The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences: How the Messages of NDEs Can Positively Impact the World by Penny Sartori (Author), Kelly Walsh (Author)

Near-death experiences (NDEs) are often transformative, not only on an individual level, but on a collective level too. This book contains a selection of inspiring stories from ordinary people who have had extraordinary experiences that have changed the course and direction of their lives and opened each and every one of them to the power of divine love.

Recent years have seen a dramatic change of attitude towards NDEs. Unfortunately, the ongoing debates about NDEs have detracted greatly from the very important transformational effects that NDEs have and how empowering they can be for the whole of mankind. The NDE instils knowledge in those who experience it that we are all interconnected and part of one great whole.

This book aims to inspire people from all walks of life, creeds, cultures and faiths to the transformational power of the message of NDEs and show how the love experienced during the NDE has the capacity to heal minds, bodies and souls.

About the Author
Dr Penny Sartori PhD, RGN is an expert in NDEs, having been an intensive care nurse for 17 years and having undertaken the UK’s first long-term prospective study on them, for which she was awarded a PhD. She wrote the bestseller The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences (2014), which was serialised in the Daily Mail, and she lectures both nationally and internationally. She currently teaches at Swansea University.

Kelly Walsh is the founder of the Positivity Power Movement and Love Care Share charitable foundation. Her life’s work has been inspired by an NDE she had in 2009 following a suicide attempt and subsequent spiritual experiences she has had since.

Penny Sartori PhD The NDE Phenomena Documented Cases Near Death Experiences

Dr Penny Sartori worked as a nurse in a British hospital for 21 years, 17 of those being in Intensive Care. She is highly experienced and skilled in her role as an intensive care staff nurse; and has conducted unique and extensive research into the near-death experiences (NDEs) of her patients. In 2005 she was awarded a PhD for her research into NDEs.

Dr Sartori’s work has received worldwide attention and media coverage. She has spoken at many conferences both nationally and internationally and her work has received the attention of HRH Prince Charles.

Short recommendation by Titus Rivas of the interesting book “The transformative power of Near-Death Experiences: How the Messages of NDEs Positively Impact the World” by Dr. Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh. The book is a publication of Watkins Publishing. ISBN 978-1786780331.

The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences

Dr Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh introduce their book ‘The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences’. All proceeds go to children’s charity.

Included in this promotional video are endorsements by Neale Donald Walsch, Anita Moorjani and Eben Alexander MD.

Eckhart Tolle – Accept Life

Published on Sep 29, 2017

Eckhart Tolle – Accept Life

Check out this talk of him on your ultimate life purpose

***Change and Spiritual Surrender: Opening Yourself to the Possibility of Greatness By Dr. Jennifer Howard

If you have been involved in personal development and spiritual growth you have probably heard someone talk about surrender. Surrender can be different things to different people. When you see a movie and character surrender to the enemy it means giving up. That is the perspective from one level of consciousness. You either fight and win or quit and lose.

If you don’t know another viewpoint exists and you’re not looking at the larger spiritual picture, you might say, “Why would I want to surrender?”


From a spiritual perspective surrender is allowing “what is” to just be, or being with life “as it is” in this present moment. This kind of surrender doesn’t mean to give up or quit on yourself or life. Instead, it is more closely related to the saying, “Let go and let God” or let Spirit be your guide.
There are layers to understanding and experiencing surrender. Often times, we feel like we have surrendered when we are aware of being stuck and we finally decide to stop banging our heads against the wall. To surrender, in this sense, means letting go enough to be able to look at all of the elements in a situation that may be keeping you from moving in the desired direction. Meaning, you have relaxed your fixed thinking adequately and can allow deeper wisdom to inform your direction.


Other times we become so fixated on a certain end result we keep fighting the cues that life gives us and probably feel stressed most of the time.
Perhaps we forget to look at what is necessary to do, or let go, in our lives in order to be moving with the flow of life. This flow allows for more peace and happiness and takes us ultimately to our True Self, where we really feel at home. Surrender can continue going even deeper to what some refer to as the ultimate surrender. The great spiritual teachers explain this as being completely one with life.

How do I begin to surrender like this and allow what is?

In order to do that you, would have to let go of your tightly held ideas of what you think must be. This would mean loosening and transforming the attachments that are connected to your personal Will in order to move with and relax into Divine Will. This profound movement towards surrender gives a sense of releasing into something bigger than us and our own personal agendas. One could even say that you were moving with the flow of your life and you can experience being held by life.

Now this doesn’t mean that we ask for divine wisdom to make our morning cup of coffee or wash the dishes while we lie in bed. We definitely set our own goals and intentions in order to co-create our lives. But as life moves on and some “things don’t work out” with our own ideas about how life is supposed to be, we use these failures as guides and lessons. They can lead us to a greater alignment with our life’s purpose and meaning. And though it might not always seems so at the time, Our Divine purpose will always be for the good of all.


For many of us there comes a point in personal development and spiritual growth in which the wisest next step can only be to surrender. We’ve been wrestled to the ground by life.

We can begin by noticing when we feel extreme stress towards a certain life situation or event and then look at where we might be trying to push the river, so to speak. When you are pushing the river and going against the current you often feel body tensions, adrenaline exhaustion and other kinds of physical ailments, along with emotional angst.

Once you observe that you are pushing so hard, then you can examine the deeper meaning of this difficult challenge. Is it simply that we need to stay steady and push past our limited feelings and belief systems? Is it to push ourselves to another level of consciousness? Or on the other hand, are we stuck in the mud about wanting what we want when we want it? Is it some form of an uninformed child-self that won’t let go?

We’ll want to examine our willingness to change and our limited belief systems that arise as we study the situation. It is important to observe the how and why we do whatever it is that is holding us back, so as not to keep repeating the pattern. Having greater consciousness around this situation allows us to be more deeply aligned with our divine purpose and the meaning of our individual existence and impact in life.

