Category: Awakening


by Adyashanti: There is no easy road to enlightenment…

Enlightenment is a destructive process.
It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier.
Enlightenment is the
crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing
through the facade of pretense. It’s the
complete eradication of everything we
imagined to be true.

– Adyashanti
Make no bones about it, awakening is not a walk in the park. It is a ride through hell. It is the tearing down of all of your cherished beliefs and everything you thought about yourself. There is no way around this. In The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, they had to enter into the Mirkwood Forest to get to their destination. There was no other way for them. It was not a walk in the park. Likewise, we must enter the shadowlands, and come face to face with our shadows. It is there that our false ideas of who we are are shattered. It is there that all of our false beliefs are destroyed. We must face these false notions and see them for what they are. This is the only way to heal, to become whole again, to live in integrity.

My good friend, Julie Anne gave a good description of this process in Enlightenment. It is a complete surrender, a process of brutal self honesty. It is a path of complete acceptance of the truth, no matter how difficult it is to bear. I still remember it vividly.

We go through life with so many false notions – of the world, of spirituality and of ourselves. We build up masks and we believe the facades. It’s all a charade. It is all based upon illusions and deceit. We deceive ourselves at every moment, and the world also deceives us at every moment. We live in perpetual cognitive dissonance, justifying the most absurd things in our minds. We constantly lie to ourselves…. and we believe it.

To awaken to the truth that you seek, you must tear down the lies.

But we are too attached to the lies. We want to hold on to the illusions and to become enlightened at the same time. That is not possible. But there are hundreds of phony gurus and “spiritual teachers” that will tell you it is. They offer you processes to become happy, fulfilled, calm, find your soulmate, be positive, get the right job, make lots of money, balance the chakras, become healthy and whatever else you may be desiring. This has nothing to do with awakening. This is only polishing the ego. They all lead you right back into the matrix. You may even be lucky enough to get a golden cage, but it is still a cage, and you remain imprisoned in slavery. This is the road that most people choose to follow. This road is well traveled by the herd.

The road to truth and freedom
It takes courage, discernment and self honesty to walk the Siddhartha road to truth and freedom. Not many people have that. We have been weakened by the onslaught of programming since our childhood. Most people want to remain in the herd, as they find comfort in the company of other deluded souls. It takes a certain individual to break free of the herd. The Siddhartha road is not easy. It is a treacherous road that will shatter every part of your existence. No, it takes a certain type of person to walk that road; a person that is willing to give up everything to find his true Self.

My story was one that took me through so many paths to nowhere; detours, dead ends and off of cliffs. I had to eventually be dragged, kicking and screaming through the abyss by Grace herself, for me to awaken. It was simply my time.

Now the strange thing about this, is that worse things have happened to me before, so why did this hit me so hard? I believe because it was supposed to, for me to transform. I took everything much harder, than I ever did before. Also, everything came crashing down at once. In the past, I was strong, and I kept my sense of self, of who I thought I was. But this time, my sense of self, who I thought I was, gave up. I stopped trying to be strong. I just collapsed.

Source: The Minds Journal

Posted on June 14, 2017 
Riding on the wings of thought, I enter the world of time. Riding on the wings of thought I enter the world of the mind.” Leonard Jacobson

The mind is a dimension of consciousness that allows you to leave the present moment and participate in the world of time. It is an intricate world which contains all of your past memories and future imaginings. It contains all your opinions, concepts, ideas and beliefs. It gives you a sense of life beyond this moment and to that extent it is illusory in nature. It is a lot like cyber space. It isn’t real and yet you can access it simply by thinking.

If you get too involved in your thoughts, ideas and opinions, you will find yourself absorbed into the world of the mind. You will find yourself living in the past and future rather than the present moment, which is the only life really available to you.

The mind is like a computer and like any computer, it can only function according to its programming. Our minds are programmed in early childhood with such limiting beliefs as I am not loved, I am not wanted, I am not good enough, I can’t do it, I am all alone, I am not allowed to be myself, I am not allowed to feel or express my feelings, I can’t have what I want, and I have to accept what others want for me. To the extent that you are living in the past and future world of the mind, these limiting beliefs will flow into every aspect of your life.

Awakening involves freeing yourself from these limiting beliefs and opening more fully into the present moment.

To be present is your natural state. In fact, there is only one way to leave the present moment and that is to think your way out of here. And where will you go? All thought is about the past or future and that is where your thoughts will take you. You will find yourself caught in the past and future. The more frequent the thoughts and the more you believe in your thoughts, opinions and beliefs, the more you will find yourself imprisoned within the world of the mind.

Most of our thoughts are unconscious and unintentional. Most of us are addicted to thinking, and so the thoughts just keep arising, pulling us from some memory of the past or some fantasy in the future. If you are not sure if thinking is a significant addiction, then close your eyes and don’t think for 30 seconds. You will discover that the thoughts simply don’t stop. It is not until you awaken fully into the present moment that you will recognize how lost in the mind you have been.

When you awaken into Presence, the mind is silent. There are no thoughts and so there is no past or future, at least not in those moments of true Presence. I am not against thinking. The more present you are, the clearer your thoughts will be when you consciously choose to think. You can still think, but now you are present, choosing to think in a conscious and intentional way. You are free of those random, unconscious and unintended thoughts. You are intending to think, you are aware of your thoughts and when you have completed whatever you are thinking about, you naturally and spontaneously return to a state of silence and Presence.

It is impossible to participate in the world of time without thought. However, for most people, thinking is habitual. Most of us are caught in a world of separation and illusion and the doorway to Presence is firmly closed. When we recognize this, the process of liberation can begin.

Source: AWAKEN

https://youtu.be/X8eidIkT-X4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Moment Loves You

Published on May 25, 2017

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


Published on May 21, 2017

Also see https://batgap.com/pernilla-lillarose/

After connecting with Joel Goldsmiths’ teachings in 1987, Pernilla had a life-changing awakening, realizing Love is All there is. After the initial three months’ free Bliss ride, she went straight from heaven to hell for the next many months. This started her journey back Home, learning step-by-step how to arrive with all parts intact – none left behind – with her Heart as her Teacher.

This journey Home includes teachers like Joel S. Goldsmith, Barry Long, the Ayahuasca plant, Gangaji, Adyashanti, The Hakomi training, Deeksha, Dr. Joe Dispenza and Sat Shree.

All these wonderful teachers helped her get more stabilized as Presence and realize the healing and transforming power of Self Love, dissolving the misperceived duality into embodied Oneness.

Out of this journey emerged the simple ‘how to’ steps, which are incorporated in her life and work.

Pernilla is a certified Hakomi Practitioner with a private practice in the Santa Cruz mountains. She is a meditation teacher at UCSC and founder of ‘Women Standing For Love/Young Women Empowerment Circle.’

She calls herself a Self Love Mystic & Mentor and loves to support her clients bridging the gap between who they truly are and who they think they are or – should be.

Website: http://divinefeminineflow.com

Books: Imagine Being Kind to Yourself — Inner Peace at Last 5 Steps To Dive Into The Divine Feminine Flow (free) Women Standing For Love (free)

Interview recorded 5/20/2017


Looking for it, the vision cannot be seen: cease your search. It cannot be discovered through meditation, so abandon your trance states and mental images. It cannot be accomplished by anything you do, so give up the attempt to treat the world as magical illusion. It cannot be found by seeking, so abandon all hope of results.
— Shabkar Lama, 19th Century Tibetan Mystic

There are contradictions at nearly every step on the spiritual path. In fact the very image of a spiritual path is a contradiction. It implies there is a distance to be traveled, that we are walking on a path that goes from somewhere far from the divine to somewhere closer, from darkness to light or from a state of less awareness to awakening.

And yet enlightenment is nothing other than the experiential recognition of Oneness and the simultaneous recognition of our seamless identity with Oneness, which is the case at this moment and has always been the case. So what purpose is served by postulating distance from Oneness? If we are in fact already one with Oneness, what is the point of making a path to go there? Won’t our identification of a path be a detour?

