Archive for July, 2017


When you’re a lover of what is, it’s obvious that the world is your own face in the mirror. But how do you become a lover of what is? The “how” has been a mystery till now. Now it’s clear that all you need to do is investigate your stressful thoughts. The four questions and turnaround of The Work will take you as deep as you want to go.

People think that they need to get “enlightened” in order to be free, and nobody knows what enlightenment is. Yes, it’s in the sacred texts, and yes, this guru or that lama says he has attained it, but that’s just a concept; it’s the story of a past. The truth is that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. No one is permanently enlightened; that would be the story of a future. There’s only enlightenment in the moment. Do you believe a stressful thought? Then you’re confused. Do you realize that the thought isn’t true? Then you’re enlightened to it. It’s as simple as that. And then the next thought comes, and maybe you’re enlightened to it as well, and maybe not.

I have found that there are no new stressful thoughts, they’re all recycled. People try to “let go” of their thoughts. That’s like telling your child you don’t want her and kicking her out onto the street. I used to go out into the desert to get away from the world, and I took the whole world with me in my head — every concept that had ever been experienced. I was undoing the thoughts that run through the mind of every human being. Thoughts are no more individual than the TV program that everyone watches. I have found that all over the world, in every language and culture, people suffer because they believe the same stressful thoughts: “My mother doesn’t love me.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m fat.” “I need more money.” “My husband should understand me.” “My wife shouldn’t have left me.” “The world needs to be saved.” Of course, I would never ask people not to believe their thoughts. Not only would that be unkind; it isn’t possible for people not to believe what they believe. We can’t help believing our thoughts until we question them. That’s the way of it.

Source: Huffington Post

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Published on Jul 28, 2017

Devaji details his path to removing egoic concerns, answering questions about Shakti Transmission and letting go of beliefs and thought

https://www.devaji.org

Published on Jul 28, 2017

Adyashanti explores embracing your humanity without judgment or condemnation. By touching into the all-accepting compassionate nature of your being, a redemptive energy of forgiveness comes forth. By letting yourself experience and receive this in your heart fully, the experience of compassion and love emerges into being.

Video Excerpted From “Breaking It All Down”:

http://bit.ly/2tHpoOA

Quotes from this Video:

“On a human level, it’s really useful — not just to know, but to feel — that that part of your being that is unconditioned has no problem with your humanity. It’s really important for the humanity to feel that, because that’s what it’s looking for — something in the universe that’s not judging it, condemning it, or even praising it.”

“Dualistic consciousness is also a manifestation of the ultimate ground. There’s no part of us that’s apart or other — even though there are different qualities and different experiences — there is no apartness. It’s so important to let yourself experience that. Because to receive that in the human heart feels like love.”

“Compassion is selfless love. It is what gives all of our other impulses balance. It is why, from the level of consciousness, we can be self-interested and rightly so — and simultaneously — have these very selfless impulses. This is all part of our nature.”

“Compassion literally comes from the ultimate ground because compassion is that feeling that: I will do something for someone even if it is not in my self-interest.”

“Compassion is actually quite a common occurrence in human beings. You don’t have to look very far for it — that feeling that you love something or someone in such a way that your sense of your own well-being is transcended.”

Published on Jul 28, 2017

In this conversation, Rupert explores the nature and function of the ego.
From the weekend in Amsterdam – March 2017.
For access to the full recording click here: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/wa…

How Taoist and Buddhist philosophies can help us connect to life

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.
– Eckhart Tolle

If I had to summarize what I’ve learned from Taoist and Buddhist philosophy it’s been a deeper understanding of how to both let go and connect with life. It’s a kind of yin and yang approach to everything.

How to both let go and connect with life

Reducing Stress, Finding Peace

In the Tao Te Ching the advice is to yield with difficulties, reduce clutter, create space, let go. So over the years I’ve tried to apply this to my thoughts, emotions, goals, expectations and opinions, especially when these are creating fear, anxiety or unhappiness.

This approach has helped me to let go of stress, flow with problems, accept situations that were difficult, and to find deeper peace.

