Category: Awakening


Gloria Agrelius, (Gloriji), had been a bartender for more than 25 years and owned a blues biker bar. In 1999 her brother died of an overdose. Upon hearing the news, her mother died of a heart attack the following day. Gloriji closed the bar, went home, and fell apart.

She writes, “It felt like I was dropping through a dark space, feet first — rapidly dropping. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto. It felt like I was being stripped of everything that made me me. It was all gone.”

While on her knees crying out for help, the room she was in filled with radiant light and she recognized herself as that light. An overwhelming sense that all is well filled her being. She told the light that while she didn’t know what this was, she would dedicate the rest of her life to finding out. A thirst for truth filled her heart and gave her strength to step more deeply into the unknown. She spent the next decade deepening and healing.

While on retreat with Adyashanti, after hearing of her awakening experiences, Adya encouraged her to share herself with others. Adya’s encouragement helped her to trust the strange new territory of teacher, mentor, healer… all held lightly in the open hand and heart that knows there is no other than the Supreme Reality… the Mystery she has come to Love.

Website: http://gloriji.com


The grand religious stories that gave meaning to life and death in the past have crumbled under sceptical scrutiny. The dominant mainstream philosophy is now scientific objectivism, which describes a universe that exists for no reason and a life that ends in oblivion.

Pioneering philosopher Tim Freke addresses the ‘soul crisis’ in modern culture that has arisen from lack of meaning. He offers an intelligent ‘spiritual’ perspective on life and death to help us make sense of a paradoxical world, which is sometimes bleak and banal, but also can be magical and full of significance. He presents a revolutionary paradigm shift in our understanding of reality that integrates the deepest insights of science and spirituality to create a new model of human identity, which makes the idea of the immortal soul intellectually credible.

He explores the process of evolution, not as blind chance, but as the momentous story of the self-realising universe. The development of the material world has led to the emergence of ‘psyche’ or ‘soul’, which you are experiencing right now as a stream of thoughts and images that don?t exist in space and aren’t made of matter.

We are not insignificant specks in a vast purposeless cosmos. We are significant participants in the magnificent and meaningful story of soul. The universe is coming to know itself through each one of us and this process doesn’t end at death, because the evolution of soul has also been the evolution of immortality.

Tim Freke is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality and the bestselling author of more than 20 books, which have been translated into 15 languages. He is pioneering a new philosophy of awakening that has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. He presents life-changing events internationally and online. He has often been featured in the international media including the BBC and The History Channel. http://www.TimFreke.com

Soul Story by Tim Freke

Contemporary society is experiencing a soul crisis, caused by the demise of outdated religion and the rise of hard-headed science, which has left us adrift in a meaningless universe without purpose.

Pioneering philosopher Tim Freke offers a bold alternative to this bleak worldview, by urging a radical shift in our understanding of both science and spirituality.

He explores the new philosophy he calls emergent spirituality, which combines an innovative perspective on the scientific theory of evolution with a fresh understanding of perennial spiritual insights, to create a beautiful vision of the nature of reality and the deep purpose of life.

“Soul Story is one of those rare books that addresses the deepest question of life and existence in clear and understandable terms – with transparent logic and without dogmatism. Anyone interested in exploring these questions in company with the expert and even enlightened guidance of Tim Freke will gain lasting benefit — fresh insights that will enrich his or her life for the rest of his or her life.” — Ervin Laszlo.

Published on Aug 14, 2017

James Wood works with groups and individuals to discover the fundamental Reality of our essential nature. Having awakened in 2002 after years of study, he began to express a spontaneous teaching whose form continues to evolve. His message is that awakening is possible for anyone committed to finding Truth.

Originally, James studied philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and transformational studies with Richard Moss, M.D. He has combined his education and experience to express a modern, integrated vehicle for others to use as a means of growth in consciousness leading to awakening. He is dedicated to communicating the essence of the true Teaching to those who are ready to receive it.

Book: Ten Paths to Freedom: Awakening Made Simple

Website: http://jameswoodteachings.com

Are spiritual experiences becoming more common?

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings. We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven. But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms. The experience is just a psychological one. It suggests that our normal vision of the world is limited and in some ways even aberrational. In awakening experiences, there is a strong sense of ‘seeing more,’ of expanding beyond limits and perceiving a more authentic reality.

My research shows that awakening experiences are connected to certain activities and situations. They are associated with contact with nature, spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer, sporting activities (such as running and swimming), and sex. They are also strongly associated with states of intense psychological turmoil. That is, paradoxically, they often occur in the midst of stress and depression, or in relation to traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or bereavement.

However, one of the most interesting things about these experiences is that they are apparently becoming more common. In a 1962 Gallup poll, just 22 percent of Americans reported that they had “ever had a religious or mystical experience.” In 1994, 33 percent of people answered yes to the same question, while by 2009, the figure had risen to 49 percent. Research by the Pew Research Center in the U.S. has shown a similar trend. In 2007, 52 percent of Americans reported that they regularly felt a “deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being.” In 2014, the figure stood at 59 percent. In 2007, 39 percent of Americans said that the regularly felt a “deep sense of wonder about the universe”—a figure which had increased to 46 percent in 2014. Perhaps significantly, these increases coincided closely with a decrease in interest in organized religion.

In the U.K., the surveys of the Spiritual Experience Research Centre have had similar findings. In a 1969 survey, the question “Have you ever experienced a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, which is different from your everyday self?” was answered affirmatively by 29 percent of people. In 1978, the figure had risen to 36 percent, and then to 48 percent in 1987. In 2000, there was a further steep rise to 75 percent—a 27 percent increase in 13 years (which was, coincidentally or not, exactly the same figure by which church attendance declined over the same period). (1)

A Collective Movement?

