Giving Teens Tools to Cope and Care: Caverly Morgan

Published on Feb 27, 2018

Caverly Morgan is the founder of Peace in Schools, the first for-credit high school mindfulness course in the United States, now adopted by seven schools in Portland, Oregon, and touching more than a thousand students. In this moving address illustrated with a number of short videos of students and parents, she describes the Peace in Schools course and invites us to imagine a world in which we are encouraged, as part of a high school program, to explore questions of identity and belonging – the great mysteries of existence.

Adyashanti – An Innocent Relationship with What Is

Published on Feb 5, 2018

Adyashanti – Knowing Who You are 

Eckhart Tolle – How to Overcome Loneliness

Eckhart Tolle – How to Overcome Loneliness (Must Listen)

All Minds Are Interconnected ~ Rupert Spira

Rupert elaborates on the connection between minds that stems from the consciousness-only model.

The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God by Philip Comella

“Philip Comella, takes a fresh and bold look at the debate between science and religion—and attempts to go farther than any other book to unite them.

For years,we have been led to believe that the universe trace sits roots back to the Big Bang, a cataclysmic explosion of ethereal energy that resulted in the formation of the planets, stars, and everything in-between. Suppose,though, that the cosmos wasn’t, in fact, borne of a random eruption—but rather stems from the ever-evolving imagination of a multi-dimensional dreaming mind?Such a drastically different perspective would no doubt change the way we see not only ourselves, but also our place in the infinite realm of the universe. Such is the central premise of The Collapse of Materialism.

Probing,well written, and thoroughly researched, Comella’s insightful volume serves as a treatise on the popular misconceptions that the world of science would lead us to believe about the origins—and subsequent development—of the universe. Comella paints the compelling picture of life as a purposeful, directed means to an end. Bolstered by a wide range of enlightening sources,including religion, eastern philosophy—and science itself—this book breaks important ground regarding the limited purview of life as we’ve come to know it, encouraging readers to explore the unfettered depths of a new vision of universal purpose.”

—Dominique Sessons,

Philip Comella is a lawyer, host of the podcast, Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, and author of The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God. He has also published articles in Watkins Mind Body Spirit, Quest Magazine, and Veritas. The objective of his writing is to be more scientific than science, and to offer a credible, logical, and optimistic alternative to the matter-first, purposeless, and pessimistic worldview of modern, materialistic science. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio (1955), and received a B.A. in Philosophy from Beloit College (1978) and a J.D. from George Washington University (1983). The Collapse of Materialism shows that a matter-first worldview, one where all reality came from a Big Bang, life from a swamp, and consciousness from the gray matter of the brain, does not make any sense, and that we have accepted it based on faith, not on critical examination. Quantum theory, psychic phenomena, near-death experiences, the placebo effect, synchronicity, the fine-tuning of the universe, the pervasive belief in God, and many other features of our world show that a matter-first worldview no longer can explain the world we experience. Materialism is collapsing, and this is a good thing, as a mind-first worldview not only builds permanent bridge between science and religion, but also offers a future of unlimited promise.

The Collapse of Materialism-Visions of Science & God

Philip Comella believes that civilization may be at the beginning of a new epoch, a time of great spiritual awakening with humanity transcending to a higher truth, one that unifies the now colliding cultures of science and religion. In his book The Collapse of Materialism, Comella explains that through this viewpoint will come the ultimate understanding of the interconnection between our minds and the world around us.

Many scientists now believe that it has been shown that matter originates in the mind and the mind is universal. Philip Comella explains that embracing the universal mind will lead us back to ourselves and finally back to God.

Philip Comella is a lawyer, visionary futurist, and host of the popular radio show Conversations Beyond Science and Religion, podcast at His book, The Collapse of Materialism: Visions of Science, Dreams of God, is a culmination of decades of work committed to developing a new and credible scientific paradigm to unify the physical world of science with the metaphysics of religion. He lives with his wife and daughter in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Money, happiness and eternal life – Greed (director’s cut) | DW Documentary” 

Can money and power ever make us happy? How much is enough? Our constant desire for more is part of our human nature.

Some call it a useful dowry of evolution, others a fault in the human genetic make-up: The old mortal sin Greed seems to be more ubiquitous than ever. Why can’t people ever get enough, where is this self-indulgence leading – and are there any ways out of this vicious circle of gratification?

“People like to have a lot of stuff because it makes them the feeling of living forever,” says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon, who believes today’s materialism and consumerism will have disastrous consequences.