Letting go of stress

Falling Back into Communion

On the flip side the great masters of the East offer wonderful advice on how to connect more closely with the world around us, with nature, with creative activities and people, with the great flow of all existence. They emphasize how we are each a part of Nature, unique sentient expressions of our Universe.

As we let go of our limited human thoughts and obsessions, we fall back gracefully into communion with the Source of all things, connecting directly with the Universal field of life and energy that has brought us into being.

Back to the Source of all things

Our Primal Virtue

This is who we really are, the sages and masters tell us. We are this great dance of creative awareness, relationships and activity. Breathing in deeply and mindfully we pull the outer world into us, breathing out slowly we let it go.

Carrying body and soul
and embracing the one,
Can you avoid separation?

Attending fully and becoming supple,
Can you be as a newborn babe?

Washing and cleansing the primal vision,
Can you be without stain?
Loving all men and ruling the country,
Can you be without cleverness?

Opening and closing the gates of heaven,
Can you play the role of woman?
Understanding and being open to all things,
Are you able to do nothing?

Giving birth and nourishing,
Bearing yet not possessing,
Working yet not taking credit,
Leading yet not dominating,
This is the Primal Virtue.

– Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching

Posted on July 26, 2017

To trust in God really means to live in total acceptance of what is…

This does not mean that you live passively in the world. You live in the world with love, honesty and integrity. You live an empowered life in partnership with God.

You know that your experience of life depends entirely upon the choices you make. You know that your thoughts, words and actions lead inevitably to the consequences that follow. You know clearly what you want and what you do not want but you are not attached to the outcome.

If things do not go your way, then you trust that whatever is happening is exactly what is meant to be happening for your highest good and for the highest good of all. Perhaps you were not fully conscious in your choices or in your thoughts, words and actions. Perhaps God has a lesson for you that will later prove to be invaluable, even if you cannot see is value right now. Perhaps God has a grander plan for you than you have for yourself.

In any event, your trust in the unfolding will of God is unwavering and unshakeable. If it is happening, it must be the will of God. If you do not accept what is happening, then you have entered into judgment, which will take you into separation. It is that simple.

Excerpt from Bridging Heaven and Earth by Leonard Jacobson (p.256)

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. 

Source: AWAKEN

Stephen D’Amico is a spiritual teacher, mystical poet, and author. At age 22, Stephen went through a profound spiritual transformation that culminated in a permanent realization of his true nature. Since then his life has been devoted to understanding the spiritual path from an evolutionary perspective and helping others reconnect with their true nature to help bring about a global awakening in human consciousness. The main way he does this is through the direct transmission of the enlightened state of being, which connects others with their own true nature.

In the past, Stephen has worked in the field of conflict resolution and restorative justice as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and project leader for youth social action groups. He has also taught at both the elementary and high school levels, focusing on the special needs of students with learning disabilities. Currently, he and his wife, Aniko, run Millwood Melt, a lively grilled cheese restaurant in their beloved community of Leaside, in Toronto. Customers and students playfully refer to Stephen as “the grilled cheese guru.”

When not feeding bodies, Stephen lives and breathes to feed souls. He currently hosts transformational gatherings/satsang and offers individuals enlightened guidance and support via phone, Skype, or in person. He is the author of two books:

The Incredible State of Absolute Nothingness: A Personal Account of Spiritual Enlightenment
Heaven on Earth: A Guide to Enlightenment & Human Unity.

Website: http://stephendamico.com

This talk was recorded at Science and Nonduality Gathering in Titignano, Italy in 2016. 

Jac O’Keeffe experienced a spontaneous, inner awakening in 1997. Her third eye opened, and her life dramatically changed course. She left a successful career pioneering community arts policy at the national level in Ireland to begin a substantial, healing practice, which progressed into residential retreats that explored the spiritual causes underpinning clinical depression. 

In 2003, she closed her practice, left her Western lifestyle, and eventually moved to India. Intense spiritual practice led to a two year period without thoughts. Spiritual wisdom developed, and Jac now guides others in her teachings and publications to transcend dual and non dual perspectives, and prepares spiritual teachers for liberation. http:// www.jac-okeeffe.com

Spiritual Enlightenment is a process – and a very long one…

In fact, enlightenment is a full-time job until the rest of one’s life. Surely, after its establishment in an individual it is a job done quite effortlessly, but still it is an unfolding that knows no end.