I would love to hear your thoughts about surrender….

Author’s Bio:
Dr. Howard is a licensed psychotherapist, healer, author, & professional speaker with more than 20 years of experience in helping people make changes in their lives. She has offices in Long Island, NY, and NYC, & has appeared on numerous national network TV.

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Meditation: ‘I Am That I Am’ Is the Highest Truth ~ Rupert Spira

Published on Sep 29, 2017

In this meditation, it is seen that knowing, being aware or awareness itself is the ever-present and unchanging background of all knowledge and experience.

Can One Really Say ‘there Is No Problem’?

Published on Sep 28, 2017

Eckhart shares insights into the egoic mind

Awakening – Leonard Jacobson

Awakening involves crossing a threshold from one level of consciousness to another. There are three levels of consciousness…

The first is the level of mind. At the level of mind, your experience of life is always filtered through the past, and governed by your beliefs. When you are in the mind, the focus is on the past and the future, which are constantly projected onto the present moment. The reality of the present moment is never truly experienced, and the illusions projected by the mind are mistaken for reality.

You spend your whole life trying to solve problems, overcome limitations or heal wounds which are a part of your past and do not exist in the reality of the present moment. Life at the level of mind is the world of Maya. It is a world of illusion.

The second level of consciousness is the level of Presence. This level of consciousness opens within you as you become more fully present. You are focused in the here and now, experiencing the truth and reality of the present moment.

You are free from the bondage of the past. You have no anxiety about the future. You are no longer lost in illusion. Life is lived in freedom and joy. You have become grounded in silence.

The third level of consciousness is the Eternal level. It cannot be defined. It can only be experienced. It opens up at the deeper levels of Presence, and it opens up through grace.

At this level of consciousness, there is no time. Everything is in perfect order and harmony. You are in a state of perfect silence. You experience God, Eternity, Oneness. You are at home in the world of now.

Excerpt from Words From Silence [Revised Edition] pp.58-59.

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an author, teacher and mystic, 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. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard

Source: AWAKEN

The True Dimensions of the Divine ~ Kabir Helminski

Published on Sep 28, 2017

Kabir Helminski holds a Sufi teaching “friendly conversation with a purpose”. In answering questions, Kabir outlines the Seven States of
“I-ness” and many other Sufi principles.


Alan Watts – How To Contact Your Higher Self

I took the above picture in my garden, however I do not own a copyright to the recording. It belongs to I simply had the good fortune to be able to buy the CD many years ago and it helped me at different times in my life. I’m uploading it in the spirit of sharing, so that those who cannot buy it could benefit as well.

Gangaji – Living A Free Life

Published on Sep 26, 2017

Gangaji gives us the key to living a simple life, unthought, unplanned, with no notion of control. Can you give up the search for anything that you think separates you from what is always here, what is calling you home?

Synchronicities : Dance with the Cosmic Flow

Article : Synchronsities : Dance with the Cosmic Flow

#Author :by Sherrie Dillard


Source: DNA Activation 

Tara Talks: What You Practice Grows Stronger

Published on Sep 26, 2017

Tara Talks: What You Practice Grows Stronger – with Tara Brach

We may be very “loyal” to habits of anxiety and vigilance that evolved to ensure survival, but now exceed what’s needed and prevent us from enjoying life. We can undo this negativity bias by intentionally calling on more recently evolved parts of the brain and orienting in another direction.

Science and Spirituality: Observations from Modern Consciousness Research By Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.

The leading philosophy of Western science has been monistic materialism. Various scientific disciplines have described the history of the universe as the history of developing matter and accept as real only what can be measured and weighed. Life, consciousness, and intelligence are seen as more or less accidental side-products of material processes. Physicists, biologists, and chemists recognize the existence of dimensions of reality that are not accessible to our senses, but only those that are physical in nature and can be revealed and explored with the use of various extensions of our senses, such as microscopes or telescopes, specially designed recording devices, and laboratory experiments.

In a universe understood this way, there is no place for spirituality of any kind. The existence of God, the idea that there are invisible dimensions of reality inhabited by nonmaterial beings, the possibility of survival of consciousness after death, and the concept of reincarnation and karma have been relegated to fairy tales and handbooks of psychiatry. From a psychiatric perspective, to take such things seriously means to be ignorant, unfamiliar with the discoveries of science, superstitious, and subject to primitive magical thinking. If the belief in God or Goddess occurs in intelligent persons, it is seen as an indication that they have not come to terms with the infantile images of their parents as omnipotent beings that they had created in their infancy and childhood. And direct experiences of spiritual realities are considered manifestations of serious mental diseases — psychoses.

The study of holotropic states has thrown new light on the problem of spirituality and religion. The key to this new understanding is the discovery that in these states it is possible to encounter a rich array of experiences which are very similar to those that inspired the great religions of the world — visions of God and various divine and demonic beings, encounters with discarnate entities, episodes of psychospiritual death and rebirth, visits to Heaven and Hell, past life experiences, and many others. Modern research has shown beyond any doubt that these experiences are not products of pathological processes afflicting the brain, but manifestations of archetypal material from the collective unconscious, and thus normal and essential constituents of the human psyche. Although these mythic elements are accessed intrapsychically in a process of experiential self-exploration and introspection, they are ontologically real and have objective existence. The matrices for them exist in deep recesses of the unconscious psyche of every human being.

In view of these observations, the fierce battle that religion and science had fought over the last few centuries appears ludicrous and completely unnecessary. Genuine science and authentic religion do not compete for the same territory; they represent two approaches to existence, which are complementary, not competitive. Science studies phenomena in the material world, the realm of the measurable and weighable, while spirituality and true religion draw their inspiration from experiential knowledge of the aspect of the world that Jungians refer to as “imaginal,” to distinguish it from imaginary products of individual fantasy or psychopathology. This imaginal world manifests in what I call “holotropic states of consciousness” — the altered states in which experiences surface that, as stated above, are very similar to those that inspired the great religions of the world.

