suffering went away. Therefore, uniting with a person, an object, a substance or an activity must be the way to get rid of my suffering.’

So Jane goes again and again to the object, the substance, the activity or the relationship, in order to find relief from her suffering. Indeed, each time she unites with the object, activity, substance or relationship she does find temporary relief, and this builds up in her the conviction that the way to be free of her suffering is to continually acquire objects, activities, substances and relationships. She ends up being addicted, like most people are, to some kind of an object.

The subtlest object, of course, is thought, and this is the main addiction. It’s free and not bad for our health, so it’s an addiction that doesn’t normally get labelled as such. Nevertheless, it is an object towards which we give our attention, mainly in order to distract ourselves from the wound of separation that all apparently separate selves carry around within themselves.

This wound of separation, this longing for freedom, peace, happiness and love is, in fact, an echo in Jane of the nature of Mary’s mind. Mary’s mind is at peace, free, asleep in Titignano.

This longing for freedom, for peace, for happiness that each of us feels is the echo in each of our finite minds, the echo of the true freedom of infinite Consciousness. There is no other freedom than the freedom of infinite Consciousness. Infinite Consciousness is freedom, peace and happiness itself, and the desire that each of us feels for that freedom, peace, happiness and love is the pull that infinite Consciousness exerts on the finite mind.

The finite mind feels that pull in the form of suffering: ‘I long for happiness’. The separate self feels that it is doing the longing, but it is not. It is infinite Consciousness that is exerting a force on the finite mind, drawing it back into itself. It is this pull from infinite Consciousness on the finite mind that is what the finite mind calls the desire for happiness.

But in order to experience the streets of New York, Mary has had to fall asleep to her own nature. Mary has fallen asleep in Titignano, and it’s only as a result of falling asleep that she is able to realise one of the infinite possibilities that exist within her. She could have dreamt that she was Claire on the streets of Tokyo. She could have dreamt that she was Annabelle on the streets of London. An infinite number of possibilities exist in Mary’s mind. She chose one of those possibilities: to be Jane on the streets of New York.

But to appear as Jane on the streets of New York, Mary had to fall asleep to the infinite nature of her own mind and rise in the form of Jane’s finite mind. It is only from the limited point of view of Jane’s finite mind that Mary was able to experience the streets of New York.

In the same way, to bring manifestation into apparent existence Consciousness needs to fall asleep to its own infinite nature, because it is not possible for something that is infinite to know something that is finite. There is no room in the infinite for the finite.

Manifestation means form, and form means limit, so in order to experience something limited, such as a universe, Consciousness must overlook the knowing of its own unlimited Being. It must fall asleep to itself and freely assume the form of the finite mind.

In other words, when Consciousness brings manifestation into existence, it comes at a price. Consciousness overlooks the knowing of its own Being, gives birth to the universe from within itself and then finds itself located as a self in that universe. In order to bring the universe into apparent existence, Consciousness has had to forget its innate nature of peace and freedom, and that is why ‘the self in the world’ longs for one thing alone: peace and freedom.

* * *

The only activity the separate self is really engaged in is the discovery of peace, freedom and happiness. It first tries to do this by uniting with objects, substances, states and relationships, but at some point it gets to the end of that adventure. It realises that it can never be fully satisfied by objective experience, and that is when the real journey back home begins.

That is when Jane on the streets of New York asks herself, ‘What is the nature of my mind?’ Jane notices that nothing in life really satisfies her. She has numerous relationships, she tries all sorts of substances, and they all give her temporary relief, but none of them give her the lasting happiness she truly desires.

At one point she begins to explore the only direction left: the nature of her own mind. That exploration takes her mind on a journey backwards towards its source, the subject of experience, rather than outwards towards the object. On this return journey, the mind is divested, in most cases progressively, of its limitations and at some point stands revealed as infinite Consciousness. Jane’s finite mind is revealed as Mary’s infinite Consciousness. That is the experience of happiness; that is the experience of love.

Happiness or love experienced by the person, because the person dissolves in that experience. The person who seeks happiness and love is like the moth that seeks the flame. The moth longs for the flame above all else but it is the only thing the moth cannot experience. To experience the flame means to be consumed in it, to die into it. That is the experience for which the moth longs.

The only experience that the apparently separate self longs for is the experience of happiness or love. The experience of love is the dissolution of the limitations of the self. It is not an experience that the separate self can have; it is an experience in which the separate self dies.

Infinite Consciousness overlooks the knowing of its own Being to bring manifestation into apparent existence. It freely assumes the form of the finite mind in order to know the finite world.

That is why we always seem to know the world from the point of view of an inside self. Even in a dream, the world we experience is seen from the point of view of a self in a body. It is infinite Consciousness itself that divides itself into two parts — mind on the inside and matter on the outside — but matter is only matter from the illusory point of view of the finite mind, the self in the body.

From the point of view of infinite Consciousness there is no such substance called matter. There isn’t even any substance called the finite mind; there is only its own infinite, intimate, indivisible Being, which never actually ceases to be itself. It never comes in contact with or knows anything other than itself.

This means that all of this, our current experience — and I’m not talking abstract philosophy here; I mean the very experience that each of us is having now — is only infinite Consciousness itself assuming the form of the finite mind and appearing to itself as a world.

It means that the substance that our current experience is made of itself has no dimensions. It means this ordinary experience of four dimensions of time and space, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, activities, relationships, this very experience that each of us is having now, has no dimensions at all. Don’t try to think of that. It’s not possible to think of something with no dimensions.

Could it be that what is called the Big Bang is not an event that happened millions of years ago, but the event that is continually happening every time infinite Consciousness assumes the form of the finite mind and appears to itself as the world?

Could it be that the Big Bang is happening over and over and over again, always in the same Now? And yet, when Consciousness does assume the form of the finite mind and appear to itself as the world, no real world made out of matter comes into existence.

Existence comes from two Latin words, ex and sistere, meaning ‘to stand out from’. Nothing stands out from Consciousness; nobody has ever found a place outside Consciousness. No thing comes into existence. Objects borrow their apparent existence from God’s infinite Being, the only Being there is.

The very ‘I’ that each us is now feeling as ‘myself’, the ‘I’ that I am, is infinite Consciousness itself, God’s infinite Being. It is the reality, the substance out of which all experience is made.

No object ever comes out of Consciousness; no object ever exists in its own right. The seeming existence of all things belongs to infinite Consciousness, just like the apparent existence of characters in a movie belongs to the screen. There are never any divisions in the screen itself. The divisions are always in the appearances, never in the reality.

This means that this very experience that each of us is experiencing is God’s infinite Being alone. There is nothing being experienced now other than infinite Consciousness, and it is infinite Consciousness itself that refracting itself into a multiplicity of finite minds and appearing to itself as a multiplicity of finite worlds. But from Consciousness’s point of view it is never experiencing anything other than its own intimate, infinite Self.

When the Sufis say, ‘La ilaha illallah’ they mean, ‘There is no god but God.’ In other words, no thing has an existence of its own, no thing is a thing unto itself. All things borrow their thingness, their isness, their reality, from God’s infinite Being.

God’s infinite Being shines in each of our minds as the knowledge ‘I am’. That is why the ultimate spiritual practice is to give the ‘I’ that I am our attention, to allow the mind to sink back into its subjective source. As it does so it is temporarily, in most cases, occasionally suddenly, divested of its finite limitations and stands revealed as infinite Consciousness, God’s infinite Being, the only Being there is, the heart that we all share, the heart we all are.

I would suggest that the experience of love is simply the knowledge of our shared Being. When we love, we feel one with the other. Love is the experience of our shared Being. Is there any experience the separate self desires more than the experience of love?

What the separate self longs for above all else is simply to be divested of its separateness. So as a concession to the separate self, we can say that all the separate self needs to do to find this love for which it longs is to ask itself, ‘What is the nature of the knowing with which I know my experience?’