Whoever thinks enlightenment is one moment that changes everything forever, understands only one fragment within a huge picture. It is true, of course, that there are moments which are clearly life-changing and consciousness-altering turning points – moments so powerful that essential components at the core of one’s personality come to a striking end. But without the process “before” and “after”, even they might lack the much-needed foundation on which they could meaningfully take root and expand.

We are, after all, half human half divine, and so at least a half of us requires long processes. That which is discovered in awakening is definitely not a process; it is our inherent all-encompassing divinity which is forever behind and beyond all processes. It is the unchangeable truth of that which was, is and will be, the One that abides in all – and the recognition that you, who awakens to this truth, is this one. Nonetheless, grounding in this truth and enabling it to spread over one’s body, personality, brain, emotion and human relationships are a demanding and complex process of transformation.

Spiritual Enlightenment is a process – and a very long one.

When I was 23, after an intense chain of mind-shattering experiences, an awakening took place in this spark of consciousness that had formerly known itself as “Shai”. The separate self which had governed the core of this consciousness literally exploded and was replaced by the dominion of an all-encompassing oneness.

It took me a long speechless year to “get used” to this new reality. Silently I watched the coming apart of the most basic structures of thought and feeling, time and space. My spiritual teacher at that time, to whom I conveyed this mysterious happening, recognized this awakening, acknowledged it as the first steps of a Buddha and encouraged me to teach – and others to spend time in my presence.

But honestly, though the heart of spirituality and mysticism was revealed to me constantly – a revelation followed by a powerful energy field and a spontaneous flow of spiritual wisdom – in actuality, this was far from the Buddha state. Seeds of Karma, personal longings and central conflicts were not fundamentally uprooted.

After awakening, the fire of truth starts burning up the remainings of the sense of “I” and its implications.

This stage is what I define as “Awakening”: the personal core has been replaced, yet the person is still not unified with the truth. In Awakening you know all that you should know, but you are not able to fully live up to it. The energy field evoked around you and the Charisma of the enlightened one are very high; your spiritual insight is penetrating and contagious; you find it very easy to enter profound spiritual states; you understand the ancient scriptures from within; you have a constant still presence at the center of your being. But in actuality, there is still too much of the person, as the seed of “I am” is still alive and kicking.

I did get hints to this. Three truly liberated teachers who I met throughout the years of awakening recognized that this had been a “profound experience”. I could not tell the exact difference, not until I met at the age of 26 an American Yogi and entered a seven-year cycle of studying and initiating by him. This teacher awoke in me the sense of long fructification when explaining that in his tradition, after awakening one must ripen throughout a cycle of 21 years before one is allowed to teach. Currently I am 17 years after this turning point, and fully acknowledge how necessary these processes of fructification are.

The separate self which had governed the core of this consciousness literally exploded and was replaced by the dominion of an all-encompassing oneness.

What exactly is this fructification process? It is the slow and gradual process along which that which was revealed at the core of consciousness reaches the surface of one’s personality and begins to unify with the body, thought, emotion, life experience and relationships.

This is what we call “integration”, as spiritual integration is the process that makes what we know inside and what we show outside one and the same.

Along the fructification process one must be cautious, since the combination of the exhilarating sense of complete freedom and the fact that the seeds of Karma are yet to be uprooted is quite dangerous. The fire of life that can inflame one’s desires still burns inside. It takes time for the other fire, the fire of truth which began to flare at the moment of awakening, to consume the seeds of Karma and the remnants of desire.

After awakening, the fire of truth starts burning up the remainings of the sense of “I” and its implications. It also burns up the leftovers of the personality’s central conflicts. Not less important, it gradually nullifies the gap between the experiencer of truth and truth itself. In other words, it brings to an end the sense of experience and the different states of consciousness.

This process culminates in yet another major turning point, which is known as “liberation” (Jivamukti = a liberated soul) or “Enlightenment”. In Enlightenment, life’s fire dies out. One no longer desires worldly objects such as food or sex. Spiritual experiences and heightened states of consciousness are no longer alluring and instead, one abides in the unchanging being; nothing is “more” or “less”. The very process of personal development is concluded. There are still inevitable Karmic implications, the result of past actions, yet the Karma-producing engine ceases to function. One is endowed with an ancient, all-inclusive wisdom of life as a whole, and naturally serves humanity from morning till night.

