Trailer | Walk With Me ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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10 Ways to Shift Your Consciousness by Paul Lenda

In moments of stress, anxiety and other intense harmful mind states that we experience within our lives,it can be difficult to have our focus on positive personal development. The thought of becoming an enlightened sage radiating seemingly-perpetual positive energy can seem far off…an unattainable goal given life’s everyday problems. True as it may seem to be, this is a mental mechanism that blocks our ability to seeing things for what they are, namely that “your Self is already inherently liberated. It is the ideas that have been imposed on that Self which must be set free”, as Gangaji once mused.

We’re going to take a look at 10 ways in which you can help shift your consciousness to a higher level of well-being. These tools, methods, and mind states will help you become consciously evolved and on your way towards the enlightenment of your awareness.
Compassion

By being compassionate, we embrace the sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. By experiencing compassion, we also experience the awareness of the interdependence of all things. Compassion is an active choice to want with others and to want for others the alleviation of their suffering. Compassionate action is a willingness to go beyond our own self-interests for the good of others. We let go of our own needs to attend to the needs of others so that we can meet our own deepest need: to feel connected to something…to feel a part of a larger shared humanity.

Boundary Dissolution

By experiencing boundary dissolution, we experience a deconstruction and dissolving of boundaries that have been created by human cultures and societies and which have existed as long as the self-centered ego has influenced humanity. The purpose of boundary dissolution is to do away with these falsehoods that separate humanity instead of uniting it. When you dissolve the boundaries that divide and separate you from others, you will have the ability to transform your world into one of serenity, tranquility, and peace. Oneness will not be just a philosophical concept but a reality that will be experienced by the totality of the human race.
Appreciation

When you appreciate someone, you are tuned into their positive qualities and express your empathy and gratitude for them. Appreciation results in positive vibration offered to all and further inspiration and expansion into a greater you. It’s a simple way to refresh ourselves, to open up heart-felt connections to ourselves and to others. Appreciation is both a fully focused delight about whatever it is that feels good and a recognition of your own ability to intend and allow its manifestation.

Appreciate a deep relaxing breath of air or maybe the pleasurable radiant warmth of the sun. The simple things you might take for granted are all worthy of appreciation. As you do this, try to focus completely on the good this experience or item offers you, and acknowledge that you and only you have created it, no matter how it came to you. No matter your condition or circumstances, there will always be something that you can find to appreciate. If it seems that your life is lacking in happiness, just look for a single thing each day and honor your part in manifesting it, then think of any and every aspect of that item or condition which is a positive force in your life.

Inner Peace

Having inner peace means that we are mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep ourselves strong in the face of difficult and stressful life experiences. In some cultures inner peace is considered a state of consciousness that can be cultivated by taking up things like meditation, Tai Chi or yoga. Many spiritual practices refer to this kind of peace as being an experience of knowing your own self. The solution to finding inner peace requires us to look at the problem from a new perspective. We cannot change the nature of the world or its problems, but we can add a new dimension to life that will give us peace.

We may not be able to eliminate all the problems of the world, but through meditation we can attain peace and happiness. We can make our family life more peaceful, loving, and caring, We can help change the society in which we live. We can be a source of peace to all those around us. By leading a life in which we are caring and loving to others, we will develop into ideal human beings. By gaining inner peace, we can also achieve outer peace. Some people mistakenly think that the path of meditation is one of escapism. They feel that it requires you to sit in a cave or on a mountain top like a hermit. Meditation doesn’t lead to escapism, instead it makes us more alive.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the moment to moment experience of peace and understanding that occurs when the suffering of someone who feels injured has their suffering reduced as they transform their grievance against the person or group that initiated an experience that led to that suffering. Forgiveness involves a sense of felt unity with one who has hurt us and can be regressive or progressive. By embracing the feeling of forgiveness as something that can help us, we accept it as an aspect of acceptance, love, peace, and truth instead of experiencing hatred, emotionalism, negativity, falsehood…all of which are aspects of resentment.