All Jane needs to do to be relieved of her suffering on the streets of New York is to ask herself, ‘What is the nature of my mind?’ If Jane enquires deeply enough into the nature of her own mind she will discover that her agitated, finite mind is made of Mary’s peaceful, infinite mind. That’s all there is to Jane’s mind. All there is to each of our minds is the inherently peaceful presence of infinite Consciousness.

love is a place

and through this place of

love move

(with brightness of peace)

all places

yes is a world

and in this world of

yes live

(skilfully curled)

all worlds

E. E. Cummings

American Mystic: Memoirs of a Happy Man by Arunachala Ramana

American Mystic – Memoirs of a Happy Man is a mix of American social history and the spiritual journey told by A. Ramana, a larger-than-life Texan, as he looked back over his lifetime.

Ramana was a big man in every way, a beautiful man, and a true mystic. His story is gripping, frankly told, providing a fascinating glimpse into American culture and history beginning in the Great Depression and ending in the new millennium. It is a colorful story of the search for happiness through both the pursuit of the American Dream and of spiritual inquiry.

Spiritual biographies have the power to help people connect with their own quest to find out who they are – which is, after all, the raison d’être of the spiritual search – and, Ramana’s story is particularly worth knowing in that regard. His struggles, adventures and inner search, culminated in his having a homecoming, an Awakening with a capital A. How many people can actually say that they have “found happiness?” Ramana did – and in these memoirs, he shares his journey and his thoughts about how this can happen for all of us.

Arunachala Ramana was the founder of AHAM and here in his memoirs he tells us about his life journey to awakening, his vision of AHAM, along with many keys to Self-Inquiry.

If you have a passion for Self-Inquiry and this inner work, American Mystic: Memoirs of a Happy Man will bring many insights. Ramana was both an inquirer into truth and an adventurer. His story is a fascinating glimpse of a man following the American Dream, the pursuit of Happiness, yet at the same time it is the inner journey that flows like an undercurrent throughout his story.

Ramana’s life, as extraordinary as it was, is also a mirror of our own journey and this book may be a friend and welcomed companion along our own path.


A. Ramana – “The Truth About Enlightenment”

In his direct, compassionate, unwavering style, A. Ramana guides attention back prior to the distractions, chatter, and habitual thought patterns of the restless mind.

The included AHAM Daily Message readings were from the book “Guru Ramana Vachana Mala” by “Who” on the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.

A Spiritual Journey by Susan Kapatoes, M.H.A.

Did you know? That we are powerful beings with the ability to use our inner strength for the benefit of humankind.

Throughout her life, Susan Kapatoes has felt moments of divine intervention – compelling events that caused her to remember and experience the omnipresent energy that is moving through our infinite universe and permeating our everyday lives.

A Spiritual Journey chronicles turning points in Kapatoes’s life. These are the unexpected moments that deeply touched her heart, revealing our existence extends far beyond the boundaries of the physical world. Stories of love, friendship, and difficulty are shared, along with those moments of grace, inviting the reader to expand his or her consciousness towards a greater reality.

Kapatoes shares the inner tools for igniting our own spiritual journey: sincerity, awareness, joy, and knowledge. We all have access to such tools. How we choose to use these instruments dictates the course of our own lives, and that of humanity. A Spiritual Journey empowers each of us to take positive action and awaken our own inherent wisdom.

Greetings to all 🙂 Throughout my life, I have had the unexpected opportunity to experience certain events that can be described as divine intervention. In a beneficial manner, I have been shown that we have a spiritual existence coinciding with our human reality. I felt compelled to write about these graceful times in order to help people expand their consciousness and connect to their own inner wisdom. We are powerful beings with the ability to awaken our inherent strength in a positive way. In “A Spiritual Journey”, I describe those moments of grace and share personal stories which have shaped my own life.

As a result of my life experiences, I like to write spiritual and nonfiction books with an uplifting theme. I have always been intrigued by success stories and understanding what drives people to find inner happiness.

In regards to my educational background, I hold a bachelor of science in Human Nutrition and a masters degree in Healthcare Administration management. As a complement to my formal learning, I have studied holistic medicine which utilizes a multidisciplinary approach in order to promote balance and optimal well-being in a person’s life.


A Spiritual Journey by Susan Kapatoes

Throughout her life, Susan Kapatoes has felt moments of divine intervention: powerful experiences that deeply touched her heart, revealing our existence extends far beyond the boundaries of the physical world. Stories of love, friendship, and spiritual grace are shared, along with those moments of doubt and uncertainty that beset any life.

Kapatoes shares the inner tools for igniting our own spiritual journey: sincerity, joy, a peaceful mind, and a strong spirit. We all have access to such tools. How we choose to use them dictates the course of our own lives, and that of humanity. A Spiritual Journey empowers each of us to take positive action and awaken our inner light and wisdom.

The Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 1 (02/10/2016) by Tara Brach

Published on Feb 18, 2016

Tara Brach Discusses the Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 1 (02/10/2016)

In spiritual life, inquiry arises from our deep yearning to understand reality, and it involves bringing an interested, engaged attention to our immediate experience. These two talks explore how inquiry serves emotional healing by focusing on difficult “stuck” places, how inquiry enables us to become more intimate and understanding of others, and in the deepest way, how inquiry can reveal the deepest truth of what we are…our true nature. The talks include several guided reflections that can enrich your meditation practice and serve spiritual awakening.

“True inquiry doesn’t land on an answer. It opens to a mystery that’s meant to be lived.”

All Illusions Have a Reality to Them

Published on Feb 19, 2016

A conversation about the nature of illusion

Maya is just a tool – Vedanta by James Swartz

Published on Feb 19, 2016

This video covers is part of the “Panchadasi 2015” video series and covers the topic of “Maya”. Maya is a teaching tool to understand the difference between objects (Samsara) and our true nature (Nirvana).
There is Maya but it is not real. Mythia (Maya) is not real. This is quite a complicated issue, probably the most difficult one in the whole Vedanta teaching. It is but it is not (in Sanskrit it is called Sat-Asat Vilakshanam). Maya is something other than what exists and something other than what does not exist. That’s why Moksha (liberation) is so difficult to get for most people.

How to Live in the Eternal Present ~ by Paramhansa Yogananda

In reality time does not exist. Life can be compared to a movie, which can be run backwards or forwards. The action on the screen may cover years, decades, or centuries in the past or future, but in the projection booth, everything is happening right now. In God, everything goes on in the present. The secret of happiness is to live fully in the here and now, aware of God’s bliss.

Unfortunately, very few people even attempt to live in the present. Most live in the past, filled with nostalgia or regrets, or in the future, filled with hopes or fears born of desire. More than any other factor, desires and attachments, by keeping people focused on the past or future, prevent them from living fully in the present.

The effects of desires and attachment

Consider a typical detour: A man strolls down the street on a beautiful day. The birds sing in the trees, the sun shines brightly, and a gentle breeze carries the scent of flowers from a nearby garden. Feeling deeply contented, the man thinks, “How wonderful life is!”

All at once, he sees a beautiful bird perched on a tree limb just above his head. “If only I had a camera!” the man thinks. “I could catch this image on film and have it with me forever!” Although sudden, this desire begins to settle in his heart. The strength of this desire gradually grows until, at last, by scrimping and saving, the man has enough money to buy a camera.

With his desire for a camera fulfilled, the man now asks himself, “What new object can I possess?” Already he has seen different kinds of useful attachments for his camera. Should he buy one of those or should he buy one of the newer cameras with more advanced features? The satisfaction of one desire has set in motion a tendency in him to seek happiness by fulfilling other desires. No longer is he able to live in the present. Desires keep him living in a future that forever recedes.

Non-attachment: path to inner freedom

Life does not prepare us to be non-attached. If you think you are non-attached, but when something you own is suddenly smashed beyond repair and you grieve for it, you may be sure that you were attached to it.

