Cornerstones of wisdom: the four-fold way: Angeles Arrien at TEDxFiDiWomen

Angeles Arrien, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist, award-winning author, educator, and consultant to many organizations and businesses. She lectures and conducts workshops worldwide, bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religions. Her work is currently used in medical, academic, and corporate environments. She is the President of the Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and she has received three honorary doctorate degrees in recognition of her work.

Sowing Seeds of Gratitude to Cultivate Wellbeing ~ Deepak Chopra

Gratitude, along with love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, and self-knowledge, is a vital attribute of our wellbeing. While there are many definitions of gratitude, at its foundation, gratitude is a healing, life-affirming, and uplifting human experience that shifts us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Gratitude provides us with a more intimate connection to ourselves and the world around us. In the feeling of gratitude, the spiritual is experienced.

For those who are ill, feelings of gratitude and awe may facilitate perceptions and cognitions that go beyond the focus of their illness, and include positive aspects of one’s personal and interpersonal reality in the face of disease. Such beneficial associations with gratitude have accelerated scientific interest in and research on gratitude and wellbeing. The number of publications on gratitude appearing in the biomedical literature in 5-year increments,since 1960-1965 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/) shows almost no publications until 1996-2000 with about 20 studies. That number doubled from 2001-2005. From 2006-2010 publications jumped to 150, and from 2011 to the present over 275 studies on gratitude have been published.

Much of this growth of scientific interest in gratitude can be traced to the early pioneering gratitude research of psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough. In general, studies find that the frequency with which one experiences the feeling of gratitude, as well as the depth of emotion when experiencing it, are linked to improvements in perceived social support as well as reduced stress and depression. Among groups seeking to support this work, the Greater Good Science Center (Berkeley, CA), in collaboration with the Templeton Foundation (West Conshohocken, PA), has been a strong advocate of advancing the science of gratitude and expanding that science into diverse areas of human health and wellbeing.

One area of research that has helped to elucidate our understanding of the science of gratitude and wellbeing is behavioral cardiology. The field of behavioral cardiology augments traditional cardiology by examining psychosocial factors as they relate to cardiac health. Traditionally, behavioral cardiologists focused more on traits such as anger expression and hostility. Cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman, who first described the Type A behavior pattern in the late 1950s, conducted some of the earliest and most systematic scientific work in this area. The Type A behavior pattern is characterized by a set of personality traits including free floating hostility, competitiveness and time urgency; with more of these traits being associated with worse disease. Research eventually suggested that it is anger coping styles, and not competitiveness and time urgency, that are the more pathogenic aspects of the behavior pattern, linking them to morbidity and mortality.

In contrast to these types of adverse influences of relatively negative psychological traits, studies of positive psychological attributes indicate potential beneficial effects on quality of life and physical health in cardiac disease. In several clinical populations, spirituality and/or religious wellness are often associated with better mental and physical health. In this literature, spiritual wellbeing is seen as distinct from religiousness. In individuals with symptomatic heart failure, for example, there is a positive relationship between spiritual wellbeing and better physical and mental wellbeing. These are important observations because heart failure is a major US public health concern affecting over 6 million Americans with rates expected to nearly triple over the next few decades as the population ages. Heart failure is the end stage of most cardiac anomalies, with the annual number of hospitalizations exceeding 1 million and US direct costs exceeding $40 billion/year. There is increasing recognition of the value of embracing multidisciplinary therapeutic approaches in heart failure (as well as other chronic illnesses) that include enhancing spirituality and positive psychological traits as part of more routine psychosocial support. Early studies report reduced depressive symptoms and better health-related outcomes among individuals with cardiovascular disease following spirituality-based interventions that include guided imagery, meditation, journaling, and nature-based activities.

A recent collaboration between the UC San Diego Center of Excellence for Research and Training in Integrative Health and the Chopra Foundation examined associations between gratitude and wellbeing in men and women with asymptomatic heart failure. We found that those patients with more dispositional or trait gratitude also slept better, were less depressed, had less fatigue, had more self-confidence to take care of themselves, and had less systemic inflammation. We also took the opportunity in this study to examine the role that gratitude might have in the known beneficial effects of spirituality on wellbeing. We conducted what is called a mediation analysis (in statistics, a mediation model attempts to explain the underlying process by which one variable exerts its effect on another (in this case how spirituality might lead to enhanced wellbeing) by considering the effect of a third variable; in this case gratitude). We found that gratitude fully or partially accounted for the beneficial effects of spiritual wellbeing on sleep quality, mood, confidence in self-care, and fatigue. That is, in this group of patients, the observed relationships between spiritual wellbeing and better mood and sleep quality were due to the contributions of gratitude as a fundamental component of spiritual wellbeing. Together, the findings from this study are confirmatory of gratitude’s relationships with better mental and physical wellbeing in cardiovascular disease.

Beyond observational studies relating trait gratitude to an array of measures of wellbeing, further work in the form of gratitude intervention studies has begun to demonstrate that when we are intentional with our gratitude and actually create time and space to regularly practice gratitude, other areas of wellbeing improve as well. Though researchers consider gratitude to be a trait, this does not imply that it exists solely as a genetic setpoint that cannot be changed. Instead, engaging in intentional gratitude practices are associated with a variety of benefits and may, in fact, boost the frequency, depth, and range of circumstances for which we are grateful. Practices that actively cultivate a more conscious experience of gratitude take us beyond reciprocal gratitude, and greatly enrich our lives and our sense of connection to the life around us. A recent gratitude intervention study, for example, found that when health care workers kept a work-related gratitude diary they had a decline in stress and depressive symptoms. As anthropologist and author of the book Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life, Angeles Arrien wrote ‘Through conscious and sustained practice over a period of time, we can discover again how gratitude and all its related qualities—thankfulness, appreciation, compassion, generosity, grace, and so many other positive states—can become integrated and embodied in our lives’. When gratitude is present in our awareness, everything changes, we can find ourselves transformed.

