Category: Awareness


There’s a great line from a wonderful teacher who died some years ago named Kalu Rinpoche, a lovely Tibetan monk. He said, “We live in illusion, the appearance of things, but there is a reality and we are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That’s all there is.”

What happens to most of us, and I say most of us, is that when you and I were born, we were born into a social-psychological world, a world with feelings and thoughts, that was inhabited by people who were very identified with their separateness. They were somebody. They were mummy or daddy. They were also this and this and this and this, and they were all the different identities they had, and they trained you about those realities, because those are the realities that were real to them.

Let’s say you started out with completely undifferentiated awareness, and then in the process of socialization, you cultivated your cognitive capacities of this versus that and all your conceptual models that are called your ego and ego structure, and then you got caught in them. You got lost in them, so you thought they were real. You got caught in your own creation, because everything around you supported you becoming somebody. You went into somebody training when you took birth, and you ended up somebody. I bet you think you’re real. I really think you think you’ve got a personal history; you think you’re going somewhere; you think you’ve got problems and neuroses and hopes and relationships; it all sounds real doesn’t it? …Boy were you taken for a ride.

Now, it’s not unreal; it’s just relatively real. The predicament is, you bought into the planes of reality that are all in time. That’s a problem because there’s at least another plane where you’re One with it all, and no one is going anywhere. There’s no time – it’s behind time. So there’s a part of you that is not in time, even though the rest of you is in time, and you bought into the part of you that’s in time, so you think time is passing.

When you get caught in your somebodyness, you as a separate entity, relative to the game of form, are pretty tiny. There are galaxies, and you are pretty tiny, you know, and it’s kind of frightening to have your awareness in something so small when everything around you is big and so unpredictable, and you can’t control it. So to the extent you identify with your somebodyness, there is fear. There is fear of what changes, it turns out, because you can’t control it when it changes. There’s fascination with it, but there’s fear in it. There’s fear of death. That colors almost everything everybody does in a subtle way, all the time. Wanting to leave something behind, wanting to get as much out of the moment as you can because you are fleeting; feeling you’re running out of time because there is too much to do.

– Ram Dass

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Does the capacity of awareness develop, getting stronger and stronger in endurance? Is this what you mean by the awakening of intelligence? If so does this not imply a process?’

Radical Acceptance Revisited (08/12/2015)

One of the truths we most regularly forget is that if we are at war with ourselves, we can’t feel love and connection with our world. This talk looks at the genesis of the “Trance of Unworthiness” and how the wings of mindfulness and heartfulness can dissolve the trance and reveal the loving awareness that is our essence Being.

Discovering the Gold: Remembering Our True Nature By Cultivating Mindfulness And Compassion

Posted on November 13, 2017
by Tara Brach: I remember when I was on a book tour for Radical Acceptance… one of the places I stopped was the Buddhist university, Naropa. They had a big poster with a big picture of me and, underneath the photo, the caption was: Something is wrong with me.

The Trance of Unworthiness: Forgetting Who We Are
I wrote about the Trance of Unworthiness in Radical Acceptance 14 years ago, and I’ve found, over the years, that it is still pretty much the most pervasive expression of emotional pain that I encounter in myself and in those I’ve worked with. It comes out as fear or shame — a feeling of being flawed, unacceptable, not enough. Who I am is not okay.

A core teaching of the Buddha is that we suffer because we forget who we really are. We forget the essence — the awareness and the love that’s here — and we become caught in an identity that’s less than who we are.

When we are in the trance of unworthiness, we’re not aware of how much our body, emotions, and thoughts have locked into a sense of falling short and the fear that we’re going to fail. The trance of unworthiness brings us to addictive behaviors as we try to soothe the discomfort of fear and shame. It makes it difficult to be intimate, spontaneous and real with others, because we have the sense that, even if they don’t already know, they will find out how flawed we really are. It makes it hard to take risks because we’re afraid we’re going to fall short. We can never really relax. Right in the heart of the trance, there is a need to do something to be better, to avoid the failure lurking right around the corner.

Space Suit Strategies: How We Manage in a World of Severed Belonging
Entering this world is difficult. Due to their own wounds and fears, a lack of attunement from caregivers is common. Depending on severity, this can create a core wounding of severed belonging: if I am not enough or if I fail, I won’t belong anymore. It starts early, and we internalize the messages relayed through our families: Here is how you need to be to be respected and/or loved.

