Archive for May, 2017


 The deep meaning behind why we do what we do. Let’s go deep behind the Ego and cause and effect. Learn how we take action in our day to day lives. Embrace what you don’t know in order to truly direct your life the way you truly wish.

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 Larry Dossey answers questions about his research into spiritual survival beyond bodily death, and inadequacy of the materialist approach to consciousness. 

How to reach one’s  very best requires knowing where  one is and where one wants (wishes) to be. Learn how to be aware of who you are  and what is around you.

Knowing is the way of the ‘EGO’ we all aim to prove ourselves through not knowing.

Not knowing is not the art of not knowing but instead the mindset of being the student. Embrace the truth the best minds in life have always known.

Jeannie Zandi is the director of Living as Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to seeding a culture of the Heart on the planet, inspiring, teaching and supporting people to live from their essence as Love. A year before the birth of her daughter, Jeannie was plunged into a dark night of the soul that culminated in a radical shift of consciousness. She is known for her fearless clarity, tender mercy toward humanness, and a juicy, poetic and often humorous style that draws from Advaita Vedanta, Sufism, Christian mysticism and the ongoing revelation of fully engaged living. Residing in Colorado, she travels widely in the US, bringing a down-to-earth embodied teaching of living as love.

Website: jeanniezandi.com

Jiddu Krishnamurti Enlightenment Story

This is an excerpt from Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Luytens.

Jiddu Krishnamurti was found one day as he was picking through trash. Just another poor Indian boy forgotten by the world. This one would walk a very different path. His aura gave him away. Pure and white, it spoke of greater spiritual destiny. Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater had finally found their Buddha.

Theosophists had long been waiting for the reincarnation of Buddha. The ancient texts promised his return where he would appear as the Maitreya – the friend. Theosophists believed that Buddha had not reincarnated because he was unable to find a suitable host. Why not hasten his return by creating one for him? A plan was set in motion.

Krishnamurti was raised and bred to be that perfect host. No expense was spared. He was given the best education in England. He was supported and surrounded by some of the world’s most advanced spiritual practitioners. All their eggs were in this one basket. Destiny awaited.

It all came to a climax on the 3rd of August 1929. Theosophists worldwide gathered in the Netherlands to see the holy vessel that was Jiddu Krishnamurti. It was a meeting of the Order of the Star – an organization whose sole purpose was to usher in the new era.

The moment was perfect. As thousands sat around him, he shocked his audience by announcing the dissolution of the Order. It was a radical break from his past and a bold affirmation of his own Being.

“Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path…” — Krishnamurti, on that fateful night

Thus began Jiddu Krishnamurti’s career as a world teacher. He travelled from place to place and delivered teachings to anyone that would listen. With the Cold War at its peak, these were heady days for humanity. In Krishnamurti many found inspiration for a better world – proof that we could live very differently on this fragile planet.

Krishnamurti tirelessly preached that spiritual enlightenment was at hand for anyone who wanted it. He abhorred all gurus, masters, spiritual practices and religions. The truth was found within and no where else. Given his life experience, his antagonism to organizations and prescribed paths is understandable.

The rebelliousness that seeded his independence colored the entirety of his teaching. He spoke the truth but it was not very practical for the spiritual seeker. How many of his close disciples reached the same heights as he? None.

Krishnamurti was not wrong. It is possible for one to realize one’s true nature by simply recognizing the fact, but it is perhaps 1 in 100 million that is prepared for such a feat. For the rest of us, spiritual practices are useful tools to help us get up that mountain. Without them we are not prepared to make the journey.

Towards the end of his life, Krishnamurti lamented that his decades of preachings had all gone to waste. He feared that his talks were treated as a form of spiritual entertainment. The people around him had not really changed. They could quote him it length, but none could share in his experience of our true nature.

Ever since I left Australia I have been thinking and deliberating about the message which the Master K. H. gave me while I was there. I naturally wanted to achieve those orders as soon as I could, and I was to a certain extent uncertain as to the best method of attaining the ideals which were put before me.