Forgiveness brings utter peace of mind. Resentment brings inner turmoil and suffering. Forgiveness means choosing to see the absolute perfection and beauty in everything. Everything and everyone is currently operating at its own level of awareness and/or evolution. Everyone and everything is what it is right now because that’s what it needs to learn or un-learn. People are what they are and make mistakes because they really don’t know otherwise or they don’t want to know otherwise. If they really knew otherwise, they would already be otherwise.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of mind where you pay attention in a certain way. Mindfulness practice expands your field of awareness, allowing for improved oversight of somatic and affective experiencing, thanks to which you can experience an enhanced capacity for self-regulation of our arousal, affect, and behavior. Mindfulness is incredibly helpful to us for several reasons. For starters, it reflects only what is presently hap ­pening and in exactly the way it is happening. There are no biases.

Mindfulness is also the ability of the mind to observe without criticism. With this ability, you see things without condemnation or judgment. Nothing surprises you…you just take a balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their natural states. You don’t decide and you don’t judge…you just observe. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It does not label them or categorize them. It just observes everything as if it were occurring for the first time. Mindfulness sees things as they really are. Once mindfulness becomes part of your everyday life, you develop the capacity to tolerate and accept painful experience and inner resources that help stabilize affect and reduce impulsiveness. For help with increasing your mindfulness, you should practice a meditation technique called vipassana, which was introduced around 2,500 years ago and has been specifically focused on experiencing a state of uninterrupted mindfulness.

Selflessness

When we are selfless, we shift our focus onto the needs of others, rather than keeping it on ourselves. It is the practice of being unselfish and minimizing the gratification of the ego’s wants and desires. In order to make the life-redefining shift from selfishness to selflessness, go and focus on the well-being of others. This can be done in countless ways. You can clean up your life and surrender a fully healed body, heart, mind and soul to others when entering a relationship. You can also be ready to share any amount of time needed by others whenever they need. Be happy with your life and with whatever you are offered by others. Whenever you are sure to give your very best possible you are receiving exactly what ever you need for your greatest possible spiritual benefit.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a yearning for a return to some past period or seemingly-irrecoverable condition. It is the reliving of a past time, which is usually seen in a more positive light than the reality of that experience may have been. Studies have found that people who have a heightened level of nostalgia have higher self-esteem and are less prone to depression. Thinking of good memories for just 15 or 20 minutes a day can make you more cheerful than you were the week before, and happier than if you think of your current life. Nostalgia is a very potent mood booster, so if you seem to be in a bit of a funk, think about good memories of times past and you will experience higher self-esteem and feel more positively about friendships and close relationships.

Post-Materialism

As the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel once said, “If the world is to change for the better it must have a change in human consciousness”. Albert Einstein mused in a similar vein when he said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. The world’s problems are grand and are many. The only way these problems can be solved is by a fundamental and profound shift in human consciousness. Making the shift to post-materialism requires us to take a few steps first.

We need to face the implications of population and consumption growth for pollution, climate change, and environmental destruction. We need to realize that materialist values make for less happy lives. We need to identify and promote things in life that matter more than economic growth. We need to understand and experience the nature of the oneness and interconnectedness of all things and people.

Wonder

Wonder is the experience of those who reach a sense or state of so-called perfection in the ordering of the world. Experiences of wonder can lead us to a sense of transcendence and realization of higher states of being. From a mystical perspective, wonder relates to affirmation as wonder openings reveal the infinite and the source of all that is, which operate as gateways to uniting experiences. Energetically, wonder is an expression of Eros, a life force that propels one into the present moment and into life and that magnifies attentional capacities.