There are numerous practices to cultivate gratitude. At the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad CA., “What am I grateful for?” is one of four key questions that practitioners pose to themselves prior to entering into meditation. Such practices of gratitude bring awareness to and appreciation of the positive features within and around us, helping us to embrace life as it is with all of its imperfections. Other practices to consciously cultivate a grateful life include journaling, counting blessings, savoring positive moments, and behavioral expressions of gratitude such as thank you notes, to name a few. By cultivating gratitude, we cultivate wellbeing.

For readers interested in learning about current biomedical studies examining gratitude and wellbeing in different states of illness, including cardiovascular disease, a description of these studies can be found at the US National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials.Gov website (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home) by searching the word ‘gratitude’. ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world.

Richard Moss MD – Weaving The Body Of Gratitude

I wonder if many of you, like myself, occasionally allow yourself to revisit in deep feeling the web of seemingly forgotten relationships with those who at one time touched your life, even if ever so briefly?

The brain naturally cleanses unused memories and there are many of us who want to let go of so much of the past, so I am certainly not suggesting that we dwell in the past. Yet, in the deep stillness of meditation there is a value to allowing your psyche, with just the slightest suggestion to do so, to invite back whoever of those forgotten people spontaneously make their appearance in your mind in order to reconnect with them, but specifically to embrace them from a fuller heart.

I often find myself in the quiet of early morning prayer weaving a body of feeling inhabited with the living memory and felt embrace of these souls from the past, some who were friends, others who I wounded or felt wounded by, now welcome parts of my living body of gratitude. And as they spontaneously parade by I hold them with my heart in the certainty that their lives have been fulfilling and that they have known deep love.

In this way, with no effort, a body pulsing with wonderment comes alive in me and I have the strange perspective that I am now experiencing so much more of the gift and contribution of these relationships than I actually remember being able to feel at the time in which they were current.

Is this impression that I was less able to truly appreciate the blessing of those relationships when I was actually living them the natural fading brought about by time? Or perhaps that I had been more self-involved then, more narcissistic, so that they were players in my theater and not actually individual beings in their own right to be appreciated and celebrated. I don’t need an answer to these questions because what I do know is it that in weaving the body of gratitude what comes alive from the past now profoundly enriches how I am open to the present moment and each person I encounter.

It seems to me the past can close the door of our hearts to the present or open it wide. And I wonder is this not an aspect of the wisdom of forgiveness, that in gratitude the past can be re-given to us as a source of healing and a means of vividly living in a re-visioned present?

Whatever the answer to these musings in the work that I offer, healing of the past and living a vivid present is fundamental. It seems to me we must each commit to weaving the body of gratitude so that we can become instruments of healing and wholeness for ourselves, our communities, and our planet. This is not work that we can defer as more and more we see the schism between heart and mind diving us within ourselves and between each other.

I hope you will explore this simple practice and I hope to see you soon because we do need to be decisive about living lives that make a profound difference.

In love and gratitude,

Richard

Photo credit: Jon Tyson

The Technology of Joy: The 101 Best Apps, Gadgets, Tools and Supplements for Feeling More Delight in Your Life by Jonathan Robinson (Author)

Would you like to experience more Joy? How about euphoria, inner peace or ecstasy? Let psychotherapist and bestselling author Jonathan Robinson take you on a tour of all the best ways to feel fantastic.

In this book, you’ll discover 101 easy and little known ways to feel more joy. You’ll learn about methods ranging from a $1 gadget for feeling intense pleasure, to a free app that really leads to more depth and peace in your life.

Read about how:
• Some new gadgets can enhance pleasure, deepen relationships, and help you feel gratitude—all at the same time.
• Specific apps that have been shown to make people happier and create more loving relationships.
• Twelve little known supplements that can reliably induce euphoria, elation, and feelings of connection and peacefulness. You’ll learn what these tools can do for you, and how and where to get these happiness hacks.

In addition, you’ll discover how to know which of these tools are most likely to be the best ones for you. Get ready for a quest to experience more of the peace, pleasure, and joy hidden within you…


Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of ten books, and a professional speaker from Northern California. He has reached over 100 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. Mr. Robinson has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show, as well as many other national TV talk shows, and articles about him have appeared in USA Today, Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times. In his public talks and seminars, Jonathan is known for providing people with immediately useful information in a fun and entertaining manner.

LOOK INSIDE

Finding Happiness Now!

Jonathan Robinson will share with you, for FREE, the secrets finding happiness life. Watch this video for your first free tip, then sign up (http://findinghappiness.com/free-happ…) for 45 minutes of FREE Audio to learn how to find happiness now. These techniques take less than 2 minutes a day.

About Jonathan Robinson: Jonathan Robinson, M.A., M.F.T is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of nine books, and a professional speaker.

The Divine Gift of Gratitude

The Divine Gift of Gratitude

Gratitude is more than a feeling or an attitude, it is a way of life.