Material desires are merely an expression of the soul’s longing for its native state: eternal bliss. This longing can be fulfilled only in oneself. That man strolling down the street, happily enjoying a beautiful day, was happier at that moment than he was after acquiring the camera. Sooner or later we, too, realize that we want a thing only until we get it—then we will look for “something else.”

My Master, Sri Yukteswar, said to me, “You will tire of everything but the joy of God. When you realize that God is with you every minute, then that sparkling, bubbling, refreshing spring of joy will be yours.” And you realize that, in this joy, you have found that “something else” you were seeking through the labyrinthine byways of false desires.

Live behind the scenes of relative time

Even to live your best each day is not the deepest teaching, for today belongs to the flow of time, whereas perfect joy and awareness lie beyond time, in the eternal present. It is important, therefore, to learn to live behind the scenes of relative time, in the unchanging present. Only by living properly right now, at the changeless center of each moment, can you arrive at a point of complete inner freedom.

From the time I met my Master, I experienced in my heart a continuous, ever-increasing song of devotion for God. And when my song reached its peak, I experienced my oneness with Spirit and realized I was beyond time and space. I then understood that all the past scenes of my life were happening in the eternal present, and no longer could I grieve about loved ones who had left this world. They are all ever-present in God. I can still see them wherever they are.

The Self-realized yogi watches his childhood, youth and old age as though they were movies. After death his body passes through another change, but he himself, being always concentrated inwardly upon his true Self, is not limited by time.

It is not enough for you to believe that God is beyond time and space. You are also beyond time and space, and if you concentrate on your soul, you will realize that the change of the body at death is as simple as changing an old garment for a new one. You don’t grieve about the loss of the old garment when you put on a new one.

Steps toward living in the present

1. Meditate regularly: The soul is bound to the body by desires, temptations, and worries, and you are trying to break through those chains. Meditation enables you to calm the ripples of desires on the lake of your mind and to experience the joy which is hidden within you. By meditating and concentrating within, you will become more conscious of your soul and less identified with your physical form. Eventually you will reach a point when you are no longer disturbed by life’s ups and downs, and you will begin to realize the truth of your soul-nature: that you are not limited by time and space. You will begin to realize that you are one with the Eternal Spirit.

2. Show appreciation: Always bear in mind that this universe has a divine origin. It would be a mistake to hate this world with the rationale that you love God alone. Renunciation is essential on the spiritual path. Its purpose, however, is to help you overcome attachment to desires and temptations, not to prove your love for the Creator by abhorring His handiwork. You should appreciate the world as God’s creation, but then remind yourself how much more worthy of appreciation is the Creator, who brought all of these material wonders into manifestation.

3. Fulfill your duties:
Always, whatever you are doing, think that you are doing God’s work. Each day say, “What can I do for God today?” To fulfill your duties in life may not be easy or immediately enjoyable. Attaining divine joy is a long-term proposition, but if you would attain freedom in eternity, you must discharge your duties in life, and not avoid them. Do your best today and forget tomorrow. Do not harass your soul with petty worries.

4. Disown things from your heart:
Nothing belongs to you and everything belongs to you, but once you say, “This is mine,” you have limited yourself. Never grieve for anything that is taken. Maybe in this life you will lose all things and yet, when you have God, you have everything. There is no limitation to what you can get. Enjoy the things you have, take care of them, but always try, in your heart, to disown them. It is very liberating to be able to disown all things in your heart.

5. Transcend age-consciousness: Never think of yourself as getting old. In the divine consciousness, there is nothing called “old” and nothing called “young,” only the eternal present. The Self-realized yogi watches his childhood, youth, and old age as though they were movies. He is able to see all those who have left this earth, relatives and friends, wherever they are, because they are ever-present in God. These images appear before his inner gaze because past, present, and future are nothing but pictures in space. As he grows indifferent to the illusive consciousness of past and future, he develops eternal mental youthfulness.

6. Be even-minded at all times: Try always to keep a calm mind. An even-minded individual is like a mirror of discretion which reflects the true nature of seemingly favorable or unfavorable events. Such a person is not misled by emotional disturbances and is always prepared to act wisely. You will gain this unruffled calmness by deeper and deeper meditation.

“Before Abraham was, I am.” In the above-quoted words, Jesus announced that in his consciousness there were no divisions of past, present, and future. Jesus did not say, “Before Abraham was, I was.” He said, “Before Abraham was, I am,” meaning that there is no time or space when he is not present.

Jesus, like all great masters who have awakened in God and forsaken the cosmic dream, had realized that time and space existed only in the imagination of God and, though temporarily real, were essentially unreal. Jesus, being one with God, was able to say, “Before Abraham was, I am.” Any Christlike soul who attains the omnipresent Christ Consciousness finds his consciousness evenly present in the past, present, and future.

You can also say, “I am,” but because you confuse yourself with the little body, you think you are limited by time and space. If your goal in life is spiritual victory, grieve not over what you have failed to accomplish so far. Concentrate all your energy on the present. Sooner or later your efforts will be crowned with glory.

Transcend the Delusion of Self-Importance: Ten Key Steps

by Swami Kriyananda

Isn’t it a curious, the way so many people boast of their accomplishments – when nobody likes a boaster? The phenomenon is self-contradictory: How to explain it? Do people merely dislike having their own egos “crowded to the wall”? Surely it is more than that. Sensitive people, especially, can’t help sensing that there is something wrong about emphasizing one’s own ego at the expense of other people’s.

Their displeasure is motivated only partly by self-interest. There is an intuitive understanding that the ego, itself, is unworthy of unseemly promotion. People are wiser than they know. Most understand intuitively that they are more than they seem. They feel a certain greatness within them that is not defined by their humanity. People know, on some inner level of consciousness, that there is a greater reality to which we all belong.

The secret of a happy life

Paramhansa Yogananda described our apparent individuality with the illustration of countless tiny slivers of glass, each of us being one sliver. The light reflected from the sun of Spirit seems, in every sliver, individual. It is only a reflection, however, of the one sun. Every sliver of glass, considered individually, seems distinct and separate. What makes the sliver attractive in our eyes is the light reflected in it.

The more we manifest the spiritual light from within, the more, in a sense, we lose our egoic individuality. As individuality becomes less and less centered in the ego, a deeper sense of who we really are begins to manifest.

Certain realities are universal. All of us must, for example, cooperate with cosmic law; we cannot safely ignore it. Anything that will help to expand our consciousness, rather than narrow it in egoic self-importance, will bring us the happiness and fulfillment that we all crave. Anything, on the other hand, that shrinks our awareness into a narrower identity squeezes inward upon our happiness, deprives us of lasting fulfillment, and increases our suffering. The secret of a happy life is a minimum of self-preoccupation.

Self-esteem vs. self-respect
It is quite normal for businessmen and for anyone striving for success in life to feel a need for self-esteem. Low self-esteem is an obstacle to success. If however, a person wants true happiness, it is also necessary for him to eliminate any relish in his self-importance.

I suggest that the modern-day emphasis on self-esteem be changed. Self-respect, surely would be a better concept; it is less susceptible to misunderstanding. The problem with self-esteem is that it blocks creativity. The highest kind of creativity flows down to us from the superconscious. In that context, high or low self-esteem are no different from each other: both of them arise from excessive ego-consciousness.

When I was nine or ten years old, living in Bucharest, Romania, I made the trip from Teleajen to Bucharest by car with a few American businessmen. Their very voices conveyed vibrations of self-importance. Mere child that I was, and certainly only that in their eyes, I was more or less ignored. The car windows were tightly closed. The men puffed on cigars the whole way. As for me, I suffered in silence. At last the air was so suffocating I could bear it no longer. In desperation I rolled down my window and leaned out, gasping for air.

“Shut the window, son,” said the man seated beside me. “You’ll catch cold.” I wonder now, in retrospect, if he didn’t treat everyone under him at the office with a similar lack of concern. That ride lingers in memory even today, seventy years later, as one of the worst experiences of my life.