Spirituality is a very important and natural dimension of the human psyche, and the spiritual quest is a legitimate and fully justified human endeavor. However, it is necessary to emphasize that this applies to genuine spirituality based on personal experience and does not provide support for ideologies and dogmas of organized religions. To prevent misunderstanding and confusion that in the past compromised many similar discussions, it is critical to make a clear distinction between spirituality and religion.

Spirituality is based on direct experiences of ordinarily invisible numinous dimensions of reality, which become available in holotropic states of consciousness. It does not require a special place or officially appointed persons mediating contact with the divine. The mystics do not need churches or temples. The context in which they experience the sacred dimensions of reality, including their own divinity, is provided by their bodies and nature. And instead of officiating priests, they need a supportive group of fellow seekers or the guidance of a teacher who is more advanced on the inner journey than they are themselves.

Organized religions tend to create hierarchical systems focusing on the pursuit of power, control, politics, money, possessions, and other worldly concerns. Under these circumstances, religious hierarchy as a rule dislikes and discourages direct spiritual experiences in its members, because they foster independence and cannot be effectively controlled. When this is the case, genuine spiritual life continues only in the mystical branches, monastic orders, and ecstatic sects of the religions involved. A deep mystical experience tends to dissolve the boundaries between religions and reveals deep connections between them, while dogmatism of organized religions tends to emphasize differences between various creeds and engenders antagonism and hostility.

There is no doubt that the dogmas of organized religions are generally in fundamental conflict with science, whether this science uses the mechanistic-materialistic model or is anchored in the emerging paradigm. However, the situation is very different in regard to authentic mysticism based on spiritual experiences. The great mystical traditions have amassed extensive knowledge about human consciousness and about the spiritual realms in a way that is similar to the method that scientists use in acquiring knowledge about the material world. It involves a methodology for inducing transpersonal experiences, systematic collection of data, and intersubjective validation. Spiritual experiences, like any other aspect of reality, can be subjected to careful open-minded research and studied scientifically.

Scientifically conducted consciousness research has brought convincing evidence for the objective existence of the imaginal realm and has thus validated the main metaphysical assumptions of the mystical world view, of the Eastern spiritual philosophies, and even certain beliefs of native cultures.

The conflict between religion and science reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of both. As Ken Wilber has pointed out, there cannot be a conflict between science and religion if both these fields are properly understood and practiced. If there seems to be a conflict, we are likely dealing with “bogus science” and “bogus religion.” The apparent incompatibility is due to the fact that either side seriously misunderstands the other’s position and very likely represents also a false version of its own discipline.

An invited contribution to the Ervin Laszlo Forum on Science and Spirituality.

Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatrist and one of the founders of transpersonal psychology

You are Consciousness expressing through human form! Eckhart Tolle

Published on Sep 21, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle explains that we are not limited human form but the ever-free Consciousness!


The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot and host of Believer explores humanity’s quest to make sense of the divine, and sounds a call to embrace a deeper, more expansive understanding of God.

In Zealot, Reza Aslan replaced the staid, well-worn portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth with a startling new image of the man in all his contradictions. In his new book, Aslan takes on a subject even more immense: God, writ large.

In layered prose and with thoughtful, accessible scholarship, Aslan narrates the history of religion as one long and remarkably cohesive attempt to understand the divine by giving it human traits and emotions. According to Aslan, this innate desire to humanize God is hardwired in our brains, making it a central feature of nearly every religious tradition. As Aslan writes, “Whether we are aware of it or not, and regardless of whether we’re believers or not, what the vast majority of us think about when we think about God is a divine version of ourselves.”

But this projection is not without consequences. We bestow upon God not just all that is good in human nature—our compassion, our thirst for justice—but all that is bad in it: our greed, our bigotry, our penchant for violence. All these qualities inform our religions, cultures, and governments.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more universal spirituality. Whether you believe in one God, many gods, or no god at all, God: A Human History will challenge the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

Photo: © Hilary Jones

Reza Aslan is an acclaimed writer and scholar of religions whose books include No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the author of How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror (published in paperback as Beyond Fundamentalism), as well as the editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.

Reza Aslan – Talk to Al Jazeera

Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American scholar of world religions and the author of several books on faith. His most recent book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”, is a best-seller — and controversial.

He sat down with Tony Harris to talk about how he became acquainted with the subject of his latest book, as well as converting from Islam to evangelical Christianity before returning to the religion of his birth.

Mooji – Stay as the Witness

Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and lived in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London’s ‘West End’ as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji* by the many seekers and friends who visited him.

Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned advaita master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.

Mooji channel:

Dean Radin – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He occasionally gives lectures in the Department of Psychology at Sonoma State University and has served on doctoral dissertation committees at Saybrook University and CIIS. His original career track as a concert violinist shifted into science after earning a BSEE degree in electrical engineering, magna cum laude with honors in physics, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and then an MS in electrical engineering and a PhD in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. For a decade he worked on advanced telecommunications R&D at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories. For three decades he has been engaged in frontiers research on the nature of consciousness. Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, University of Nevada, Interval Research Corporation, and SRI International.