When we delve into the etymological meaning of the expression “Thank you”, we often find people that ask “What would be the best way to thank you?” How do we properly express our gratitude?

Interestingly enough, we find a good explanation of the different levels of gratitude from Saint Thomas Aquinas in his work “Summa Theologica.” Thomas Aquinas teaches on his treatise of gratitude that the gratitude consists in varying degrees of thankfulness. For him, Appreciation has three levels: 1) A superficial level, 2) An intermediate level, and 3) A deeper level.

“Appreciation can make a day – even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. ~ Margaret Cousins

The fist level of gratitude is the surface level; it is to recognize the benefit received, obtain grace, accepting a favor. It is the level of recognition, intellectual recognition, cerebral level, the cognitive level of recognition.

The second level is the level of gratitude; it is to praise and give thanks to him who gave us something free in exchange for nothing. It is giving blessings back to someone for what that person has done for us.

The third degree, according to Thomas Aquinas is the level of reciprocity. And the third deepest level of gratitude we find the level of bound, and feeling of commitment towards those that had helped us. With this level, Reciprocity is pledged, according to its possibilities, according to the most opportune circumstances of time and place.

Gratitude and Linguistics:

“It only takes a moment to thank you – but your thoughtfulness will be remembered a long time.” ~Unknown

Different languages express their feeling in different ways. Each of them is more able to express the levels of gratitude stated by the Thomas Aquinas discourse.

He observed that in saying “Thank You” in English or “Zu Danken” in German, we practice the first level of thankfulness, taking it coldly, in the first dimension, that is, only by the recognition of the grace received. We thank them at the intellectual plane.

In European languages, the expression of gratefulness can be very different. Most other European languages, when professing appreciation and thanks, they thank using the intermediate level of gratitude, going beyond the second level of appreciativeness. When you say “Merci” in French, means to give a mercy, to give grace: “I give him a favor, I thank you, I give you a mercy for what brought to me, for what you gave me.” In Spanish, thank you is said “Gracias” and in Italian, it is “Grazie” and in Latin “Gratias”. Therefore, in languages originated from the Latin root, we find that the expression of gratitude also invokes a mercy or blessing of equal magnitude upon the one that has given the help, or that had bestowed the favor.

“I give him a grace for what you gave me, and that is that I thank you, that is what I am grateful to you.”

Nevertheless, we shall mention the special and the most profound linguistic expression of thankfulness that comes from the Portuguese language.

The Portuguese formulation of appreciation is so charming and unique, as it is that can be the only one to be located clearly in the third degree, the deepest level of gratitude.

Thank you in Portuguese is “Obrigado”, a derivative of the word “Obligation.” It expresses the bond (ob-ligatus), or the duty to repay the favor. The derivative of the Portuguese Obrigado can be found on the Arigato[1] in Japan, also as an expression of gratitude.

“I am obligated to you. I’m bound to you. I am committed to dialogue, thanking you for your invitation, thanking you for your attention. I am destined to contribute to the best of my ability, to your projects, to your work.”

We may conclude that the level of appreciation are closely linked to the way we think and express ourselves. The way we think, ponder and recognize our benefactors.

Thus, it takes humility to accept unmerited favor, it is a duty to give back, but accompanied with the awareness that it may be impossible to fully comply with the commitment.

The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness. ~ Dalai Lama

[1} Gratitude in Japanese: Domo- Thank you, not as polite as arigato. Domo and arigato can be combined (“Domo arigato”) and then become a politer form of thank you.

Copyright 2016 Humanity Healing Network

Gratitude: The Litmus Test for Self-Realization ~ Byron Katie

As the mind realizes itself it stops identifying with its own thoughts. This leaves a lot of open space. A mature mind can entertain any idea; it is never threatened by opposition or conflict because it knows that it can’t be hindered. When it has no position to defend or identity to protect, it can go anywhere. There’s never anything to lose because there’s no thing that exists in the first place. Laughter pours out of it and tears of gratitude from the experience of its own nature.

Everything appears to come into me. I watch and witness what comes out of me. I’m the center of everything. I hear opinions and concepts, and because there’s no I to identify as, I take it all in. When you realize that you’re no one, you’re comfortable with everyone, no matter how desperate or depraved they may seem. There’s no suffering I can’t enter, knowing that it’s already resolved, knowing that it’s always myself I’m meeting.

As we question what we believe we come to see that we’re not who we thought we were. The transformation comes out of the infinite polarity of mind which we’ve rarely experienced, because the I-know mind has been so much in control. And as we inquire, our world changes, because we’re working with the projector–mind–and not with what is projected. We lose our entire world, the world as we understood it. And each time we inquire, reality becomes kinder.

The part that is doing the questioning is the neutral part of the mind, the center, which can take one polarity of mind to the other. This neutral part offers the confused, stuck, I-know polarity the option to open itself to the polarity of mind that holds the sane, clear, loving answers that make sense to it. The neutral part doesn’t have a motive or desire, a should or a shouldn’t; it’s a bridge for this polarity to cross over. And as the I-know mind is educated, it dissolves into the polarity of wisdom. What’s left is absolutely sane, undivided, and free. Of course, all this is just a metaphor, since there is only one mind. The bottom line is that when the mind is closed, the heart is closed; when the mind is open, the heart is open. So if you want to open your heart, question your thinking.

Inquiry always leaves you with less of a story. Who would you be without your story? You never know until you inquire. There is no story that is you or that leads to you. Every story leads away from you. You are what exists before all stories. You are what remains when the story is understood.