The difference between ego and arrogance

Most people equate the word ego with arrogance. It is important to know that those two words, arrogance and ego, have very different meanings. Arrogance means to have a superior opinion of oneself. Ego-consciousness does not, in itself, mean arrogance, which is perhaps the ego’s least attractive manifestation. Because many prominent people are deliberately arrogant, however, let us first consider this aspect of ego-consciousness in particular.

Many people desire to seem important in the eyes of others. It pleases them to be able to look down aloofly on their fellow creatures, and to treat them slightingly. Those who have this tendency focus on “things” more than people. Those “things” include their own position in the world. Snobs enjoy anything that feeds their sense of self-importance. People whose focus is especially on themselves often seek self-justification for any weakness by saying, “After all, I am only human.” The true answer to that statement is, “No. You are not yet human!”

Never excuse yourself with the words, “I’m only human.” Failings that are common to the human herd do not belong to man’s higher, divine nature. As the adi (first) Swami Shankara said, “It is very hard to reach the human level of evolution. Don’t pass over that great blessing!”

The delusion of self-importance
If you balk at the idea of ego-transcendence, I have no choice but defer to your free will. In this case, indeed, I must tell you, “Go right ahead! Become quite as self-important as you desire. Seek name, fame, a surfeit of riches, and overweening power – if those baubles still attract you. They attract most human beings. Seek those satisfactions, therefore, until you grow sick of them – as you certainly will do, someday!”

A young man living among the gangs of New York City told a woman I later met in California, “It gives me a real feeling of power to carry a gun when I walk the streets of New York. I know, then, that nobody can mess with me.”

The daughter of a prominent businessman went to Vassar College and came back – in her own eyes – a queen. At a party I attended she made a show of pulling elbow-length velvet gloves from her arm, lingering impressively on the movement until she’d released all her fingers.

A man who was on the board of directors of my father’s company boasted so extensively about his oil findings that an associate once said to him humorously, “Why, M___, you must be just about the greatest geologist in the world.”

“Oh, no,” the other replied with hastily assumed modesty. “In oil, maybe.”

People don’t realize the extent to which self-importance invites gentle mockery, and doesn’t by any means attract awe or respect. The soul intuits a divine greatness which the ego rejects in its search for merely competitive self-importance.

Egoic self-importance always disappoints

The essence of yoga principles is to emphasize the need for transcendence over the ego in oneness with Infinite Truth. If people want egoic self-importance; if they want power over others; if they hunger for name and fame; if they hope to radiate self-esteem: and if they like to manipulate others – they might do well to study Nicolo Machiavelli’s classic book of self-help, Il Principe. It has, I understand, been well received. Hitler kept a copy of it on his night table. Napoleon had a copy, discovered in his carriage after the Battle of Waterloo. The only trouble with the principles Machiavelli taught, and with the delusions I’ve briefly described here, is that they never fail to disappoint their adherents in the end.

If, on the other hand, you equate success with happiness for yourself and others, and not with the ability to exert power over anyone, then know that self-importance, power over others, and a desire to manipulate are delusive – dreams that are eventually succeeded by a rude awakening. The awakening may take time, owing to what my Guru called “the thwarting crosscurrents of ego.” When retribution comes, however, it is no longer awaits us in some distant future: It is very much right here and now – this very minute.

The nature of duality provides for everything a compensating opposite. Power and self-importance are balanced out, in time, by nullifying impotence and disgrace.

Happiness comes through self-expansion

Where your own work is concerned, remember that Maya (delusion) will always try to trick you into seeking self-gratification by ego-affirming means. In the process, Maya will carefully avoid the only thing that will ever really work for you: offering yourself into a greater reality. The way to defeat every Maya’s ego-narrowing argument is to remind yourself constantly that happiness and fulfillment come through self-expansion – a kind of expansion that is unattainable by the ego, but that comes inevitably to one who achieves release from the ego.

A final objection to overcoming ego-consciousness is the natural thought, “I don’t want to cease to exist! If cessation of my own individual consciousness is the goal of yoga, I consider that no fulfillment at all.”

Paramhansa Yogananda explained a final and supremely inspiring point in the debate between the advantages and disadvantages of ego-consciousness: “The ego, he said, is never destroyed. The only thing destroyed is attachment to ego-limitation!”

What happens, he explained, is that once the soul achieves Self-realization, it discovers that God alone was, in fact, the only Actor of very role the ego ever played. In the divine omniscience, once it is attained, there remains the memory of all one’s prior, individual existences. In cosmic memory, then, your own ego itself will continue to exist forever. You will be able to re-manifest yourself whenever the need arises – if ever, for example, someone prays for your blessings. In such cases, it is not that the Infinite Consciousness recreates something resembling you: It will be you, yourself, re-manifesting that very ego with which your being was once identified.


Ten Ways to Expand Your Consciousness

There are a number of practical ways of expanding your consciousness even while living and working in this body. These methods can be practiced anywhere. I offer a few such ways here:

1. Share with others the credit for any success you receive. Resist the temptation to call attention to any part you played in that success.

2. Try not to defend yourself against people’s accusations. Accept them silently and with good cheer. The ability to bear the negative opinions of others will lead to a growing freedom and happiness within.

3. Don’t meet praise with denial. Instead say words to this effect: “God alone is the Doer. I appreciate what you’ve said, but the credit really belongs to Him.”

4. Don’t point out to others their flaw of ego-centeredness. Remember than non-judgment will help release you from ego-involvement.

5. Laugh with people, never at them.

6. People often try to manipulate others, or the circumstances around them. Live, rather, by the principle, “What comes of itself, let it come.” You will find that, if you can reject completely the tendency to manipulate others, things will somehow flow well and smoothly for you.

7. Don’t hesitate to say “I can,” if you think you might succeed at some task. It is no sign of humility to tell others, “I can’t do that.” Remember: God, through you, can do anything!

8. When circumstances prove you to have been right in some matter, never announce smugly, “I said so, didn’t I?”

9. Be truthful, sincere, and ever kind.

10. Give to God everything you do, even if the profits of that action accrue to you personally. In this practice lies the secret of Nishkam karma – action without desire for the fruits of action. This practice leads to liberation and perfect fulfillment.


Excerpted from: Material Success through Yoga Principles, by Swami Kriyananda, Lesson 26, “The Right Use of Ego.” Crystal Clarity Publishers.

The Six Levels of Higher Consciousness: How to Make the Shift by MARY O’MALLEY

The following excerpt on higher consciousness is from Mary O’Malleys awareness expanding book What’s in the Way is the Way.

The healing you long for doesn’t come from changing anything. It comes from the ability to see and be with what is, for who you are is awareness. You are the space that your storyteller is happening in. As awareness, you can see the spells (limiting beliefs), feelings and sensations that pass through you all day long rather than being lost in the stories they generate.

When you learn how to be curious about what is going on inside of you, you discover the ability to experience what you are experiencing without turning it into a problem. You can then give the energy that was bound up in your struggles the attention and the spaciousness it needs in order to let go. This brings you back to the free-flowing aliveness that you truly are—the meadow of your being.

In order to be this curious about what is going on rather than always trying to control it, it is important to know that your life is for you. Life is not just a random series of events that happen because you did it right or you did it wrong. Instead, it is an intelligent unfolding that is revealing itself to you all day long, bringing you step-by-step from unconsciousness into a state of higher consciousness.

Take a moment now to feel how different that is from the way you usually perceive Life: as something happening to you that needs to be controlled, fixed and changed. Imagine what it would be like to let go of the whole game of resisting Life and instead to trust it. In this trust you could then open to it, listen to it, and grow from every encounter.

“Your life is a journey from unconsciousness to higher consciousness”

At the last Hawaii retreat I led on the island of Molokai, the core focus of the retreat was “All Is Welcome Here.” On the second day, one of the participants said that whenever that phrase was spoken, she heard “All is well. Come here!” When you learn how to stop trying to make your life be what you want it to be and show up for it instead (All Is Welcome Here), you discover that all is well and it is safe to be here. You can show up for the life that Life is giving you! And when you do this you begin to shift into higher consciousness.