He is author or coauthor of hundreds of scientific, technical, and popular articles, three dozen book chapters, and three popular books including the award-winning and bestselling The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality (Simon & Schuster, 2006), a 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award, Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities (Random House, 2013), and Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe (Penguin Random House). These books have been translated into 14 foreign languages, so far. His technical articles have appeared in journals including Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Consciousness Studies; he was featured in a New York Times Magazine article; and he has appeared on dozens of television shows ranging from the BBC’s Horizon to PBS’s Closer to Truth. He has given over 400 interviews and talks, including presentations at Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Princeton, Virginia Tech, the Sorbonne, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Minnesota, for industries including Google, Johnson & Johnson, Rabobank, and for various government organizations including the US Navy, DARPA, and the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2010, he spent a month lecturing in India as the National Visiting Professor of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, a program sponsored by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development. In 2013 and 2014, he gave invited lectures in Kuala Lumpur at the International Center for Leadership and Governance, an organization supported by the Central Bank of Malaysia. In 2015 he spoke at the Australian Leadership Retreat, a confidential program of briefings and discussions for Australian government, business, education, and military leaders.


Awaken Interviews Donna Quesada – How Kundalini Yoga Is A Method To Awaken

David Welch: How is Yoga generally, and Kundalini Yoga specifically, a means and a method to awakening?

Donna Quesada: Because Kundalini Yoga offers specifically, a technology whereby we set up the physical conditions for awakening. So, as an analogy, just off the top of my head…say, it’s time to go to bed. You want to set up the conditions to better get a good night’s rest. So, you’re more likely to fall asleep if you lie yourself down and set the temperature the way you like it…close the blinds and make it dark and that sends the right kind of message to your brain…your brain starts to produce melatonin when it gets dark. And when this is habituated, your body starts to behave accordingly. You’re more likely to fall asleep. As opposed to getting on a tread-mill…you’re less likely to get to sleep.

What we are doing in Kundalini is akin to that. We are setting up the physical conditions for Awakening. Because as I explain in my video which you just posted on Awaken…there is really an energetic component to what we are doing in yoga. There’s the visible stuff where we see people in poses and people doing funny breathing exercises. But what is happening is…we are unblocking energetic blocks which allows the energy to move in such a way that it facilitates the experience that we call “Awakening.

In this video, professor, author, healer and Yogini, Dhanpal/Donna Quesada, speaking from her home, discusses advanced Yogic philosophy in a straightforward way. She makes clear how the spiritual practice of Yoga—culminating in the Kundalini awakening—relates to living and to dealing with stress. In other words, why do we want to raise the kundalini?

Or, we have other fancy names for it like, Self-Realization. Or, Samadhi, which means, the state of no separation. Non-distracted awareness. Presence. Samadhi. God Realization. Wholeness. Oneness. We have so many names for this experience. But that is the key—it has to be experienced. We can read all the books on our bookshelves and we can have Ph.Ds, proclaim ourselves masters of writing and intellectual understanding, and we’ll be no better off. And so, there is an energetic component to that experience…or, what facilitates that experience. And when the energy rises—what we call Kundalini rising—we set up the conditions for the experience of oneness. So, Yoga is a tool for that. All forms of Yoga.

David: A brief description of Hatha Yoga?

Donna: Hatha Yoga. The sun and the moon. Where we are balancing those opposites. You’re getting into that energetic component. Where you are balancing the yin and the yang. The sun and the moon. The heat and the coolness. So, within our bodies…within our spiritual vessels, we are creating balance. And in that state of balance, we experience a kind of harmony. A kind of Awakening.

David: And Bhakti?

Donna: Bhakti is devotion. That’s the Yoga that is closest to my heart. To me, this is what appears at first to be so elementary, but what is, in fact, the most difficult and sophisticated form, in my opinion. Because to truly surrender—and that is what Bhakti requires—to truly surrender the self, is what all spiritual practices challenge us to do. Whether your Yoga is Zen or service. Whatever it is. If you can surrender yourself…what the Buddhists call the ego… you are really practicing a kind of Bhakti…a kind of devotion…where everything is surrendered to the divine. The work that you do, for example, is surrendered. Your sense of control is surrendered and that’s bhakti. Through prayer…through chanting….the giving up of yourself…bowing…that is really at the heart of why we bow.

David: That’s what Namaste means?

Donna: Exactly. I bow to the divine in you and you bow to the divine in me. I can’t resist a funny story. I had a student once at the college, who said, “Oh, is that what they say at the end of Yoga class?…I thought they were saying ‘have a nice day.’”

David: Well, just slightly similar.

Donna: And that’s why we say, “Sat Nam,” too. Acknowledging the divine light within you. Which is no different than the true divine light within me.

David: What is a Kriya?

Donna: A Kriya is an action. It’s related to the word Karma, which just means action, or if you prefer, cause and effect. And so, in the context of Kundalini Yoga, a Kriya is a self-contained action which takes the form of a series of exercises or sometimes even one single self-contained exercise, like Sat Kriya, which is just one thing done in a very specific way, to facilitate a specific and predictable result. Cause and effect.

David: And a Kriya contains within it both a posture (asana) and breathing and sound.

Donna: In the context of Sat Kriya, that’s kind of the wowie zonkers of Kriyas. It’s got mantra…actually there is not much movement…there’s breathing, there’s mantra, there’s mudra. It’s not always action in terms of dynamic movement. But you are moving energy. So, there is that unseen element. Like…we were talking about trees…the roots are just as dynamic and expansive as the branches and leaves. There is this unseen component, which constitutes the active part.

David: Talk a little bit about mantra and why that is necessary and beneficial.

Donna: Yes, we use mantra a lot in Kundalini Yoga. Mantra is a sacred sound. And the wise ones, the seers in ancient India—they were called the rishis. They were the ones who had a longing to know God. They were the seekers. And in their enlightened state, they received these sacred sounds that we call mantra.

And so, when we repeat those sacred sounds we are using the vibrational component of the sound to experience what they experienced. So, we think of the sacred sound more as a vibration than as a sound in the ordinary sense. It’s a vibration like Om. Or…Aum. And we are vibrating that sacred sound again so as to facilitate the vibration within our body and the awakening within our soul. And to experience the state of samadhi as those ancient seers experienced.