Life on the other side of inquiry is so simple and obvious that it can’t be imagined beforehand. Everything is seen to be perfect, just the way it is. Hope and faith aren’t needed in this place. Earth turned out to be the heaven I was longing for. There’s such abundance here, now, always. There’s a table. There’s a floor. There’s a rug on the floor. There’s a window. There’s a sky. A sky! I could go on and on celebrating the world I live in. It would take a lifetime to describe this moment, this now, which doesn’t even exist except as my story. And isn’t it fine? The wonderful thing about knowing who you are is that you’re always in a state of grace, a state of gratitude for the abundance of the apparent world. I overflow with the splendor, the generosity of it all. And I didn’t do anything for it but notice.

The litmus test for self-realization is a constant state of gratitude. This gratitude is not something you can look for or find. It comes from another direction, and it takes you over completely. It’s so vast that it can’t be dimmed or overlaid. The short version would be “mind in love with itself.” It’s the total acceptance and consumption of itself reflected back at the same moment in the central place that is like fusion. When you live your life from that place of gratitude, you’ve come home.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Byron Katie – The Enlightened Mind


BYRON KATIE on: The Enlightened Mind.
If you love everything you think, you love everything EVERYONE thinks and you love everything everyone says about you…..
Byron Katie is the founder of The Work. Katie (as everyone calls her) not only shows us that all the problems in the world originate in our thinking but gives us the tool to open our minds and set ourselves free.
The Work is based on FOUR QUESTIONS which can be done on your own or with another person, ending with a process called a “Turnaround”: The four questions are:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?

A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times by Jack Kornfield PhD (Author)

When the path ahead is dark, how can we keep from stumbling? How do we make our way with courage and dignity? “Inside each of us is an eternal light that I call ‘the One Who Knows,’ writes Jack Kornfield. “Awakening to this wisdom can help us fin dour way through pain and suffering with grace and tenderness.” For anyone seeking answer during a trying time, he offers “A Lamp in the Darkness,” a book-and-CD program filled with spiritual and psychological insights, hope-giving stories, and guided meditations for skillfully navigating life’s inevitable storms.

The practices in this book are not positive thinking, quick fixes, or simplistic self-help strategies. They are powerful tools for doing “the work of the soul” to access our inner knowing and to embrace the fullness of our life experience. With regularly practice these teachings and meditations enable you to transform your difficulties into a guiding light for the journey ahead. Join Jack Kornfeld as your trusted guide as you explore:

· Shared Compassion-a guided practice for planting the seeds of compassion and opening the heart to all that life brings

· The Earth Is My Witness-a meditation to establish firm footing in the midst of darkness, centered by a steady witnessing presence

· The Practice of Forgiveness-what Jack calls “the only medicine that can release us from the past and allow us to truly begin anew.”

· The Temple of Healing-a guided visualization to meet our own inner healer

· Equanimity and Peace-a meditation for maintaining balance and acceptance regardless of the situation

Just as it is certain that each life will include suffering, explains Kornfield, it is also true that in every moment there is the possibility of transcending your difficulties to discover the heart’s eternal freedom. With A Lamp in the Darkness, he offers you a beacon for yourself and others until joy returns again.

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, in 1975 and later, the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. His books include After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and the national bestseller A Path with Heart (over 100,000 copies in print).

Table of Contents

Foreward by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Introduction: An Invitation to Awaken

1. The Wisdom of Our Difficulties

2. The Earth is My Witness

3. Shared Compassion

4. Awakening the Buddha of Wisdom in Difficulties

5. The Practice of Forgiveness

6. The Temple of Healing

7. The Zen of an Aching Heart

8. Equanimity and Peace

9. Your Highest Intention

10. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Healing Journey

Afterword: The Return of Joy

Excerpt

If you’re reading these words, you’ve probably hit hard times. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, or maybe you’ve lost your job, or received a difficult diagnosis, or someone close to you has. Maybe you’re divorcing or you’re in bankruptcy or you’ve been injured, or your life is falling apart in any number of ways. Maybe daily life itself has become too much for you.or not enough. But even in the best of times there’s plenty to worry about: seemingly endless wars and violence, racism, our accelerating environmental destruction. In difficult times, personally or collectively, we often begin to wonder not only how we can get through this difficult patch; we begin to question existence itself.

Look Inside

Jack Kornfield: 12 Principles of Forgiveness

The acclaimed author and teacher explains the principles that are integral to the process of forgiving, according to Buddhist philosophy.

How Can People Be Deeply Spiritual and Emotionally Immature? An Interview with Jack Kornfield

By: Sam Mowe

Over the last 40 years, Jack Kornfield has been a significant force in bringing Buddhist practices to the United States. In 1967, he graduated from Dartmouth College, joined the Peace Corps, and was assigned to service in Thailand. Kornfield then trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, studying under many influential teachers. After returning to the United States, Kornfield earned a PhD in clinical psychology and, in 1975, cofounded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. In 1987, he became a founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, where he currently lives. He is the best-selling author of many books, including The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology, A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life, and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path.

Over the years you’ve written a lot about bringing spiritual work together with psychological work. What is the relationship between spiritual practice and emotional development?

What’s most simple to say is that, for our hearts to be wise and free, we have to attend to the mandala of our being—which includes body, emotions, mental states, and thought structure—and their relations with one another.