In order to navigate this difficult environment, we don spacesuits — our ego survival strategies — to make it through. The suffering is that we become identified with the spacesuit and forget who is looking through the mask. We forget the tender heart that longs to love without holding back.

The sense of unworthiness gets dramatically amplified depending on our culture. Western culture is very individualistic and there’s not an innate sense of belonging. Fear of failure is really big. Every step of the way, we have to compete and prove ourselves and we have a profound fear of falling short. Messages of being inferior are particularly toxic for non-dominant populations. In different degrees, for those that don’t fit the dominant culture’s standards, there is an accentuated sense of not being enough.

So, we all develop our “space suit” strategies to manage ourselves so that we will “belong.” You probably know the ways you go about getting other people to pay attention, or to love you, or to respect you. For many of us it’s striving and accomplishing and proving ourselves. For some, there’s a habitual busyness. For others, there are addictive behaviors that numb and soothe the feelings.

The Golden Buddha: Remembering Our True Nature
One of the stories I’ve always loved took place in Asia. There’s a huge statue of the Buddha. It was a plaster and clay statue, not a handsome statue, but people loved it for its staying power. A number of years ago, there was a long dry period and a crack appeared in the statue. So the monks brought their little pen flashlights to look inside the crack — just thought they might find out something about the infrastructure. When they shined the light in, what shined out was a flash of gold — and every crack they looked into, they saw that same shining. So they dismantled the plaster and clay, which turned out to be just a covering, and found that it was the largest pure solid gold statue of the Buddha in all of southeast Asia.

The monks believed that the statue had been covered with plaster and clay to protect it through difficult years, much in the same way that we put on that space suit to protect ourselves from injury and hurt. What’s sad is that we forget the gold and we start believing we’re the covering — the egoic, defensive, managing self. We forget who is here. So you might think of the essence of the spiritual path as a remembering — reconnecting with the gold . . . the essential mystery of awareness.

Radical Acceptance: Awakening from the Trance of Unworthiness
The practice of meditation, or coming into presence, is described as having two wings. The wing of mindfulness allows us to see what is actually happening in the present moment without judgement. The other wing is heartfulness or love — holding what we see with tenderness and compassion. You might think of it as two questions: What is happening right now? and Can I be with this and regard it with kindness? These are the two wings that we cultivate to be able to wake up out of the trance of unworthiness — out of the spacesuit self — and sense that gold that’s shining through.

I’d like to invite you to take a moment to check in and just to feel into the inquiry: Is there anything, right this moment, between me and feeling at home in myself, at home in who I am? What is here, right now? Can I be with this? Can I regard this with kindness?

Source: Tara Brach

Awakening to Enlightenment

With my practitioner hat on (rather than my academic one), in this post I’m going to explain why spiritual growth [and self development] doesn’t lead to enlightenment; but of course a lot hinges on what we mean by those terms.

First of all, we should get clear that ‘enlightenment’ is in many ways more of a Western concept than a traditional Asian one. The Sanskrit word bodha means, depending on the context: being awake, knowing, understanding, wisdom, intelligence, perception, awakening, awareness, blossoming, opening, or expanding. It’s an everyday word, not an abstract noun, and it doesn’t imply some final state of perfection.

When used in spiritual contexts, it connotes being awake to and aware of one’s real nat ure, of the true nature of reality, or both. The English word ‘enlightenment’ implies (to most people) some kind of super-wisdom and/or a higher state of consciousness that elevates the one who has attained it above the mass of humanity. The Sanskrit word is sweeter, simpler, and humbler: it connotes waking up to the reality of what you really are (and always have been), and becoming generally more aware and open. Abiding in this awake alive open awareness is the goal of the spiritual life as conceived in the Yoga traditions.

In our culture, however, the pursuit of ‘enlightenment’ (which really means abiding in direct awareness of reality) has become confused and mixed up with the self-help / self-improvement project. People talk about wanting to grow and become a better person, and often imagine that the terminal point of this growth process is something like enlightenment. This demonstrates a real lack of understanding of the nature of the spiritual path (as conceived in the Asian traditions, anyway). Not only is abiding-awakeness not the endpoint of the growth process, it doesn’t even lie in that direction.

What??!