David: Is there a difference between chanting and mantra?

Donna: Well, when you chant, you are chanting the sacred sound and you are giving your body a chance to resonate. And when we chant we are using three components. Projection. So, we project from our belly with intention, and through our heart with devotion.

The second component is pronunciation. Om . Bouncing the tongue off the roof of our mouth where we have all those acu-points, so as to send signals to the hypothalamus. So, there is the projection, there is the pronunciation and then, there is the repetition.

And so, when we chant mantra over and over again, we are using that third part, the repetition, so as to set up those conditions, to create a steady rhythm and vibrate that sacred sound.

David: How does chanting or mantra help to quiet the mind?

Donna: Yes. I’ll use another analogy. Have you seen those ice sculptures at events, like wedding receptions or something like that? Imagine putting a warm knife through it—it would slice right through that ice sculpture, so easily and without effort. And that is sort of what a mantra does to our bothered minds. Our mind gets to ruminating and into non-stop chatter and we drive ourselves crazy sometimes, with worried thoughts or anxious thoughts…repeated conversations or things we have to do, or just repeating the past. A lot of it is nonsense or judgment thoughts. Sometimes there just is no quieting the mind. Sometimes it keeps you up at night.

But imagine…like the ice sculpture…imagine a warm blade. It cuts right through that chatter in a way that nothing else can. It’s effortless and you can’t use brawn or might or muscle. You can’t will yourself to stop thinking. But if you can surrender and chant with your heart…and do nothing else but sing the sacred song, it cuts right through it. None of it appears relevant anymore. You don’t have to try anymore—it’s effortless. And the mind comes to that still point…samadhi.

David: How has Yoga transformed and changed your life?

Donna: Not as you might think. Again, for me—and everybody’s experience is different and that is what is so beautiful because Yoga is so all inclusive in that all paths are celebrated…your path might be different than my path, yet we are both yogis.

My path came to life when I was chanting at the foot of my teacher. It sounds almost poetic, so as to be corny. And when I gave myself over to chanting…chanting actually is my path…and when I chanted with all my heart, everything kind of crystalized and I knew at that moment what I was supposed to be doing. And my purpose became clear. And all of my worries faded away. All of my fears became less potent. They lost their grip on me. It’s not that they disappeared but they lost their emotional charge. And through a single tear that fell from my left eye…I surrendered and I just chanted the sacred mantra with my teacher. And a kind of joy and a kind of expansiveness and a kind of surrender came over me. And that is all there was to it. And since then, I have known that my form of Yoga is bhakti…prayer. Chanting. And that is how it changed my life. I surrender now. I trust. I’m more willing to get out of my own way. And to let go of my artificial state of control.

What does Awakening have to do with the present moment?

Donna: Because the present moment is the gateway, or the portal to what we call Awakening. It’s where we find the door.

David: To me, it’s the portal or the gateway to the infinite.

: Yes.

David: To the oneness.

That’s right.

David: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our Awaken Community?

Donna: That it’s not about perfection. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other. That is why we call it a practice. Because we never master putting one foot in front of the other and that’s never been the goal. It’s not about perfection. Celebrate your quirks and celebrate the practice. And that happens right here and now. Wherever you are. However you are. All the quirks and the funny things about you. Celebrate those, too. It’s not about perfection.

David: Is diet important for you?

Donna: It is, but not obsessively so. This physical vessel is here to serve us, so we tend to it and care for it like we would our garden. Not to the point of rigidity. Because anytime we become rigid, then we squeeze the joy out of life. And we don’t want to do that.

David: What kind of diet do you usually have?

Donna: One that doesn’t cause harm to living creatures—to my friends.

David: And I would assume that means animals.

Donna: That means animals—my dearest friends here on earth.

David: We’re animals too.

Donna: We are. Sometimes we are the scary ones. And it’s up to us to be good stewards for the beautiful little creatures that depend on us. And I’m a fierce protector of those creatures.

David: As we all should be. What would you say your life purpose is? Just generally, what do you think the purpose of life is? And specifically, what do you think your life purpose is?

Donna: It’s like my spiritual name Dhanpal, which means, one who shares her spiritual wealth. It’s up to me to share my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned, and am learning, along the way. I’m not perfect but I share what I’ve learned. We are all kind of hiking up together and reaching out and pulling each other along.

David: Can you talk a little bit about the ups and downs of your own awakening? I know through my own experiences that it’s not all up.

: Oh god, it’s two steps back and one step forward. To see it all as God’s play. Or as one of my beloved teachers, Carolyn Myss puts it, “to be able to step into the chaos” and not assume that the chaos is contrary to God’s plan. It’s all part of it. Embrace it all.

David: Any last words?

Donna: I think that’s about all.

: Thank you so much.

David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of He is the Producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed and daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.

Source: AWAKEN

An Interview with Deepak Chopra: You Are the Universe By Claudia Welss

Claudia Welss: Welcome, Dr. Chopra. As you know, I’m with the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and we have for many years been investigating the idea that consciousness is primary and causal in the universe, as well as in our personal and shared realities.

That’s had us a bit on the scientific fringe because so much of mainstream science still excludes consciousness. Your new book is pivotal because you’ve found a compelling way to introduce consciousness as fundamental to scientific inquiry. This is just in time because, as you write, “if there’s another extinction, it will be because of a science that is incomplete.” You Are the Universe supports the realization that we live in a participatory universe in which each of us has the agency to co-create our experience of reality and where every perception is an act of reality creation. So, for everyone who believes or who would like to believe that our inner landscape can be causal in transforming the outer one, You Are the Universe is a balm, bringing ages of scientific debate about the way the universe works to a credible, inspirational, and practical conclusion: the Universe is responsive to human beings.