A second contradiction emerges right after this: implicitly a spiritual path leads to spiritual awakening. But surely the Whole by its very nature is awakeness itself. Since the central fact of realization is our seamless identity with Oneness, then we are already awake! How can what is already awake awaken?

These are some of the contradictions inherent in the ideas of path and goal. There is another contradiction embedded in the idea of the seeker. The seeker travels on the path toward the goal. But just as ideas of path and goal collapse in the ubiquity of the One, so too does the notion of a seeker. After all, who is seeking? Since the One is the Only Being, the idea of a seeker looking for the Only Being is bewildering to say the least.

And yet, through the course of history, untold thousands of spiritual paths have been delineated. Their goals have been spoken of in the most poetic terms, and seekers have journeyed with great endurance along their routes, some of whom have clearly “awakened” in the process. Inner schools, mystery schools, monks in monasteries, nuns in convents, wandering sadhus and their disciples, Buddhists sects and sufi orders—the human community has engaged in a vast project of spiritual search, teaching, and discovery.

But in light of the contradictions of seeker, path, and goal described above, is this vast project anything more than a smokescreen veiling the obvious? By formulating the notions of seeker, seeking, and sought, do spiritual paths simply reinforce these ideas and strategies as if they were ends in themselves, rather than opening us to what is beyond all ideas? Regardless of whether we are engaged in a formal spiritual path or are non-affiliated spiritual seekers, these questions are relevant.

In this contemplation I would like to consider these questions as directly as I can. While one could respond to them, as I often do, by saying it is in the nature of spiritual paths to encompass contradiction and paradox, that response is not entirely satisfactory. There is considerable danger in guiding or in following a spiritual path to unwittingly make of it a destination in itself. In this way seeker, path, and goal can each become furniture in our spiritual house. And yet without any guidance from a path or sincerity in following the call to awaken, we run the risk of self-absorption and self-deception.

Something is Missing

When we look closely at the function of a spiritual path, including the idea of a seeker on the path and a goal toward which one aspires, we see these phenomena are all emerging from the felt sense that something is missing. I am missing something. My experience of life could be better. I want to be a better person. I want to feel close to God. I want to find the meaning behind this existence. These feelings may draw me to a formal religion or to a spiritual path where I hope to find what is missing—a belief system, an inspiring teacher, a community, or a practice that will assuage my sense of lacking something.

A central element in this view of reality is of course the I-sense: I am missing something. My experience of life could be better. A spiritual path is something that will benefit me. The splitting off into a self-identification as an entity distinct from others and from the world at large is the primal movement of the human psyche. It sets the stage for my experience of lack: something can only be missing if there is a separate me that misses it.

It also delineates in space my sense of separation from what I’m missing: I am here and everything else is out there. The thing I lack must also be out there somewhere. Some teacher or teaching must have the key that I am searching for. I must find it. It is an it, out there.

The sense of distance from what I long for also invites the added separation of time: I hope or expect to find what is missing sometime in the future. A grand event will occur. Salvation or enlightenment will happen. Not now, but sometime. Both these senses of spatial and temporal distance from that which I am missing refer back to and reinforce my experience of I-ness — I am this entity who is lacking this most desired something and who waits for it.

At this point we see how the idea of the perceived need for spiritual effort and discipline is established. I must exert my will and make use of prayer and spiritual practices to one day achieve that which I lack: a calm mind, an open heart, freedom, awakening, God-consciousness, forgiveness, etc. This is what Buddhists call a gaining idea. Again, if we look closely we can see how this dynamic of a gaining idea once again subtly refers back to and reinforces the sense of the separate I. I do this practice. I choose this difficult path. I cause myself to sit here motionless, trying to tame the thoughts and emotions that arise in my awareness.

Looked at through this lens, the consequences of taking on a spiritual path and being a spiritual seeker with a spiritual goal are counterproductive. Instead of releasing the sense of self they reinforce it. Instead of resolving the subject-object duality they employ it. Instead of opening my awareness to the mystery of existence they give me ways to define it.

And yet it would be wrong to dismiss the entire religious and spiritual curriculum of humanity because some of its expressions may entangle us in the very attachments they seek to free us from. Despite the pitfalls described above, spiritual paths can serve a positive function. We see evidence for this in the experiences of illuminated souls throughout history. What, then, does it take for a spiritual path to be effective?

The Art of Awakening

If we we approach the journey of the spiritual path as an art rather than a practice or a discipline, we may avoid the gaining idea that clouds this process. All art requires discipline, yet discipline alone does not produce art. Great art arrives through the artist’s openness to the unknown and the unexpected, in addition to his or her history of practice and developed skills. In the same way there is a ripening process that spiritual practices can serve, to bring us to a readiness from which we may more easily open beyond path and ripening and preparation.

Here again we see the contradiction inherent in the idea of a spiritual path. Teachings and practices are useful to the extent that they prepare us to notice what is already true. When we finally notice “this that is already true,” we realize it’s been here all along, and no preparation was ever necessary to recognize it.

Nevertheless, we can appreciate how all the practices we have used — sitting in silence, repeating mantra, singing zikrs, whirling in circles, praying, visualizing deities, meditating, inquiring into the nature of the self, practicing koans, etc. — plus all the teachings we have been exposed to, can ripen us in two basic ways. First, they can encourage us to consider the possibility that we are not a separate self but the transparent awareness within all being. This is initially an intellectual consideration—we are invited by teachings and practices to relax our assumptions about what is real. We allow for the possibility that things may not be as we had imagined them to be. We allow for the possibility that reality — all of this universe as we know it — is awake. We allow for the possibility that the familiar awareness we experience as the ground of our everyday perception is continuous with the infinite awareness that is the ground of everything.

These kinds of insights tend to expand our capacity to be comfortable with not knowing answers and not needing to know. They help us give up trying to define the world and ourselves. They make room in us for the indefinable.

The second way in which spiritual teachings and practices can serve to ripen us is by helping to clarify the internal stresses of our mental and emotional life. By “clarify” I mean their capacity to help us reduce the speed and volume of thoughts, become aware of habitual patterns of thinking, release attachments and identifications, and open our hearts to simple presence. From this perspective we can see how a path can help create conditions in us and in our lives from which we are more likely to be opened to the transparent presence of awareness.

Through both of these functions — opening us to the possibility of our true nature, and clarifying our mental and emotional environment so that we may be better able to realize that nature — spiritual practices can serve us on our path. As long as they emphasize these two functions they will not mislead us. Teachings and practices must be utterly humble in this regard, recognizing their limits.

It is always tempting to believe that if I apply effort, discipline, and focus I will be transformed and one day achieve awakening. This is the illusion of being a seeker following a path toward a goal. There is simply no I that can apply effort or be transformed. Awakeness is unachievable because it is already the nature of things. We can never do anything to awaken because here it is.


Elias Amidon is the spiritual director (Pir) of the Sufi Way. He has been an initiate of the Sufi Way for the past 44 years, and was appointed as the Pir of the order in 2004 by the previous Pir, Sitara Brutnell. His root teacher in the order was Pir Fazal Inayat-Khan. Pir Elias has also studied with Qadiri Sufis in Morocco, Theravaden Buddhist teachers in Thailand, Native American teachers of the Assemblies of the Morning Star, Christian monks in Syria, Zen teachers of the White Plum Sangha, and contemporary teachers in the Dzogchen tradition.

eliasElias has lived a multifaceted, engaged life. The son of an artist and a social activist, he has worked as a schoolteacher, carpenter, architect, professor, writer, anthologist, environmental educator, peace activist, wilderness quest guide, and spiritual teacher. He founded, co-founded, or helped to develop several schools: the Heartwood School, the Institute for Deep Ecology, the Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, the graduate program in Environmental Leadership at Naropa University, and the Open Path.