Anyone who fails to satisfy his or her desires in this age of the Ego is deemed a loser. But with more than 7 billion people on the Earth, the ramifications of this excessive consumption of resources are already clear. Isn’t the deplorable state of our planet proof enough that “The Greed Program,” which has made us crave possessions, status and power, is coming to an end? Or is the frenzied search for more and more still an indispensable part of our nature? We set off to look for the essence of greed. And we tell the stories of people who – whether as perpetrators or victims or even just as willing consumers – have become accomplices in a sea change in values.

Don’t Chase Enlightenment, Discover Freedom as the Open Hand – Amoda Maa

In this video, Amoda invites you to stop chasing enlightenment as a sudden “happening” and instead turn your devotion to knowing yourself – and knowing life – as the openness that is always available, right here and now.

Awaken Interviews Joan Borysenko Ph.D. – Living More From Your Higher Self

Donna Quesada: You know, it’s funny you should bring up the word awakening. Because I was going to ask you…our web site is called, so that is something I want to ask you. What does it mean to awaken? Is there such a thing? Does it happen at once? How do you live an awakened life? And you are kind of going into that on your own. So, I want to push it a little bit. How does this discernment relate to an awakened life?

Joan Borysenko PhD:: Well, I think an awakened life is one in which you are living more from your higher self and less from ego’s fears and projections. And all of that. And I think there are people that totally wake up and I think for the rest of us, it’s a gradual awakening. Little by little. Particularly as we learn to meditate. We develop what is called meta-awareness—and that is instead of being totally fused with our thoughts—that part of us that is the observer, is meant to be meditating, I’m going to take a breath. That meta-awareness starts to operate. And when you have a reaction to something, let’s say, all of a sudden you see a person, and right away you get, like, yuck, that person feels creepy to me…

DONNA: Yep, you just feel a vibe.

JOAN: Yeah, you feel a vibe. Your meta-awareness picks up on that. And it inquires, am I projecting? Am I simply picking up a vibe that says, “Be careful…this is a dangerous person?” But you start to wake up and you don’t take your reactions to be reality. There is a moment of inquiry there. And in case you are just thinking…whatever it is…I feel creepy right now. I have a creepy feeling. You are able to do something about it. I find it interesting that some of the most ancient mind training techniques came through Hinduism. And the various schools of Buddhism, and became particular developed in Tibetan Buddhism. That these are now available to all of us…so, we can learn to reprogram, retrain our brain…build new circuits. And tame some of that reactivity of the ego. And as that happens, that is part of the awakening process, we become more and more present to the extraordinary richness, beauty and language of the world around us. Much more attuned. Plants speak a language. Animals speak a language. The clouds speak a language. And so, I’d say we become more fluent in the languages of life.

DONNA: So, awakening is becoming more present, not only to what we are hearing around us but what we are feeling within us. And it is a process…it is a process of differentiating between the voice of the ego and the voice of fear and reality…whatever that is.

JOAN: Yeah…whatever that is.

DONNA: Is the ego always bad?

JOAN: Well, you know there are two senses for the ego. Certainly, when I put on my psychologist hat…we all have to have an ego. In the psychological sense, a place where you can stand, a place where you can…I’m a worthwhile human being…I have skills…when I get out of whack, to bring me back to the center…that’s a healthy way. The healthy ego says, “I don’t have to prove anything…I’m worthy of existing.” And that’s a good thing to have. And it is a separate sense of self, but it’s from that healthy sense of self, we begin to develop more and more, a sense of compassion, that we actually begin to transcend what Albert Einstein called “the optical delusion of separateness that separates us from all that is.” So, that we can also be simultaneously present to something larger. So, the metaphor I use to understand this in life in my own mind, is…we are both a particle and a wave and our particle part is a healthy ego. And our wave transcends the ego. And we feel unity with all that is.

But it’s the unhealthy ego that needs transcending…that healthy sense we need to develop. That’s why I think there is so much interest these days in the fields of attachment to our care-takers. Did we feel safe? Because if we don’t feel safe when we were little, it’s very hard to have a sense of healthy ego…if we were traumatized in the ego. The ego needs a little bolstering up. So, the fields of attachment and trauma are important in understanding this, and building and restoring us to a healthy ego. So, have it, but also transcend it.

DONNA: It’s almost as if this trauma creates this deep sense of insecurity that causes us always to look for reassurance. And that’s kind of where the ego goes awry.

JOAN: That’s right. And you know, for years, I think, known for us in this field that there is no such thing as psychological growth distinct from spiritual growth. It’s a spiritual process, and there are a number of languages for the two things. But what they all have in common is this: That as our ego becomes secure, and as we touch the part of ourselves that goes beyond the ego…that part of itself is love itself. And I know, that sounds trite. But when you have an experience of divine union and transcendence, words make sense to you. The overwhelming sense is such a loving kindness. It’s unbelievable. You can’t believe that such loving kindness is in this universe and that it’s so personal. It’s not an impersonal thing. It’s a personal thing. A source of love and kindness knows you, thoroughly…and loves you with all your mistakes.