I do not think a day passed without spending some thought over it, but I am ashamed to say all this was done most casually and rather carelessly. But at the back of my mind the message of the Master ever dwelt.

Well, since August 3rd, I meditated regularly for about thirty minutes every morning. I could, to my astonishment, concentrate with considerable ease, and within a few days I began to see clearly where I had failed and where I was failing. Immediately I set about, consciously, to annihilate the wrong accumulations of the past years. With the same deliberation I set about to find out ways and means to achieve my aim.

First I realized that I had to harmonize all my other bodies with the Buddhic plane (the highest plane of consciousness) and to bring about this happy combination I had to find out what my ego wanted on the Buddhic plane. To harmonize the various bodies I had to keep them vibrating at the same rate as the Buddhic, and to do this I had to find out what was the vital interest of the Buddhic.

With ease which rather astonished me I found the main interest on that high plane was to serve the Lord Maitreya and the Masters. With that idea clear in my physical mind I had to direct and control the other bodies to act and to think the same as one the noble and spiritual plane. During that period of less than three weeks, I concentrated to keep in mind the image of the Lord Maitreya throughout the entire day, and I found no difficulty in doing this. I found that I was getting calmer and more serene. My whole outlook on life was changed.

Then, on the 17th of August, I felt acute pain at the nape of my neck and I had to cut down my meditation to fifteen minutes. The pain instead of getting better as I had hoped grew worse. The climax was reached on the 19th. I could not think, nor was I able to do anything, and I was forced by friends here to retire to bed. Then I became almost unconscious, though I was well aware of what was happening around me.

I came to myself at about noon each day. On the first day while I was in that state and more conscious of the things around me, I had the first most extraordinary experience. There was a man mending the road; that man was myself; the pickaxe he had was myself; the very stone which he was breaking up was a part of me; the tender blade of grass was my very being, and the three beside the man was myself. I almost could feel and think like the roadmender, and I could feel the wind passing through the tree, and the little ant on the blade of grass I could feel. The birds, the dust, and the very noise were a part of me. Just then there was a car passing by at some distance; I was the driver, the engine, and the tires; as the car went further away from me, I was going away from myself. I was in everything, or rather everything was in me, inanimate and animate, the mountain, the worm, and all breathing things.

All day long I remained in this happy condition. I could not eat anything, and again at about six I began to lose my physical body, and naturally the physical elemental did what it liked; I was semi-conscious.

The morning of the next day (the 20th) was almost the same as the previous day, and I could not tolerate too many people in the room. I could feel them in rather a curious way and their vibrations got on my nerves. That evening at about the same hour of six I felt worse than ever. I wanted nobody near me nor anybody to touch me. I was feeling extremely tire and weak. I think I was weeping from mere exhaustion and lack of physical control. My head was pretty bad and the top part felt as though many needles were being driven in. While I was in this state I felt that the bed in which I was lying, the same one as on the previous day, was dirty and filthy beyond imagination and I could not lie in it.

Suddenly I found myself sitting on the floor and Nitya and Rosalind asking me to get into bed. I asked them not to touch me and cried out that the bed was not clean. I went on like this for some time till eventually I wandered out on the verandah and sat a few moments exhausted and slightly calmer. I began to come to myself and finally Mr. Warrington asked me to go under the pepper tree which is near the house.

There I sat crosslegged in the meditation posture. When I had sat thus for some time, I felt myself going out of my body, I saw myself sitting down with the delicate tender leaves of the tree over me. I was facing the east. In front of me was my body and over my head I saw the Star, bright and clear.

Then I could feel the vibrations of the Lord Buddha; I beheld Lord Maitreya and Master K. H. I was so happy, calm and at peace. I could still see my body and I was hovering near it. There was such profound calmness both in the air and within myself, the calmness of the bottom of a deep unfathomable lake. Like the lake, I felt my physical body, with its mind and emotions, could be ruffled on the surface but nothing, nay nothing, could disturb the calmness of my soul.