Author of the book The Open Path – Recognizing Nondual Awareness, and co-editor of the books Earth Prayers, Life Prayers, and Prayers for a Thousand Years, he has worked for many years in the fields of peace and environmental activism in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and with indigenous tribes in Thailand and Burma on issues of cultural continuity and land rights. He was instrumental in founding the Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil (Abraham’s Path), an international project dedicated to helping Middle Eastern countries open a network of cultural routes and walking trails through the region. He continues to travel widely teaching Open Path and other Sufi Way programs.

David Welch: If you were going to attempt to describe God, what would you say ?


DAVID: Love…that’s all you need to say. I have a global question and let me frame it this way…

It could be said that climate change and a lot of the challenges Mother Earth is facing right now is because the masculine is running amok; in short, we are too patriarchal. So, my question is, how do we get society to embrace and incorporate the divine feminine. Basically, how do we get the planet back in balance?

TONY: Well, I think I’d start with ourselves, right? I mean, most individuals are not in balance. If you look at our culture, under stress, most women become masculine and most men become feminine. Most men try to please and give up for the woman in their life. Most women get more controlling and more directive. So, I think, when we’re talking about healing the planet, we’ve got to start by healing ourselves and if we heal ourselves then we’ll be better. If we live in those beautiful states, that is that healing. Right?

When you’re in a beautiful state, you have the mixture because we all have masculine and feminine inside of us. But they’re not at war when you’re in a beautiful state, right? And so, if you do that within yourself, then it’s easy to pass on to other people. Pass on to other people, and now they’re in a beautiful state. You have this domino effect. I really believe that’s where it starts. In a spiritual community, the feminine is seen as far superior. It’s the solution to all horrible things that the masculine did, and I think that’s complete bullshit. I think there are levels of masculine, just like there are levels of feminine. And levels of consciousness within them. And if your level I is masculine, you tell people what to do and you’re demanding and you’re an asshole.

You use your force power or your position power or whatever leverage you have…economic leverage…to make people do things. And that’s the part of the masculine everybody’s disgusted by. And it’s kind of abusive…women, children, men…the world. That’s not masculine energy; that’s infantile levels of masculinity—somebody who is not developed, right? Somebody who is Level II is more, that person who is trying to make everything fair: I’ll do my part, but you’ve got to do your part. And that really egalitarian approach seems beautiful, and it would, but in an intimate relationship, unless there’s a polarity of opposite energies, there’s zero passion. What really looks good for balance and equality doesn’t really create much of a relationship.

You have two people that have no passion and maybe a deep friendship. That’s where most people unfortunately end up. The third level of masculine is, your needs are my needs. Not, you’ve got to figure out your part, I’ll do my part, and I hope you do your part. That’s bullshit. And it’s not, you do what I tell you. It’s like, I feel what you need and I’ll figure out what that is and I’m going to make that happen…I’m lit up by lighting you up…I’m lit up…I love you, so…loving you…whatever action of loving you, is what fills me up. When you see that kind of masculine, that kind of masculine would die for those they love. That kind of masculine is what’s kept the world alive.

That kind of masculine is the beauty that firemen on 9/11 shot into that building, knowing most of them weren’t going to make it out. I think it’s absurd to say the feminine is better or the masculine is better. What we need is more mature feminine because immature feminine is totally manipulative and uses sexuality and uses manipulation to get what it wants. Balanced feminine says, I’ll do my part, you do your part. It’s truly wonderful, but we’re dead inside. And then, Level III feminine, which is, your needs are my needs, I’d die for you. You have two people who would do anything for one another. You’re not going to have any problems. Your problems and arguments are going to be about: you’re trying to do for them and they’re trying to do for you.

Trust me, I have experience with my wife. It’s the best argument you can ever have in your life. Very quality problem. But that’s…I think what it is…I think the spiritual community…most men in the spiritual community become extremely feminized. And it’s their reaction to the bad masculine things they think they’ve done and what they’ve done is they threw out the baby with the bathwater and I find them extremely weak very often ‘cause they’re running around trying to please everybody and…you know? There’s a great guy…I can’t think of his name…I’m sure you’ve seen him…have you ever seen that video on YouTube?…the guy does ultra-spiritual and does this whole element of how to be ultra-spiritual and walks through…like, you should stare in people’s eyes for extra long times so they’re uncomfortable…you should talk in really soft tones…and he does this like, comical piece that makes anybody that’s in the community laugh because you know it’s true.

To me, I’m like, you know…I walked around a monastery in India and people were going around…namaste. And I saw all these people who are completely full of shit. They were like, bad-mouthing some people behind them and I said, fuck you namaste. Don’t tell me namaste while you’re not even in that state! That’s spiritual materialism. You’re manipulating…you’re trying to use the environment to make yourself look good and you’re not good. Right? You know, it’s like, confront this man if you disagree with him! Confront him. Don’t talk behind their back and say namaste with this phony little smile. I mean, that’s horseshit. I do not prescribe to…we need the feminine to balance out the planet. I believe we need the masculine-feminine to mature to balance out the planet.

DAVID: It’s not just the feminine, it is the mature masculine-feminine that is needed to balance the planet?

TONY: And that to me, is a much more natural, healthy thing because those…yin and yang are both needed—they’re in all of us. You’re not all masculine and you’re not all feminine. What you want is to have them aligned and working together. It’s like having your head and your heart, you know? The head by itself can be real strategic but you’ll never enjoy an apple with your head because your head will go, but is it organic, and where did it come from, and what do I do with it? You don’t even taste the apple. But if you’re in your heart, if you’re in your spirit, you’re going to enjoy it. When those two are aligned, there’s an incredible force. So, that’s what I want to do with my priming also; it’s aligning. You do an EEG and an EKG and you can see when somebody is stressed out. The brain waves, the heart waves are jagging all over the place.

You take two minutes and you breathe in your heart as they teach in a variety of disciplines and all of a sudden you literally see the EEG and the EKG together—the brain and the heart literally become rounded and they become in-sync. And when they’re in-sync, that’s when you get the answer. It takes two minutes to get yourself there. It’s one of the ways I teach people. If you’re suffering, wake up to the fact that you’re suffering…ohhh, I’m suffering, isn’t this interesting? Take these deep breaths inside yourself, so you pull back from the event inside, to a deeper part of yourself, and breathe for two minutes with your hands on your heart. They taught it with HeartMath and HeartMath…proved it scientifically. Put your hands on your heart, put your focus on your heart for two minutes, think of something you’re grateful for. You see these changes in the brain and the heart where they become completely aligned and all of a sudden, you’ve got the answer. You’re no longer there.

You say all you really need to remember, all you need to experience here is what? And your brain will know the answer when the heart and the head are working together. I think it’s the same thing as getting the masculine and the feminine to work together, as opposed to capitulating and trying to make one better or worse than the other. We need both of them for aliveness. On this planet, you have the North and South Pole and they have a kind of electricity that keeps life. In an intimate relationship, you need…whether it’s two men or two women, or any sexual relationship. Even in a gay relationship—if there’s passion, there’s one that has more masculine energy and there’s one that has more feminine. If they’re just friends it can be the same. What makes a relationship work is sameness. Things in common. What makes it feel passionate is differences. And the most important differences are not value differences—those hopefully are aligned. The most important differences are opposite energies.

So, I’m not…I’ve said this several times in different ways here…I think it’s stupid for masculine people, whether they be women or men, to make that part of themselves wrong and try to become something else, as opposed to just appreciating all parts that are inside themselves and finding the good in them and finding how to mature the awareness or the awakening of that masculine. An awakened masculine is a force of nature that is extraordinary to this planet. An awakened feminine is a force of nature that is extraordinary to this planet. But becoming one over the other will just throw you. It’s like having a bad relationship and you know that one was terrible, so you go to the other extreme and you’re equally screwed up. That’s what I see people do in the spiritual community. That’s my little riff on this.

DAVID: I like that little riff. And, what I’m hearing you say is, if I want to affect climate change, if I want to affect the planet, the first thing I do is to start with myself, in a relationship with myself, because I’m both masculine and feminine. Then, I start with my family and primary relationships, all of my….

TONY: And then there are choices that, you know, could have an impact on them. Making sure that they’re consistent for you.