Certain meditation can bring tremendous benefits to us. But it’s also possible to use meditation as a spiritual bypass, so that we can escape our difficulties by finding some peace and calm. But later on—at work, with family, or in relationships—old patterns and ways that we get caught up in begin to show themselves.

I’m an “all of the above” kind of person. I have used meditative practices, psychotherapy, sacred medicine, and the arts, all as dimensions of being more fully alive and being freer in body, heart, and mind.

Part of the reason I’m asking this is to better understand the meaning of “spiritual work,” because it’s interesting that it’s possible for people to be spiritually brilliant and yet lacking in their emotional maturity.

Human development is a mandala, and so we can develop certain aspects, and others don’t come along; thus, you have Olympic-level athletes who are brilliant in awareness of their body, but might be emotional idiots. Or you have Nobel-prize-winning physics professors who can’t find their shoes or their body. So it turns out that to live a fully realized life—or a life of wisdom and compassion—those qualities need to be directed to each of the major dimensions of our humanity—our body, our feelings, our mental states, our relationships and history, and our connection with the world around us. Spiritual teachers can be one-sided just the way an athlete or a physics professor can.

Fortunately, what we’ve learned in the West over many decades now is that it’s possible for us to heal deeply traumas of the past. It’s possible for us to embody and bring into our relationships and our actions the same beautiful spirit that we might find in a deep, silent meditation, that those become integrated.

But let me go to a related topic. We can look at the current global situation and see that no amount of science and technology is going to save us. No amount of computers and worldwide Internet and nanotechnology and biotechnology, and all these amazingly great, new capacities is going to stop continuing warfare, racism, tribalism, environmental destruction. Those spring from the human heart. And the outer technologies now have to be married to inner development that is both a development of mind and a development of heart and a development of the connection of our body to the body of the earth. We need to have a transformation of human consciousness, inwardly, that’s the balance to or the support for the amazing outer transformations.

You’ve been teaching meditation since the mid-1970s. What has changed in the last 40 years?

Thirty or 40 years ago, there was a great resistance to using the tools of Western psychotherapy and Western psychology. People at various ashrams or Zen centers or Buddhist centers and so forth would say, “All you need to do is chant, or do the mantra, or sit in Zen meditation, and it will take care of everything.” And other tools were considered to be unnecessary or even kind of lower-level practices.

Now, I could tell you the names of the therapists of half of the main Zen teachers and lamas around the country, because they realized that in our modern, Western time, we need all the help we can get. We need to marry these powerful spiritual disciplines with the wisdom and the understanding of this particular culture. That wisdom and understanding includes tools for healing, tools for trauma work, tools for emotional intelligence. And in the last 40 years, these have become integrated much more actively across the spiritual teachings.

In addition, we found that in Western culture there’s a common experience of self-judgment and self-hatred that will arise for people when they’re doing spiritual practice—an unworthiness that will arise. Often, a spiritual practice can be turned against ourselves, and we use it to judge ourselves further or feel inadequate or not good enough. “I’m not doing it right. I’m not enlightened enough.” When we asked the Dalai Lama about this in the 1980s, he was shocked. He’d never heard the word self-hatred. That word doesn’t exist in the Tibetan language. And after some pondering, he said, “This is a mistake.”

What we have done is to incorporate a tremendous amount of compassion and loving-kindness as the basis for the other dimensions of spiritual discipline. Training in mindfulness and concentration have to be married to compassion and loving-kindness. And with that field of love, which it turns out is a form of mindfulness or awakening, people begin to discover that they are loving-awareness itself, and that spiritual practice isn’t to change or perfect oneself. Spiritual practice is about perfecting their love.

Otherwise, spiritual practice can become just another grim duty that you have to perform. You go on a diet and you go to the gym and you go to therapy, and you do all these kinds of self-help trainings, trying to make yourself a better person. But in the deepest way, spiritual practice is more mysterious. It opens us up to the mystery of human incarnation and to our fundamental dignity and goodness and capacity for freedom and love that’s born in every human being. It touches that. It rests on that realization. And this is a very different vision of spiritual practice than one that is focused on some great future attainment of enlightenment in some more idealistic way.

What do you think about self-improvement as an idea? Doesn’t it get in the way of accepting ourselves just as we are?

There’s nothing wrong with self-improvement. Kids want to learn how to read. Adults want to learn how to speak another language or keep their body in shape or develop their capacities to listen and connect more deeply. All of those are beautiful. They can be done in a positive and loving way, to enhance the life that we have, to enhance our human incarnation. Or they can be done in a striving way, with judgment and self-criticism, thinking, I’m not good enough, and I have to make myself better and more enlightened and more spiritual and more—whatever it is. And that undermines the very essence of them.

We’re always growing as an organism, and it’s a beautiful thing. We can grow out of love. We can grow out of care. We can grow out of wanting to flower. And then the self-improvement becomes really an expression of our fundamental dignity and goodness, not trying to become something that we’re not, but to express our beauty and our courage in this very life.

So it has more to do with the spirit that you have while engaging with activities in your life, rather than what the activities are themselves.

Yes. That’s critical.

Mindfulness is having a moment these days. Part of the reason for this is that it’s promising to make people more productive and happy as individuals. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with enlightenment or ethics. Can you comment on that?

I celebrate the spreading of mindfulness, just as I celebrate the spreading of yoga or the spreading of all kinds of very good spiritual tools and disciplines. When I was a boy in the 1950s, if you mentioned yoga, the only images were of Indian fakirs with a loincloth on and their legs wrapped around their neck. Culturally, it was very strange. Now there’s a yoga studio next to a Starbucks on every block.