The presence of the mighty Beings was with me for some time and then They were gone. I was supremely happy, for I had seen. Nothing could ever be the same. I have drunk at the clear and pure waters at the source of the fountain of life and my thirst was appeased. Never more could I be thirsty, never more could I be in utter darkness. I have seen the Light. I have touched compassion which heals all sorrow and suffering; it is not for myself, but for the world. I have stood on the mountain top and gazed at the mighty Beings. Never can I be in utter darkness; I have seen the glorious and healing light.The fountain of Truth has been revealed to me and the darkness has been dispersed. Love in all its glory has intoxicated my heart; my heart can never be closed. I have drunk at the fountain of joy and eternal Beauty. I am God-intoxicated.

Source: Enlightened People

In Embodied Enlightenment, contemporary spiritual teacher Amoda Maa Jeevan dispels the outdated view of a transcendent enlightenment and instead presents a new, feminine expression of awakened consciousness for all—one that is felt and known through what our everyday lives are made of: our emotions, bodies, intimate relationships, work, and life’s purpose. This book is a direct invitation to awaken in a profound, embodied way, and to participate in a collective evolution that can create a new world.

When many of us think of enlightenment, we may envision a life of seclusion and contemplation, transcending the body and worldly attachments, or the achievement of karmic perfection. But what if, rather than something reserved for the mountaintop meditator or sage, the call to awaken is meant for us all? And how can we consciously live that awakening in the midst of our complex, messy, modern lives?

Speaking from her own awakened experience, Amoda Maa Jeevan offers a timeless wisdom, busting some of the common myths about enlightenment and addressing topics often excluded from more traditional spiritual conversations—from the connection between consciousness and the body to relationships to planetary health. In addition, she covers the unfamiliar territory of what happens after enlightenment, delving into awakened action, creative expression, and more.

There’s an urgency today to evolve beyond humanity’s current ego-based paradigm, and along with it, a unique expression of enlightenment is emerging. With clarity, passion, and grace, Embodied Enlightenment invites you on an exploration of consciousness that embraces both the messiness of your earthly experience and the non-duality of pure awareness, offering guidance on how your daily life can bring you into alignment with a divine destiny of individual and collective awakening.

Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author, and speaker. After years of spiritual seeking, meditation, and immersion in psychospiritual practices, an experience of the dark night of the soul led her to a profound inner awakening. Then, after a long period of integration, she began speaking from silence in small gatherings. She offers meetings and retreats, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events, attracting spiritual seekers and people looking for peace and fulfillment in an increasingly chaotic world. Her teachings are free of religion and tradition, and she brings to them a deep understanding of the human journey, born out of her own experience.

Amoda Maa is author of Radical Awakening (formerly How to Find God in Everything) and Change Your Life, Change Your World, both of which arose out of a mystical vision around the time of her awakening. In this vision, she was shown the key to humanity’s suffering and the potential for the birth of a new consciousness and world. Embodied Enlightenment is based on both her vision for humanity and the conversations on the cutting edge of spiritual inquiry in her meetings with people from all around the world. She lives with her husband and beloved, Kavi, in California. To learn more, visit http://www.amodamaa.com.

Foreword writer John Welwood, PhD, is a psychotherapist, author, and teacher specializing in the integration of Eastern spiritual wisdom and Western psychology. His books include Journey of the Heart, Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, and Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

This Moment Loves You

Published on May 25, 2017

An excerpt from Amoda Maa’s new book ‘Embodied Enlightenment.’


Published on May 26, 2017

The Knower can never be the object of experience; no higher knowledge than to know the nature of ‘I’; following the thread of ‘I’; awareness is like a hologram in which objects appear and out of which they are made; as experience we always change, as awareness we never change.
From the seven day retreat at Buckland Hall, May 2017. For access to the full recording see link: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/wa…

Question: How did awakening and liberation occur for you?