I’ve had a lot of meetings with the light. So, I am speaking from personal experience. As you grow psychologically, you grow spiritually. You grow in love and kindness. These days, at least in the psychological circles, compassion training has become a very important thing. As people begin to develop more compassion for themselves and more compassion for others…that’s the part of us that transcends the limit of our own circumscribed self. As Einstein put it, the circle of loved ones closest to us…so that compassion gradually extends to all beings and to nature and then beyond that, to the mysterious reality. The source of being from which we come. Such gratitude and forgiveness. Mercy and love and compassion develop. And if you are a Christian, it’s like, “hey, these are the fruits of the spirit that Jesus talked about.” How do you tell…how do you tell a person is growing inside?…because they manifest those fruits of forgiveness and love and patience and joy and mercy…

DONNA: Here’s what I wonder about, Joan. To use your case as an example, you had this traumatic experience in life which led to a direct experience through prayer…divine…which transformed you. How do we teach compassion without that kind of direct experience? Can it be taught?

JOAN: It can be taught. That’s what is so exciting. You know, when my husband, Gordon, and I wrote the book Your Soul’s Compass—that was the book that we interview the 27 saviors. What we discovered there…particularly, the Buddhist teachers would say, “well, what is Buddhism? It’s all about developing compassion. It’s an entire life of learning to cultivate kindness and compassion.” And Buddhism has the tools for that, which gradually make their way into psychology. For example, there have been a number of studies looking at the slogans of Tibetan Buddhism. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this deck of Pema Chodron compassion cards. It’s cool. It’s the 59 Lojong slogans of Tibetan Buddhism and they are all different aspects of compassion in daily life. And you just pick a card and on the front side is whatever the slogan is. And if you turn it over on the back side, Pema has given just a sentence or two of explanation, so you can remember during the day to be compassionate, to have an exponentiate inside you. So that’s the Lojong slogans.

That love and kindness meditations have been studied… So, for example, at Emery University, Emery does a lot of study on this type of thing. There is a Tibetan Monastery close by. And there has been a collaboration of studying these old Buddhist principles. You can take students and in six weeks the practice of the loving, kindness meditation…sending blessings of love and kindness… May I be at peace… May my heart remain open… May I be happy… It’s blessings to yourself and others. That, plus the Lojong slogans.

DONNA: So, it’s not just reading. Saying little prayers throughout the day, but maybe not calling them prayers, so as to make it more palatable to people who might not be comfortable with that language…which is a practice.

JOAN: Well, it is a practice. You know, a very dear friend of mine, Karen Drucker…she has written 20 albums of positive music, for which she wins a prize every year. And she’s taken the most basic love and kindness blessings and it’s a song. (Singing) May I be filled with love and kindness…May I be well… May I be peaceful and at ease… And may I be happy… And who wouldn’t want to be happy? You’re just wishing the best for yourself. And you sing it for other people. You sing it for your loved ones. It’s so simple and easy and it becomes an ear worm. You feel it repeating during the day. You can’t stop it. It’s such a great way to take ancient wisdom and bring it into a modern thing. It doesn’t make people think, I’m doing some Buddhist religious thing. Just sing a song.

DONNA: So, would it be fair to say that practice, and I wanted to ask you this anyway…do you need to have a meditation practice? It’s like any practice and that’s a very Hindu way of looking at it. You know the different yogas…you can be devotional, you can be intellectual about it… Do you agree that practice can take different forms and do you have to have a teacher?

Joan: Well, practice can take different forms. For example, not everybody is going to sit and do mindfulness meditation every day, but everybody can take a shower and say, “I love the foam in my hair…I love the hot water.” And instead of planning my day, I’m just going to let go and get back to the pleasure of the moment. I’ll get to the planning of the day, later. That’s a meditation…action. And that’s a wonderful thing for anybody to learn to do. And you can learn mindfulness and meta-awareness through doing that.

And here’s the thing, there are plenty of teachers available. You want to learn mindfulness, you can go online and find a course by Jon Kabat-Zinn. That will teach you mindfulness. And of course, with anything, you can teach yourself but generally speaking, you can make more progress faster if you take a course where somebody points out the territory. And then once you have the big picture you can go into it more, yourself. So, having some teaching is always useful. And then there are people who are just self-taught in all these things. I think there is room in all these things for every different approach, Donna.

DONNA: How do we balance this individual development of awareness with our responsibility to the environment, for example? Or a world that drives us to angst…which drives us to practice in the first place.