Buddhism muses that distinctions limited to relative or empirical reality are artificial and result in perpetuating the anguish, the pain, and the frustration that some speak of because we become alienated from experience. Religious practice and custom propagate and create alterations in perception. Ultimately, through such alterations, we are able to experience the transparency of relative existence and of subject-object separations that exist in reality. In other words, wonder leads us tasting a unified and infinite existence.
Source: wake up world

Enlightenment is Not a State of Consciousness By Adyashanti


Spiritual teacher Adyashanti believes Enlightenment has more to do with embracing reality than escaping from it

It is not the pursuit of greater and greater states of happiness and bliss that leads to enlightenment, but the yearning for Reality and the rabid dissatisfaction with living anything less than a fully authentic life. – Adyashanti

Millions of people around the world are on a quest for Enlightenment. But what happens if/when we actually achieve it? Is Enlightenment a new experience we get to enjoy if we meditate for long enough? Does it somehow make us ‘special’ or help us make sense of who we really are?

According to American-born spiritual teacher Adyashanti, it is none of the above. In fact, as the following excerpt from his writing suggests, Enlightenment has more to do with embracing reality, than escaping from it.

Will we find the reality of enlightenment at the mall?

Will we find the reality of enlightenment at the mall?

Shopping for Enlightenment

“Many seekers do not take full responsibility for their own liberation, but wait for one big, final spiritual experience which will catapult them fully into it. It is this search for the final liberating experience which gives rise to a rampant form of spiritual consumerism in which seekers go from one teacher to another, shopping for enlightenment as if shopping for sweets in a candy store.

This spiritual promiscuity is rapidly turning the search for enlightenment into a cult of experience seekers. And, while many people indeed have powerful experiences, in most cases these do not lead to the profound transformation of the individual, which is the expression of enlightenment.

In my experience, everyone will say they want to discover the Truth, right up until they realize that the Truth will rob them of their deepest held ideas, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. The freedom of enlightenment means much more than the experience of love and peace. It means discovering a Truth that will turn your view of self and life upside-down.

For one who is truly ready, this will be unimaginably liberating. But for one who is still clinging in any way, this will be extremely challenging indeed. How does one know if they are ready? One is ready when they are willing to be absolutely consumed, when they are willing to be fuel for a fire without end.

Enlightenment can turn your view of self upside down

Enlightenment can turn your view of self upside down

Your identity will not survive Enlightenment

If you start playing the game of being an “enlightened somebody,” the true teacher is going to call you on it. He or she is going to expose you, and that exposure is going to hurt. Because the ego will be there, standing in the light of Truth, exposed and humiliated. Of course, the ego will cry “foul!” It will claim that the teacher made a mistake and begin to justify itself in an effort to put its protective clothing back on.

It will begin to spin justifications with incredible subtlety and deceptiveness. This is where real spiritual sadhana (practice) begins. This is where it all becomes very real and the student discovers whether he or she truly wants to be free, or merely wants to remain as a false, separate, and self-justifying ego. This crossroad inevitably comes and is always challenging. It separates the true seeker from the false one.

The true seeker will be willing to bare the grace of humility, whereas the false seeker will run from it. Thus begins the true path to enlightenment, granted only to those willing to be nobody. Discovering your “nobodyness” opens the door to awakening as beingness, and beyond that to the Source of all beingness.

Enlightenment is not special

Do not think that enlightenment is going to make you special—it’s not. If you feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. I meet a lot of people who think they are enlightened and awake simply because they have had a very moving spiritual experience. They wear their enlightenment on their sleeve like a badge of honor. They sit among friends and talk about how awake they are while sipping coffee at a cafe.

The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time—not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.

Enlightenment means the end of all division. It is not simply having an occasional experience of unity beyond all division, it is actually being undivided. This is what nonduality truly means. It means there is just one Self, without a difference or gap between the profound revelation of Oneness and the way it is perceived and lived every moment of life.

Nonduality means that the inner revelation and the outer expression of the personality are one and the same. So few seem to be interested in the greater implication contained within profound spiritual experiences, because it is the contemplation of these implications which quickly brings to awareness the inner divisions existing within most seekers.

US born spiritual teacher Adyashanti

US born spiritual teacher Adyashanti

Enlightenment is not a state of consciousness.