When Eben Alexander woke up from his seven-day coma, the first thing he said to his sister was, “All is well!” In order to open to “All Is Well” so you can truly be here for Life, it is important to recognize that the evolution which is unfolding on the Earth includes human beings. Everything is a part of this evolution, including you. You are Life evolving from unconsciousness into higher consciousness. Your life is not a random series of events. It is an intelligent and mysterious process that is for Life.

I like to call it the “flawless, methodical mystery.” It is flawless because each and every experience of your life is tailor-made to wake you up out of your unconsciousness. Also, it is truly methodical. There are basic steps we all go through on our journey out of the cloud bank of our minds back into recognition of the meadow of Life. And it is truly mysterious. Without fully understanding it, we can open to it, rediscovering what Joseph Campbell describes as “the rapture of being alive.”

The Six Levels of Consciousness

Your life is a journey from unconsciousness to higher consciousness. Michael Beckwith, minister of the Agape Church, describes this evolution in four phases. I have added two more, “Life happens in you” and “Life happens for you,” and call them the “Six Phases of Higher Consciousness.”

1. Life happens to you.
2. Life happens by you.
3. Life happens in you.
4. Life happens for you.
5. Life happens through you.
6. Life is you.

Let us take a few minutes to explore each level of consciousness. I invite you, as you read, to keep on checking in with yourself. You are being given important information in this article. Remember that the most powerful thing you can do for your healing is to have your attention and your experience together, even as you are reading this and no matter what it brings up for you.

Dip the finger of your attention into the river of your experience. Allow whatever is here to be here. You have never experienced Life quite like this and never will again. This moment in your life is unique, and it is okay exactly as it is.

The 1st Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Happens To You

For a good deal of your life you have probably lived like most human beings, feeling that Life is happening to you. Life is so big and if you are honest with yourself, you never really know what is going to happen next. You wake up one morning and your heart is light and happy and the next day you’re unsettled. Bosses fire you, the flu debilitates you, people you love reject you, every day you get a little older and death is always lurking around the corner.

So it is understandable that the more unconscious you are, the more often you feel like a victim to Life. When you live in the belief that Life is happening to you, you often view it as a possible threat. So you stay caught in your head, finding yourself lost in your storyteller that resists, reacts, defends and explains, hoping to figure everything out. It generally does absolutely anything except be open to Life, right here, right now.

The 2nd Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Happens By You

When it becomes too uncomfortable to live with this much powerlessness, you evolve into the belief that Life is happening by you. Rather than being a victim to Life, you believe you can control it. There can be a great feeling of personal power in this level of consciousness. It is a necessary step in moving out of the victimhood of the first stage of higher consciousness, but people get caught there. Men try to control women and vice versa. Religions try to control the masses. Countries try to control other countries. The majority of people try to control others who are not like them (gay, different skin color, dissimilar religions). Most of all, we try to control ourselves, hoping to make ourselves be what we think we should be.

There is an enormous amount of effort in this phase of higher consciousness. The storyteller believes that in order for anything good to happen it has to make it happen. So it loves to set goals and feels very ashamed when it doesn’t follow through (just think of New Year’s resolutions!) The storyteller eventually evolves into intentions. Goals are where you use your mind to try to make things be the way you want them. With intentions, you work with feeling what you want to generate. None of this is bad or wrong. These are important tools to use on the path of awakening and sometimes they actually work. But what would happen if you recognized that, rather than trying to make things happen, opening into Life will bring you what you most deeply long for!

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”

There is a relatively new form of control where you believe you can control your reality. In this form of control, the storyteller says that all I have to do is think the right thoughts and I can make my life be the way I want it to be. The main difficulty with this is that, in the long run, it doesn’t work. To think you can control Life is like being a cork in the ocean believing it can control the movement of the ocean. Yes, it does change the movement of the water right where it is, but it can’t influence all the other powerful forces that make up the ocean.

To stay caught in this phase of higher consciousness is to be cut off from the creative flow of Life. Believing that you are in charge of Life, you are mainly identified with your conceptual world, trying to create a reality rather than showing up for reality.

When you have lived this level of consciousness long enough, you see the downside of it. First, you find yourself becoming fearful of your thoughts: I shouldn’t be thinking this way because I will manifest this in my world. Second, it can also bring forth shame, for when it doesn’t work the way the books promise, you think this is because you haven’t done it right enough or well enough. Author and speaker Carolyn Myss, who used to teach that you could manifest what you want if you just think right, evolved beyond that. When she was in Seattle in the 1990s she asked an audience of 600 to raise their hands if they had been able to create the reality they wanted. Not one person did!

As you are reading about to you and by you, your belly may have tightened again. Allow any holding you discover there to melt away. Smile and let this softening move all the way down into your pelvic floor and around to your back.

The 3rd Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Happens In You

You eventually begin to see that all of your reacting and controlling hasn’t brought you the ease and joy you long for. Instead of being the victim to your life and or needing to make it be any particular way, which is the endless game of struggle, you begin to get an inkling that Life is something to be listened to, opened to. This is where you start evolving into the next phase of higher consciousness, where Life is happening in you.

At this level of consciousness you begin to realize something very startling: most of the time, rather than experiencing Life, you think about it, seeing only the thoughts in your head! When you experience Life through your thoughts, you stop experiencing it as it is. Or, as the well-known French author Anais Nin once said, “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” You project your spells onto yourself and others rather than really seeing what is. When was the last time you truly saw a loved one’s face? If you are honest with yourself, it has probably been a long time.

It is in this phase of higher consciousness that you also realize that your suffering doesn’t come from the experiences of your life. Instead it comes from your stories about what is happening. It comes from inside of you! There could be a gray day and you’re just fine. Then on another gray day you could be miserable. You may say it is because the day is gray, but it comes from your story about the day, not the day itself.

This is where you begin to live what we have been calling the you-turn. You become less interested in being a victim to your life or even trying to make it be any different than it is. You realize that the healing you long for comes when you turn your attention within. When you get to know the spells that are the source of your suffering, you can unhook from them and come back to Life.

Do a you-turn and ask, “What is asking to be seen?” Be curious about what sits here right now.

The 4th Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Happens For You

The more you become curious about what is happening rather than reacting and controlling, the more you come to a wonderful realization that your life is for you. Rather than Life being something that is happening to you that you must control, you realize there are no ordinary moments! And you are one step further on the journey to higher consciousness.

Life is not a random series of events. It is a highly intelligent unfolding that is putting you in the exact situations you need in order to see and unhook from the spells that keep you separate from its flow. No matter what is happening in your life, you finally understand that Life knows what it is doing.

At this level of consciousness, rather than Life being something you have to mold and shape into what you want it to be, you begin to show up for Life exactly as it is. Yes, the flow of Life includes pain, loss and death. But resisting the pains of Life only turn them it into suffering, and the suffering that comes from resistance is always much greater than directly experiencing your pain. Instead of tightening around your experiences and turning away from them, which only thickens your cloud bank of struggle, you bring your attention to your experience, whatever it is.

“Life is not a random series of events. It is a highly intelligent unfolding.”

Even little moments of curiosity about what is going on right now sprinkled throughout your day are powerful! Every time you respond rather than react to what is going on inside of you, what was formerly bound up begins to loosen. Remember, your natural state is free-flowing aliveness. When that aliveness gets trapped in the spells, your energy and joy dim. When the spells receive the light of your attentiveness, they let go, and the trapped energy flows freely, bringing with it the bliss of openness. Remember: Life is setup, to bring up, what has been bound up, so it can open up, to be freed up, so you can show up for Life!

Close your eyes for a few moments and open into this living moment of your life. Hear it, sense it, feel it. This is the only moment that matters in your whole life for it is the only moment where Life is happening!