JOAN: That, of course, is a great question and as you begin to train a little bit in compassion, what happens of course, is the suffering of the world becomes more acute and more obvious to you. But compassion is more than empathy. It’s not just feeling the difficulties of the world, it’s the desire to do something to relieve that. And on a very basic level you can do a process of love and kindness. You can do a Tonglen meditation. Where you can literally breathe in from all your pores, the heaviness of a part of the world that is suffering, And you breathe back the light within your own being to them. You can do that at a very basic level. You can also get involved. The first is a little subtler act of activism. But there are many acts of activism.

I was telling you before I started…my husband is going to have a group of people coming in here. He is organizing a group to implement hopefully, making Santa Fe a compassionate city. There are several hundred compassionate cities. And that’s an amazing thing. When different branches of a city all activate to say, “What is our vision?” Vision is compassion, whether you are looking at education or whether you are looking at the sewer system. Whether you are looking at…whatever. And there have always been people and there will always be people who take that inner drive for compassion and bring it outside. But even if your only service to the world is transforming yourself, that is enough because we all touch our families…we touch the people we interact with. And everybody really does long for the same thing. Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama, “We all want to be happy!”

We all want to be peaceful. Who wants to suffer? And so, it’s a contagious feeling when you get around people who are peaceful. When you get around people who pass up the bait! When someone says something upsetting and instead has a more enlightened response to it. That’s what impresses people, not what we say but who we are. We all want a little of that.

DONNA: It seems like sometimes we get the feeling that we are just not getting anywhere. Do you need to have a quote “dark night of the soul” as an impetus to this kind of awaking and growth of compassion?

JOAN: That’s always a great question. This is an old question. I first heard it posed by William James, who was around at the beginning of the last century…1800’s, early 1900’s. And you might have read his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, which was a set of lectures at Harvard. And William James was the father of modern psychology. And he was also deep into the perennial wisdom and meditation and all that. He believed that we woke up in one of two ways. He said, the more common way is through crisis. And another way—maybe a little less common—is through gradual awakening…through “disillusion.” The disillusion of the difficulties that hide that true light of the heart, of the sun within your heart…you don’t have to develop it because it’s always there; it’s your true nature.

Consider your life best as a metaphor. You know, I know a woman, and what an enlightened being she is. What Love. And for her it’s been a gradual awakening. I look at someone like me and I’m more… Every once in a while, I just seem to have to go to hell. To the netherworlds! And then finally it gets cracked wide open and I think, “I wish I didn’t have to keep doing this!”

DONNA: Well, as promised that’s a pretty good place to leave it. Is there anything else you would like to share with out Awaken listeners, Joan?

JOAN: Just an invitation. They can come and check out my web-site which is just my name And you can also find me on Facebook at the Joan Borysenko Community. That’s good, and I do a lot of public programs. And I’ve got a lot of books so… there are some resources for people.

DONNA: Joan, it was just a pleasure to talk to you. I thank you for joining us to today for this interview. Personally, I’ve enjoyed it and I know our viewers will enjoy it, as well.

JOAN: Thank you much, Donna. You are a great interviewer. What A joy.

DONNA: Thank You! It was mutual. Bye bye!

JOAN: Bye!

View Part I – God Is A Mystery, HERE

Source: AWAKEN

Guidance on Healing – Physical and Spiritual: Eckhart Tolle 

Eckhart discusses how spontaneous physical healing can occur when Presence arises.

When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening 1st Edition by Bonnie L. Greenwell PhD (Author),‎ Adyashanti (Foreword)

Pub Date 01 May 2018

Whether it happens all at once or gradually over time, spiritual awakening is an experience that may be accompanied by great insight, ecstatic bliss, or a mystical infusion of light, love, and vision. But it can be an overwhelming experience, too, leaving those to whom it’s occurred searching for answers and understanding. Written by a transpersonal psychologist and non-dual teacher, this book will help you understand the phenomenon of spiritual awakening, and provide guidance and support for you on your spiritual journey.

At the heart of most spiritual traditions is the understanding that we are one with all of existence. This realization, also known as spiritual awakening or spiritual emergence, can occur spontaneously, after years of spiritual practice, or through many other portals. Although awakening is often considered a purely positive experience, many people are not prepared for the ramifications of such a life-altering event. When your perception of yourself and reality has been altered, you may find yourself with more questions than answers. Where can you turn?

Based on over thirty years of case studies, as well as the author’s own experiences, When Spirit Leaps explores the why and what of spiritual awakening, revealing how this phenomenon occurs across all traditions, and exploring the various ways it can happen. Including discussions on kundalini energy, meditation, yoga and qigong, breathwork, near-death experiences, and much more, this inspirational book offers companionship and practical solutions to common challenges along the spiritual path of awakening.