Why should spiritual experiences be more common now than they were a few decades ago? It could simply be that people are simply getting better at recognizing them, or are more open about discussing them. Now that there is more general awareness of spirituality in our culture, and concepts such as “spiritual peace and well-being” are a more common part of discourse, it could simply be that more people are describing their experiences in this way, when they might have described them in other terms in earlier decades.

Or perhaps it’s right to take the research at its face value. Perhaps spiritual experiences actually are becoming more common. This is the approach I take in my new book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening. I suggest that spiritual experiences are glimpses of a new state of being that is slowly becoming more normal to human beings. This is a higher-functioning state that I call “wakefulness,” in which a person feels an enhanced sense of well-being, clarity, and connection. They have a more intense awareness of the world around them, a greater sense of appreciation of nature, a broad global outlook, and an all-embracing sense of empathy with the whole human race. In many ways, it is a permanent, ongoing variant of the ‘awakening experience.’

I have found many examples of people who shift into this higher-functioning state in the midst of intense psychological turmoil – for example, bereavement, serious illness, or alcoholism—I describe some of these examples in The Leap. This shift is quite common, and can be seen as a variation of “post-traumatic growth”—I sometimes refer to it as “post-traumatic transformation.” There are also hundreds of millions of people around the world who are gradually cultivating wakefulness by following spiritual practices such as meditation and service, or spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Yoga, or the Kabbalah. A constantly increasing interest in self-development, spiritual practices, and traditions is one of the most significant cultural trends of our time.

It seems to me that there is a collective moment towards awakening, which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways—one of which may be the increasing frequency of spiritual experiences.

(1) I am grateful to my fellow author Jules Evans for bringing my attention to this research.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.
Source: Psychology Today


Published on Aug 7, 2017

Discussion of this interview at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Batga…

Trained in the 90’s as a teacher in spiritual therapy. The search stopped, among other ‘things’, mainly through the confrontation with Nisargadatta’s I am That, and Ramana Maharshi’s glare and words and the spontaneous recognition of Awareness (Consciousness) as reality. ‘After’ that awakening the ‘I Am/Consciousness’ was recognised to be the first identification.

Since ’98 Hans has led hundreds of satsangs, retreats and private sessions. He published eight books and a booklet, many many articles and columns, youtube satsang video’s (one in English) and seven homemade music cd’s. Hans is sometimes judged as being too confrontational or direct, or, more kindly, as very clear. On the other hand people credit him for his creativity and patience. Funny, right?

The following points and others reflecting Hans’ perspective were discussed in the interview: When spirituality is not alarming, it’s not worth mentioning. Burn-out is never about work. It’s a spiritual crisis. Not feeling and listening leads to inauthenticity which at a certain point makes the ‘soul’ scream for change. Self-inquiry is for internal use only. Not for beating others down, or to be used as an excuse for lousy behavior. Becoming aware isn’t necessarily pleasant. It will always bring clarity though. Reality is never a problem until we start to project our beliefs, fears, expectations and judgements onto it. You are far too much interested in solutions, and in the meantime it is your mind (what you believe) who is creating the trouble in the first place. Ego-mind has only two modes: trying to get something and trying to get rid of something. Sprituality based on this doesn’t deserve the name. Unresolved issues keep you from being truly present and real. Avoidance is one of the most weakening tributes of identification with the mind. A lot of (your) spirituality is insincere. It’s mostly based on trying to get rid of something, avoiding authenticity, masking what is really there, taking on a new persona. Not feeling things fully. Not facing facts. Trying to force an outcome. Overreacting and looking for approval. All sings of immaturity. Sub-human attitudes. What you truly are has never been hurt or treated badly, it’s not lacking anything. It’s completely free, whole and shining. NOW. ALREADY. It’s fearless!

Website: http://hanslaurentius.nl

Presence and Reincarnation; A Contradiction in Terms?

We talked in class, about the importance of presence, and the role of meditation in bringing us back to the only moment that has ever, and that will ever, exist—Now. And then a student asked a question:

“But Hindus believe in reincarnation—isn’t that a future-worry?”

At the heart of meditation, in Hinduism, and in all the Dharmic traditions, including Buddha Dharma and Sikh Dharma, is the importance placed on nurturing our power of focused awareness. It strengthens the mind’s ability to consciously choose, anew in each moment, where to focus its attention. As it happens, the best thing to focus on is now, and although there are countless reasons why, these are the three most important ones:

1. Now is it the most incredible and momentous event of our lives.

2. Now is the only time and place joy lives.

3. Now is the only time and place we can discover how the mind really works, and thus, get it to work better.

Now starts with the simple sensation of our own breath flowing in through our noses, and down into our lungs. Watching this is where presence begins and where true meditation begins.

I can appreciate my student’s concern about reincarnation, and the idea that if it happens at a future time, then thinking about it would seem to constitute future thinking—a direct contradiction to the enterprise of staying present.

However—and this is at the heart of my response—Just because you know the rest of the staircase is there, doesn’t mean you ever walk more than one step at a time!

The subtler nuances of my response concern the idea of reincarnation itself, which may be conceived of in myriad ways.