DAVID: And what consistent choices would those be?

TONY: You have to fundamentally decide what you’re going to believe. Are you going to live in fear and focus on what you can control, or can’t? Are you going to focus on what I’m saying or are you going to focus on what my talking reminds you of in your own life? Are you going to focus on something you’re going to have for lunch? Whatever you focus on, you’re going to feel, even if it’s not true. And people have patterns that they focus on. Some people focus on what’s missing from their life. Some people focus on what they have. Some people focus on what they can control.

Some people focus on what they can’t control. If you’re always focused primarily on what you can’t control and what’s missing, then you’re going to be depressed. I don’t care how many…in a room of 10,000 people, I’ll ask, “how many of you know someone who takes antidepressants and is still depressed?” And 90% of them raise their hands: 90% of the room! Now, those antidepressants have side effects, like suicidal thoughts. It’s right on the box. But, why isn’t it working? Because if you keep focusing on what is missing or on what you can’t control, then you’re going to be depressed. Another pattern is, you focus more on the past, the present or the future. If you’re focused only on the past and what you can’t control and what’s missing, you’re going to…I don’t care how great life is or how many drugs somebody gives you, you’re going to still end up being depressed. You’ve got to get to the source of it. And the source is always the pattern of thinking that produces a pattern of emotion. You change those two things, you can change everything.

DAVID: I completely agree.

David Welch: When we awaken, who are we as spiritual beings?

Anthony (Tony) Robbins: I think we all have to have that experience. That’s a direct experience that you have to have on your own. If someone tells you about it, it’s not going to be real. But, I think there’s that experience of when you realize you are not your emotions, because most of us identify with our emotions…I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m depressed, I’m frustrated, I’m powerful, I’m loving, I’m…whatever. When you start realizing you’re not your emotions and most of all, you’re not your thoughts…

I mean, these thoughts have been around for millions of years. You’re not the first person to have the thought, I’m going to kill the son of a bitch. Everybody has had those thoughts. The difference is, you didn’t believe it, so you didn’t kill them. You didn’t believe those thoughts, but we all have thoughts and it’s like, you know…you change the channel on your cable and you can watch a horror story, or you can watch a romance, or you can watch an epic, you know? You can watch whatever you want.

What I’ve found is, by the way we move our body, we change which thoughts we can tap into. If I had said to you a hundred years ago, “we’re going to go to the moon and back,” you would have called me a lunatic—that’s where the term comes from, like, you’re crazy. Or, if I said to you a hundred years from now, that, “you’re going to be able to sit here, David, and hold this little rectangle box…look how thin this thing is…and you’re going to be able to talk to someone else on another place on the Earth and see them in real time….‘cause invisible waves are going to be floating above it and this machine is going to take those and put them in front of you…” you would lock me up!

But, we all know that the most powerful things in the world are invisible for us. It’s radiation, right? Gravity…love…hate. Those things are invisible, but they’re the most powerful forces on earth. So really, what I’m trying to do is show people, look…you can absolutely change the thought pattern and the emotion, and you can discover who you are, and realize that you’re not those emotions, you’re not those actions, you’re not those thoughts, and you’re able to just witness those. There’s a part of you, deeper inside, that sees those and can just be entertained by it and let it flow through you, instead of trying to hold it back or control it or shape it.

I find that to be the experience, where you start realizing that you’re more than this experience. I had an experience once—very vivid—I woke up and I went to the mirror and I had this conversation with Tony Robbins, and I remember looking in my right eye and I was suffering physically, immensely…and I looked in this eye and I was like, there’s this invincible spirit in me…so, there’s the soul, but there’s this invincible spirit that like, goes beyond death…Sounds crazy, but I just felt it, saw it, and had this incredibly intense conversation with myself. I thought, damn this guy’s good, this guy could coach the President. But, it was so intense and I came out of that with, let the spirit heal the body…let the spirit heal the flesh…spirit moves everything…molecules, everything.

So, I’ve had a lot of experiences along the way that are very, very potent. But I think the most important thing is for people to realize that you aren’t what you’ve done, you aren’t where you are now, you aren’t any of these things…you’re so much more and the more you can witness, the more you won’t believe those thoughts that are limiting you and the more you’ll have more joyous emotions and the more you can have a beautiful life where your life touches others.

You know, people ask me a lot, “how could somebody do the things that just happened in Paris or in San Bernardino? How could somebody go in and kill men, women and children, just randomly? And I said, “I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you who it wasn’t. It wasn’t a person who was happy. It wasn’t a person in a beautiful state of being.” People in beautiful states don’t try to harm other people. They don’t try to kill other people. They don’t try to steal from other people. So the greatest gift I think we all have, is to really build our own beautiful states so that from that place, we can do what’s next in the way we interact with other people and we can be an example for them as well. That’s really a huge part of my mission.

DAVID: Excellent. Do you have any daily rituals or practices that you follow or would like to recommend to others?

TONY: I have a couple of things that I do every day. One is, I get up every day and I start by jumping into cold water (sounds like a punch) that’s 52 to 56 degrees—depends on where it is. I have several homes and I’m fortunate to have options. My place in Sun Valley, Idaho—I have the river. So, if it’s snowing, I just tread the river; it’s pretty brutal. But, I do it for two reasons. One is, when you step into that water, every organ in your body is fully alive because the blood just shoots through everything, so it’s great from the standpoint of taking out inflammation from the body, which is the beginning of disease, great for the lymph system. But, I also do it as a discipline to train my mind, that when I tell you we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it. There’s no hesitancy. I don’t feel like it…it might be freezing-ass cold outside…I’m exhausted or tired…but it’s like, I don’t miss. I just go. Boom. And it’s not like I hesitate. It’s like, go…one, two, three…go! And I just go. It’s almost like teaching your mind, when I say it, I mean it. So, it’s a great little discipline I do. Then I do what I call priming. I’ve never been a big meditator.

My meditation has usually been a movement, like going for a run, being in nature, or when I’m on stage and somebody raises their hand and they need to be or have their life transformed…it’s like, I go into a state like where it’s like, God comes through me, is what I truly experience. But I think the components that I see now in my life are…I see that when I get up in the morning, I want to make sure I’m in a great state no matter what, whether I was exhausted or not. So, after I do the cold plunge, I do what I call priming. And priming is, most of us think our thoughts are our own thoughts, but there have been a zillion studies; one example is, they take an actor and they train him to do the exact same facial expressions and movements with each person. He goes to 200 people, he does the exact same thing with all 200 people, but with 100 of them, he reaches out just for a minute and says, “Sir, would you hold this for me?” And let’s assume he hands you his coffee while he’s reaching with the other hand in his pocket trying to get his phone out, so most people take it because the sale has been assumed…and after it’s over, “oh thank you so much,” and he puts his phone back in his pocket and he takes the coffee and, “thank you so much,” walks away with the same smile. Practices the same look, same smile, same vocal times, same everything. For a hundred people, he gives them hot coffee and for a hundred people, he gives them cold coffee…so 45 minutes later, a researcher comes by with a little clipboard and says, “I’ll give you $10 if you’ll give us a minute of your time.”

“All I would like you to do is read this four-paragraph story and then answer two questions for us.” They read the story…the story is the same for everyone, but when they ask the person a core question which is, how would you describe the character traits of this individual, what’s this individual like—the main character? The people that received the hot coffee all said the person was warm and genuine and loving…and that’s 81%…80%, there’s a 1% variable, it’s natural variation. But, the people who were given iced coffee said the person was cold, controlling or manipulative. There was no….

DAVID: They have no idea there’s a link between the two….

TONY: Zero, and it’s 45 minutes later.

DAVID: Wow!