I had my first what traditionally would be called awakening experience when I was 25 years old. This was very powerful and full of emotion and release and joy and bliss and all that it is supposed to be full of. But, because there was so much emotion involved, it obscured the simplicity of awakeness itself. Like so many others, I continued to chase certain ideas and concepts of what awakeness was supposed to be. That caused years of misery.

Gradually over time I had the same experience reoccur, but each time with less and less emotion. I could see more and more clearly over time what was the actual essential element. Then finally an awakening occurred where at the moment of awakening, there was no emotion in it. It was just the pure seeing of what is. When there was the pure seeing of what is, unclouded by emotional content, it was obvious. It was very obvious that consciousness recognized itself for what it really is – aware space before any emotion or thought or manifestation.

Question: Would you say that this is the point at which the
distinction between awakening and liberation occurred?

No. Even though there was a freedom and incredible sense of fearlessness and release from not being confined to the dream of a separate “I”, I started to feel somewhat discontented with that. I didn’t know why I felt discontented, and it didn’t bother me in any way. The discontent didn’t touch that freedom, so it didn’t bother me, but I was interested in it.

Then one day I was sitting reading a book, and I folded the book to
put it away and realized that somewhere in some magic time, something had dropped away, and I didn’t know what it was. There was just a big absence of something. I went through the rest of the day as usual but noticing some big absence. Then when I sat down on the bed that night, it suddenly hit me that what had fallen away was all identity.

All identity had collapsed, as both the self in the ego sense of a separate me, and as the slightest twinge of identity with the Absolute Self, with the Oneness of consciousness. There had still been some unconscious, identity or “me-ness” which was the cause of the discontent. And it all collapsed. Identity itself collapsed, and from that point on there was no grasping whatsoever for little me or for the unified consciousness me. Identity just fell away and blew away with the wind.

Question: When you noticed that the identity had collapsed and was
gone, what remained?

Everything just as it always had been. There was just the lack of any “I”, personal or universal, or the fundamental unconscious belief in any identity or of fixating self in any place. The mind can continue to fixate a subtle identity of self even in universal consciousness, or Self. It can be so incredibly easy to miss. To say “I am That” can be a very subtle fixation of consciousness.

Question: It’s still a landing, a form of identity.

It’s a slight landing, a slight grasping. It’s very subtle. But when it collapses, you are even beyond “I am That”. You are in a place that cannot be described.

Question: And that is what you call liberation?

That is what I call liberation. Really, in the end, what you end up with is that you don’t know who you are. You end up in the same place you started out. You truly don’t know who you are because it’s impossible to fixate the self anywhere.
Source: Enlightened People

How can we know who we are?

Psychologists distinguish the False Self (how we inaccurately present ourself), the Ideal Self (how we want to see ourself), the Real Self (who we actually are), and the True Self (actualization of our potential).

Actualization of our True Self results from understanding and developing the innate qualities that define the qualities of human nature. Awareness of our authentic nature is available to each of us — it resides within us. By understanding and responding to our true self we:

Understand our “being”—attune to our talents and develop our character.
Align our self with our purpose—make direct connection with self, others, and God (however we define the ultimate meaning or measure).
Live authentically—thrive by experiencing our innate design.

While it is important to listen to and consider the ideas and perspectives of others, it’s essential to recognize that others may not understand our insight nor have the capacity to facilitate our growth. We must look inside ourselves to ask who we are and whether we are living a life that is consistent with our True Self. We cannot afford to ignore our True Self or arrive at answers about our self foregoing this internal reflection, for far too much is at stake.

A growing literature in health psychology confirms the importance of developing an internal life and spirituality for happiness and well being.* Our efforts through spirituality seek higher existential connectedness, as our faith experiences affirm this reality. Thus, awareness and applications of practices of faith and spirituality increase capacities toward exisitential fulfillment, happiness, and wellness.

We take ownership of our yearning for fulfillment as we experience the True Self by living through authentic connections with our self, others, and God (the critical connections). By doing so, we feel integrity in our actions. We feel confidence about our stance, when we live our life in truth. Many sacred traditions of the world and great thinkers across disciplines have tried to answer the question of our purpose through inner knowing—the engagement of self with others and God—as the means for this process.