The 5th Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Happens Through You

The for you phase of higher consciousness shows you that there is no such thing as an ordinary moment in your life and helps you to see that Life is speaking to you at all moments. Becoming curious about what you are experiencing and giving it the light of compassionate attention so it can let go, you evolve into the next level of consciousness of allowing Life to move through you. This is where you recognize that Life is trustable. It is not always likable, but it knows what it is doing.

Imagine a life where you trust Life implicitly. Every morning you wake up with a sense of adventure. Your belly is soft, your mind is curious and your heart is open. Rather than struggling with Life, you open to it, even when you are facing deep challenges. If you find yourself caught in reaction, you give your reaction the attention it needs to let go.

Just as when you unkink a hose, the vibrant flow of energy that is Life can now move freely through you and this brings forth the joy and aliveness you so deeply long for. Creativity that you could never imagine on your own becomes clear to you, blessing yourself and everyone you meet with the wisdom of the meadow of Life.

You experience deep gratitude for absolutely everything. You see that your life is dependent on every ounce of creativity that has ever happened in the universe. You also see that all that has happened to you, even the difficult, has been a part of your journey back into Life. Step by step Life is bringing you into higher consciousness, into the ability to be fully here for Life. Now you can relax and show up for the adventure. As Cynthia Bourgeault so beautifully says in her book Mystical Hope, “You find your way by being sensitively and sensually connected to exactly where you are, letting ‘here’ reach out and lead you.”

The 6th Level of Higher Consciousness: Life Is You

The more you can stand with Life, allowing it to move through you rather than reacting to it or controlling it, the more you begin to get glimpses of the sixth level of consciousness in which you see that Life is you. You are no longer a separate being. Instead, you merge completely back into the creative flow of Life, understanding that everything—every rock, person, cloud, molecule and ladybug—is you. You are Life! As Eckhart Tolle said, “You are not in the universe; you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.”

All is well. Come here.

As you look closely at the Six Phases of Higher Consciousness, you will see that the first two are about fixing, changing, resisting and trying to control Life (Life is happening to you and by you). These phases are the world of your storyteller that doesn’t want what is here (doesn’t know how to open to Life) and wants what is not here (I can have what I want if I just think right). Throughout both of these levels of consciousness, there is a veil between you and the living experience of Life because neither phase is about showing up for the creative river of Life.

The next two phases of higher consciousness are about using your mind to be curious about what is happening rather than resisting and controlling. In Life is happening in you, you recognize that the storyteller inside of you is what separates you from Life. So rather than trying to change anything, you become interested in what you are experiencing in any given moment. The more you are here for Life, the easy and the difficult, the joyous and the sorrowful, unhooking from all of your spells, the more clear it becomes that Life knows what it is doing and it is for you.

The final two phases of higher consciousness are all about coming home to the meadow. The more you live the truth that Life is for you, the more you relax into the flow, bringing you to the joy of Life moving through you. As your cloud bank dissipates, you not only recognize the meadow again, you recognize that you are the meadow! Life is you and you are Life!

“You are not in the universe; you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it.”

Most people live in the first two phases of higher consciousness, to you and by you, never knowing that right in the middle of these beliefs is a doorway into the last four. Life is waking you up from the contraction of the first two and into the opening of the last four. This is not only for your own healing, but for the healing of all beings, because as you see through your cloud bank of struggle, you become a healing presence in the world.

There is a paradoxical truth that is important to acknowledge. Human beings are evolving from the first level of consciousness to the sixth. It is also true that most days you will experience a number of these phases. It is not about getting rid of any particular phase or making one better than the other. They are all part of Life, and as you evolve, you will recognize and be able to embrace them all.
The Truth of Trust

In order to evolve into and through the last four levels of consciousness, the tattered threads of your trust of Life need to be rewoven. You, like most people, don’t trust Life! It certainly feels untrustworthy. Life breaks your heart, brings illnesses to your body, and feels, at times, as though it gives you way more than you can handle.

If you don’t trust it, how can you show up for it, opening to all that it is offering you in every experience you have? How can you allow it to bring you, step by step, from unconsciousness into higher consciousness? There is a shift of perception that will help you immensely in relearning how to trust Life, discovering that your life, rather than being something that needs to be controlled, is something that can be opened to. The shift is: Life is smarter than you!

Most of us are so caught in our storyteller that we live in a small world. What we pay attention to all day long is the cloud bank around our heads that is made out of our spells. We don’t see what is going on here! And we definitely don’t recognize the meadow.

As a means of opening your awareness from the tight and small world of your storyteller into a more spacious perspective, I invite you into what I call a big-picture exploration. Imagine you are sitting on the moon, looking at the beautiful blue-green jewel that is our planet. See it as a living being that has been unfolding for 4½ billion years. Look beyond it into the black, velvety depth of space that is filled with more stars than there are grains of sand on every beach of the Earth!

Now bring your attention back to the Earth floating in front of you, and as you drink in its beauty, recognize that absolutely everything on this planet was created from atoms that come from the stars—and that includes you! So everything you see is made out of stardust!

Now in your imagination, see the evolution of Earth as a movie. At its inception it was just a ball of gas and dust. Fast-forward the movie in your mind’s eye and see land and water appearing as the Earth’s atmosphere forms. Then see Life beginning to come together into various rudimentary beings in the seas. Now see Life crawl out of the seas and onto the continents as a wave of green flows across the formerly barren land. Insects appear, animals emerge and dinosaurs come and go.

In the evolution of Life on this planet, there was a time when there were no creatures with thumbs, so Life could not be picked up to be used and explored. Now see life evolving a few million years ago into a form that had two arms with fingers and thumbs, along with the kind of brain that was interested in picking up Life and exploring It. Life had never shown up in this way before!

Now see early human beings coming together into tribes. As their frontal lobes became more complex, see them discovering language, figuring out how to use tools, cultivating the land, creating villages and towns, and then creating the wheel and ships that sail across the oceans.

“You are a community of 70 trillion cells that pump blood through 65,000 miles of arteries and veins”

Fast forward the movie again to just a few hundred years ago. See one set of your great, great, great grandparents being born, growing up, discovering one another, birthing one half of the partnership of your great, great grandparents and then disappearing back into mystery. This same cycle brought forth your grandparents, your parents and then you. Now see yourself appearing out of mystery at the exact place on this planet where you were born. Watch yourself evolve from a baby, to a young child, to a teenager and then into an adult.

As you are watching the movie of your life, bring it to this morning when you woke up, began your day and eventually came to the moment where you are reading this article. Realize that all of the millions of moments of your life have unfolded to this moment and this moment is the leading edge of the wave of evolution on this planet. Open to the knowing that this moment is no ordinary moment. Right here, right now, you are being given a very rare gift: the phenomenal gift of Life. For a short slice of time you get to be here, and then you too will dissolve back into mystery and Life will continue to unfold.

Pause for a moment and contemplate all of the creativity that has gone before you that allows you and everything around you to exist. This simple act of contemplation can shift you into a state of higher consciousness.

Your Story

This movie about the unfolding of Life on this planet that we just explored is your story. You are a being who is an expression of 4½ billion years of Life evolving on this planet. You exist in this body because of the vast creativity that has gone before you. Let’s take your eyes for example. The first ancestors of your eyes came from polyps on the oceans floors that created cells that were able to differentiate light and dark.

In between that first rudimentary step into seeing and your ability to see are vast amounts of creativity that allow you to see this article! And it is not just your eyes that are dependent on the entire ingenuity of Life. Your whole life, like everybody else’s, is dependent on every single act of creativity that has ever happened on this planet.

It is amazing to recognize the creativity that enabled Life to take stardust and make this planet and everything on it, including you. It is even more astounding to see that as you sit here reading this, you are a community of 70 trillion cells that pump blood through 65,000 miles of arteries and veins, send messages along your nerves at the speed of light, regulate hormones, repair cells and digest food without a single thought from you. If you doubt that there is an amazing Intelligence that permeates and penetrates all of Life, just acknowledge what is happening in your body right now.