Is liberation the end then? No. There is truly no ending to this maturation. That is why the images left from spiritual teachers are almost always their oldest version. Perhaps when they were younger they emanated more ecstasy and power, but the grown-up teacher embodies the closest vision to the completeness of consciousness within a human form.
Source: Shaitubali

Published on Jul 24, 2017

Based on his own direct experience of “dying without dying,” Henry Shukman (a Sanbo Zen teacher) talks about … the moment that still IS … … where there is no seer … nothing but pure awareness … even the question “what is ‘reporting’ this” is rendered irrelevant or unnecessary ..

It is the pivotal “turning point of a human lifetime” … the “extraordinary shift {that} is possible for us … without a theistic context” … the “greatest opportunity of all opportunities – to be a human being” … enjoy!

This short-video clip is from an upcoming full length feature film on a conversation between Henry Shukman and Chris Hebard about Zen and more.

This clip and the upcoming film is a Stillness Speaks production (https://www.stillnessspeaks.com) in association with Mountain Cloud Zen Center. It is produced by Chris Hebard (Pruett Media : http://www.pruettmedia.com/) and Henry Shukman (Mountain Cloud Zen Center : https://www.mountaincloud.org/). Filmographer (including video editing) is Jonathan Mugford (jonathan.mugford@gmail.com).

Video clip copyright holder is Stillness Speaks & Pruett Media LLC, and it is freely made available to Mountain Cloud Zen Center.

Confusion No More brings relief to seekers, clearing their cobwebs of confusion with incisive clarity, clear understanding and deep compassion. Ramesh’s modern, eloquent and simple Teachings have touched thousand of seekers from around the world over the past 20 years. His timeless message, his compassionate approach, his jargon-free simplicity have made him a leading teacher of Advaita, non-duality. Confusion No More is a combination of some original writing and other material drawn from his there much-loved books Who Cares, Sin & Guilt and The Infamous Ego. Here is a good opportunity for you to have confusion no more.

Ramesh S. Balsekar, married to Sharda and a father of three, is known and loved by seekers from around the world as an eloquent Master of Advaita, or Non-duality. After retiring as President of the Bank of India, Ramesh translated many of the daily talks given in Marathi by his Guru, Nisargadatta Maharaj. The teaching began in 1982 after Maharaj had twice directed him to talk, and since then he has written over twenty books on Advaita as well. Ramesh is widely regarded as undeniably unique and uncompromising in his presentation of the concepts, in keeping with an early premonitory remark by Maharaj that as a teacher Ramesh would not be “parroting” the words of his Guru. In response to the appreciation frequently shared by visitors at his talks for the singular clarity and `purity` of the teaching, Ramesh himself has perhaps best expressed it with his view of the Master-disciple relationship: “The purity of the teaching lies in the absence of an individual teacher and an individual learner – that is to say, in the absence of a subject-object relationship. The purity lies in the spontaneity of the happening.”

View Here

Enlightenment is not unlimited Bliss – Ramesh Balsekar

Will Enlightenment bring me unlimited Bliss or Pleasure?

Happiness is the Birthright of every Human – Ramesh Balsekar

An accessible guide to the practice of conscious humming

• Details conscious humming and breathing exercises from simple to advanced, including online access to examples of these practices

• Examines the latest studies on sound, revealing how humming helps with stress levels, sleep, and blood pressure, increases lymphatic circulation, releases endorphins, creates new neural pathways in the brain, and boosts blood platelet production

• Explores the spiritual use of humming, including its use as a sonic yoga technique and its role in many world traditions

Humming is one of the simplest and yet most profound sounds we can make. If you have a voice and can speak, you can hum. Research has shown humming to be much more than a self-soothing sound: it affects us on a physical level, reducing stress, inducing calmness, and enhancing sleep as well as lowering heart rate and blood pressure and producing powerful neurochemicals such as oxytocin, the “love” hormone.