To engage in the process, we must first experience the qualities of our nature that are found in the True Self—to find connection with our authentic self. The True Self is innate. It is the source of two universal truths: first, our intrinsic capacities, as human beings, which make us unique and distinguishes humanity from the rest of creation, and, second, the product of our interdependent relationship of our self, others, and God—our critical connections.

The first, our unique human qualities, are:

Spontaneity (being spontaneous): spontaneity is our ability to express our self without hindrance; it is aliveness.
Reasoning (being rational): reasoning is sound, clear thinking.
Creativity (being creative): creativity is a unique expression of our ability to make something out of our unique, originality of thought.
Free Will ( being independent): free will is our ability to choose; establishing our voice in relation to others and exercising integrity in our position.
Spirituality (being spiritual): spirituality is a mystery not only because it involves something beyond our control and acknowledging our limitations within our limited human condition, but because it emerges from our nature that is not only physical or material that gives us purpose. Spirituality is available to each of us and does not mean ignoring the world but it means being driven beyond the motivations of the “worldly.”
Discernment (being discerning): discernment is our ability to distinguish Good from Evil and to choose the Good; it a moral consciousness.
Love (being loving): Love is our personal care, passion, and sacrifice that characterizes our connections with others.

Are these active elements in your life? Ask yourself, on a scale of 0 to 10 (with “0” being “none” and “10” being “100%”), the extent to which you excerise these seven human qualities in your life.

The second, is our own capacity to embody and to coordinate our critical connections of self, others, and God in life. Take a few moments to reflect on how you interact in your life’s journey. To what extent and degree do you, others, and God figure in your interactions, behaviors, and process? If you were to illustrate the three parts of connections that guide your life as circles on a pages, how large would these circles be drawn as representative of their influence in your behaviors? For example, are you driven primarily by self-interests, the agendas of others, your sense of God’s will for you? How large are these circles and how are these three elements integrated in your actions?

While our ability to express the seven innate qualities of the True Self may be launched by how awareness of the True Self is nurtured in our early development, this matter is far too significant to leave to history, chance, or to others. Our connection to our True Self affects how we perceive ourselves and engage life today. Our perception of the True Self encourages us to access character-building elements and access our potential.

John T. Chirban, Ph.D., Th.D., is a part-time lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce (HarperCollins, 2017). For more information visit drchirban.com.

References

*Koenig, H. G. (2012). Religious vs. conventional psychotherapy for major depression in patients with chronic medical illness: Rationale, methods, and preliminary results. Depression Research and Treatment 2012, Article ID 460419,1-11.

Park, C. L., et al. (2011). “Religious struggle as a predictor of subsequent mental and physical well-being in advanced heart failure patients.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 34: 426-36.

Vermandere, M., et al. (2011). “Spirituality in general practice: A qualitative evidence synthesis.” British Journal of General Practice 61, no. 592 (2011): e749-e760.

“The Fight” by Helena Perez García.

:
Unruly beings are like space.
There’s not enough time to overcome them.
Overcoming these angry thoughts.
Is like defeating all of our enemies.

—Shantideva

The nagging, negative voice of self-judgement, says Christina Feldman, is a powerful affliction best met with courage, kindness, and understanding…

The Buddha sat beneath the Bodhi tree on the eve of his enlightenment and was assailed by Mara, representing all of the afflictions we meet in the landscape of our minds: worry and restlessness, dullness and resistance, craving, aversion, and doubt. The one affliction that did not make an appearance in this story is the powerful voice of the inner critic—the inner judge that can torment us on a daily basis, undermining our well-being and distorting our relationship with life. The inner critic is the voice of shame, blame, belittlement, aversion, and contempt. To many of us, it is so familiar that it seems almost hardwired into our hearts.