With this book as your guide, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the process and different portals of awakening, and find comfort and support in the real-life stories of those who have experienced this shift in consciousness and faced its challenges. Most importantly, you’ll learn how you can embody this awakening and live joyfully and effectively without attachment to a personal sense of self, but as the oneness with all that is your true nature. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, this book will help you along the way.

Bonnie Greenwell

BONNIE GREENWELL, Ph.D. is a teacher in the lineage of the modern non-dual wisdom teacher Adyashanti, and a transpersonal psychologist who has dedicated her work to the support of people in the spiritual emergence process. She is the author of “Energies of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process”, and “The Kundalini Guide” the editor of Adyashanti’s book “Emptiness Dancing” and contributor to the anthology “Kundalini Rising”. After years of working as a transpersonal therapist, she established Shanti River Center in Ashland, OR. to provide non-dual and transpersonal education. With a broad background in eastern and western traditions, and a long personal history of awakening moments, she has trained therapists and spiritual teachers internationally to work effectively with the dynamics of awakening and the embodiment of Self-realization.

Dr. Bonnie Greenwell on Kundalini Awakening, Spiritual Evolution and much more

Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D has covered the various aspects of kundalini for over 30 years. She is regarded as one of the most credentialed people to cover the various aspects of Kundalini. Since 1983 she has worked as a transpersonal therapist with people having non-ordinary experiences associated with spiritual awakening, especially with kundalini arising, which was the topic of her doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

Kundalini (Sanskrit kuṇḍalinī, कुण्डलिनी, About this sound pronunciation (help·info), “coiled one”), in the Dharma religions, is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine. Different spiritual traditions teach methods of “awakening” kundalini for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment. Kundalini is described as lying “coiled” at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or “mother energy or intelligence of complete maturation”.

Kundalini awakening is said to result in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reach within the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head. Many systems of yoga focus on the awakening of Kundalini through meditation, pranayama breathing, the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reports the Kundalini experience to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine.

Enlightenment Truth | How to Recognize an Enlightened Being? | Advice from Lord Sri Krishna!

Qualities of an Enlightened/Self-realized Being as explained by Lord Sri Krishna. Greatly focused on revealing the hidden spiritual and psychological truths in Bhagavad Gita to modern minds.

The Origin of Life and Consciousness: Bruce Damer

Multi disciplinary scientist Dr. Bruce Damer, co-author of the hot spring hypothesis of life’s origins, considers its implications for humanity in scientific, philosophical and spiritual dimensions. The realization of our deepest ancestry will contain the psychological power to re-orient our civilization toward a sustainable, expansive, and long-term future.

Science And NonDuality is a community inspired by timeless wisdom, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in personal experience. We come together in an openhearted exploration to further our individual and collective evolution. New ways of being emerge. We embody our interconnectedness and celebrate our humanity.

Awaken Interviews Joan Borysenko Ph.D. -God Is A Mystery

Donna Quesada: Well then, if you don’t mind, I’ll get right into it. I was so moved by what you were saying about resilience. So, in case our viewers haven’t seen your Ted Talk, I want to get right into it…I was so moved and you were saying how it all started with you looking at an old family portrait of relatives who must have known that they were destined for Auschwitz. And I’m sorry to switch gears in such an intense way, so quickly, but this kind of gets into an important aspect of your teaching. I would love if you would share more about that…and you noticed that they had very serious faces…and you were struck by this…and it made you wonder, How on Earth can they carry on, knowing what they must have known on some level? And so, this started a fascination with what you call resilience, in your own life. And I’m fascinated with that, too. I was wondering if you could give a little more background on that?

Joan Borysenko Ph.D: Well, first of all…the fact that it was a dozen members of my family that died in Auschwitz…I knew this intellectually, Donna. But there is a very big difference between knowing something intellectually and actually feeling it in your body…the actual emotional response to that. And I got that photo suddenly, from a relative I’d never even heard of. It just appears in my box. I took one look at it and what really got me is that it was my grandfather’s brother and his family. They hadn’t come to the United States, at that time. And They were the last of the family that was in Eastern Europe. The resemblance. The family resemblance from my grandfather…my grandfather’s brother…his children. It was so overwhelming that I just started to cry. And all of a sudden, it was as if I was there and I could feel my body…kind of the neurons…I could feel in my body the tremendous dread. And what I know as a scientist is that trauma from previous generations passes down for three or four generations. And I’d always wondered…to my psychologists, I always seemed like a trauma survivor. And I’d been working on patterns of low-resilience in myself for years. And even though I wasn’t in the direct lineage of my great uncle, my grandparents had left because of pogroms in Eastern Europe. It was so common for Jews, for example, to be rounded up, put in a barn and the whole thing set on fire.