In this guide to conscious humming, Jonathan and Andi Goldman show that you do not need to be a musician or singer to benefit from sound healing practices—all you need to do is hum. They provide conscious humming and breathing exercises from simple to advanced, complete with online examples, allowing you to experience the powerful vibratory resonance that humming can create and harness its healing benefits for body, mind, and spirit. They explore the science behind sound healing, revealing how self-created sounds can literally rearrange molecular structure and how humming not only helps with stress levels, sleep, and blood pressure but also increases lymphatic circulation and melatonin production, releases endorphins, creates new neural pathways in the brain, and releases nitric oxide, a neurotransmitter fundamental to health and well-being. The authors show how sound can act as a triggering mechanism for the manifestation of your conscious intentions. They also examine the spiritual use of humming, including its use as a sonic yoga technique and its role in many world traditions, such as the Om, Aum, or Hum of Hindu and Tibetan traditions.

Providing a self-healing method accessible to all, the authors reveal that, even if you have no musical ability, we are all sound healers.

Jonathan Goldman, M.A., is an award-winning musician, composer, writer, teacher, and chant master. An authority on sound healing and a pioneer in the field of harmonics, he is the author of several books, including Healing Sounds, and the founder and director of the Sound Healers Association. Andi Goldman, M.A., L.P.C., is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in holistic counseling and sound therapy, the director of the Healing Sounds Seminars, co-director of the Sound Healers Association, and coauthor, with Jonathan Goldman, of Chakra Frequencies. The authors live in Boulder, Colorado.

https://youtu.be/aItTF10N27Q

Try this exercise to develop mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts…

Perhaps at some time you have sat quietly by the side of an ocean or river. At first there is one big rush of sound. Listening quietly, you begin to hear a multitude of subtle sounds: the waves hitting the shore, the rushing current of the river.

In that peacefulness and silence of mind you experience precisely what is happening. It is the same when you listen to yourself. At first all you can hear is one “self” or “I,” but slowly this self is revealed as a mass of changing elements, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images, all illuminated simply by listening, by paying attention.

You remain alert, not allowing yourself to become forgetful. When you develop mindfulness and concentration together, you achieve a balance of mind. As this penetrating awareness develops it reveals many aspects of the world and of who you are. You see with a clear and direct vision that everything, including yourself, is flowing, in flux, in transformation. There is not a single element of your mind or body that is stable. This wisdom comes not from any particular state, but from close observation of your own mind.

Joseph Goldstein
gives the following instructions for developing mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts:

Meditation on the Mind

To meditate upon thoughts is simply to be aware, as thoughts arise, that the mind is thinking, without getting involved in the content: not going off on a train of association, not analyzing the thought and why it came, but merely to be aware that at the particular moment “thinking” is happening. It is helpful to make a mental note of “thinking, thinking” every time a thought arises; observe the thought without judgement, without reaction to the content, without identifying with it, without taking the thought to be I, or self, or mine. The thought is the thinker. There is no one behind it. The thought is thinking itself. It comes uninvited. You will see that when there is a strong detachment from the thought process, thoughts don’t last long. As soon as you are mindful of a thought, it disappears. Some people may find it helpful to label the thinking process in a more precise way, to note different kinds of thoughts, whether “planning” or “imagining” or “remembering.” This sharpens the focus of attention. Otherwise, the simple note of “thinking, thinking” will serve the purpose. Try to be aware of the thought as soon as it arises, rather than some minutes afterward. When they are noticed with precision and balance they have no power to disturb the mind.

Suzuki Roshi in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind writes: “When you are practicing Zazen meditation do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer… Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise but they are just waves from your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind… If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called “big mind.”

Just let things happen as they do. Let all images and thoughts and sensations arise and pass away without being bothered, without reacting, without judging, without clinging, without identifying with them. Become one with the big mind, observing carefully, microscopically, all the waves coming and going. This attitude will quickly bring about a state of balance and calm. Don’t let the mind get out of focus. Keep the mind sharply aware, moment to moment, of what is happening, whether the in-out breath, sensations, or thoughts. In each instant be focused on the object with a balanced and relaxed mind.
Source: Spirituality Health

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