Before exploring the nature of the judgmental mind, it is essential to mark the distinction between the voice of the inner critic and our capacity for discernment and discriminating wisdom. Discriminating wisdom is what brings us to our cushion to meditate and inspires us to act in ways that bring suffering and harm to an end. Discriminating wisdom is the source of every wise act and word. Discernment draws upon ethics, compassion, and wisdom and teaches us moment by moment to discover the Buddha in ourselves and in others.
The judging mind is optional; it can be understood and released.

The inner critic is a creature of a different nature. With the inner critic, we may still come to our cushion but we come accompanied by a story that tells us we are unworthy or inadequate. With the inner critic, we still act, speak, and make choices, yet moment by moment we feel endlessly criticized, compared, and belittled. The judgmental mind draws not upon all that is wise but upon Mara, the patterns of aversion, doubt, ill will, and fear. Rarely is the judgmental heart the source of wise action or speech, nor does it lead to the end of suffering. The judgmental mind is suffering and compounds suffering. It suffocates ethics, the guidelines of kindness and care, and it wounds our hearts and lives.

Discriminating wisdom is essential and must be cultivated. The judging mind is optional; it can be understood and released. Thomas Merton, the great Christian mystic described the essence of the spiritual path as a search for truth that springs from love. Beneath the Bodhi tree, Mara’s power over Siddhartha ended the moment he was able to look Mara in the eye and simply say, “I know you.” These few words were a reflection of a profound shift in Siddhartha’s heart: the shift from being intimidated and overpowered by Mara to having the courage to open a dialogue of understanding with Mara, and bringing intimidation to an end.

The judgmental mind that causes so much pain in our lives cannot be exempted from our practice. The judgmental mind needs to be met with the same courage and investigation we bring to any other afflictive emotion. The judgmental mind does not respond well to suppression, avoidance, or aversion. It needs kindness and understanding. The late Jiyu-Kennett Roshi, a Zen teacher, said the training of liberation begins with compassion for the self, and that cultivating a non-judgmental mind toward ourselves is the key to a genuine compassion for all beings.

We begin this process by asking what a non-judgmental mind looks like, and what it means to be free of the burden of the inner critic. To understand these questions experientially, we need to turn our attention to the judgmental mind and embrace its pain with the same mindfulness we would bring to a pain in our body or to another’s sorrow.

The essence of mindfulness is to see, to understand, and to find freedom within everything that feels intractable and clouded by confusion. Mindfulness is a present-moment experience, concerned with embracing and understanding the entirety of each moment with tenderness, warmth, and interest. In the light of this engaged attention, we discover it is impossible to hate or fear anything we truly understand, including the judgmental mind. We begin to see that the greatest barrier to compassion and freedom is not the pain or adversity we meet in our lives but the ongoing tendency to criticize and fear the simple truths of the moment. Instead of just wanting the judgmental mind to go away, we could begin to ask what it is teaching us. Abhirupa Nanda, a nun from the time of the Buddha, suggested meditating on the unconditioned. Liberate the tendency to judge yourself as being above, below, or the same as others. By penetrating deeply into judgment, you will live at peace.
Looking closely at the judgmental mind, we see that it is rarely truthful or able to see the whole of anything.

Although it may seem so, we were not born with a judgmental, aversive mind. It is a learned way of seeing and relating, and it can be unlearned. Looking closely at the judgmental mind, we see that it is rarely truthful or able to see the whole of anything. Instead, the judgmental mind is governed by seizing upon the particulars of ourselves and others and mistaking those particulars for the truth. A friend neglects to return a phone call, and this triggers a cascade of anxious thinking that convinces us they are an indifferent person or we are unworthy of their attention. We arrive late for an appointment and in moments the inner critic determines we are a mindless failure. The practice of meditation, of discovering what is true, suggests there is another path that can be followed.

In the Sufi tradition it is suggested that our thoughts should pass through three gates. At the first gate, we ask of our thought, “Is it true?” If so, we let the thought pass through to the second gate, where we ask, “Is it necessary or useful?” If this also is so, we let the thought continue on its way to the third gate, where we ask, “Is this thought rooted in love and kindness?” Judgmental thoughts, which are neither true, helpful, nor kind, falter at the gates.