Because you don’t recognize the Intelligence at the heart of Life, you believe you are separate from it. Believing you are separate from it, you buy into the illusion that you must control it. As soon as you believe you must control it, you become cut off from it, losing sight of the joy of being open to Life. This perspective keeps you from living in a place of higher consciousness.

You actually trust Life a lot. You trust it enough to beat your heart and breathe your breath. But you think that the Intelligence at the heart of Life has nothing to do with your daily life. You, like most people, bought into the arrogance of the human ego that says that it is in charge. Because of this belief in separation, you think your life is just a random series of events that you must mold and shape into what you think they should be.

What would happen if this was not so? What would your life look like if you understood that the same Intelligence that keeps the planets spinning, heals the cuts on your skin, and brings spring forth out of winter is with you every step of the way? Can you open to the possibility that this creative Intelligence is weaving your life out of the primal opposites of dark and light and it is giving you exactly what you need in order to evolve from unconsciousness into a phase of higher consciousness? What would it be like if you understood that the same awesome force of evolution that created this planet and brought Life out of the sea and onto land is working its magic in your life?

To get even an inkling of what we are exploring here will allow you to let go of that grip of control enough that you can begin to feel the magic of trusting your life. The more you trust it, the more you will show up for it, and the more you show up for it, the more you will see that Life is wiser than you and is bringing you the exact set of experiences you need in order to come back to Life.

Lift your eyes from the page and recognize that in the vastness of all time this moment will never be repeated, and you have the privilege to bear witness to it.
What It Looks Like To Trust Life

When you realize that Life is smarter than you, Life becomes very interesting. Rather than being lost in your storyteller, you realize something very extraordinary is happening here: there are no ordinary moments in your life! You become much more alert to what is happening, both outside and inside of you. If one’s life is like an iceberg, most people just pay attention to the part above the water while what is really going on is happening underneath the “water level” of their everyday awareness.

“You realize something very extraordinary is happening here: there are no ordinary moments in your life”

It is true that you are driving, working, showering, cooking, arguing, making love, raising children, birthing and dying. But underneath it all is the unfolding of intelligent evolution, and you are a part of that. You are evolving from an unconscious human being into a conscious one. This is happening in every experience of your life—every experience! Life is for Life. It is supporting your shift from being asleep to being awake. Just as Life assists a peach tree in creating fruit by sustaining it with sun, rain, bees and the nourishment of the Earth, it is giving you exactly what you need in order to know the fruit of a conscious human being, which is the ability to be awake to Life.

Living from the truth that your life is for you, you begin to let go of the belief that your suffering is caused by something outside of you: other people, your job, the shape of your body, the kind of mate you have, the type of health you have, the kind of past you had, or the sort of mind you have. You begin to see that your suffering is coming from inside of you, caused by the spells. Yes, there are difficult things that happen in your life, but when you don’t get lost in your stories about them, you respond to the situation, gathering the gifts that are always embedded in the challenges of your life. This is the gift of higher consciousness, you see that life is conspiring in your favor.

As you awaken into higher levels of consciousness, you become less interested in trying to change anything in your life and more interested in what is going on inside of you, especially in difficult situations. You have a deeper sense of allowing Life to put you in the exact situations you need in order for the core spells that make up your storyteller to be brought to the surface of your awareness. It is there that you can see them, watch them in action, and discover that they are just spells that were conditioned into you when you were young and that you no longer need to buy into them.

It is almost as if these deep and ancient spells of fear, shame, doubt, jealousy, not being enough, loneliness, and anger, to name a few, are like champagne bubbles that have been trapped inside of you. As your resistance to experiencing them lessens, they begin to loosen, arising to the surface to be seen. As they are fully seen, they burst, and the energy that was formerly trapped in them lets go. Rather than being afraid of this purification process, you begin to welcome it as the longing to be fully awake to Life becomes stronger than the fear of your spells.

Pause for a moment and check into your belly. Allow any holding you discover there to melt away and let a smile fill you with its healing presence. Allow this softening to move all the way down into your pelvic floor and around to your back. Feel the essence of your unfolding higher consciousness.
The Joy of Response-ability

Whether it is an illness, pain, a difficult neighbor, a compulsion, a financial crisis or any other challenging situation in your life, it can be initially threatening to your storyteller to take responsibility (the ability to respond) for your own experience. Old reactions that come from spells can be very strong. But you learn how to become like one of those three-foot tall inflatable dolls with a weight in the bottom. When you’re in a difficult situation, you feel like the doll when it is hit and falls over. More and more quickly, however, you do the you-turn, becoming curious about what this is bringing up inside of you, and you bounce back up again just like the doll does. You see that each situation is gently nudging you to expand into even higher levels of consciousness.

“All of the joy, clarity and aliveness you long for have always been with you, right here, right now”

This is where you truly begin to trust Life. You know that difficult situations are for you. You see that just as the body cleanses itself of foreign viruses and bacteria, your being will cleanse itself of the old spells. The more you want to see your spells, the more Life puts you in the situations that will bring them up so they can be touched enough with the light of your consciousness to let go. Thus you are no longer the victim to your life.

Even feelings like aloneness, or unending sadness, or the black hole of nothingness that seem so deep and real when you are resisting them become something to say “hello” to and touch with compassion. As you stand with them, they no longer have the power over you they used to have, and the energy that was bound up in them is released, opening you to the meadow that is always with you.

It is important to remember as you are bringing higher consciousness into your daily life that you have never left the meadow; you just thought that you had. All of the joy, clarity and aliveness you long for have always been with you, right here, right now. You just haven’t seen it because your storyteller has grabbed hold of your attention and rarely let it go. The more you allow Life to put you in the situations that bring up the core spells of your storyteller, the more your cloud bank will thin and you will be able to recognize and live from the meadow of your being.

This article originally appears in the Spring 2015 Issue of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. You can download a copy of this issue by clicking here or subscribe by clicking here

About The Author

Mary O’Malley began changing her relationship with her challenges after a powerful awakening in the early 1970s, freeing her from a lifelong struggle with darkness. Mary’s new book What’s In the Way IS the Way, provides tools and techniques for healing fears, anxieties, shame and confusion, and transforming struggles into the peace we all long for. Mary is committed to helping people heal their inner wars, so they can become a part of the healing of our planet. Eckhart Tolle says “Thank you, Mary, for your contribution to the evolution of human consciousness.” Visit her website:

Rosemary Gallagher on Self Love and Self Acceptance

Published on Feb 14, 2016

Rosemary Gallagher is an author, tarot consultant, angel intuitive and lyricist. In this event she will share her story, talking about how she found her creative and spiritual voice and the road that has taken her to get her where she is today. Rosemary will touch topics such as the importance of self love and self acceptance, communication with angels, how to trust in the universe, twin soulmate connection and more. Her life and search for love had a surprising twist when she found the greatest love of all…HERSELF!
She is also the author of I AM / YOU ARE.

This little inspirational reversible gift book provides an A-Z of uplifting single word affirmations for those moments when life doesn’t feel quite as good as it should.

Do you want to let someone else know how special you think they are? If so then this perfect little ‘pick me up’ book is just what you need.

The simple A – Z format provides inspiring and encouraging single words of wisdom. Little words with big meanings. The words have been chosen to encourage self-love and acceptance, each one has been selected to be a friend and companion to help you to believe in who YOU ARE.

Experience each word, practice using it and believe. You don’t need lots of words to express who you are, or how you feel, sometimes ONE is perfect.Small, simple, powerful.

The I Am side of the book is an affirmation on our internal journey, who we are to ourselves, the You Are side is a statement of intention to the world on your external journey, how we would like the world to see us – they mirror each other in perfect symmetry – inner and outer meeting as one.