Ask a Zen Buddhist what she thinks of reincarnation and get one answer. Ask 10 others and get 10 more. Ask a Hindu, get another one still. Life and death happens every moment. It happens because you change every moment. In each and every moment, the forces of creation, preservation and destruction happen within you and without you, on every level of your physical, spiritual and mental existence. On the cellular level there is a war going on, and in the world of our minds, as meditation clearly shows us, we are forever duking it out.

But we only notice the aftermath and inevitable changes that follow, when something moves us and shakes us to such a degree that we’re thrown into shock—when we’re sure nothing will ever be the same again. We must remember though, that at any moment, we may proclaim with absolute certainty, that nothing will ever be the same again. We always notice only later, when, seen through the bittersweet palette of our mind’s eye, we gaze nostalgically back upon the events of our lives.

Reincarnation, conceived of in the most brute sense, as the soul taking up residence in a new physical vessel, after the complete physical death of the prior, is still just an extension of the way life is already—you know there’s a tomorrow, but you don’t live there. You know you’ll die, but you choose to live, while you’re alive.

In this unrefined interpretation of reincarnation, the soul’s rebirth is determined by the karmic balance left after our physical existence is done. But in the meantime, and in realtime, through meditation, we can redeem our innumerable debts. When we say we choose to live, we can really do it, by waking up now. The Hindus call it Moksha. We can all call it liberation.

Source: AWAKEN

Being Content, No Matter the Circumstance

There are three ways in which consciousness can flow into what you do and thus through you into this world, three modalities in which you can align your life with the creative power of the universe. Modality means the underlying energy­ frequency that flows into what you do and connects your actions with the awakened consciousness that is emerging into this world. What you do will be dysfunctional and of the ego, unless it arises out of one of these three modalities. They may change during the course of a day, although one of them may be dominant during a certain stage in your life.

Each modality is appropriate to certain situations. The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all–from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.

Acceptance

Whatever you cannot enjoy doing, you can at least accept that this is what you have to do. Acceptance means: For now, this is what this situation, this moment, requires me to do, and so I do it willingly.
For example, you probably won’t be able to enjoy changing the flat tire on your car at night, in the middle of nowhere and in the pouring rain, let alone be enthusiastic about it, but you can bring acceptance to it. Performing an action in the state of acceptance means you are at peace while you do it. That peace is a subtle energy vibration which then flows into what you do.

” Accept what is“To complain is always non-acceptance of what is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle.

On the surface, acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it is active and creative because it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, that subtle energy vibration, is consciousness, and one of the ways in which it enters this world is through surrendered action, one aspect of which is acceptance. If you can neither enjoy or bring acceptance to what you do–stop. Otherwise, you are not taking responsibility for the only thing you can really take responsibility for, which also happens to be one thing that really matters: your state of consciousness. And if you are not taking responsibility for your state of consciousness, you are not taking responsibility for life.

Enjoyment

The peace that comes with surrendered action turns into a sense of aliveness when you actually enjoy what you are doing. Enjoyment is the second modality of awakened doing. On the new earth, enjoyment will replace wanting as the motivating power behind people’s actions. Wanting arises from the ego’s delusion that you are a separate fragment that is disconnected from the power that lies behind all creation.

Through enjoyment, you link into that universal creative power itself. When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do–and with it, the quality of your life–increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being. When the creative power of the universe becomes conscious of itself, it manifests as joy. You don’t have to wait for something ‘meaningful’ to come into your life so that you can finally enjoy what you do. There is more meaning in joy than you will ever need. The ‘waiting to start living’ syndrome is one of the most common delusions of the unconscious state.

Make the present moment your focal point and you will naturally find joy.

Expansion and positive change on the outer level are much more likely to come into your life if you can enjoy what you are doing already, instead of waiting for some change so that you can start enjoying what you do. Don’t ask your mind for permission to enjoy what you do. All you will get is plenty of reasons why you can’t enjoy it. “Not now,” the mind will say. “Can’t you see I’m busy? There’s no time. Maybe tomorrow you can start enjoying….” That tomorrow will never come unless you begin enjoying what you are doing now. When you say, I enjoy doing this or that, it is really a misperception. It makes it appear that the joy comes from what you do, but that is not the case.

Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you. The misperception that joy comes from what you do is normal, and it is also dangerous because it creates the belief that joy is something that can be derived from something else, such as an activity or thing. You then look to the world to bring you joy, happiness. But it cannot do that. This is why many people live in constant frustration. The world is not giving them what they think they need. Then what is the relationship between something that you do and the state of joy? You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end. It isn’t the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it. That aliveness is one with who you are. This means that when you enjoy doing something, you are really experiencing the joy of Being in its dynamic aspect. That’s why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation.

How to Bring Empowerment and Creative Expansion into Your Life

Make a list of a number of everyday routine activities that you perform frequently. Include activities that you may consider uninteresting, boring, tedious, irritating, or stressful. But don’t include anything that you hate or detest doing. That’s a case either for acceptance or for stopping what you do. The list may include traveling to and from work, buying groceries, doing your laundry, or anything that you find tedious or stressful in your daily work. Then, whenever you are engaged in those activities, let them be a vehicle for alertness. Be absolutely present in what you do and sense the alert, alive stillness within you in the background of the activity. You will soon find that what you do in such a state of heightened awareness, instead of being stressful, tedious, or irritating, is actually becoming enjoyable. To be more precise, what you are enjoying is not really the outward action but the inner dimension of consciousness that flows into the action. This is finding the joy of Being in what you are doing. If you feel your life lacks significance or is too stressful or tedious, it is because you haven’t brought that dimension into your life yet.

Find the joy of Being in everything that you do.