TONY: Right. They’ve done an ad where they take…you know the old “Think Differently” Apple ad versus an IBM ad, and they put the people who watch both ads and then they have them take a creativity test? The people who watched just 30 seconds of the Apple “Think Differently” ad, scored on average, 20% higher on the creativity test. If they take young women at Harvard, they’ve taken those who are of Asian descent and…you know in our culture, people have been conditioned to believe that men are better at 3science or math than women are. But in the Asian culture…Americans believe that Asians—men or women—are better. So they give them the SAT—the math SAT test—and they only do one different thing. At the top of the thing…they had to write down on one of them…first, what their gender was, which is female. And in another group, what their ethnicity was, which was Asian. The people that wrote down that they were female scored 10% lower on the test. The people that said they were Asians scored 10% higher in the test. There was a 20% differential, once again, and all it was, was: “are you a woman or are you Asian?”

So we think we know what drives us to think the thoughts we think, but much of it is primed, so I don’t hope I’m going to wake up feeling great. I prime myself. So, first, I push my body. I prime it. I do hot water, usually like a Jacuzzi, if I can, but I always do the cold water immediately and I then I prime. And what’s my priming? I do a breathing pattern that’s common to yogic practices. It’s explosive breath, in and out the nose. I do three sets of 30.

DAVID: Like the breath of fire?

TONY: Like the breath of fire. So, then I’m (demonstrates the breathing exercise)…while you’re bringing your arms up as you take the air in and then slamming your shoulders down, exploding breath out, having come all the way back to the spine. And I do three sets of ten, then I pause, feel, and three sets of ten, pause, feel, three sets of ten…so I’m doing 90 basically, total. That alters my state. Takes about a minute. And then I take ten minutes because my view is very simple…if you don’t have ten minutes for your life, then you don’t have a life, right? So, if you want to do more, of course, you can do more than ten minutes. Anybody can do it. And I break it up into three segments. Three minutes and a third roughly. With the first three minutes, I focus on three things I’m grateful for and all I do is…I don’t think about, like, riding a roller coaster years ago, way over there…I think about going over the edge of the roller coaster. I put myself in the experience of something I’m grateful for.

DAVID: Fully associated.

TONY: Fully associated and I feel it because the reason is, when you cultivate gratitude, you’re wired, any time you go to emotion, you’re wiring it, so…but I want to wire it with enough intensity that I really feel it and enjoy it and gratitude is unique in that, when you’re grateful you can’t be fearful. And most people, when you’re grateful you can’t be angry. And anger and fear are the two things that screw most people’s lives up, so I start out and I think of three events, three experiences and I dive in for a minute on each of them…feel it fully, feel the gratitude, feel the appreciation for it, and I always pick one of the three to be something really simple, like feeling the wind on my skin or my hair, or the look on one of my kid’s (faces), or looking over at a flower or something, and just taking it in.

So, I train my brain…it doesn’t have to be life changing stuff to be able to be that grateful. When I’ve done that for three minutes, I feel really wonderful and I’ve already done my altered state, so now I take three minutes roughly, three and a third, and I do basically a blessing or a prayer. First, I take in the energy through my head and through my whole body and I see my body healing like a white light or gold light or a nice blue light and I see it going through every cell in my body healing my body, my emotions, my relationships, healing my thoughts. I ask that all problems or any problems, whether I know them or not, are being solved, not just I solve them. And I also ask that the best of me be strengthened…my passion, my caring, my love, my compassion.

Then when I’ve done that for about a minute and a half, then I take that same energy and I bring it into my body, all through my legs and to the center of the Earth and I bring it back up through the top of my head. I do that over and over, and then I send that in an arc to my children, to my wife, to my dearest friends, to my close partners and business associates and my clients and then to anybody I’m going to meet. And so it’s like a blessing within my own body and then sharing that blessing.

Then, after three minutes of that, my last three minutes are what I call “my three to thrive,” where I focus on three results that I want to achieve. Specific results that are strong and important, but I see them as done, I feel them as done, I celebrate them as done. I own it inside my nervous system as if it’s already there.

DAVID: It could be something you’re focusing on that’s going to happen today or it could be sort of a long-term goal….

TONY: I usually do longer-term pieces, I usually do three to twelve month versions of things for myself….

DAVID: Oh, ok.

TONY: The day-to-day stuff I usually take in quicker and then I’m done. Then what’s happened is, I’m wired for the day, I’m in a very strong alpha state. That’s what that puts me in and I’ve got a stacking of such deep gratitude. I’ve got a stacking of feeling, like my mind, body, heart and soul and all those I care about are loved and healing, and I’ve got a stacking of feeling, like, I’m already achieving what I want and that’s how I start my day.

DAVID: Very powerful way to start your day. I really love that. Our “Awaken” readers, I think, are really going to like it as well.

Continued in Part III…

Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. 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

David Welch: What does it mean to awaken and live an awakened life?

Tony Robbins: I think it means to get outside of your history, outside of your conditioning, outside of your culture and become present in this moment and see what’s real, right now, without the filters. It’s the ability to witness the mind and be the master of the mind, instead of having the mind master you. This mind is not going to cooperate and say, “well, let’s do this together.” I’ve found in my life that your heart, your soul and your spirit have got to direct that mind, to take charge of it, and use it…or it will use you. And so, I think awakening is learning how to step outside of mind’s control and step more into heart’s control and to really experience the joy of whatever is happening in your moment.

My major goal in life today is to really find ecstasy in this moment. If I can’t have this moment, with you, my dear friend, for all these years, how is some other thing in the future going to do it? I always tell people, if you can’t find ecstasy in this moment—more love, more joy, more acknowledgement, more economics, more rock and roll, more sex, more drugs…or, whatever you think you’re going to need to find it—it’s not going to make you happy long term. So, to me, that is the ability to see what’s real and to enjoy the moment completely and fully, and I think the more awakened we are, the more we see. I think that is the absolute grace in everything in our lives, including the things we call problems or challenges.

DAVID: Problems. Turn them into challenges, which is something you can deal with. Problems are something you worry about, but challenges….

TONY: There is another way to think about it, though, as I tell people today, when they come to Date With Destiny—especially, because we go so deep, you know, we get underneath what creates those problems. Which is that, the beliefs and the values and the rules that control the meanings we make up, and out of our meanings come emotions, and out of emotions come our lives. If you think this is the end, you’re going to have a very different response than if you think this is the beginning of a relationship, right? It changes what you feel, changes what you do. So, my whole view is, what you really have to be able to do, is decide once and for all that this is what my life is about. I want to be clear; I want to be opening to what is really real. I’m not going to let my past history control me and I think when people break out of that, there is a freedom they can’t experience any other way. There’s no material thing that can get people the joy that that freedom can get them.

DAVID: Excellent. Witness and Master the mind, drop into the heart, and experience freedom and joy. You have to love that!

What has happened in your life that you feel is significant in your awakening?

TONY: Gosh, there have been so many things along the way. My wife is a part of that. My children are a part of that. I mean, I believe motive does matter. I believe that if you focus on yourself, life is still going to support you in your endeavors because you are part of life. Life supports life. If your focus is how to take care of your family, motive does matter and you’re trying to support more of life and I think you’ve got a different level of insight. If you’re trying to support a community, you’ve got a whole different level of insight.

I look at my own life, you know, without bullshit and without exaggeration. It’s really been humanity for me as long as I can remember, that I want to make a difference with, and so the types of insights that you get are extraordinary. So, I think the demands of the situations I put myself in over the years, have caused me to have spiritual insights and breakthroughs and then I’ve also just pursued all the great teachers, just as you have, to see what I can learn from them so that I can take that information in, and find what rings true for me, and how can I articulate in my own experience what they’re teaching. There’s a variety of great people out there. As you know, my friends at One World Academy, Krishnaji and Anandagiri—dear, dear friends of mine, and I’ve learned an immense amount from them and have been able to share a lot with others. I think Byron Katie is just a real thing. I love her to death. She’s pure and her intent is only to serve and she brings people back to reality so quickly. Teaches them not to believe their limiting thoughts and to question them and find the real truth.