And there was a history of that. It’s a history that gets handed down from generation to generation. And it’s not so much in the DNA itself because that doesn’t change. But whether your DNA, aspects of it, get silenced, or whether they remain active…what it tells us is that DNA does not estimate. We live in an enormous environment…our inner environment of thoughts and feelings, as well as the outer environment…our social interactions…the plants around us and how they speak…the quality of the light…the beauty. All of these things that we would have formerly said “Hey, that’s great poetry, Joan.” It’s more than poetry. It’s our biology. And there’s a whole new field called, Inter-Personal Neuro-Biology, which defines the mind as the way that information and energy flows across time. And it’s an emergent property of what is within us and what is outside us. Our mind is embodied within our nervous system and embedded within our environment. And we’re all in inter-relationship with each other. And as a scientist, I find the new Neuro-Science fascinating! Coupled with epi-genetics and we know because of this, a lot more about what it takes to be resilient. And you know, Donna, right now, we really need to be resilient. Because we are in the middle of a sea change.

Donna: So, this is fascinating and I’ll just restate it, to see if I understand correctly. For so long we have had this debate, which was big in the 50’s, which was nature vs nurture and the whole thing, but we’ve come to a subtler understanding where it’s not just the environment dancing with the genetic tendencies. It’s our internal landscape, as well. And depending on what is going on there, it turns on certain genetic tendencies, or they remain dormant. Would that be a correct way to say it?

Joan: You said it beautifully. Thank you so much, that was an excellent recap.

Donna: Well, it’s fascinating to me, too…we’re so in sync. I just want to tell you on a personal level, in terms of what you are talking about and my interests. I’ve been so interested in that somatic way of knowing…that our body talks to us. And you talk about that, too, so I’m going to be asking you about it. And I love that you have spoken about that in your talks…and helped us understand these deeper ways we know or that we understand how we ourselves feel. You know, we are so used to growing up with pros and cons lists…and that we can work things out rationally. But in fact, the deeper truths about the stuff that really matters doesn’t come that way. And I love that you speak of that.

But first, to sort of stay on point…this business of resilience. Is this too personal? You talk about your own struggle with OCD. I want to connect the dots here. So, you already had this idea that your ancestors had gone through extreme challenges. And then you, yourself, were put into a situation where you had to face that in your own life. Pretty much, a personal example of what they dealt with. You had your own…maybe it’s too dramatic to say “holocaust,” but for all of us that are going through a challenge, it feels that way. It feels traumatic and dire and life changing. And you had that happen where you had to put it to the test when they told you that you were going to go to a new school. And you realized, my reaction isn’t maybe what they expect…this isn’t a happy thing…this is a scary thing. And all of these fear mechanisms were coming up in you. Could you talk about that and how you discovered within yourself, ways of coping or ways of dealing with those challenges?

Joan: Well, yes. Because, you know, it’s interesting…going to a new school is a new challenge. But it’s not usually enough of a challenge that a child actually becomes psychotic. And I think there were several other extremes that came into this at that time. But the approximate cause of really developing a psychosis and developing OCD and managing that psychosis… And when my mother took me to see a scary movie…and that movie took place in the jungle with head hunters. There were snakes and scorpions and blow guns. Stuff that could be upsetting to a ten-year-old child. I started to dream about the movie at night. But then, I started to hallucinate it during the day.

And I developed the belief that only I could see the head hunters. So, I had to do something about them. Because they were going to break into the house and they were going to kill my whole family…which is terrifying beyond belief. Absolutely terrifying to feel like the life and death of all your loved ones rests upon your little ten-year-old shoulders. And in order to deal with that, I came to the belief…and this is now the OCD…that, if I did a stylized set of rituals, which sort of grew week by week in number and complexity…that if I did those rituals, the head hunters, who I could actually see…not quite manifest…I saw their energy forms. And if I did the rituals, their energy forms would disappear and there would be safety in the house for a little while, until they tried to get back in. And I had typical OCD types of rituals, like having to wash my hands, and counting like a hundred times. Or, picking up something to read and having to turn it upside down and repeat three times…the reading upside down. And this starts to take up your whole life. Your whole life is a ritual and it interferes with school. I saw psychiatrists and nobody could help.

This was a very long time ago. Sixty years ago, or more. And finally, I sat down one day…maybe six months into this…in a state of absolute hopelessness. And I said a prayer that had such body sense to it…such a felt sense. An absolute prayer of the broken heart. And it was like…”Help.” If there was anything out there…”Help.”