Enlightenment has nothing to do with states of consciousness. Whether you are in ego consciousness or unity consciousness is not really the point. I have met many people who have easy access to advanced states of consciousness. Though for some people this may come very easily, I also notice that many of these people are no freer than anyone else. If you don’t believe that the ego can exist in very advanced states of consciousness, think again. The point isn’t the state of consciousness, even very advanced ones, but an awake mystery that is the source of all states of consciousness.

It is even the source of presence and beingness. It is beyond all perception and all experience. I call it “awakeness.” To find out that you are empty of emptiness is to die into an aware mystery, which is the source of all existence. It just so happens that that mystery is in love with all of its manifestation and non-manifestation. You find your Self by stepping back out of yourself.”

An excerpt from ‘Selling Water by the River’
First published in the Inner Directions Journal, Fall/Winter 1999.

Source:UPLIFT:consciousness channel

Tara Talks: “I’m Suffering Too” – Tara Brach


Published on Oct 4, 2016

Tara Talks: “I’m Suffering Too” – Tara Brach

A woman in prison realizes she’s not “the bad one,” and begins on a deep path of healing.

Ric Weinman – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


Published on Oct 1, 2016

Ric Weinman is the founder of VortexHealing®, a healing art that he re-discovered in a profound ‘vision’, November 26, 1994.

Ric grew up in Queens, NY. He went to Columbia University as an engineering student, and in his sophomore year he transferred into its liberal arts college, majoring in English and getting his BA in 1971. From there, he hitchhiked around Europe, going wherever the wind took him, mostly sleeping in farmers’ fields. He was trying to escape from a deep emotional trauma, and so he barely ate and got very far ‘out of body’. But in his ‘out there’ and starved state, although he lost a lot of his body mass, his nervous system went into a different state, and he rediscovered his spiritual connection. This began the slow journey back in, taking this new inner connection with him.

Ric lived ‘at the edge’ for many years, working odd jobs and day jobs, moving about but living mostly, in Tucson, AZ. During that time he did a lot of meditation and writing. Some of his short stories were published, as well as two books (Your Hands Can Heal, printed in 7 languages, and Breaking the Illusion). It was in Tucson that his ‘psychic’ abilities started to activate, and he began to practice healing. He studied Jin Shin Jyutsu®, cranial-sacral therapy, and practiced his own methods of working with energy, consciousness, and fascia. At that time, he also started to connect inside to various Divine beings, both alive and no longer in the body. His connection to the Divine became his main lifeline.

Ric took a short detour into a Masters program in Computer Science at the University of Arizona, attempting to move into a more secure, mainstream existence, but his heart wasn’t in it, so he left it and returned to his healing work. At one point he began to teach his own healing workshops, which became the basis of his first book, Your Hands Can Heal.

Then, in 1994, his path took a radical turn when, in a profound ‘vision’, he found himself standing in a huge inter-dimensional vortex, and the divine presence within that vortex re-activated his past-life connections to VortexHealing® and the Merlin Lineage. People quickly noticed how powerful this healing art was, and they asked him to teach it to them. In September 1995, he taught the first VortexHealing® Basic Training, in Tucson.

Almost 7 years later, meditating in a hotel room in Colorado, on vacation with his wife and son, his core sense of ‘I’ suddenly disappeared. He had been moved into spiritual awakening by the Divine source of his lineage. This began a new phase for both his personal life and for VortexHealing®. As his own awakening deepened, he realized he was being shown an awakening map that could be used to take VortexHealing® students, step by step, through the same stages that he was being guided through. When the map seemed complete, he wrote Awakening Through the Veils, to share the map with the general spiritual world, along with guidelines for making its journey.

Today, Ric lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Books: VortexHealing® Divine Energy Healing: A Magical Path of Healing and Awakening Awakening through the Veils: A Seeker’s Guide

Website: http://vortexhealing.org

Interview recorded 9/25/2016.

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