Students often wonder why the judgmental mind does not appear in the traditional list of afflictions that Siddhartha met under the Bodhi tree. Perhaps it is because the judgmental mind is not one affliction or hindrance but a compounded hindrance. If you explore just one moment during which the inner critic is operating, you sense how the winds of all of the hindrances flow through it. There is craving, which takes form in the expectations and ideals we hold for ourselves and others. There is restlessness and worry — the shoulds and expectations generating endless thought and emotion as we struggle to avoid imperfection. And there is aversion and ill will, directed toward ourselves and others when our shoulds and expectations are disappointed. Doubt makes a powerful appearance too—doubt in our worthiness, goodness, and capacity. Then there is the affliction of dullness, which makes a disguised appearance in the form of despair, resignation, and numbness.

Holding all of these afflictions together are the beliefs we have regarding who we are and who we are not, which continually fuel the afflictive emotions. But the path of awakening invites us to understand this compound of the inner critic, to learn how to loosen its hold and power, and to rediscover all that is true within ourselves and others. The path invites us to extend kindness, rather than harshness, to ourselves and all beings and to learn to see a thought as a thought, rather than as a description of reality. On the path, we can begin to see that self-judgment or judgment of another is no more than a thought that is laden with ill will and aversion. There is a profound liberation in knowing this so deeply that we can let go of ill will.
Nurturing our capacity to be mindful and present is the first step to understanding and disempowering the identity and power of the inner critic.

The Buddha taught that what we dwell upon becomes the shape of our mind. If we dwell on ill will, directed outwardly or inwardly in the form of blame, disparagement, or aversion, it will become the shape of our mind until all that we see is that which is broken, flawed, imperfect, and impossible. In India there is a saying that when a pickpocket meets a saint in the marketplace, all he sees are the saint’s pockets. Habit and awareness do not co-exist. Nurturing our capacity to be mindful and present is the first step to understanding and disempowering the identity and power of the inner critic.

We can learn to pause and to listen deeply to the voice of the inner judge, with its endless symphony of blame and shame, and we can surround it with the kindness of mindfulness. We can investigate the truth of its story. We can begin to sense that the inner critic truly warrants compassion, as does any suffering and affliction. Instead of fleeing the painfulness of the judgmental mind we can turn toward it, sensing that everything we are invited to understand in the journey of awakening can be understood within the judgmental mind. Letting go, compassion, the emptiness of self, equanimity, and wisdom are the lessons we are invited to explore with this most powerful of afflictions. The alchemy of mindfulness is to nurture a sense of possibility. We are encouraged to imagine a life free from ill will, blame, and shame. To imagine a life and a heart of compassion, wisdom, and peace.
Source: Lions Roar
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Adyashanti describes how everything and everyone is an expression of the all. By acknowledging the instinct to divide everything in the universe up into parts including yourself, you are able to realize the unnecessariness of this separation. Adyashanti invites you into this healing unification of your being.

Video Excerpted From “The Unified Expression of the All” (DVD 63):
http://bit.ly/2qhlpG4

Quotes from this Video:

“As the big view fully flowers, what reveals itself ultimately is the all. What the big view shows is the all — that everything and everybody is but an expression of something that is universal.”

“The all isn’t something that is abstract, it’s not even mystical, it’s actually the most evident reality.”

“We simply have become used to dividing life up into bits, and we started that very young. The first thing you learned to divide into bits was you.”

There are three transformational processes within the evolution of the Consciousness. These are, in fact, three levels of development. At these different levels of development the state and functions of the Counsciousness show entirely different signs. If we are aware of these characteristic signs, we may easily recognize what state of development of the Consciousness we are in: ordinary Consciousness, awakening or the level of complete freedom.

The Level of Ordinary Consciousness

This is the lowest level of the evolutional process of the Consciousness. Ordinary Consciousness is rooted in, and feeds on, past times. The present moment is less important for it, it is only a gateway leading to a future we long for. Future is nothing but an improved and beautified version of the past, a future in which we will be successful in the all the things in which we have failed in the past. For ordinary consciousness, only past and future exist, it lives in those and feeds on those.