And what I had, Donna, was an experience of cosmic consciousness. And the fear completely dissipated and was replaced with a kind of peace that was just such peace. It was, to use a metaphor, like you were being held in the palm of God. That at all points, all was well. And I felt connected to something much larger than I was. Something that was absolutely loving. And I also connected deeply with my own inner intuition. And I do believe that there is a part of ourselves…whether you are a Buddhist, you’d call it true nature. It’s who we are. There’s a wonderful metaphor for that. That I learned from Steven Mitchell. It’s like a window pane into a larger reality, but usually the window pane is covered with dirt. You clean it and you realize, I was never separated…I was always part of this reality. So, whatever you call that, your true nature, your higher self…

I connected with that. And because that is connected with a larger energy, a larger wisdom than your personal base of knowledge…I started to know things as a ten-year-old, that ten-year olds don’t know. And what I knew most clearly, is that I could recover from this. And I also knew exactly how to go about it, which was pretty amazing. And I like to tell people, “if you have OCD, this will not apply to you.” It’s very specific to me. Because what happened was, in a flash, a poem came to my mind. And this is a poem that spirit gave to a ten-year-old. And I called it “The Light.” And here’s how it went:

Somewhere in the darkest night there always shines a little light.

This light up in the heavens shines to help our God watch over us.

When a small child is born, the light her souls adorn.

So, when our human eyes look up in the lightless sky, we must know.

We must know that this light burns far into the night.

To help watch over us.

Donna: That’s beautiful.

Joan: Isn’t it beautiful? It’s a gift of spirit. And what I knew intuitively is, I could never do a ritual again or I would get stuck there. But because that poem contained the essence of the connection that I was feeling…if I just said the poem when I got scared, I wouldn’t have to do any rituals. And so, of course, I wrote the poem down. It was already memorized. It was like emblazoned on my soul. And for the next three or four days, whenever I saw head hunters or woke in the night from a nightmare, or needed to do a ritual, I’d just say the poem. And, sure enough, at the end of three or four days, there were no more dreams, no more head hunters, no more need to do rituals. The whole thing had disappeared. And while as a scientist, I have a Ph.D in Cell Biology from Harvard Medical School…and as a licensed psychiatrist…

Donna: And here you are reconciling that with the miraculous.

Joan: Exactly! So, Science has no words for that. Science calls this “spontaneous remission.” But, if you ask anyone who has had a spontaneous remission from anything…physical or mental…they usually have a very interesting story to tell. And I think we learn a lot by listening to those stories. And so, at 10, I didn’t know any words like higher self. I didn’t know any of that. It was just an experience. And so, only as I got older, could I parse this out in any kind of language…because there is no good language for the soul. And yet, what happened at 10, Donna, was the seed for everything else that I do in this lifetime…my purpose. My fascination is with psychology, consciousness, neuro-science, the mind, the body and the spirit. That’s what I’ve always done, It’s my passion.

Donna: Would it be fair to say that at that moment, when you were a girl, praying to something higher than you had words for…that you didn’t even know who you were praying to? An Angel, God? A Saint?

Joan: Well, you know, I’d been to a Jewish girl’s camp and it was quite a wonderful camp. We used to sit in this pine grove on Friday night. And Saturday morning service…we would have our services out in nature. And for me, what’s lovely in Judaism, is that God is a mystery. If you’ve progressed from the esoterica kind of the religious, it’s not like God is even a male. In the pine grove, we welcomed the feminine aspect of god. And I already knew from there that God was a mystery. But I identified that mystery with coming so clearly in nature, I can still flash with being in that pine grove. I can feel it in my body. It was more a sense of being that is embodied in nature. And because there is a feminine aspect to it, too…they were sort of a comfort, knowing that as a feminist, and that aspect is there, too…of the divine mystery, of the divine mind. That creates all of manifest reality. We kind of all move…and being in the body of the benign feminine. For me, that was much more of a felt sense than anything else. So, I knew I was praying into the mystery…to God.

Donna: So, I want to appeal to the work you have done in the scientific realm. And also, this comes back to my interest that the body talks to us. I’ve read about athletes who send intentions into their bodies, and how the body responds the same, regardless of whether the event is taking place. You can visualize yourself going through the jumps and stuff…and this causes very real physical changes within your body. So, how do we trust these sensations? How do we know these sensations are real? Or, how do we know that we aren’t just producing some physiological effect? I guess that gets into discernment which you also talk about. So, I’m wondering if you could comment on that…