Being conscious in what you do has not yet become your main aim. The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world, and so use whatever they do as a vehicle for consciousness. The joy of Being is the joy of being conscious. Awakened consciousness then takes over from ego and begins to run your life. You may then find that an activity that you have been engaged in for a long time naturally begins to expand into something much bigger when it becomes empowered by consciousness.

Some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others, simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity. They may be musicians, artists, writers, scientists, teachers, or builders, or they may bring into manifestation new social or business structures (enlightened businesses). Sometimes for a few years, their sphere of influence remains small and then it can happen that, suddenly or gradually, a wave of creative empowerment flows into what they do, and their activity expands beyond anything they could have imagined and touches countless others. In addition to enjoyment, an intensity is now added to what they do and with it comes a creativity that goes beyond anything an ordinary human could accomplish. But don’t let it go to your head because up there is where a remnant of ego may be hiding. You are still an ordinary human. What is extraordinary is what comes through you into this world. That essence you share with all beings. The fourteenth­ century Persian poet and Sufi master, Hafiz, expresses this truth beautifully:

I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through. Listen to this music.

Enthusiasm

Then there is another way of creative manifestation that may come to those who remain true to their inner purpose of awakening. Suddenly, one day, they know what their outer purpose is. They have a great vision, a goal, and from then on they work toward implementing that goal. Their goal or vision is usually connected in some way to something that on a smaller scale they are doing and enjoy doing already. This is where the third modality of awakened doing arises: enthusiasm.

When something you enjoy doing becomes empowered by consciousness, its potential expands.

Enthusiasm means there is deep enjoyment in what you do, plus the added element of a goal or a vision that you work toward. When you add a goal to the enjoyment of what you do, the energy­ field or vibrational frequency changes. A certain degree of what we might call ‘structural tension’ is now added to the enjoyment, and so it turns into enthusiasm. At the height of creative activity fuelled by enthusiasm, there will be enormous intensity and energy behind what you do. You will feel like an arrow that is moving toward the target–and enjoying the journey. To an onlooker, it may appear that you are under stress, but the intensity of enthusiasm has nothing to do with stress. When you want to arrive at your goal more than you want to be doing what you are doing, you become stressed. The balance between enjoyment and structural tension is lost, and the latter has won. When there is stress, it is usually a sign that the ego has returned, and you are cutting yourself off from the creative power of the universe. Instead, there is only the force and strain of egoic wanting, and so you have to struggle and ‘work hard’ to make it.

Stress always diminishes both the quality and effectiveness of what you do under its influence. There is also a strong link between stress and negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger. It is toxic to the body and is now becoming recognized as one of the main causes of the so­-called degenerative diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Unlike stress, enthusiasm has a high energy frequency and so resonates with the creative power of the universe. This is why Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm.

The word enthusiasm comes from ancient Greek–en and theos meaning God. And the related word enthousiazein means “to be possessed by a god.” With enthusiasm, you will find that you don’t have to do it all by yourself. In fact, there is nothing of significance that you can do by yourself. Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy, and all you have to do then is ‘ride the wave.’ Enthusiasm brings an enormous empowerment into what you do, so that all those who have not accessed that power would look upon your achievements in awe and may equate them with who you are. You, however, know the truth that Jesus pointed to when he said, “I can of my own self do nothing.” Unlike egoic wanting, which creates opposition in direct proportion to the intensity of its wanting, enthusiasm never opposes. It is non­-confrontational.

Sustained enthusiasm brings into existence a wave of creative energy.

Its activity does not create winners and losers. It is based on inclusion, not exclusion, of others. It does not need to use and manipulate people because it is the power of creation itself, and so does not need to take energy from some secondary source. The ego’s wanting always tries to take from something or someone; enthusiasm gives out of its own abundance. When enthusiasm encounters obstacles in the form of adverse situations or uncooperative people, it never attacks but walks around them, or by yielding or embracing, turns the opposing energy into a helpful one; the foe into a friend. Enthusiasm and the ego cannot coexist. One implies the absence of the other. Enthusiasm knows where it is going, but at the same time, it is deeply at one with the present moment; the source of its aliveness, its joy, and its power. Enthusiasm ‘wants’ nothing because it lacks nothing. It is at one with life and, no matter how dynamic the enthusiasm­ inspired activities are, you don’t lose yourself in them. And there remains always a still, but intensely alive, space at the center of the wheel; a core of peace in the midst of activity that is both the source of all and untouched by it all.

Through enthusiasm, you enter into full alignment with the outgoing creative principle of the universe, but without identifying with its creation; that is to say, without ego. Where there is no identification, there is no attachment–one of the great sources of suffering. Once a wave of creative energy has passed, structural tension diminishes again and joy in what you are doing remains. Nobody can live in enthusiasm all the time. A new wave of creative energy may come later and lead to renewed enthusiasm. When the return movement toward the dissolution of form sets in, enthusiasm no longer serves you. Enthusiasm belongs to the outgoing cycle of life. It is only through surrender that you can align yourself with the return movement–the journey home.

To sum up:

Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work towards, becomes enthusiasm.

Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose. Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also, make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you. Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows from the unmanifested Source of all life through you, for the benefit of all.

This piece is an excerpt from Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth.


It’s tempting, when confronted by political malfeasance…to become so absorbed with its symptom that we give too little attention to treating its cause. In fact, behind every dangerous political phenomenon lies the ideology that produced it. Everything that happens in the material world is created first on the level of thought.