Look, if you stop and think this through, you’ll see it’s obvious: according to all the Yoga traditions, your true nature is always already perfect, the core of your being is pure radiant divinity, and you are always already one with the infinite divine Consciousness which gives rise to and supports the entire universe. TAT-TVAM-ASI: you are That, here and now. Therefore, realization of this truth does not depend on any degree of personal growth. Rather, it is a paradigm shift in which you stop identifying with the phenomena within Awareness (e.g., thoughts, emotions, body-image, etc.) and wake up to the fact that you are Awareness itself—the only constant in the ever-changing world of your experience.

And yes, it is possible to become so awake that you never fall back asleep again. You don’t become a categorically different kind of person, you just finally see the truth so clearly and completely that you can’t unsee it, and thus you dwell in a different paradigm from before

Now, despite fanciful stories about ‘sudden enlightenment’, this doesn’t happen overnight. Just as it can take you a while to wake up from physical sleep before you’re fully awake and clear, in the same way, once you’ve touched into the truth of your Being, you have to keep touching in and deepening your awareness of Awareness for months or years before it becomes your default state. In that process, there is a kind of growth that is necessary: reaching a level of maturity where you know what you really want and your daily-life actions reflect your heart’s deepest longing. In other words, you have to grow up enough to get out of your own way and make room for the awakening process to unfold. But this kind of growth is a necessary ancillary to awakening, not its cause.

So you have to ask yourself: are you subconsciously holding the belief that abiding in awakeness to your real nature has to wait until you’ve completed your therapy, or until your life’s not a mess, or until you can retire to a forest retreat, or until you’ve attained samādhi? Are you spending a lot of time and energy on a self-improvement project that yields only incremental gains, without first accessing the source of unconditional love within? If so, you’re suffering. And you’re not alone.

This is what looks really weird from where I’m sitting: a lot of people doing self-improvement type spirituality are working really hard to acquire the traits that are natural byproducts of abiding in awakeness (bodha-stha). This is going at it back-to-front. First wake up to what you really are, then integrate that realization into all the aspects of your life. Waking up is actually the easy part compared to integration, but way harder than both is trying to integrate a realization you haven’t really had yet. Which is what most people in this game are trying to do. I know, you’ve had powerful experiences in which you tasted your divine essence; but this is really not the same as properly waking up out of the belief that your thoughts, memories, and story have anything to do with who you really are.

It’s this simple: you cannot heal the ‘broken self’ as long as you believe that you are it. Or you can, but it’s ridiculously difficult. By contrast, if you wake up to and become centered in your real nature, then you can lovingly address any misalignments in the body-mind that need addressing. If you’re willing to do the work of integration, every layer of your being becomes permeated with the powerful energy of awakeness. You start to then embody that awakeness, which is beneficial to all beings. If you don’t do the work of integration, even if you’re centered in your divine core, you’re not really benefitting anyone else.

This is important. Some people wake up to their real nature and then dismiss the body-mind and its problems rather than work with them. This is called ‘transcendentalism’ by my teachers (and ‘spiritual bypassing’ by others), because such people seek to simply transcend the body-mind. By contrast, on the Tantrik path, we seek to allow the energy of pure Awareness (chit-shakti) to permeate all the levels of embodiment and aspects of daily life. This is called integration. But again, in order to do that, you have to be able to access the energy of Awareness at will, which takes practice.

So integration is the real spiritual growth, but it has nothing to do with trying to recondition oneself to conform more closely to an ideal found in books on spirituality or in the mouth of a teacher (which is what most people call spiritual growth). Rather, it means doing whatever is necessary to open up the body-mind system in such a way as to allow the energy of awakeness to flow unimpeded and permeate every aspect of your life (when actualized, this is called mahā-vyāpti, the Great Pervasion, in Tantrik Yoga).

Dwelling in the midst of the sea of nectar, with my heart-mind immersed solely in the worship of You [as the substance of every experience], may I attend to all the common occupations of man, savoring the ineffable in every thing. ~ Utpala Deva

This process of integration-and-embodiment involves a lot of looking. When you hold up a thought or self-image and look at it in the Light of Awareness (again, assuming you have access to that Light), you can clearly see to what degree it is misaligned with your deepest nature and discard it (by definition, they’re all misaligned to some degree; but the less misaligned thoughts can be useful for a particular purpose). For most people, this doesn’t happen automatically; they need to actually do the work of looking & discarding; or, in the case of saṃskāras or unresolved experiences, looking & digesting; this is a crucial distinction. This explains why some people can be ‘enlightened’ but unintegrated; and if they become teachers, they usually cause harm. There’s a difference between having access to the Light of Awareness (prakāsha) and doing the work of seeing what does and doesn’t reflect that light in its fullness (this is called vimarsha, or self-reflection).