Sometimes it’s just done to have a beautiful body or to meet an attractive partner. But it still helps. It still begins to give people tools of attention and care for their bodies and brings a spiritual dimension into their lives. This is also true for mindfulness. Mindfulness is being taught in law schools, and I know a judge who’s using it as part of the instructions to the jury so that they listen in a respectful and mindful way to all of the evidence before making their decisions. It’s also being used successfully in thousands of school systems for social and emotional learning.

Out of this broad understanding of the value of attention to one’s inner states starts to grow a more humane approach to medicine and a more humane approach to law. Or there starts to grow in an individual an understanding that the mind and the heart can be awakened and developed. And then certain people will take it much further.

But what if mindfulness is used to do the sort of bypassing that you were talking about earlier, by allowing us to focus on our inner selves rather than on underlying, systemic issues?

Another way to ask this question is: Can you focus on personal development in a way that ignores the need for justice and well-being of human beings? Anybody who is wise recognizes that they go hand in hand. I’ve trained large numbers of activists, many of whom have been burned out because they’ve been so angry, fighting, bitter, and frightened that they haven’t been able to actually engage over the long term, because they let the troubles and the suffering outside come into their own body and heart.

In fact, when you learn how to regulate yourself and develop a deep compassion for yourself and for the world, you realize that they can’t be separated; they’re really the same thing—then it becomes possible, and even necessary, to engage in the world because you’re a part of it, and you feel that. But you engage in a different way. It gives you the power to sustain that love and that work for the benefit of all beings.

Understanding the relationship between contemplation and social action is central to the work that we do at the Garrison Institute. Can you say more about how looking inside leads to social action out in the world?

In Zen, they say there are only two things: you sit and you sweep the garden. And it doesn’t matter how big the garden is. That is, you learn to quiet the mind and open the heart and to remember in that stillness what really matters. Those are the values of the heart and who you are. You discover that who you are is loving-awareness itself, incarnated into this mystery. And as you do, the sense of connection to life shows itself. You don’t even have to cultivate it. As you get quiet, you feel it and you know it. And then you get up from your cushion and you sweep the garden. If people are hungry, you feed them. If people are sick and you have medicine, you offer it, because they’re part of you.

When you hurt your hand, if you’re slicing tomatoes in the kitchen and you accidentally cut yourself, you don’t go, “Oh, that poor hand. I wonder if I should help it. Should I do something about it?” It’s you. It’s part of you. It’s so deeply obvious that you wash it and you put a Band-Aid on it or whatever. And as you quiet the mind and open the heart, you begin to realize that the world is yours, that you are the world. And so it becomes a spontaneous and beautiful expression of your fundamental Buddha-nature, your fundamental goodness, that you tend the world.

Without mindfulness or compassion training, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think, Well, all the problems of the world are too great, and I just have to get through the day and try as best I can. Mindfulness makes it easier to step out of the sense of being overwhelmed. You see with clarity. And you realize, I can respond in a wise way. I have some agency and capacity. And I can add my piece. And by adding your drop into the river—the river of justice or the river of mutual care or the river of caring for the environment—it nurtures you, and it nurtures the world.

You’ve mentioned “the mystery” a couple of times during this conversation. What do you mean?

One of the great gifts of a contemplative moment or practice is that as we quiet the mind and soften the heart and look around, we see the mystery all around us, whether it’s of trees or rainfall or the forms of the earth or our own human body. How did we get in here, this strange, bipedal form with a hole at one end, into which we regularly stuff dead plants and animals and grind them up with bones that hang down, and glug them down through the tube for energy, and poop them out the other end? We ambulate by falling in one direction and catching ourselves, and falling in the other direction and catching ourselves. Where we have the capacity to make sounds by pushing air by our vocal cords and shaping our mouths, and I can say “Golden Gate Bridge,” and you can picture that. No one really knows exactly how that happens. They know how the sodium-potassium balance changes in the auditory nerve and goes to the auditory centers of the brain. But beyond that, that interdependence, the web in which we live is so mysterious. And it’s the same web that spins the galaxies and turns our seasons.

So, to meditate, in some way, is to be able to stop and listen to the dance or the music of life with a sense of reverence and connectedness and awe. And from that, then tend your life and tend this world beautifully.

And yet, some not-so-positive stuff also comes up when we meditate, such as grief and despair. Is it important to focus on the positive stuff on a spiritual journey?

No. A spiritual path opens you to the 10,000 joys and to the 10,000 sorrows. It cracks the heart open to weep at the loss of species. It allows you to honorably feel the tears that you carry from your own personal trauma or from the death and loss or tragedy around you personally and more broadly. But we can also become loyal to our suffering. And suffering, while it’s vast and can be tended with great compassion, is not the end of the story. The end of the story is love and freedom. And this is possible for you. We don’t do it by ignoring the suffering around us, but by knowing that who we are and what this life is, is greater than that.

Sam Mowe is the Communications Manager at the Garrison Institute in New York, a nonprofit dedicated to exploring the intersection of contemplation and social action. Jack Kornfield will be leading a retreat at the Garrison Institute on July 31–August 2.