In that state of Consciousness the appreciation and opinion of others are very important for us. We want to meet the expectation directed at us, we are pleased to play the social roles that are dictated by our community. We thrive to be good parents, a good husband or wife, useful employees and law abiding citizens. Our willingness to play these roles is caused by our complete identification with those roles. Our entire indentity is based upon those roles. We do not look for true answers to the question ”Who am I?;” we are content to be told that by others.

In the state of ordinary Consciousness, the dominant character of our life is the Ego; we wish to make it larger, brighter and more individual. That is why we are learning, gathering knowledge from others, until the end of our life, in the belief that we will thus become more and more intelligent. Still, we become less and less self-confident, and we do not have enough courage to face the challenges of life on our own. We therefore need a guide, a support. We do not long for complete freedom, we follow pre-determined rules and respect authority.

The Level of Awakening

The advent of that level is indicated by moments in our life when we wake up from our ordinary life, and recognize the reality that we in fact live in the captivity of our thoughts, emotions and social roles. Under the effect of those moments, a profound desire for freedom and truth arises in us. We then begin to search for the paths leading to the desired freedom. We intend to become more conscious and alert, to find the truth for ourselves about who we are and what our mission in the world is.

We no longer want to obey the old rules, old leaders, traditions and authorities. We no longer accept ready-made, second-hand theories and explanations. We are not ready to depend on the opinion of others any more. Instead, we want to acquire knowledge and experience from the world for ourselves. We take pleasure in discovering new things, and we embark on new journeys without fear.

It is at that level that real self-control is created in us. This self-control is not rooted in fear of punishment or hope of reward. Many people are able to develop a high degree of self-control in the fear of Hell or the hope of Heaven, or merely because they want to work together with something they regard as larger than themselves. That kind self-control will, however, only produce temporary results, since it is the based upon suppression. Its maintenance requires constant effort from us. If, for some reason, the degree of effort declines, the suppressed desires, anger and emotions burst out, causing us even more suffering.

Real self-control is not born in us out of suppression, but out of the recognition and understanding of the meaning of Life. That kind of self-control will liberate our Consciousness from the state of identification with the world of Shapes and Forms. It will create a space between us and the functions of the Mind, and in that space the ability of seeing and understanding will be born.

Real self-control does not have any rules, and there is nobody around to tell us how to do that. Everybody must create that self-control in themselves without any external pressure, putting aside all kinds of authorities, and using their own personal experience. Everything created for us by others is transitory, but what we create for ourselves will be lasting and permanent. Everybody must find himself or herself what he or she is looking for.

The Level of Complete Freedom

This is the highest peak in the evolution of the Consciousness. The most important characteristic feature of this level is alertness, the acceptance of the present moment, an openness to the existence, and a celebration of life.

In that state of Consciousness an entirely new dimension of existence opens up for us, showing us Existence from a completely new perspective. The unity behind the controversies is revealed in front of our eyes, and we no longer insist on looking on the sunny side of life, as we are able to discover beauty on the dark side, too.

We accept life as it is, and it is not done under pressure, since that acceptance is the result of our complete freedom. The freedom is, in turn, a fruit of our escape from the world of Shapes and Forms. We have understood and experienced the process of awakening. The time has come for us to take control over our mind whenever it is required by the circumstances. When we do not need the work of the mind directly, let us give it some rest.

Everything will be quiet and peaceful in us. We are beyond all good and evil, we are a mere Consciousness that does not analyse or judge, only contemplates. We realize that the same contemplating soul lives in everybody, so the differences between human beings are only superficial, and deep inside we are all the same. Experiencing that unity will bring us the ecstasy of Life, the perfect joy of Existence.

This article is excerpted from the book, The Chant of the Heart: Enjoy the Nectar of Being…
The of the Heart: Enjoy the Nectar of Being

By Frank M. Wanderer

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