The theme of this convergence series (see sidebar) is “Uniting the Tribes,” and reading your book reminds us that even in science there are different tribes. Could a new holistic science that includes consciousness be a uniting force, both within science itself and between science and spirituality? I feel a huge debt of gratitude for what you’re bringing into public awareness by addressing this question.

Deepak Chopra: Thank you, Claudia. It’s always a pleasure to be in conversation with you.

Welss: Thank you so much for being here, Deepak. For the most part, I’d like you to just take us wherever you’d like us to go. But I do have a few questions. To begin, I’d like to ask about the encouraging assertion you make in the book that a holistic science, one that includes consciousness, is inevitable because current scientific theories are completely stuck in their attempts to accurately describe reality and our relationship to it. And this, you say, is our most important and least attended to relationship.

Chopra: Science is struggling to explain what is called Reality. We’ve been through several iterations about what the universe is made of, who made the universe, what made the universe. We’ve been through the divine universe as explained in the book of Genesis. We’ve been through Newtonian classical physics, relativistic physics, both general theory and also special theory of relativity—quantum mechanics, eternal inflation, cosmic inflation, multiverses, on and on. None of these theories of science actually explains what Reality is or how we even know that there is something called Reality. So, the two basic mysteries of existence remain mysterious: (1) What is the true nature of existence? (2) How do we know that we exist or that something exists?

I felt it was incumbent upon me—along with the help of physicists, cosmologists, and quantum physicists including my co-author, Menas Kafatos—to really look at these two very fundamental questions. What is reality? What is existence? And how come we have awareness of that existence? That was the genesis of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters.

If you do a search on the Internet asking, “what are the most important or open questions in science today?,” you will find at the very top, the following questions that are open in science: (1) What is the universe made of? (2) What’s the biological basis of consciousness? (3) How did language come into existence? These three questions are intimately related.

What is the Universe Made of?

The reason it’s an open question is that we don’t know what it’s made of. The best thing we can say is that it’s made of nothing. Seventy percent of the universe is a mysterious entity called dark energy, which is a force, an anti-gravity force, that is ripping space apart and moving galaxies away from each other. So, space itself is expanding at lightning speeds. And we don’t know what this invisible force is. It doesn’t seem to be the kind of energy we speak of when we say mass is equal to energy.

Of the remaining 30% of the universe, 26% is something called dark matter, which is an invisible entity. It’s not atomic, so it does not reflect light, absorb light, emit light, or have anything to do with light. We are made of atoms; our interactions with the atomic universe are through light. And since this has nothing to do with light, although there are hypothetical particles called WIMPs, which stand for ‘weakly interactive massive particles,’ nobody knows what dark matter is made of other than it behaves like matter. It is not material. The reason it’s called matter is that it bends space-time in the same way as regular matter. So, it’s responsible for most of the gravity in our galaxy. It holds the galaxy together, including the solar system. If it wasn’t there, everything would fall apart. Planets would spin out of their orbit and the universe would disintegrate; so would we.

That leaves 4% of the universe, which is atomic, out of which 99.99% is invisible interstellar dust—mostly hydrogen and helium. So, the visible universe is .01% of all that exists, which includes hundreds of billions of galaxies, billions and billions and billions and billions of stars, and trillions and trillions and trillions of planets that are made of atoms. But this is .01%. The rest is either unknown or possibly unknowable.

The atomic universe is made up of atoms; the atoms themselves are made up of subatomic particles. When these particles are unmeasured, which means they haven’t actually been observed, they remain waves of possibility in a mathematical entity called Hilbert space. And that means they remain possibility waves in mathematical imagination. What’s the universe made of? We don’t know. The best thing we can say is nothing. What is the nothingness from which the whole universe arises, including our own self, everything that we call the body-mind, and everything that we call the physical universe?

What is the Basis of Consciousness?

The number two open question is, what’s the basis of consciousness? How do we know that we exist? How do we know the universe exists? How does the brain produce perception, sound, touch, sight, taste, smell, thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, drives, images, imagination, introspection, intuition, and intention? Again, science has no idea. In fact, it’s a premise that the brain produces this thing called consciousness—that which makes any experience possible, whether it’s a mental experience, or a perceptual experience, or what we call the experience of physical reality.

We don’t know what consciousness is. Where is it? What is it made of? Again, consciousness doesn’t seem to have any physical form, so it’s made out of nothing as well. So, nothing is observing nothing to experience everything. This is the big conundrum that science is in at the moment. We do not know what creates experience. We do not know how we know what we know. We do not know the nature of the physical universe. And all our scientific models, even though they’re good for making calculations and creating together, they do not give us a clue to the fundamental questions of existence. Who are we? Where did we come from? Is there a God? Are we just a small speck of dust in the mindless void, in the junkyard of infinity? Or is something more meaningful going on? Right now, science is at a crossroads and cannot answer the most basic questions.

How did Language Come into Existence?

The third thing that I want to bring up right now is about language. We have language, so we can communicate our experiences with each other. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have this conversation; we wouldn’t have this discussion. We wouldn’t have a riddle. We wouldn’t have a way to even question the riddle. We wouldn’t have a way to examine the riddle of our existence. Language is very crucial to communication of experiences. Humans have both written language and oral language. But there are other kinds of language—mathematical language, language as symbolic expression and representation, communication of experiences, questions that we have, and riddles that we want to examine.

But if you ask linguists, “How did language come about?” they have no idea. Just like we have no idea how life came about, how the universe came about. Although I address all these questions in the book, about what was there before the Big Bang. How did time come into existence? Why is the universe mathematically fine-tuned to create both life and mind? We address these questions because we have language. Linguists have no idea how language came about, how it is there right now, and how it evolved to describe with words and stories the experiences that we have.