There are some great teachers out there, so over the years I’ve, of course, looked for all of those. But, I think about a year and a half or two years ago, if you would have asked me, “do we have—my wife and I—do we have a magnificent life?” I would say, “are you crazy?” I mean, it’s like, I have this magnificent mission…I’ve got millions of people out in the world that I’ve been privileged to help, and I have all the love that comes from them because I get stopped every day of my life by people who say, “oh my God!…you’ve changed my life!” I always say, “no, you changed your life!…take some of the credit!…but I’m glad I helped.” So, I get that reinforcement every day of my life. I have four amazing kids, three grandkids. I’ve got 18 companies; we’re doing five billion in sales now. It’s just been amazing growth from nothing, from zero, and so, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, everything…I would say, we have this magnificent life. If you had asked me if I suffered, I would say, “what are you crazy?” ‘Cause most achievers don’t even think they have fear; they just have “concerns.” The achievers work for fear of stress. You know, I’m just stressed all the time. Well, if I follow your stress, it will take me to your deepest unconscious fear. And, so, suffering was not a word I would relate to in any way, shape or form, but about a year and a half ago, roughly, I started thinking about my life.

I started thinking about how the more that I’ve grown with all these companies…you know, when you’ve got 1,200 employees on three continents and eight different industries, what are the chances of somebody screwing up, right now? They are basically 100%. Somebody is doing something that’s not going to work and it’s not that people don’t care, it’s not that they’re not dedicated, it’s just that there are so many moving parts in my life. And so, the more people I care about, the more chance that somebody is upset or sad or hurt or worried, and if you care about people, it never stops. And so, I realized I was experiencing stress and frustration and was overwhelmed at times, along with my joy and ecstasy and happiness and gratitude. So I just said, “well, that is part of the process.” And, what I decided a year and a half ago is…it’s not. And part of that is how to deal with it, you know.

Sri Bhagavan, who created Oneness, is a dear, dear friend of mine. And I’ve had these beautiful experiences of spiritual states being around him. But, the states were magnificent, but it’s like…how do you create the consistency? I just began to look around and say, “my happiness is too cheap.” I give up my happiness because someone didn’t do what he or she is supposed to do. No, if your only way to be happy is if everybody in your life is going to do what they’re supposed to do, and your version of what they’re supposed to do, then you’re definitely never going to stay happy, especially if you’ve got a lot of people. So, I realized, I’m always going to have these upsets.

There are always these challenges to come back to. So what I’ve got to do is just decide I’m going to enjoy, no matter what happens, and I think that’s the most important decision of your life. You know, my friend

Krishnaji, talks about (the idea that) there are only two states. I’ve always talked about peak states and low states or high energy—energy-rich experiences or energy-poor experiences, ‘cause your energy is everything. My friend Krishnaji…I like the way he likens this to (the idea that) there are two states: empowering and dis-empowering states, like I would normally say. He said there are suffering states and there are beautiful states of being, and I like the language of it. It’s different and it made me think, you know? Suffering…I don’t suffer. But I thought, “isn’t anything other than a beautiful state a form of suffering?” I mean, if you’re frustrated, you’re angry, you’re overwhelmed, or you’re stressed…you’re not present for the people you love during that time and it doesn’t give you a better solution. But, if there’s a problem, if you’re in a beautiful state, a beautiful state doesn’t just happen, this beautiful state could be driven or creative or feeling playful or curious or a sense of awe.

There are just so many beautiful states to be in, so it’s not like you have to be happy every moment. You get all this beautiful diversity, but in both states, if there’s a problem to solve, you’re going to find it much better than if you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and fearful or disappointed or depressed or whatever people are feeling. So, I just decided to draw a line in the sand and say, “you know what?…I’m going to live in a beautiful state of being every day!” And Krishnaji…I really liked his language. It really appealed to me because everyone is teaching the same thing on suffering. There are so many teachers, talking about how we create suffering in the mind, and then we feel it in our bodies and our hearts. But what I liked was the idea—he said have a spiritual vision.

A spiritual vision is to live in a beautiful state. Most people have a vision for their business, they have a vision for their intimate life, hopefully, their personal life, their religious life, but really, do they have a spiritual vision? And, the idea that by living in a beautiful state, your whole life is changed and you change the lives of everyone else, I find to be really true. So, if you were to ask me before if I had a beautiful life, I would have said, “yes I have a beautiful life,” but the difference is, it’s like business; if you measure something once a year, you’re going to have bad years. If you are going to measure it once a month, the worst you can have is a bad month because you have 12 times to make it better.

When I’ve taken over companies, I’ve learned to measure some aspects three times a day from the beginning. Because the more you measure it, the better you get at it. The more you know what the truth is, the truth sets you free…you make new choices, and you can shift things. The more times you shift, the closer you get to where you want to be faster, so it used to be if you asked me if I had a beautiful life, I’d look at my life as a whole…a magnificent life. Now, I look at it moment to moment and if I’m suffering, which everybody does, it comes up like the sun, I just kill it while it’s little. I kill it while…I don’t wait until it’s Godzilla taking the city, I kill that little bastard when it’s just starting to show up…when I’m just feeling that little bit of tension inside and, you know, I breathe inside, I come back to the center of my being and I just release it and let it go and trust that there’s something deeper and richer in the experience. I start to appreciate something around me. I learn something. I grow.

I focus on love, which to me is an action, what I’m grateful for and the energy goes away. In fact, the more you do it, the better you get. I’ve found, in the last year and a half, my wife and I at least, as great as our relationship was and as great as our life was, the level of joy has multiplied ten-fold—that would be a minimum. My wife would probably tell you a hundred-fold and I don’t think she would be exaggerating, just because we don’t have those pauses in between that inevitably are always there. It’s like, oh, this is so great, oh, but this happened, oh, but that happened. And so, I tell people the most important decision of your life is not what you are going to eat for dinner tonight, although that’s pretty damn important because it will affect your physical destiny; I believe the most important decision you will ever make is who you spend your time with, because who you spend time with is who you become, whether it’s your wife, family, or co- workers.

The most important decision is, are you going to live in a state of happiness or a beautiful state for the rest of your life no matter what? Not, “I’ll live in a beautiful state, I’ll be happy, unless my wife leaves me.” Well, if she leaves you then you’re not really committed to being in a beautiful state. It’s like, oh…I’m going to be happy as long as my health is good. I mean, I got tested on this as I shared with you off audio just recently because you know, as I developed all this beautiful state approaches to things and I’ve been really living it and then life of course throws you a bigger challenge, like severe spinal stenosis and nerve pain down my arm at a level just under 10.999 where you can’t breathe, you can’t sleep, you can’t do anything and I haven’t learned how to separate pain from suffering. The pain is what’s going through my body; the suffering is, how could this have happened to me after all that I’ve done?…oh, my God, how am I going to survive this?…oh, my God, what’s going to happen to me? The story is the suffering. The pain is a different piece. You can deal with pain.

So, I’ve had a chance to practice it and it’s given me, as life always does, a chance to live something even more intense because I know if I can figure this out, then I can help millions of other people. So, that’s the direction that I’m heading in my life now. What’s even more so, is helping people find that beautiful state in every moment of their life and not accept, not tolerate all those other emotions. You know, we all get what we tolerate and if you tolerate feeling pissed off or frustrated over people not doing what they’re supposed to do…well, you’re going to be feeling those feelings all the time. So, now I know when I go to my email or my text, I know, you know, in a few hours there will be lots of other new challenges. But, it’s like, well that’s what I’m made for…I solve those challenges and it’s kind of fun and what are they going to be today? Instead of thinking they shouldn’t be there.

My biggest message to people is: The biggest problem you’ll have is that you’ll think you’re not supposed to have them. Problems are a sign of life, problems cause us to grow, problems basically provide the stimulation for the greatest expansion in our spirit and our soul…if we don’t just let them hurt ourselves. It’s like pain…you know, pain is a sign to get you to move into action, not to suffer. But most of us take pain and just suffer and try to manage it.

DAVID: Right, I realized for me it’s the mind that kind of starts all that stuff. As soon as that thought starts that is not really serving me, not really serving the moment and not serving this blissful state, I just say, “I love you David.” Out loud, if I can, and the thought goes away.

TONY: That’s really cool.