Between Pain and Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering by Gerald W. Peterman (Author), Andrew J. Schmutzer (Author)

Why does suffering exist? When will it end? Where is God in it?

Despite how common suffering is, we still struggle to understand it, and even more, to bear through it. Between Pain and Grace gets to the heart of this struggle. Born from a popular college course on suffering, this book answers many of our critical questions, like:

  • Is God personally involved in our pain and suffering?
  • How should Christians handle emotions like grief and anger?
  • What does the Bible say about issues like mental illness, sexual abuse, and betrayal?

Striking an elegant balance between being scholarly on the one hand and heartfelt on the other, Between Pain and Grace is useful both in the classroom and for personal reading. The authors pull together Scripture, personal experiences, and even psychological research to offer a well-rounded and trustworthy take on suffering.

Between Pain and Grace will give you confidence in God’s sovereignty, comfort in His presence, and wisdom for life this side of paradise.

GERALD PETERMAN is Professor of Bible and Director of the Master of Arts, Biblical and Theological Studies at Moody Bible Institute. Before coming to Moody he taught at Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, FL, spent 4 1/2 years doing church planting for the Evangelical Free Church in central Florida and in south central Iowa, and also served eight years in the Air National Guard as a Chaplain. Peterman also serves part-time at his local church. For Moody Publishers he has written Joy and Tears: The Emotional Life of the Christian (2013) and is currently co-authoring Between Pain and Grace: A Biblical Theology of Suffering with Dr. Andrew Schmutzer. Research interests include New Testament Greek Language and Exegesis, Greek and Roman Background to the New Testament, and Biblical Theology. Gerald has been married to Marjory L. Peterman since January 1984, with two adult daughters, Bethany and Grace.

, Trinity International University) is Professor of Biblical Studies at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, Illinois). In addition to numerous articles and essays on the Old Testament, he has written the exegetical theology Be Fruitful and Multiply and two forthcoming commentaries on Ruth and Esther.

20 Quotes To End All Suffering By Byron Katie

End your suffering with Byron Katie

Byron Katie, speaker and author teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work.” The Work is a way of identifying and questioning any stressful thought. It consists of four questions and a turnaround.

The four questions are: 1) Is it true? 2) Can you absolutely know that it’s true? 3) How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? and 4) Who would you be without the thought?

Turnarounds: Could the opposite be as true? Turn the statement around to the opposite, to the self, and to the other. This is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe.

1. “Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change
your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.” ~ Byron Katie”

2. “Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself, and wait for the answer in silence.” ~ Byron Katie

3. “If you believe that anyone’s action is bad, how can you see the good in it? How can you see the good that comes out of it, maybe years later? If you see anyone as bad, how can you understand that we are all created equal? We’re all teachers by the way we live. A blind drunk can teach more about why not to drink than an abstinent man in all his piety. No one has more or less goodness. No one who ever lived is a better or a worse human being than you.” ~ Byron Katie

Take your fear and shove it

4. “The teacher you need is the person you’re living with.” ~ Byron Katie

5. “It’s not your job to like me – it’s mine.” ~ Byron Katie

6. “All the advice you ever gave your partner is for you to hear.” ~ Byron Katie

7. “Nothing comes ahead of its time, and nothing ever happened that didn’t need to happen.” ~ Byron Katie

8. “As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” ~ Byron Katie

9. “All I have is all I need and all I need is all I have in this moment.” ~ Byron Katie

10. “I love what I think, and I’m never tempted to believe it.” ~ Byron Katie

11. “I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.” ~ Byron Katie

12. “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon, nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.” ~ Byron Katie

13. “I am the perpretor of my suffering – but only all of it.” ~ Byron Katie

14. “Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.” ~ Byron Katie

15. “I’m a lover of reality. When I argue with What Is, I lose, but only 100% of the time.” ~ Byron Katie

16. Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.” ~ Byron Katie

17. “Nothing can cost you someone you love. The only thing that can cost you your husband is if you believe a thought. That’s how you move away from him. That’s how the marriage ends.

You are one with your husband until you believe the thought that he should look a certain way, he should give you something, he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there you have lost your marriage.” ~ Byron Katie

18. “Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop?” ~ Byron Katie

19. “I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours and God’s. Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation.” ~ Byron Katie

20. “A teacher of fear can’t bring peace on Earth. We have been trying to do it that way for thousands of years. The person who turns inner violence around, the person who finds peace inside and lives it, is the one who teaches what true peace is. We are waiting for just one teacher. You’re the one.” ~ Byron Katie

Photo image: Scott London

The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology By: Per Henrik Gullfoss

Where Are You Going?
The Astrological Key to It All

It seems like the two most important questions of life are “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?” The answer to the first question is better left to the realm of religion. But the second question…well, it almost seems that just as soon as we answer it things come up in life and we ask it again and again. “Where am I going” may be the most important question we ask ourselves, but we have had little guidance to find the answer—until now.

Astrology can be a tool that guides us and directs us, but only when we take it from just the practical realm and move into more spiritual directions. It needs to not merely provide answers from the stars, but to inspire us to look to the stars and beyond—to enlightenment. That’s exactly what you’ll find in The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology by Per Henrik Gullfoss.

The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology is not a list of character strengths and flaws, but rather gives new life and vibrancy to the study of astrology. It’s perfect for beginners, as it will give you a fantastic and wonderful introduction to the real essence of astrology as humanity’s tool on its voyage towards awareness and awakening. It will give experienced astrologers a completely new and amazingly simple yet precise way of using astrology. Unlike other books on astrology, The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology will clearly show you how your birth chart indicates your spiritual and evolutionary journey during this life.

All the Basics, and So Much More!
The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology includes a complete and thorough discussion of all the basic parts of astrology from a spiritual and evolutional viewpoint. You’ll discover what your soul aches to experience and express on its early journey, the gifts and challenges for this lifetime, and what you must master to achieve enlightenment.

What sets this book apart from others is the way everything is explained. Just look how the signs are discussed:

Aries: Power of Joy
Taurus: Transformation Through Beauty
Gemini: Understanding of Wisdom
Cancer: Power of Love
Leo: Transformation Through Joy
Virgo: Understanding of Beauty
Libra: Power of Wisdom
Scorpio: Transformation Through Love
Sagittarius: Understanding of Joy
Capricorn: Power of Beauty
Aquarius: Transformation Through Wisdom
Pisces: Understanding of Love

You can easily see how concepts of power, transformation, and understanding cycle through ideas of joy, beauty, wisdom, and love. Each of these aspects is completely explored in this book. As you study, you will find that this book is thorough, well written, easy to understand, and at times even thought-provoking.

You’ll learn the meaning of each planet in each sign and see how it specifically relates to your birth chart. It specially focuses on your persona, your partnerships with others, your private life, and your professional life.

Get Out Your Pencils and Notebooks
You won’t just read The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology, you’ll study it, take notes, and refer to it often. Virtually every page will give you new insight into the very essence of who you are, along with your most opportune direction in life, a direction that will lead you on a path of greater spirituality and personal enlightenment.

The Complete Book of Spiritual Astrology is truly that “breath of fresh air” on a subject that has become either “silly” to the debunkers or staid and dry to some practitioners. With this book astrology moves back to its true role of a spiritual science, helping followers master both time and themselves. The subjects here are as familiar but simultaneously unique. If you are new to astrology, it will show you just what astrology can really do and how it can help guide you on your spiritual path. If you are a professional, it will bring new life and direction to your readings…and to your own path in life.

Per Henrik Gullfoss is Norway’s most respected astrologer. Widely published in Europe, he is best known for his Norwegian bestseller Your Star Sign. He lectures throughout Scandinavia and runs Norway’s only astrological school, which he also founded.


The Plane of Pure Love – Ram Dass

Published on Feb 16, 2016

You are already the fully enlightened being, you just don’t know it. You sense that potential, the capacity to be free of time and space, to let go of attachment to form, and to open yourself to Love with no boundaries.

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