Once we have a little bit of a clue into these three questions, then we have to reexamine everything we know about Reality, everything we know about what we call existence.

Welss: Thank you, Dr. Chopra. In the book, you write about the importance of The Observer Effect in any consideration of Reality. I think it is helpful for us to understand here what The Observer Effect is.

Chopra: Well, according to at least one interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is called the Copenhagen Interpretation, until an observer is there, the universe exists as possibilities. The observer actually causes what are called ‘possibility waves’ to collapse into space-time events that we call physical matter. A quantum, which is a unit of energy and information, actually has something called mass and energy. The waves that give rise to it have neither mass nor energy. They exist in this ephemeral field of possibilities. You need an observer to actually make the world manifest.

Welss: You give a great illustration in the book by asking us to imagine coming downstairs in your house and it’s dark. All of a sudden, there’s a mouse in the corner scurrying across the floor. When he sees you observe him, he stops. That’s a simple but profound example of this effect in which the ordinary act of observing can affect the material world.

Chopra: Now, of course, that then leads into these questions, “Who’s the observer? Where is the observer? What is the observer?”

That’s actually related to my next question. Would you please address what visionary quantum pioneer Wolfgang Pauli meant when he said, “The science of the future reality will neither be psychic nor physical, but somehow both and somehow neither.” And, if it fits with your response, please say more about what you mean when you say in the book that the universe is actually a mirror of the human nervous system.

Chopra: I’m saying that as a preliminary to something much more important. We know that the universe that we experience as human beings somehow has something to do with that which we call the human brain. We’re not experiencing the universe in the way, say, a bat would. A bat would experience the universe as the echo of ultrasound. A chameleon’s eyeballs swivel on two different axes; we can’t even remotely imagine what the universe would look like to a chameleon. A honeybee returns to its hive after visiting a flowering grove and does what is called a waggle dance to communicate where the other bees can go for honey. What we call perceptual reality is a species-specific phenomenon; there is no such thing as the look of the world. It depends on who’s looking and what nervous system they are using to do that looking.

Let’s examine that because we do not know how the brain actually produces the experience. When you’re looking at an object, how does the brain take photons that have no dimensionality or color and are all that are coming towards you and you have the experience of a three-dimensional world in space and time, with color and fragrance and texture and sound? We don’t know that. While we can say that our brain correlates with that experience, correlation does not necessarily mean causation. But we do know that a human brain produces what we call the human universe.

A dolphin brain would produce a dolphin universe. Different species have different perceptual experiences. But one thing they must share as the common ground of all experience is what we call awareness or consciousness. So, if you have a dog or a cat as a pet, or any other animal, and you have a relationship with that animal, that’s not because you’re perceiving the same perceptual reality. It’s like you are both in a virtual arcade using awareness as the interface through which you translate the experiences you’re having in human terms or dog terms or cat terms or any other species’ terms. The dog in the White House has no concept that it’s sitting in something called the White House, in something called the Oval Office, with a person called the President of the United States, who can press a button and cause nuclear warfare. Those are human concepts. And yet, you share awareness.

Awareness and consciousness is the common ground of all experience. And experiences are innumerable. Perceptual experiences are species-specific, but they’re also culture-specific and personal. There’s personal experience. There’s collective experience. There’s species experience. There’s transpersonal experience. And possibly there’s universal experience. So, what I’m saying is that you need awareness or consciousness to have experience. That experience could be a perceptual experience, in which case we call it the physical world, or it could be a mental experience or an image or a thought or an emotion. in which case we call it the mental world. But those are human constructs around experience.

You cannot separate an object from the experience of that object. If I’m looking at a cup of coffee on the mantelpiece, I cannot separate those objects from my perceptions of those objects, from my experience of those objects. So, where are those experiences occurring? They’re occurring in consciousness. Where is consciousness? We can’t find it. It doesn’t have a form. If it doesn’t have a form and you can’t find it, then it must be invisible. And being invisible, it’s not in space-time. If it’s not in space-time, then it’s eternal. It’s non-local. And so right now, we are non-local beings having a local experience where we are translating our experiences and then objectifying them as what we call “the physical body-mind and the physical world.” But the physical body-mind and the physical world are human constructs around experience. And experience is dependent on consciousness. So, if we were to define consciousness, which is not an easy thing, we would say—borrowing from many other experts in this area like Rupert Spira, Dan Siegel, and many others—consciousness is the knowing element in every subjective experience. Consciousness is that in which experience occurs and is known.

Here’s the difficult part. What is that out of which an experience is made? What is a thought made of? It’s a modified form of consciousness. What is an emotion? It’s a modification of consciousness. So, it’s made out of consciousness. Now, we don’t have any problem with this. But somehow we think our perceptions are not made out of consciousness because we call our perceptions ‘the external world.’ But perceptions are as much an activity or modification of consciousness as thoughts and emotions are. So, a sound is a modified form of consciousness. A texture is a modified form of consciousness. Taste, smell, color, form—these are modified forms of consciousness.

When you realize this, then you realize that all the building blocks of subjective experience are nothing other than sensations, images, feelings, thoughts, and sense perceptions. We objectify these as something we call the body-mind and the physical universe. When we normally think of ourselves as being in the universe, we think of ourselves as ‘me’ and the rest of the universe, and the ‘me’ is supposed to be somewhere in the body-mind. But you can’t find that ‘me’ in the body-mind because it’s not there. It’s formless.

In fact, the body-mind is as much an experience as what we call the physical world. And in raw terms, that experience is nothing but qualia, or qualities of experience, which are S-I-F-T—sensations, images, feelings, thoughts. Period. Now what we do is we create constructs around this. We objectify this experience. We call it the objective physical world. But in fact, that’s a human story. And that’s why I say you are the universe. You don’t exist in the universe. The so-called universe exists in you. You don’t exist in the body. The so-called body exists in you. You don’t exist in the mind. The so-called mind exists in you.