David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. 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


Published on May 7, 2017

His teachings are simple, but profound: You have forgotten your Real Self. You are that abode of Supreme Peace. Through meditation, devotion and selfless service this illusory ego can be removed, and your true immortal nature of Supreme Peace and Permanent Happiness realized.

His Holiness Shri Shivarudra Balayogi (affectionately known as Baba Maharaj) is a Self Realized Yogi – one who has completed the path of Yoga and attained union with the Supreme Consciousness. A direct disciple of Shri Shivabalayogi Maharaj, He entered His Guru’s service at the age of 19 and was later initiated into Sanyas, a monastic life of pure devotion and service. He was placed in charge of the Dehra Dun Ashram where He spent 20 years absorbed in intense spiritual practice, combining selfless service, devotion to His Guru and deep meditation.

Following the Mahasamadhi (the passing from this world’s physical form) of His Guru in 1994, Shri Shivarudra Balayogi was initiated into the spiritual practice of Tapas, in which He meditated for an average of 20 hours a day continually for the next 5 years. The culmination of this was the attainment of the goal of all spirituality – Self Realization, the permanent union of the mind with the Supreme Peace of Infinite Pure Consciousness.
He now travels the world carrying on His Guru’s mission of teaching dhyana meditation, true devotion and selfless service. Baba Maharaj is the embodiment of gentleness and compassion. His life itself is His teaching: devotion, selfless service to humanity and unrelenting effort in striving for spiritual perfection.

Shri Babaji offers initiation, freely and without obligation, into the technique of dhyana meditation which He used to achieve Self Realization. He engages audiences worldwide with His profound spiritual insight, drawn from deep personal experience rather than scriptural study. His teachings are the purest form of the sublime philosophy of Self Realization taught by the ancient Sages of India.

Website: http://shivarudrabalayogi.org

Books: His Master’s Grace: The Tapas Experiences of Shri Shiva Rudra Balayogi Maharaj The Peace Within Viveka Choodamani: The Crest-Jewel of Discrimination Shiva Hara Gurudeva The Path Supreme

Published on Jan 30, 2015

This is a recording of a live video webcast with spiritual teacher Leonard Jacobson, recorded on January 6, 2015. For more information about free video webcasts with Leonard, visit http://www.leonardjacobson.com. 00:14 – Leonard’s introduction
08:34 – The benefits of being present
11:40 – Being present with everything showing up in your life
17:25 – Freedom from limiting beliefs
30:42 – The ultimate outcome for humanity
34:41 – Right relationship with your feelings
47:35 – Establishing a foundation in Presence
53:30 – Becoming a master of your mind and ego
59:00 – Making Presence your first priority
1:04:52 – The choice at the heart of freewill


Published on Apr 27, 2017

At the SAND Conference we gather to explore and celebrate Science and Non-Duality. This includes a deep inquiry into Pure Awareness/Shiva. Simultaneously there is a deep universal Love that is the substance of this same reality: Shakti. Over time Pure Awareness has been acknowledged beautifully. On the other hand the Shakti aspect of experience often seems to remain somewhat hidden.

How about we acknowledge Shakti – Love and the expression of Her as form? Her Body is bigger than time and space. In the depth of her Belly are the qualities of vastness and the sacred tremor of the Universe, which include the world and are not of the world. She gives rise to tenderness, bravery and pure intimacy. Full realization is only true when all of Life is included – Awareness and the authentic expressive Body of Love with its Radiant Still Darkness.

Are we ready to let go of a realization fueled by incompleteness and give ourselves wholeheartedly to pure Awareness/Shiva and the dance of
form/Shakti?

Marlies Cocheret is a Hakomi practitioner, Tantric educator, and Teacher http://www.marliescocheret.com/

David Welch: What does it mean to awaken? Is there a process leading to levels or a permanent state?

What are the signs we are making progress? Who and what are we when we are awake?

David Welch: What does it mean to awaken? Is there a process leading to levels or a permanent state?

What are the signs we are making progress? Who and what are we when we are awake?

Byron Katie:If you’re trying to monitor your progress on your spiritual path—if you think you have any idea how far along you are—you might want to save yourself the trouble. There’s no attainment, because you already are what you want to become. Everything separate vanishes in the light of awareness.

When you realize the truth, you realize that it’s no accomplishment. You haven’t done anything; the accomplishment is just the joy of being received by the very thing that you already are. It’s the mind being met by the mind, without opposition. It isn’t personal. The truth sets us free from any attachment to the concepts “self” and “other.” There are no humans; there is no mind; it’s all a dream. The practice of inquiry deletes everything, as long as mind believes that it exists even as mind. The projected world unravels first, and then mind, and any trace that even mind ever existed. That’s my world. When it’s over, it’s over.

The only thing you need to know about enlightenment is whether believing a particular thought is stressful or not. Does the thought hurt or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, good: enjoy it. If it does hurt—if it causes any stress or uneasiness—question it, and enlighten yourself to that thought. Suffering is optional. It doesn’t have to last for years. It can get down to months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds. Eventually, when the same thoughts arise, the ones that used to make you suffer, you’re at ease with them. In fact, you’re lit; you walk down the street shining like a thousand-watt light bulb. When you think “I need my mother to love me,” you just laugh, because you’re enlightened to that thought, and the next one, and the next.

As it does The Work, mind can lose its grip on identity safely, gently. When you question your stressful thoughts and surrender everything that “you” thought you were, you come to the place where you wonder, “Without that thought, what am I?” Just because an identity appears doesn’t make it true. No one knows what he or she is. The minute it’s said, it isn’t.

Once it thoroughly questions its thoughts, the mind projects a world that’s completely kind. A kind mind projects a kind world. If someone else sees something that’s not perfect, the clear mind can’t comprehend that at first, because it can’t project it. But it remembers its ancient dream-world, when it believed that too, so in the stillness there’s a kind of reference-point, an echo. It’s always grateful for how it sees things, and it understands how others see them. That leaves a lot of energy for it to make amazing changes in the moment, because its clarity keeps none of the options hidden. This is a fearless state of being. There’s no limit to it.

David: Do you have daily rituals or practices that you follow or recommend?

Katie: I wake up. I brush my teeth. I shower. And I let the day show me what’s next. As for recommendations, I invite people to do The Work as a daily practice, if they want to have a happy life.

David: What is the purpose of your life?

Katie: My job here is to make as many people as possible know that there is a way out of suffering. I don’t expect them to do The Work; I just want them to know that it exists.

David: Who inspires you?

Katie: People who are brave enough to question their own stressful thoughts.

David: If our world is potentially looking down the barrel of an environmental catastrophe, how do we live our lives? What are your thoughts about climate change, the preservation of our planet, and the future of humanity?

I have looked down the barrel of a real gun pointed at me, and on several occasions have heard fearful, innocent people threaten to kill me, and never for an instant was I afraid. Fear is the story of a future. How could I know that the man would pull the trigger? How can I know that an environmental catastrophe will happen or, if it does happen, that it will be a bad thing for the planet? Once you understand this, and begin to live in reality, not in your thoughts about reality, life becomes fearless, loving, and filled with gratitude, whatever the nonexistent future may bring.

The war with reality always sees catastrophes looming, whether these are planetary or personal. It’s a very painful way to live. Maybe an environmental catastrophe will happen; maybe it won’t. In the meantime, I go about my business as if there were no life and no death (and there isn’t). My house is powered by the sun, the car I drive is a hybrid, I’m careful about recycling, I vote for people who say they are concerned about global warming, I support environmental causes. I’m fearless, worry-free, and I do whatever I can. “Get solar panels,” the mind says, and there is no valid reason not to, since all thoughts have been tested by inquiry. The panels are installed, my electric bill is two dollars a month, and at some point I will have put back all that I’ve used, and more. This will match my existence: all traces gone, a grateful life given back to what it came from.