Artwork by Jungle Eye

Someone who has done a lot of vimarsha and has therefore shed their self-images and digested a lot of their unresolved experiences dwells in a state of freedom called moksha. Such a person is called jīvan-mukta, liberated while still in the body. This is significantly less common than awakening or even abiding-awakening. It is the ultimate goal of the spiritual life, but it’s not an attainment since nothing has been attained; rather, something has been lost. It’s a state of being truly unburdened and free. But even this is not a terminal state, since there’s always more saṃskāras that can be digested and more integration that can be done. Still, there is a tipping point beyond which you could never go back to the state of bondage and delusion. Passing this tipping point is what caused the Buddha to say simply and humbly, kṛtyaṃ kṛtam: that which needed to be done is now done.

What would it look like for you to drop all self-improvement projects based in a sense of unworthiness and spend your practice time learning how to access and abide in your already-perfect innermost Self? This is not as easy as it sounds, since it means going beyond enjoying a feel-good idea of your own divinity and accessing the real deal, which humbles and softens you more than it exalts and affirms you (‘you’ here meaning the body-mind-personality complex).

What if you stopped trying to be a ‘better person’ and simply learned how to fully embody the being you already are?
✽ ✽ ✽

By speaking to important misunderstandings of the goal and clarifying the nature of the path (according to tradition, my teachers, and my own experience) this post addresses #1 in my list of the Eight Great Pitfalls on the spiritual path: that is, lack of alignment of View, Practice, and Goal. Alignment of these three, by the same token, is #1 in my list of the Eight Keys to sustainable Awakening. I’ll be posting on all Eight going forward (I already posted on #2, Energy Leaks.)

Do you want to understand the awakening process in more detail, avoid a major pitfall, and ensure alignment of View, Practice, and Goal? In the Trika lineage of Tantrik Yoga, we find an important teaching about three primary phases to the awakening-and-liberation process. In the first phase, you awaken to your divine core or real Self or ‘soul’, then integrate that awakening (which entails shedding a critical mass of what’s not alignment with your ‘soul’).

In the second phase, you awaken to your oneness with the entire universe, your seamless unity with the whole field of energy, then integrate that awakening. In the third phase, you awaken to the formless ground of being, the field of absolute potential ‘beyond’ manifestation (yet permeating it), then integrate that awakening. (To be more accurate, you don’t awaken to the formless ground, it wakes up to itself through you, and ‘you’ dissolve. No more you; only the One.) In Sanskrit, these three phases are called:

  • āṇava-samāveśa ~ immersion into your soul-essence or innermost Self
  • śākta-samāveśa ~ immersion into the whole field of energy
  • śāmbhava-samāveśa ~ immersion into the ground of being

When a person intentionally or unintentionally tries to reach phase two before phase one, or phase three before either, the results can be messy. It’s more or less impossible to sustain and integrate phase two or three without stabilizing the prior phase(s), my tradition argues. This explains why so many people who experience unity-consciousness (phase two) or the absolute void (phase three) can’t seem to integrate the experience in a sustainable or healthy way. It’s crucial to be stabilized in your absolute center (phase one, ‘Soul Immersion’) if you want to actualize phase two or three in a sustainable manner. (Not that it’s about ‘wanting’ it; you’re either called further or you’re not.)

Written by Hareesh (Christopher Wallis)

What is Awakening?

Most people have heard about a phenomenon called “Awakening”, but what exactly is human Awakening, what does it mean experientially, and how does precise understanding of it clear the path of its most common obstacles?

Nearly every spiritual tradition names awakening to your true nature and/or liberation from mind-created suffering as the goal of the spiritual life, and this has been true for millennia. So why aren’t we surrounded by awakened beings by now? Partially because people on the path today don’t have access to some of the key insights of those who have come before, especially regarding the successive phases of the awakening process and the many areas where a person can get “stuck”.

This workshop outlines in clear and precise language the three main phases or stages of Awakening, drawing on the Trika lineage of classical Tantra.

Through clarifying the nature of the path and the goal, and understanding the obstacles and the pivotal forks in the road, our path suddenly seems shorter and clearer. We see that we have what it takes to walk the path — and our whole life is energized by that conviction.