Political propaganda seeks to affect the way people perceive the world in order to affect the way they behave. Political propaganda is the biggest tool in the extremist’s arsenal. It’s at an all-time high today in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, as Madison Avenue public relations acumen has been insidiously and nefariously applied to the political sphere. Our problem is not just that some politicians flat out lie; our bigger problem is the power of their propaganda to dismantle the ability within many people’s minds to even realize they’re being lied to. People are vulnerable to extremism not because they like extremism, but because in too many cases today extremism is hugely successful at posing as something else.

No external force is as threatening to our democracy today as is the political propaganda war being currently waged against it. Our freedom is being attacked from within, but instead of fighting this tide in many ways our country is flowing with it. Why? In large part, because of the Big Lies that fuel the propaganda machine and generate its power. Identifying the Big Lies of corporate fascism is an essential part of resisting it.

Whether or not a Big Lie has been proven to be false seems to have minimal bearing on whether or not it is believed. It is the conviction and consistency with which the Big Lie is stated, not the proven accuracy or inaccuracy of its claim, that determines its effect on voters’ minds and thus the way that they vote.

The first Big Lie being used against the American people today is the idea that the business sector is our primary “job creator.”

Successful businesses create jobs; that is true. But the notion that if we cut taxes enough for the very rich and for already hugely profitable businesses, then all that money will trickle down to everyone else in the form of job creation is simply false. Yet it is a lie that has been used in the United States for propaganda purposes for decades, despite all economic evidence to the contrary. Tax breaks and other financial breaks that favor the wealthiest among us do not create greater prosperity for all; they simply siphon off more and more money to those who already have it, and more and more money away from those who do not. They do not promote wealth-creation opportunities that benefit all; they simply redistribute wealth from those who do not have to those who already do. If we give a huge amount of money to the rich, we simply don’t have enough money left over to help those who are not.

Business is important, and successful businesses are essential to a healthy economy. But the business sector is no more important or more essential to our economic good than is education, health care or any other avenue by which people are aided in their ability to self-actualize.

Who and what then create jobs, if not the business sector? The answer is often hidden from plain sight for two reasons: one, because so many within its ranks are women, and two, because it doesn’t have the funds to create a huge public relations machinery to lay out its case. Education, not big business, is the biggest job-creating sector. The greatest job-creator in America is not the businessperson but the educator — not simply someone who can give you a job, but someone who can prepare you for a job; someone who can provide you with the internal and external tools to do it well. It is not just overseas outsourcing that has taken our jobs away; it is in equal measure our failure as a society to provide for the preparation of our citizens, from the earliest age, for the challenges of living in the 21st Century.

Tax revenue currently proposed to help the top .001% should be used to create the largest matrix of technical colleges and free institutions of higher learning in the world. The fact that it is not is a travesty of economic justice, and a legacy of ancient serfdom. We have acquiesced to an aristocratic economic system, forced there not by the tyranny of kings but rather lured there by political propaganda designed to convince the abused that the abuser is their friend.

Millions in America today – hard-working people who should have every right to feel securely ensconced in the middle class — are only a few unfortunate steps (a health crisis here, a lay off there) away from the ranks of the poor, and they know it. Their anger and despair are totally valid, yet often they are looking to the actual source of the problem to solve it.

The huge matrix of corporate power in America is not a huge job-creating machine; it is a huge wealth-destroying machine for anyone but itself. Our current economic power structure – led by banks, huge multi-national corporate entities and the politicians they can afford to buy — is a system of economic abuse. It is a system that creates huge amounts of economic stress, and then presents itself as the job-creating machine that will relieve the stress. It’s like a thief who steals from you, then changes clothes and arrives at your door thirty minutes later dressed as Santa Claus.

And when it comes to wealth creation opportunity, the average American isn’t even asking for Santa Claus; he or she is asking for simple fairness and decency and respect. The values of brotherhood and justice that form the framework of any right relationship form the framework of a health society. And that applies to the economy too. Treat every person with the respect they deserve as a child of God from the time they’re born, and watch what they will create for themselves.

Every person has within us the deep desire to create the good, the true and the beautiful. Walk into any pre-school or kindergarten and you will see that this is true. If every human being is truly a precious creation of God, then there is no amount of money too much to spend on education, cultural enrichment, and any and all opportunities to provide for their ability to create success for themselves.

Traditionally, America has known this.

After World War II, the United States Congress created the G.I. Bill for our returning veterans. This allowed millions of returning soldiers to attend college and enter the workforce at a higher level than they would have otherwise. A nation devastated by World War II then realized that our biggest opportunity for economic re-greening lay in educating the American population and rebuilding our infrastructure. This civic wisdom led to an explosion of economic prosperity among us and the creation of America’s great middle class.

Abraham Lincoln, who our current president has referred to as “low energy Abe,” in fact released the energy of a thousand suns when he articulated for the ages the highest aspiration of the American people: that ours would be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” What a travesty we are making of our own national creed, as we acquiesce to the takeover of the United States government by forces who, however much they rant and rave their support for “the American people,” are dedicated to placing the reins of our government in the hands of those with nothing but contempt for the notion of a government “for the people.” These “economic royalists,” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt referred to them, have done extraordinary damage to our history and are doing extraordinary damage now. But whenever they appear, they are an aberration and not an inevitability. We have stopped them before and we will stop them again.

The second Big Lie at the heart of the extremist propaganda machine is that the poor are those who simply will not and do not help themselves. The demonizing of America’s poor has been one of the great successes of the corporate extremists, insidiously turning those being systematically pushed into the ranks of the poor into the greatest proponents of the system that is doing the pushing. If I don’t like you, I’m less likely to stand up for you; if I don’t stand up for you, then I’m not going to know to stand up for myself when those same forces are coming after me.