I once gave a talk to a group of environmentalists. It was at a Bioneers conference in San Francisco, and hundreds of people came to listen. Many of these people had given their lives to saving the planet. I talked for a while about my commitment to environmental action, which seems to me the sane and kind thing to do. Then I asked for their thoughts about the environment. They were living with a great deal of anxiety, even terror, they said—an enormous burden on their shoulders. But many of them had open minds and were willing to question the thoughts that were causing them so much stress. I helped them do The Work on thoughts such as “Something terrible is going to happen,” “I need to save the planet,” and “People should be more conscious.” They discovered how these thoughts were driving them crazy, and how the thoughts have opposites that could be just as true.

After a few hours of intensive inquiry, I asked them to imagine the worst things that can happen if we continue to poison our beautiful planet and invited them to make a list. “The planet will become uninhabitable for humans. Thousands of species will become extinct.” And so on. Once they had made their list, we questioned some of their statements, and I asked them to turn the list around: instead of “The Worst Things That Can Happen to Our Planet,” I asked them to retitle their list “The Best Things That Can Happen to Our Planet,” then to find specific, genuine reasons why each item on the list was true. How could it be that the best thing for our planet that it becomes uninhabitable for humans, for example? Many of them didn’t want to go there at first, and there was a lot of resistance and many upset questions, but these were courageous people, and eventually they found valid reasons why every item was the best thing that could happen. “It might be good for some endangered species not to have humans around.” “It would be good for insects.” “It would be good for the rain forests.” “We wouldn’t be pumping and mining the life blood out of the planet.” “Who knows what intelligent species would evolve if we were gone?” They had been dealing with discouragement and burnout for years, and some of them later thanked me and told me how empowering this exercise had been for them.

One of the things you discover when you begin to practice inquiry is that the world doesn’t need saving. It has already been saved. What a relief! The most attractive thing about the Buddha was that he saved one person: himself. That’s all he needed to save, and when he saved himself, the whole world was saved. All his years of teaching—forty years of apparent compassion—were just the forward momentum of that one moment of insight.

For more information or visit http://www.byronkatie.com.

David Welch: is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of AWAKEN.com. 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


Published on Apr 20, 2017

Jürgen Ziewe ‘Vistas Of Infinity’ Interview by Renate McNay
Author of ‘The Ten Minute Moment,’ ‘Multi-Dimensional Man,’ and ‘Vistas of Infinity.’
Jürgen started to meditate at an early age and at one point suddenly discovered himself out of his body. At first he didn’t realise what had happened but found confirmation in the books of Carlos Casteneda.
He found that there is a wormhole right in the centre of our brains which can catapult us into a parallel world. This world can be experienced with the same level or greater conscious waking awareness as our physical life.
He talks us through his many dramatic adventures to other worlds and the important realisations that gave him and how through his astral travel he lost his fear of death.
‘Every day I wake up it is the first day of an infinite future.’

Dan Millman: On Awakening

Centuries ago, a wanderer came upon another lone traveler walking serenely through a forest in India.

Intrigued by the serene man, unaware that he was in fact the Buddha, the wanderer asked, “Excuse me sir, but — are you a wizard?” The Buddha smiled and shook his head. “Well then,” continued the wanderer, “Are you a great warrior, or a king?” Again, the Buddha said no. “Yet there is something about you — what is it that makes you different from anyone I’ve ever met before?”

“I’m awake,” replied the Buddha.

Whether or not that conversation actually took place, sages and philosophers have sought to understand and experience this phenomenon we call awakening. The Sufis call it fana; the Zen masters refer to states of kensho or satori; the Taoist sages might refer to wu (emptiness, the void); the Hindus speak of nirvana. But let’s go beyond cultural labels and consider the thing (or non-thing) itself.

In order to awaken, we must first recognize that we are asleep. To grasp this idea, we can use an analogy: We know that in our everyday lives, most of us go to sleep at night and experience periods of dreaming as well as deep sleep. Then, in the morning, we awaken from our dream-filled slumber.

The sages of many traditions suggest that even in our so-called waking states, we move through another kind of day-dream, perceiving the world not as it is, but as we are — through a distorting window beliefs, associations, opinions. judgments and meanings we project into the world.

We don’t seem to be dreaming our way through life. In fact, we imagine ourselves fully awake as we work, study, raise children, play sports, and pursue our everyday activities and goals. Yet, as Plato proposed, most people exist in a cave of illusions, mistaking their own shadows, cast by the fire-light and dancing on the walls, as ‘reality.’ Plato compared awakening to the experience of turning away from the shadows — grasping that there is actually a way out of the cave, into the light of the Real World. Today, few of us seek or find a way out. Most are content to gaze at our own imagined realities, entranced, like Narcissus, by the content our own minds, reflected in the pond.

At some point, we may explore and analyze our nocturnal dreams to provide insight into our personalities or divine messages from the subconscious. Others go beyond such analysis to practice lucid dreaming. Lucidity comes the moment we awaken within the dream; that is, we notice we are dreaming. This is no small realization, since when immersed in a dream, it seems real, which is why we may cry out, for example, when having a nightmare. But when we realize: Wait. I’m dreaming this — we become lucid — we can then consciously create whatever we wish within the dream. Being chased by a monster? No problem — we fly away out of its reach or turn it into a daisy. Or we allow ourselves to be devoured and see what follows. Thus awakened, our dreams no longer merely happen to us as actors in a play directed by others; we become the Screenwriter of our dreams.

And just as lucid dreaming bestows conscious creative power in the dream state, it can do the same in our waking state. We can move from lucid dreaming to lucid waking through insight into the nature of our subjective filters — those thoughts, meanings, beliefs, and associations that distort our simple and direct relationship with what is.

The Zen masters call this awakening “nothing special,” only the recognition of suchness or isness — reality as it is, prior to the complications, desires, and concepts we impose upon it. Therefore, awakening is not an achievement, but a noticing.

For this noticing to occur, we need only get out of our own way. But doing so can take time. As G.I. Gurdjieff noted, “One of the best means for arousing the wish to work on yourself is to realize that you may die at any moment. But first, you must learn how to realize this.”

Most of us are blissfully ignorant of any notion of awakening. Content to dream their lives away, they enjoy watching shadows dancing upon the walls. But then something happens that shakes us — a book read, a person met, a moment of insight or a sudden change sends us on a quest for the transcendent: the cave’s exit into the sunlight of the Real. We begin to suspect our assumptions; we no longer believe our beliefs as firmly as before. We cultivate an interest in awakening from our self-sustained dream.

How does one generate such an awakening? There is no single best way; only a way for each individual to discover for himself. But all agree, as Sri Nigasardatta Maharaj reminded his disciples, “One must know the self before one can transcend the self.” So a practice of insight and self-observation is, for many of us, an essential part of our process of awakening.

And it is a process, after all. Although some people imagine that we wake up all at once in a singular, permanent event, like a light switch flipping on, most of us awaken gradually, like a dimmer switch turning up, and then down, and then up again, growing brighter over time. We are like children who, reluctant to wake up, pull the covers over our head. But the Light is persistent, rising higher in the sky of our minds, until we finally open our eyes. We come to accept that life comes at us in waves of change that we cannot predict, control, or deny. We can only learn to surf.

We discover that life is a series of moments: neurotic moments, intelligent moments, and awakened moments. Some explorers tell dramatic stories about their wake-up calls. Others keep it to themselves and smile, remembering Lao Tzu’s note that “Those who Know do not speak (of it) and those who speak (of it) do not know.” Because It, as Alan Watts might remind us, is beyond words. Yet words can provide a wake-up call, and at least point the way.

So we come to the end of these brief notes with the following words: What happens after awakening? Everything changes, yet nothing changes. As the Zen proverb goes: “Before enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water; after enlightenment, chopping wood and carrying water.” Even so, a single liberating glimpse of reality as it is may represent the most profound and important ‘nothing’ a human being may experience.

Dan Millman, a former world champion athlete, coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor, is author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (adapted to film in 2006), and numerous other books read by millions of people in 29 languages. Dan teaches worldwide and has influenced people from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of health, psychology, education, business, politics, sports, entertainment and the arts.

For more information: www. peacefulwarrior.com
Source: AWAKEN

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