The sequel to the above video is on the 8 common pitfalls on the path: vimeo.com/livetru/8-pitfalls


A questioner realises that there is only the knowing of experience and that no practice brings us closer to ourself.

Richard speaks about “heart food” with clear descriptions of the practices that naturally generate a state of gratitude, love, forgiveness and joy. When this kind of inspirational work is combined with learning to deconstruct limiting identity we have a path to on-going spiritual richness and much higher functioning in daily life

Bill Free’s Pure Presence Book Club inspires many with the opening book, The Nature of Consciousness by Rupert Spira. You can join the book study here: http://billfree.com/book-club-live/ it’s FREE

Leonard Jacobson: I’ve made Step Two very, very easy and simple…just four things to watch out for..
We humans have been trying to awaken for lifetimes, without much success. Because of the rapid advancement of technology, it is imperative that we awaken now. Otherwise, technology is not safe in our hands. We have become too destructive in our unconsciousness. We are facing a crisis and so it has become imperative that the way of awakening is revealed in a way that is simple and available to all those who have an interest in awakening.

Step one of this teaching leads to Presence in the simplest possible way. It requires no beliefs, no practices, no Saviors, no one standing between you and God. Each moment that you are truly present you are an awakened Being. The problem is that we are so addicted to thinking and so used to living within the mind, that it is difficult to remain present in our day today lives and relationships. It is not long before we are involuntarily pulled out of Presence. That is why step 2 of this teaching is necessary.

Step 1 leads to Presence.

Step 2 leads to mastery of the mind and ego.

Step two involves bringing conscious awareness to all the ways that we are pulled out of the present moment. What are the obstacles to becoming present? What is holding us in the past and future, in the story? Just as I have simplified step 1 of the teaching, I have also simplified step 2. There are 4 aspects to step 2, which means there are only four things that we have to watch out for.

The first aspect is the resistance of the ego. If we are to awaken, we need answers to the following questions. What is the ego? What is its role in your life? How does it function? Why does it resist you being present? How does it pull you out of Presence, and how can you overcome its resistance? We humans must have answers to these questions if we are to awaken in any fundamental way. I answer these questions in detail in my books, workshops and retreats.

You cannot defeat the ego. It is impossible. The very intention to defeat the ego or get rid of the ego is coming from the ego itself. It is just a trick to keep you in the mind and under the ego’s control. But you can come into right relationship with the ego so that the ego will gradually and gently surrender its resistance and release you into Presence. Right relationship with the ego is only possible as you become more and more present. In Presence there is no judgment. When you are present you are love, acceptance and compassion. It is from Presence that you bring the energy of love, acceptance and compassion to the ego. It will take some time, but as the ego begins to trust the flowering of Presence from within, and as it feels the love, acceptance and compassion arising from Presence, it will begin to relax and release you.

The second aspect of step 2 is to go through a process of owning, acknowledging and confessing who you have become on this long journey through time and separation, living in a world where no one is present. In truth, you are love, acceptance and compassion. You are empowered from within. You exist in the realization of Oneness. At the deepest level you are an eternal Being. You are pure consciousness. You are without judgment. This is the truth of who you are when you are fully present. But who have you become? Are you judgmental? Do you judge yourself or others? Are you afraid of what others think of you? Are you a blamer? Are you guilty? Are you angry? Are you caught in an unhealed and unresolved past? Are you a victim? Do you hurt others with your thoughts, words and actions? Do you feel unworthy, unloved, abandoned? Do you feel like you not good enough? Are you controlling? Who have you become?

As a part of the process of awakening you must be willing to own, acknowledge and confess who you have become if you are to awaken into the truth of who you really are. Your life and your relationships are a mirror constantly reflecting to you who you have become, but most of us are unwilling or afraid to look into that mirror. You either hide who we have become from ourselves and others, or you are trying to fix or change who you have become, which is a form of judgment. Or you project who you have become onto others, which is simply another way to be in denial of who you have become.

If you are to awaken into the truth of who you are, you will have to own, acknowledge and confess who you have become. As Jesus said, ”All that is hidden shall be revealed.