So the strategy of the propaganda war is obvious: stereotype the faceless minions of corporate extremism as your economic savior, even when they’re not; and the most disadvantaged among you as your enemy, even when they’re not. That way you won’t rebel against your abuser, and you won’t side with those held down by the same forces that will get around to you if you allow them to. It’s a brilliant strategy and at the moment it’s working. But it will not work forever, because while the American people can be fooled and fooled too easily, that doesn’t mean that we’re fools. Even the smartest people have been taken in by frauds, whether fraudulent lovers who made us think they cared or salesmen who made us believe in their fraudulent products. It happens to the best of us. But once you know what’s being done to you, something changes. You’re no longer asleep and you will no longer be held down. You are awake to your rights and no longer blinded by those who would deny them.

What we need now is an American Awakening. Political propaganda has no real power in the face of an awakened citizenry. Sometimes Americans are kind of slow to realize what’s going on, but historically we slam it like nobody’s business once we do. And we will have learned from all this. We will have learned the dangers of going to sleep at the wheel of American democracy. We will have learned that democracy cannot be taken for granted. And we will have learned that citizenship is a serious responsibility.

The question isn’t, “But what can we do?” The question is, “What will YOU do?” The midterm elections are November 6, 2018. Write that day in your calendar and etch it on your heart; prepare for that day in every way you can. Do not be distracted and do not lose courage.

It is the day when we can turn all this around.
Source: The Huffington Post

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

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

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

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

Website: http://stephendamico.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View Here

Enlightenment is not unlimited Bliss – Ramesh Balsekar

Will Enlightenment bring me unlimited Bliss or Pleasure?

Happiness is the Birthright of every Human – Ramesh Balsekar

David Welch: We are in the process of interviewing our teachers to ask them about their lives to get useful information for our awaken community.

So, obviously the first question we need to ask is: “What is it to awaken?”

Miten: Let the boss go first.

Deva Premal: I mean, it’s basically the illusion of separation fading away and I always thought it was kind of this roadblock. I always thought it was this kind of sudden moment when everything changes and everything is different ever after and I’ve somehow come to understand that actually, it is awakening. It is a process and it’s a lifting of the veil and I even have come to an understanding that awakening happens in different…it almost feels like it happens in different chakras, you know? Like, some people awaken in the heart and they become this kind of love…love generator, you know? And other people become awakened more in the higher chakras and they become more of an intellectual…not “intellectual,” but they have more of the gift of conveying the message in a verbal way.

DAVID: Right.

DEVA: So somehow I….

MITEN: Some become awakened in their first chakra.

DEVA: Yeah, I don’t know about that (Laughter).

DAVID: Are we talking about Tantra here?

MITEN: That’s right. Well that’s very…it’s a very auspicious chakra of course. It’s our basic life energy, you know? So if we…that was Osho’s teaching…is that we needed to connect with our base chakra before, and really accept it and channel that energy up.

DAVID: Osho?

MITEN: Yes, Osho’s a teacher. Deva and I met in Osho’s ashram. So, you know, we met there about 25-26 years ago and…yeah, the awakening from…ironically, he was known as a sex guru, but he was actually helping us to channel that basic energy that we were all feeling as young Westerners and actually not to suppress it, but actually to work with it and to open the higher chakras to awakening. So, it’s quite a thing to address that first chakra when we’re talking about awakening.

DAVID: Well, I completely agree with you. Because there you have the masculine and the feminine, the God and the Goddess, which are the two halves of the whole and it’s those two coming together into oneness and then you both experience this oneness that you are, already. And, you know, it’s…to me, the most fun way of awakening…if you will.

MITEN: It’s a pretty good way to.

DAVID: That would be my next question. How does music, in your own awakening, and how does music—your music—help us in our awakening? ‘Cause I know you have a particular kind of music. I mean, you’re focusing on music that I feel is really transformational. It really expresses the infinite in a way that is just palatable.

Miten: Well, that’s because the music was given birth to in an ashram. It wasn’t…the music wasn’t made to entertain anybody, not to get famous or rich. The music was based in supporting meditation, supporting awakening. That’s what it’s all about for us. So, we never looked away from that. That’s what the music has always been. It just was happening in an ashram and then when we left the ashram, we took it out and began to share it. We just watch normal people respond to it. You could feel the thirst for awakening. And you could feel the thirst. We still do. We play all over the world and you can just feel…it’s palpable—is that the word?

MITEN: Your English…

MITEN: It’s tangible anyway. It’s drinking in the healing power of the mantras and the music and coming to a silent space of awakening. Every concept…that’s where we begin and that’s where we conclude. So, music is very important and it’s also…you know, we have the gift of Deva’s voice, which is a conduit in itself.

DEVA: Also we play and sing it for ourselves. We are going deep within ourselves by the chanting and singing, so that’s why the direction of the music is to go within. It’s not directed at the audience or at a goal on the outside, you know? That becomes like a channel that brings everybody inside who is ready to come into it. And it’s really very participatory. That’s the key, you know? It’s like, its something that invites you. Even with the CDs, you’re invited to either sing and chant with the CDs, or to sit in silence. It somehow, for some magic reason, for which we are very grateful for, is that the recorded music also really has the transmission.

We get many emails and feedback from many people who, through the music, have found joy in their lives, you know?…have turned around from considering suicide and very strong and very powerful, challenging situations, and the mantras have ignited the spark again, have brought a sense of gratitude or joy or light back into their lives. We’re just very grateful that we can share this because we love it so much and it’s so beautiful to feel the connection with the people all over the world who are ready to come into that space. And it’s beyond words, which is so nice, You know? It’s like, beyond explanation, beyond answers.