Joan: Well, I’d love to because in fact, my husband and I have had a lot of conversations about that. We tried to see what people who have dealt in this subject matter for a long time think about it. How do you know the world apart from your own ego and and its own wants and fears? That’s the question. We decided we would ask people from a variety of different traditions. We interviewed Jewish Mystics, Sufis, Christians…we interviewed the wonderful, wonderful, Catholic monk, Thomas Keating. And there were no female catholic priests, but there were episcopal. We interviewed 27 sages—we called them. Hindus, Buddhists, and what we came up with…we asked about 10 questions. And then we did an analysis of the themes that came out. How do you know? What’s knowing? What is discerning? And so, often people mentions a tale of thing. One of them was Karma Helminski, who was a Sufi teacher. He talked about the aspects of god; there are 99 aspects of God in Islam. 99 aspects of Allah. And he talked about the inner teacher. And the point is, to try to awaken us, Donna. And that tradition is responsible for the synchronicities…and when you are advancing a little bit in your discernment of what is actually real and what you are making up with your ego, one of the ways to discern…it starts to rain synchronicities.

Donna: Wow.

Joan: And I think we’ve all had that experience. You shake your head and you say “man, I couldn’t make this up myself.”


The Secret of ‘Who Am I?’ Enquiry! Eckhart Tolle

How we should use the Who am I? enquiry method to know our true Being, tells Eckhart Tolle

In What Does My Experience Appear? ~ Rupert Spira

Published on Feb 16, 2018

This exploration leads to the discovery of ‘myself’, the medium in which all thoughts, sensations and perceptions appear.

Surfing the Heart of Darkness: Suffering as a Doorway to Liberation by Amoda Maa Jeevan

Amoda Maa Jeevan brings to light the process of opening ourselves to the darkness of suffering in order to awaken from the dream of separation.

 In this talk, Amoda Maa invites you to consider that the darkness we encounter in our personal lives and in the world is an volutionary driver for awakening out of the dream of separation. Very often, awakening or enlightenment is imagined to be a spontaneous transcendent state that leads to eternal bliss and peace. But what is often missed is, that if awakening is to be more than a temporary state, we are called to meet every vestige of inner darkness and that this is an ongoing journey that can happen either before or after awakening. 

It’s an invitation to open to all previously unmet contractive energies based on an erroneous perception of separation. 

Inner darkness is where we hold on to inner division; it’s a blind spot with incredible power: the power to create suffering in ourselves and in the world. 

Amoda invites you to meet this suffering consciously, and then to choose to open wider than this suffering. Conscious suffering is the decision to walk with resolute presence and unadulterated openness through every inner and outer landscape through Heaven and Hell and to recognize what is true beneath and beyond all appearances. 

In conscious suffering, every step is a crucifixion and a resurrection. It’s a death of the archaic mechanism of ego and a rebirth into the light of who you truly are. When this light is seen in and as the heart of everything, a real transformation of consciousness takes place. As the Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba, said: “I love suffering, it brings me closer to God.”

Embodied Awakening: Shakti Caterina Maggi

Although we often see awakening as the end of the search, the recognition to our true nature is just the beginning of an authentic spiritual life. The embodying of this recognition starts from that moment.

Shakti Caterina Maggi points directly to the essence of what we are and invites us to rediscover the divine Self in the core of our own humanity. Overcoming fear and illusion is to wake up to the extraordinary beauty of the moment and be the true embodiment of Consciousness itself in human form. She has been sharing a message of awakening to Life since 2003 with seminars and retreats held mainly in Italy and Europe.

Eckhart Tolle 2018 Ego : The Impulse to Awaken

A Mind at Home with Itself: How Asking Four Questions Can Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Your World Around by Byron Katie (Author),‎ Stephen Mitchell (Author)

Internationally acclaimed, bestelling author Byron Katie’s most anticipated work since Loving What Is

We live in difficult times, leaving far too many of us suffering from anxiety and depression, fear and anger. In her new and most anticipated work since Loving What Is, beloved spiritual teacher Byron Katie provides a much-needed beacon of light, and a source of hope and joy.

In A Mind at Home with Itself, Byron Katie illuminates one of the most profound ancient Buddhist texts, The Diamond Sutra (newly translated in these pages by Stephen Mitchell) to reveal the nature of the mind and to liberate us from painful thoughts, using her revolutionary system of self-inquiry called “The Work.” Byron Katie doesn’t merely describe the awakened mind; she empowers us to see it and feel it in action. At once startlingly fresh and powerfully enlightening, A Mind at Home with Itself offers us a transformative new perspective on life and death.

In the midst of a normal American life, Byron Katie became increasingly depressed and over a ten-year period sank further into despair and suicidal thoughts. Then one morning in 1986 she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her. Its direct result, The Work, has helped millions of people all over the world to question their stressful thoughts and set themselves free from suffering.

Byron Katie Book Signing & Interview | “A Mind at Home with Itself”

Byron answers questions from fans while signing her book “A Mind at Home with Itself”. Get your autographed first edition –…

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