The third aspect of step 2 has to do with the repressed feelings from the past still buried within us. Even if you open into a reasonable level of Presence, there will always be someone who will come into your life who will say or do something that will trigger those repressed feelings. Then those feelings from the past project onto the present, and distort your experience of the present moment. Now you are caught in a painful and limited past, which you are projecting onto the present moment. If you are to awaken, you will have to go through a process of liberating repressed emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, pain, unfulfilled needs and fear. This will allow for a much deeper level of presence to awaken within you. In my books, workshops and retreats, I share how to come into right relationship with these repressed feelings so that they are released in a conscious and effective way.

The fourth and final aspect of Step 2 is to bring conscious awareness to how we lose ourselves in others. If I want you to love me or accept me or I want you to think I am good enough, I am losing myself in you. If I’m afraid of your judgment or your rejection, I am losing myself in you. Energetically, I’m moving away from myself, and getting mixed up in you. Which is not good for you. And it is not good for me. We are all lost in each other in the way I’m describing.

We have to go through a process of recognizing these four aspects as they arise within us. And we have to do so with the love, acceptance and compassion arising from Presence. And then the whole story will begin to relax and release you more and more into the present moment. More and more you will be aware of the pure consciousness and sense of Oneness that exists at the center of your Being. More and more, you will open into peace and love. And all these qualities of Presence will flow into your day-to-day life.

Donna Quesada: That’s beautiful, what you say about the ego. I have read the book that you signed for me, “Journey into now.” Thank you very much for that. If you don’t mind, I’d like to read something from the book dealing with repressed emotions. This was a fascinating passage that really struck me. You’re relating a private session you had with someone named Daniel who was dealing with depression and anger. You said to him “You have to own your violent nature. You are angry. You are violent. You are a killer. If anyone hurts you or intrudes into your space, you want to annihilate them. Own it, acknowledge it, confess it and express it, but without judgment. It is not the truth of who you are, but it is a part of who you have become. This is the way of liberation. When you own that this energy is in you, you will no longer project it outside of you. And when you express it fully and responsibly, you will come out of your depression.”

LEONARD: The only thing I would add is that it is important to have fun as you own the anger arising within you! Exaggerate it! Ham it up! Whoever you are angry at, kill them at least three times in very creative ways. It has nothing to do with the person that you think you are angry at. All that is happening is that the person you are angry at has triggered the anger repressed within you from the past. We want to liberate these repressed feelings. On the one hand, you are allowing the feelings to express themselves: I hate you…I want to kill you. Be outrageous. Anger is ridiculous. It wants to kill for the slightest hurt, but because of this we keep the anger repressed. Be present with the anger as it arises, so that you don’t get caught up in the story that anger is telling you. When you allow the anger repressed within you in the way that I am describing, you will begin to laugh. It is funny. The anger will have its opportunity for full expression, and then it will be released from your body. However, you must always express the anger in a responsible way and in a way that does not hurt others or spill onto others.

DONNA: This is a very interesting thing that I think is helpful to everyone because everyone experiences anger. I remember watching something on television; it was a pop psychologist who took his clients to a junkyard with baseball bats and instructed them to get their anger out by beating things and bashing things. But it’s so contrary to what spiritual teachings usually embrace. For instance, Thich Nhat Hahn says, “to practice anger is simply just to rehearse it.” And it’s not productive or positive at all. But what you’re saying is something in the middle. It’s a creative, non-violent way to deal with that energy.

LEONARD: As long as you are present. You see the key is to be present as you allow the anger to surface. On the one hand, you are a raving lunatic expressing anger and killing, torturing anyone who hurt you and made you angry. On the other hand, you are present, allowing the anger to express and tell its story, but you know that the story is from the past and has nothing to do with the present moment. You really should wait until you are alone before expressing the anger. You do not want to hurt anyone. The anger is yours alone. No one can make you angry unless you have anger from the past repressed within you. No one can hurt you unless you have hurt from the past repressed within you. I’ve never ever suggested that anyone has the right to express anger towards anyone. The last thing you want to do is dump anger on people because it will come right back at you. It’s extremely ineffective. The only reason I teach things in my retreats like the anger meditation is to help you liberate these feelings from the past. If they are unresolved and buried within you, they will keep you in that part of the story from where the anger originates.

DONNA: So, it sounds like you are releasing yourself from what we call victim consciousness at the same time.

LEONARD: Absolutely. There is never any need to be a victim. Sometimes it is a strategy to get what you want. It often originates in childhood. For example, the only time mother fully attended to you was when you cried. If you take into account Pavlov’s Dogs, an association forms and a victim strategy develops. You only get what you want when you cry or you are unhappy. This victim strategy can remain with you the whole of your life. At an unconscious level you believe that if you are sad or unhappy, someone might eventually attend to you. But of course, it does not work.