MITEN: I think that’s the thing. It’s beyond…when you play music, it takes us beyond. It’s another voice speaking of a something we can’t articulate verbally. And we are…what we’re doing with the mantras is…we’re already, the content is already incredibly powerful because we have these 5,000-year-old healing modalities that have been scientifically discovered and used through the ages and so, once you have that as a content and you’re not singing an emotional song about love…or, separation…or, I love you baby…where were you last night…or, whatever, you know?

You’re actually carrying something of incredible power and then you approach that sound or those sounds in a very sensitive way so that the music that you use to accompany that, and Deva’s voice to carry it, is a very powerful tool and we really don’t take much credit for it. It’s been given to us. We’ve been blessed to carry it and we feel like we’re messengers, you know? And that’s what’s taken us all over the world.

DAVID: How would you define mantra? What is a mantra?

MITEN: Well, I mean, maybe a…Dear, would you like to define that?

DEVA: Yeah, a mantra is a very specific sound that us humans can make with our mouths, with our instruments that we have, that comes closest to a divine sound that creates a certain effect in either the body, and our metaphysical bodies, and our emotions, and our connection to different qualities, you know…love, compassion, peace. These sounds are like direct channels into enhancing these qualities and direct connections, so it’s very scientific.

You know, it’s beyond Sanskrit, it’s beyond Hinduism, it’s really actually just a sound and now we have kind of packaged them into a language and into relating them to certain Gods and Goddesses but that all came later. That came later to help us understand and remember and also to make them more human and also to be able to relate to them better.

MITEN: That’s the religion.

DEVA: That’s the religion coming in and…but it’s like medicine, you know? It’s like having a pill where we don’t understand every ingredient—some people do, but most of us don’t and we trust that the pill is going to work because if we take it and something happens. So these are like the mantras…are like the sound medicine which somebody in a very advanced state has realized that these sounds have this particular effect. Now we can use it and then realize for ourselves: yeah this really works for me, and really feel different when a chant is every day or when a chant is 108 times in a row, or you know….

MITEN: That’s one of our things, is to encourage people to make a commitment to actually research…look for your mantra. We made some CDs that are specifically meant to support your mantra practice. One was called “Mantras for Precarious Times” and the other one was called “Mantras for Life” and it’s Deva chanting a series of mantras, 108 cycles which is the amount…apparently this is the amount of cycles you have to do to energize what they call the Nadis.

In Vedic scripture, they call them Nadis and there’s 108 Nadis in our bodies and these become charged after 108 cycles. So, our suggestion for people is first of all, research and look at these CDs, find one mantra that…like David was saying, that you relate to or resonates with you…whether it’s, for instance, removing energetic blocks from your body or removing energetic blocks in your life…or a mantra for sacred love making. There are all these different modalities that you can tune into and then what you do is you put the CD on and you…every night before you go to sleep, you chant your mantra with Deva. You commit to 21 days and then you begin to see what happens. You begin to make friends with these sounds and they start to resonate and you start to carry them with you and that’s where it gets to be good, it gets to be really good.

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.

Continued in Part II…
Source: AWAKEN

All of this back story may be, you know, the Divine Mother saying, “ok, this is as much as we can take and we’re just going to shatter this and the shattering is going to cause tremendous upheaval.” 

So right now, I don’t know what’s going to happen with these refugees from Syria and Africa into Europe, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when the climate refugees start happening. And I suspect we will all create what Donald Trump just called the other day at the debates, a something force…oh goodness, it was a great term. It was like a deportation force but I don’t know if that was the actual word. But there’s going to be a special army unit to just eliminate…

David Welch: Something about wet back something.

RABBI RAMI: Yeah…it was going back to that original thing from the Eisenhower time I think. But he had a different word for it. But it was, you know…we’re going to use the military in a way to keep ourselves from being inundated by climate refugees. And look, we’ve done this before.

DAVID: Or we can solve the climate problem, I mean the challenges, and not have to go down that road. Wait a minute…

RABBI RAMI: Yeah, we could, but we probably won’t. Yeah, I mean, there are…theoretically there are alternatives, but I’m not sure there’s enough just to stick with those levels of consciousness. I’m not sure there’s enough four energy in the people with power to actually make those kinds of decisions. I think we’re talking about, to be president or prime minister or you know, to be…

DAVID: You’re a politician.

RABBI RAMI: You’re a level three person and you look at the military and this is a hammer and everything is a nail and those kinds of clichés but I’m afraid that we’ll simply do what we’ve done in the past just on a bigger scale. And I have some friends that talk…no, we’re going to have terra-forming or we’re going to go to another planet. We’re going to go to Mars now. And we’re going to turn Mars…

DAVID: Elon Musk, oh, being on Mars, we’ll save humanity.

RABBI RAMI: Yeah, well they’re going to save the one percent and those among the rest, they need to be servants to the one percent, right?

DAVID: Right.

RABBI RAMI: Because they don’t know how to flip burgers but they’ll bring a couple of burger flippers with them so they can still have McDonald’s. Not that they eat McDonald’s. I don’t know what they eat. But you know that kind of thing, going on to another planet. We’re talking about only the wealthiest people who are ever going to be able to afford to do that and then they’ll take the slave class to do the work.

DAVID: I think it’s more important to actually have heaven right here on this earth. Is there anything else you would like to say to the Awaken community?