Source: Health & Spirituality

Jack Kornfield: Awakening To Pure Consciousness


By Jack Kornfield: In the next chapter we will examine consciousness in its particle-like nature…

For now, let us consider the unbounded sky or mirror-like nature of consciousness. We need to be practical. Our first task is to learn to distinguish the mirror-like nature of consciousness from its content, our sense perceptions and thought. When we learn to distinguish consciousness from the states and experiences that color it, we are freed from reactioning to each passing state.

While studying Buddhism in college, I tried a little meditation on my own. But it was unfamiliar and I was unsuccessful because I didn’t know what I was doing. It wasn’t that I was afraid of silence or of some terrible darkness that I would find inside, though these are common misunderstandings of meditation. It was that my body would get uncomfortable and my mind would spin out in a million directions. When I got Ajahn Chah’s teaching, the practice became gradually clearer. He taught me to relax and feel my breath carefully, which helped focus and quiet my mind. Then he taught me just to mindfully notice the stream of thoughts and sensations without reacting to them as a problem. This took some practice.

Finally he taught the most important lesson, to rest in consciousness itself. As his own teacher Ajahn Mun explains, “We become the witnessing of experience, abiding in pure consciousness or awareness.” He goes on, “We can notice the distinction between consciousness and all the transient states and experiences that arise and pass away within it. When we do not understand this point, we take each of the passing states to be real. But when changing conditions such as happiness and unhappiness are seen for what they are, we find the way to peace. Most people lump everything together as the mind itself, without distinguishing between the temporary states of mind and the knowing of them. If you can rest in the knowing, the pure consciousness, there’s not much more to do.”

Does resting in consciousness mean we are simply checking out of the world, or withdrawing into navel gazing? Not at all. Resting in the knowing is not the same as detachment. When I look back at my own life I can see my struggles to discover this truth. Because of the conflict and unpredictable violence in my family, there were many times I wanted to run away but couldn’t. To cope with the trauma, at times I became depressed, angry or cynical. But as a primary protection, I developed the capacity to detach myself from what was happening. Detachment came naturally to me. I used it to become peaceful within myself and to try to calm those around me. Of course, these patterns persist and now I do it for a living.

So when I began Buddhist practice, shifting my attention to rest in consciousness felt familiar, natural. It seemed similar to my strategy of detachment. But gradually I discovered how wrong I was. My detachment had been a withdrawal from the pain and conflict into a protective shell. It was more like indifference. In Buddhist psychology indifference is called the “near enemy” to true openness and equanimity, a misguided imitation. To rest in consciousness, I had to unlearn this defensive detachment and learn to feel everything. I had to allow myself to recognize and experience the feelings and thoughts, the conflicts, the unpredictability of life in order to learn that I could trust the openness of consciousness itself. Ajahn Chah invited us to rest in consciousness and allow every experience in a fearless way. To rest in consciousness is the opposite of contraction and fear. When we rest in consciousness we become unafraid of the changing conditions of life.

In the monastery Ajahn Chah would point us back to rest in the pure knowing, consciousness itself. Sometimes he would notice that we were caught up in a state of worry or anger or doubt or sorrow. He would smile with amusement and urge us to inquire, Who is doubting? Who is angry? Can you rest in the consciousness that is aware of these states? Sometimes he would instruct us to sit at the side of a person who was dying, to be particularly aware of the mysterious moment when consciousness leaves and a person full of life turns into a lifeless corpse. Sometimes he would say, “If you are lost in the forest, that is not really being lost. You are really lost if you forget who you are.”

This knowing or pure consciousness is called by many names, all of which point to our timeless essence. Ajahn Chah and the forest monks of Thailand speak of it as the Original Mind or the One Who Knows. In Tibetan Buddhism it is referred to as Rigpa, silent and intelligent. In Zen it is called the mind ground or mind essence. The Hindu non-dual tradition speaks of this as the timeless witness. While these teachings may sound abstract, they are quite practical. To understand them we can simply notice the two distinct dimensions to our life, the ever-changing flow of experiences, and that which knows the experiences.

Perhaps we can better understand this through a story of a Palestinian named Salam, one of my good friends. I met Salam when I was doing some teaching for the hospices of the Bay Area. He was able to sit with the dying because he had no fear of death. In the late 1960’s and 70’s Salam lived in Jerusalem as an activist and a journalist. Because he was writing about creating a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem and the establishment of a Palestinian state, he was regularly arrested. He spent nearly six years in Israeli prisons. He was frequently interrogated and periodically beaten and tortured. This happens on every side in war.

One afternoon after he had been badly beaten, his body was lying on the floor of the prison and he was being kicked by a particularly cruel guard. Blood poured out of his mouth, and as the police report later stated, the authorities believed he had died.

He remembers the pain of being beaten. Then, as is often reported by accident and torture victims, he felt his consciousness leave his body and float up to the ceiling. At first it was peaceful and still, like in a silent movie, as he watched his own body lying below being kicked. It was so peaceful he didn’t know what all the fuss was about. And then Salam described how, in a remarkable way, his consciousness expanded further. He knew it was his body lying below, but now he felt he was also the boot kicking the body. He was also the peeling green paint on the prison walls, and the goat whose bleat could be heard outside, he was the dirt under the guard’s fingernails—he was all of it and the eternal consciousness of it all with no separation. Being everything, he could never die. All his fears had vanished. He realized that death was an illusion. A well-being and joy beyond description opened in him. And then a spontaneous laughter arose at the astonishing folly of humans, believing we are separate, clinging to nations and making war.