Your life manifests as a reflection of your inner world. If you are caught in the mind, with all the limiting beliefs, judgments and repressed emotions from the past, together with all the fear, anger and hurt that have accumulated over the years, your life will manifest as a reflection of this inner world. On the other hand, if you are fundamentally present and your inner world is one of peace, love, acceptance, compassion and a sense of Oneness and abundance, your life will manifest according to that inner world.

For example, if you believe that you are not loved or lovable, which is a limiting belief that formed in your early childhood, you will be unable to attract love into your life, or you will attract those who are incapable of love. Even if many people love you, you will not be able to let it in because at a deeper level, you feel unloved. It is programmed into your story. In this way, life confirms the story within the mind. If at an unconscious level within the mind, you believe that you cannot have what you want, life will manifest to confirm that belief.

Presence is transcendent of the story. As you transcend your story, you transform your story. As you become more grounded in the present moment, all the qualities of Presence will begin to flow into your life. Peace, love, acceptance, power, truth, compassion, clarity begin to flow into your life. Don’t you think that will transform your story?

DONNA: What if someone were to say to you, “What’s the big deal about now? Now is not so pleasant.” Is there ever a place for distraction? You’re in an unpleasant situation and you just want to listen to your music or zone out or enjoy a fantasy.

LEONARD: That’s not a problem, as long as you come back. You don’t have to be present all the time but don’t go so far into your story that you disconnect from Presence. The whole of humanity has been so lost for so many life times. That’s why this world is in the mess that it’s in. Human unconsciousness is the sole cause of all the suffering on our planet, including injustice, cruelty in its many forms, war, inequality, abuse of women, children, and the environment. It is all because we are lost in a world of illusion and the ego is running the show. If the ego is in charge, then it is all about me, me, me! Mine, mine, mine! I am right, what‘s in it for me, how can I take an advantage for myself. This is the way of the ego in the world.

We have seven billion people on the planet functioning under the domination of the ego. There is another way. Can you imagine if humanity had awakened when Buddha walked upon the Earth? If everyone on the planet had responded to his message, would we be in the mess we are in? The answer is, absolutely not. What if everybody awakened with Jesus? We would be living in a different world.

Maybe this is our time now. We missed it with Buddha. We missed it with Jesus. There is a readiness now that was not available in the past. We have reached a crisis point. It is as if we have no choice. As a species living on this planet we must awaken to a higher level of consciousness. We must awaken to a level of Presence where we experience the Oneness. Then everything can change. We are not custodians of this beautiful earth. We are caretakers, which simply means that we are here to take care of this planet. As we deepen into Presence, we will recognize where we are. This is Heaven on Earth and we are so blessed to be here. But until we awaken, we have no clue who we are, where we are or what we are doing here.

DONNA: I picked out a beautiful quote from one of your books, which I would like to read back to you.

“It is time for humanity to awaken at a collective level. Enlightenment can no longer be for a select few, who no longer participate in the world. If there is to be an awakening at a collective level, we will have to learn to function within the world. This means we will have to find a balance between the timelessness of the fully awakened state and the world of time.”

What do you mean by, “If there is to be an awakening at the collective level, we will have to learn to function in the world?” How do we find that balance between the timelessness of the awakened state and the world of time?

LEONARD: It means that you can flow easily between the timeless world of Now and the world of time. There is no obstruction and you are not identified with your life within time. You know that it is all based in the past and future. It is just memory and imagination. But now you are profoundly established in Presence. You can play in the world of time, but that is not where you live. You live in the world of Now. There present moment is your true home.

When I first starting teaching after my first awakening in 1989, it was really difficult to guide anyone into Presence. People had tremendous resistance to it. But over the years, it seems to me that more and more people are opening up. As more of us open into Presence, it makes it easier for those who follow. Eventually we will reach a critical mass, and awakening will become easier and more available to everyone. This is our best hope.

One of the ways I like to describe it is this. Each moment that you are truly present, it’s like dropping a tiny pebble of light into a vast dark pond of human unconsciousness. Ripples of light! Without you even being aware of it, ripples of light are emanating from you each moment you are present, bringing light to the darkness, and affecting human consciousness in subtle and hidden ways, until one day we will reach that critical mass and humanity will simply awaken out of its dream.