RABBI RAMI: Yeah, I would say as chutzpah as it is for me to offer advice at all, I would say that continually making the shift from the personal to the transpersonal, level three to level four consciousness, is something that we have to do. If I say religiously, it’s sort of a pun, but we have to do it religiously, it has to become a discipline. We have to really, really challenge and break the narrow tribal stories that we have. I mean, in Judaism one of the things that I wrestle with all the time as a Jew is the “chosen people” story: that somehow there’s a God out there somewhere that chose the Jews among all the people and to receive the only revelation God had to give and to give us the only land that God chose among all the inheritable land on the Earth. You know, that very, what did you call it?…very jingoistic, very xenophobic kind of worldview. And every religion has that. This happens to be mine. But I think we have to challenge those stories and get beyond that kind of tribalism. So I was talking with this Lakota Sage last week and…

DAVID: Who was that?

RABBI RAMI: If I give you his name, I’ll mispronounce it but he was from a Lakota Sioux tribe and he was telling me, you know, “tribe is good, tribe is good.” And I kept saying, “yeah, except when it becomes tribalism.” And so in his world, tribe is maybe…it’s not a problem. But in my world, you know, I think it’s a problem. And I think that we’ve just got these competing religious tribes that are all playing a zero-sum game. I know Jews will say, “well Jews were chosen for Torah, but other people were chosen for this and other people were chosen for that.” That’s just something we made up thousands of years after the original idea because it’s not politically correct to say, “hey, wait…we’re the chosen ones.”

So I think what we have to do is get beyond that, the whole notion. I think we have to get beyond the notion of a God who chooses, a God who saves, a God who damns, a God who writes books, a God who dabbles in real estate. You have to get rid of all that stuff; that’s all Iron Age mythology, which we should, you know, allow to pass away and move into a new story. And people are telling the new story because the story is becoming in vogue on college campuses. You’ve got Brian Swimme and then the universe story and all these different things they are saying to us. Even as an individual, when someone asks me my…I’m going to be 65 in a few months, but when someone says, “how old are you?” I never do this because it’s really obnoxious, but I always want to say, “oh…I’m 13.8 billion years old. But I can’t get a cake big enough so when I get a cake, I just put 64 candles on it or 65 candles on it.”

But when you realize that…when I just even think about it…never mind anything mystical… when I just think about the fact—and it’s a fact—that I am the culmination of 13.8 billion years of cosmic creativity and as are you and as is everyone else…but just thinking for myself about myself when I realize it took 13.8 billion years for the universe to do this: Rami to do Rami. I said, “wow!…what an amazing truth that is and it carries such responsibility, you know? I mean, my family is not just my mom and my dad and all that…my family goes back 13.8 billion years!” Some of those rocks are still around! I have to take care of my sister rocks and my brother dirt or whatever it is.

That story needs to be told much more and people have to realize that. And when I realize it, you know, a lot of the stuff that’s bugging me today really doesn’t matter. I’ve been around for 13.8 billion years. This pain in the neck thing from the email is really not going to get to me so much. I think we have to change our sense of time to realize that we are the cutting edge of this evolutionary experiment. And you know, there’s no guarantee the experiment is going to pan out after all this time. It could be, it could fizzle out, and that’s the end of it. But maybe not…maybe this is the birth pang of the next level of evolution, if we can change the story. But if we just keep living with that Iron Age story, we’re going to end up with an Iron Age result, which is, we’re just going to kill each other because that’s really all we know to do, so yeah. Anyway.

DAVID: I wanted to flesh something out. Am I understanding that you’re getting up at 4 o’clock or very early every morning and this is sort of a sweet time that you write and meditate?

RABBI RAMI: No, not write…yeah, yeah, I do my meditation very early in the morning. My normal day is…and I don’t set a clock, because that’s too jarring.

DAVID: You just wake up when you wake up? You try to go to bed early?

RABBI RAMI: I go to bed at…so around 4 or 5 it’s already, I’ve had my 7 to 8 hours, right? So, I wake up naturally and I do all the silent meditation things, the repetition of the mantra and the silent sitting. Then, if I’m not on the road…if I’m on the road, then I just get up and go about my day, but if I’m not…if I’m home, then after that, I get up and I walk and, sometimes with my dog, sometimes by myself. Sometimes it depends on the weather, sometimes I’ll just go to the gym and walk, if that’s all I can do.

But there’s a place near here called The Greenway. It’s about, I don’t know…maybe a mile from my house. It’s all woods and you can walk out there and it follows Stone River. Lytle Creek flows into Stone River, but there’s this one spot where…I don’t know how to explain it exactly, but the Earth comes in to the water. There’s a big tree that’s sort of curved perfectly for my butt on the roots and some stones and you can actually sit just like it was a, you know, a Zafu meditation. And you can sit there and the water is going right around you and it has a beautiful sound and if you don’t move long enough the deer will come and they’ll drink early in the morning. So I try to go there if it’s not too cold.

So, I do the chanting and then I do the silent meditation and then I do the walking and that’s how I start the day and then I do some silly writing just to get my brain going, then I get to work. That’s how it goes. But there’s something about that very early in the morning time. This is how it was explained to me: is that level three is open to level four; level four is open to level five, you know? It all hasn’t congealed yet, so if I can just stay in that liminal space, it’s a nice place to meditate, to do mantra.

Read Awaken Interviews Rabbi Rami Shapiro – Everything Is God…

Read Awaken Interviews Rabbi Rami Shapiro Part II– The Divine Mother Returns Here…

Source: AWAKEN

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