In other words, we are the creators of the human universe, and we’ve been doing it for centuries and millennia, but we don’t realize that we made up the whole thing. You know, we made up chairs and tables and furniture and physical objects like New York City and latitude and longitude. But we also made up stars and galaxies because stars and galaxies are nothing other than sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts, which are perturbations of consciousness.

Welss: Deepak, sometimes when I listen to you, I want to hold onto my chair. But it sounds like that really won’t help very much!

Chopra: (laughs) The chair is a construct. And Claudia is also a construct of the body-mind. The reality is a formless being that is now manifesting as Claudia, the chair, this conversation, and the phone.

Welss: You divide perception into three categories in the book. Can you tell us what those three categories are?

Chopra: The categories are perceptual categories, which we call the physical. But then we have a category called mental. And then we have a whole category called causal or spiritual. But again, these are ways of dividing an undivided wholeness.

Welss: To introduce my next question, I’ll just add three other categories from your book: perceptions we can change, perceptions we can’t change, and perceptions that are sometimes changeable and sometimes not. In your Facebook Live post after the US election, you advised that we have to face Reality. What does that mean, in a universe where Reality is somewhat malleable? And how deep does our agency to co-create Reality really go? Part two of that question would be this: in a universe where, as you just said, the fundamental building blocks of Reality are subjective experience, and in a world where there seems to be no objective truth, where do we find our moral compass?

Chopra: It’s not an easy thing to do, Claudia, because, as you know, we are bamboozled by the hypnosis of what we call social conditioning. And then we are part of that social conditioning. So, most of the thoughts you have are not your own. They’re recycled thoughts of society. And they’ve been recycling for centuries. What we call everyday reality is indeed a social construct, and our thoughts don’t belong to us, just like the molecules of our body don’t belong to us. They’re recycling in the entire ecosystem of what we call existence.

First of all, you have to accept the common reality. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to participate in it. There’s a motley group of sages, psychotics, geniuses, and rebels who are not part of this collective hypnosis. And we don’t treat them too kindly. We either crucify them or they’re outcasts of society or they’re considered insane.

We have to accept our common reality, perceptual experience, and the construct around it, if you want to survive in this world. But then having done so, participating in the social constructs so we can engage in conversation and politics and economics and social injustice and economic injustice and face the problems of climate change, we have to expand the conversation from a personal point of view to a more holistic point of view where we don’t have the subject-object split, which is ‘me’ and the universe. Actually, ‘me’ is an activity of the universe. So, we are all one holistic activity.

That realization could give rise to a new science of consciousness, which would look at creating technologies that would not be destructive. We would not mechanize death and atom bombs and nuclear weapons, and we would not cause climate change and eco-disruption and extinction of species. We do need a holistic science.

We need to also address fundamental questions about human suffering and things that humans dread, like old age, infirmity, and death, as well as the meaning and purpose of existence itself. We cannot do that if we buy into the collective construct. The wisdom traditions say that human suffering comes from not knowing the true nature of Reality. It comes from grasping and clinging to things that are in time and therefore impermanent. It comes from being afraid of impermanence. It comes from identifying with another construct called ‘the ego,’ which is a socially induced hallucination, and finally, it comes from the fear of death.

We have to address these and then go deeper into a more fundamental existence where we recognize ourselves as timeless beings, as formless consciousness having the experience of form. We are non-local beings having a local experience or human experience in time and space. The more we can shift our identity from our ego-bound personalities to the source of consciousness in which those are constructed, the more we can question our constructs.

The more we can question our interpretations of what a thought is, what a feeling is, what a sensation means, what a perception means, the more we can move into that collective domain where we can experience ourselves as an expression of divine creative intelligence and the more we will alleviate suffering in the world.

There are two levels of understanding human suffering. One is very practical. Feed the hungry. Work for social justice, economic justice, sustainability, economic upliftment, or for the welfare of all sentient beings. But there’s another level where we have to question the constructs that give us the experience of the everyday world and then become the authors, collectively, of the next stage of evolution of the human species. This would be literally participating in the evolution of the universe because the universe is a projection of our consciousness.

There are four principles that I’ve found very useful to live by. One is that everything that you’re experiencing is a projection of your conditioned mind. So, it’s representing who you are and where you are in your evolution. Number two, the real you was never born because it’s not in time and, therefore, it’s not subject to death. Number three, the fundamental nature of all existence is that it is without ego, and when you can go to that level, you can be free. And number four, if you can name it and you can experience it, it’s not you. You are the one who is doing the naming and the experiencing.

Welss: Thank you, Deepak. I can’t think of a more empowering message. And thank you so much for bringing up freedom. We recognize how important our ability to be free selves is to our capacity to be a healing force on the planet. I feel this is the conversation of our lifetime and could continue for a lifetime. And so I’m glad to hear, Deepak, that you’ll be teaching a course on this book.

The American anthropologist Loren Eiseley said, “He who seeks naively to embrace his own time will accept its masks and illusions.” I want to thank you so much, Deepak, for helping us see through the masks and illusions of our time. And thank you, Kurt, for all your contributions to the same.

Chopra: Thank you, Claudia.

Claudia Welss

Claudia’s projects are at the nexus of consciousness, technology, human-earth energetics, and large-scale social change. She’s board Chair for the Institute of Noetic Sciences and advises the IONS Innovation Lab, is on the steering committee of the Global Coherence Initiative, and is cofounder and Chair of the Invest in Yourself program at Nexus Global Youth Summit and Network, building the awareness that sustainable social change requires personal transformation within a global network of Millennial philanthropists, impact investors, and change agents.

Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Founder of The Chopra Foundation and the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in mind-body medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. […]

Source: kosmos journal

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