DONNA: Indeed. Thank you.

Read Part I Here…

Read Part II Here…

Source: AWAKEN

A discussion exploring Awareness after death and the notion of reincarnation.

Published on Oct 13, 2017

A 13-year-old boy asks if awareness has always existed. The presumption that time exists, inherent in his question, is then explored. 


Posted on October 3, 2017

Deepak Chopra, M.D: Feeling in control is a critical issue in everyone’s life…
Most people are uncomfortable being out of control—a state that produces anxiety, uncertainty, confusion, panic, and loss of self-confidence, depending on how severe the loss of control is. Let’s see what a natural way of being in control looks like.

Control Starts at the Cellular Level

If you live entirely in the present, you are also in control. This isn’t a connection that seems obvious. But the best example is right in front of you. If you look at your body, each cell exists in a state of natural dynamic balance at every moment. A cell can’t afford to lose control. The multiple functions of a cell’s existence are handled simultaneously, and when the situation calls for a change, the cell responds flexibly. The cell’s multiple functions are reflected in activities familiar in your life: eating, drinking, breathing, reproducing itself, healing, renewing, and resting. But those are just broad outlines. A cell’s actual activities span a vast chemical array of proteins and enzymes managed with exquisite sensitivity by the cell’s DNA.

What does this have to do with you feeling in control? One connection is obvious: your body must be functioning well in order for you to feel that you are in a state of well-being. You can’t be in control without a good night’s sleep, because poor sleep leads to hormonal imbalances and the loss of motor control, among other things. You need a steady flow of energy from regular eating habits and a whole-foods diet. There cannot be constant stress, which steadily erodes the body’s ability to rebalance itself after the last stress response has occurred. Chronic low-grade stress is a major hidden health hazard in modern life.

Yet the issue of control contains a central mystery, because a cell’s ability to balance multiple functions simultaneously has never been adequately explained. It constitutes what could be called a field phenomenon; that is, all the disparate parts are regulated by a single controller that is holistic, the way the Earth’s magnetic field influences every magnet anywhere on the planet. But in the case of cells, no physical field explains how multiple functions can be controlled, as if by an invisible intelligence. Luckily for the cell, it has no choice but to trust in the field effect that keeps it running in perfect balance.

You are also embedded in the field of infinite intelligence that we call consciousness, but unlike a cell, you can lose contact with the field. To be in control requires tuning in to the level of consciousness that isn’t perturbed by external forces. This is actually a natural steady state, but in modern life, with its stress, distractions, and fast pace, remaining steady and centered requires consciously being mindful.

Present-Moment Awareness

Mindful of what? Mindful that you have been thrown out of the present moment. When you are present, you are in control. When you aren’t present, you have lost control. Everything happens inside. It’s not that you are immune to external forces, only that when you notice that you aren’t present, you get back there.

Meditation, if practiced over a period of time, makes it much easier to be mindful and also to return to present-moment awareness. Yet you can also do a quick remedy by finding a quiet place to be alone, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and find your center again. Doing this several times a day is a good routine, because it alerts you in a mindful way to what it feels like to be steady and present.

If you are present, here and now, you are in control. The ego makes a mistake by always trying to get its own way, putting up resistance, or being right. Countless people think of those things as being in control. In reality, nothing throws you out of yourself like demanding to get what you want, resisting other people, and always having to be right.

How to Stay in Control

To translate this into daily life, all you have to do is to imitate what every cell does:

  • Trust in your existence.
  • See yourself as multi-dimensional, simultaneously merging body, mind, and spirit.
  • Favor cooperation over competition.
  • Take a holistic rather than a fragmented approach.
  • Attend to any need that arises as soon as it appears.
  • Accept other people as your equal, treating them with respect and dignity.
  • Take healing seriously, meaning physical, mental, and spiritual healing all together.
  • Be as self-aware as possible.
  • Realize that the present moment is the only time that’s fully real.

See yourself as constantly growing and evolving, and live according to this vision.Quite a long laundry list, you might say. But it boils down to one thing only: Live with present-moment awareness. That’s the ultimate secret that no amount of self-control exerted by the ego can achieve. By redefining what it means to be in control, you can achieve something invaluable for your personal success and happiness.

Source: Chopra


Published on Sep 29, 2017

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

Published on Sep 18, 2017

Rupert Spira Takes You Deep Within Yourself

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