Two days later, as Salam describes it, he came back to consciousness in a bruised and beaten body on the floor of a cell, without fear or remorse, just amazement. His experience changed his whole sense of life and death. He refused to continue to participate in any form of conflict. When he was released, he married a Jewish woman and had Palestinian-Jewish children. That, he said, was his answer to the misguided madness of the world.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Wise Heart” VIEW HERE
Source: Jack Kornfield

The Wise Heart Chapters 1 through 4

Published on Nov 7, 2014

Introductory Announcement at 0 minutes and 0 seconds

The Wise Heart: Introduction at 0 minutes and 35 seconds

Chapter 1: Nobility at 13 minutes and 33 seconds

Sacred Perception at 20 minutes and 57 seconds

Chapter 2: A Psychology of Compassion at 28 minutes and 44 seconds

Chapter 3: Who Looks in the Mirror? at 41 minutes and 45 seconds

The Two Dimensions of Consciousness at 49 minutes and 1 second

Chapter 4: The Colorings of Consciousness at 1 hour 0 minutes and 30 seconds

Healthy and Unhealthy Mental States at 1 hour 7 minutes and 25 seconds

Life Loves You: 7 Spiritual Practices to Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, Robert Holden


Life loves you

and you have the power within you

to create a life you love.

Life loves you is one of Louise Hay’s best-loved affirmations. It is the heart thought that represents her life and her work. Together, Louise and Robert Holden look at what life loves you really means—that life doesn’t just happen to you; it happens for you. In a series of intimate and candid conversations, they dig deep into the power of love, the benevolent nature of reality, the friendly universe, and the heart of who we really are.

Life Loves You is filled with inspiring stories and helpful meditations, prayers, and exercises. Louise and Robert present a practical philosophy based on seven spiritual practices. Key themes cover

The Mirror Principle – practicing the how of self-love

Affirming Your Life – healing the ego’s basic fear

Following Your Joy – trusting your inner guidance

Forgiving the Past – reclaiming your original innocence

Being Grateful Now – cultivating basic trust

Learning to Receive – being undefended and open

Healing the Future– choosing love over fear

Louise Hay, the author of the international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher with more than 50 million books sold worldwide. For more than 30 years, she has helped people throughout the world discover and implement the full potential of their own creative powers for personal growth and self-healing. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and many other TV and radio programs both in the U.S. and abroad.

Websites: http://www.LouiseHay.com® and http://www.HealYourLife.com®


Robert Holden
, Ph.D.’s innovative work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, a PBS show called Shift Happens!, and a major BBC documentary called How to Be Happy, shown in 20 countries to more than 30 million television viewers. He’s the author of Happiness NOW!, Shift Happens!, Authentic Success (formerly titled Success Intelligence), Be Happy, Loveability, and Holy Shift!: 365 Daily Meditations from A Course in Miracles. He contributes daily to his Facebook page and hosts Shift Happens!, a weekly show for Hay House Radio.

Website: http://www.robertholden.org

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Life Loves You: Why Forgiveness Makes All the Difference in Your Life

Having trouble forgiving? In this heart-warming video with Robert Holden, Ph.D., co-author with Louise Hay of Life Loves You, Robert explains the choice we are called to make in this life and how making that one choice makes all the difference in what appears in our lives. Simply, we decide if we want grievances or miracles in our lives. Find out why forgiveness is not just a word, but a way to start anew and how you can begin to let love back into your life with this simple, yet profound practice from Robert Holden and Louise Hay.

The Power of the Heart: Finding Your True Purpose in Life by Baptist de Pape (Author)

With its unprecedented convocation of eighteen of the world’s greatest spiritual thinkers, writers, and scientists, including Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Paulo Coelho, and Eckhart Tolle, this beautifully designed full-color spiritual guide—which ties into a film of the same name—reveals how you can overcome limitations and fulfill your highest potential.

Baptist de Pape, a young lawyer, was mired in anxiety and fears about his future when he felt the call to investigate the incredible power of the heart and how it can lead us to our true purpose in life. On a quest that took him around the world, de Pape interviewed eighteen living icons—all on camera—including Isabel Allende, Jane Goodall, Marci Shimoff, Marianne Williamson, and Gary Zukav. Generously sharing their touching personal stories as well as profound guidance, these leaders co-created with de Pape a multidimensional, illuminating portrait of the heart as an inexhaustible source of love and wisdom that far surpasses that of the mind.

With exciting spiritual and scientific insights, The Power of the Heart presents fascinating evidence that the heart is more than a physical organ. It possesses its own intelligence, capable of transforming your views of money, health, relationships, and success. Mindfulness exercises and contemplations guide you to activate the heart’s special powers—including intuition, intention, gratitude, forgiveness, and love.

These unforgettable lessons from the world’s greatest teachers will inspire you to find your hidden talents, hear your inner voice, and fulfill your highest purpose in life.

Baptist de Pape is a lawyer turned author and filmmaker who traveled around the globe to interview the world’s greatest teachers in the film and book, The Power of the Heart.

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The Power of the Heart – Official Movie Trailer

From the director of ‘THE SECRET’ comes this unparalleled and life-changing film about the astonishing power and intelligence of your heart. Featuring some of the most inspiring and influential icons of our age including Paulo Coelho, Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Isabel Allende, and Eckhart Tolle, ‘THE POWER OF THE HEART’ – which ties into a book of the same name – is an experience that will lead you to uncover… and rediscover… the treasure in your chest. Visit the Official Website at: http://www.ThePoweroftheHeart.com

EXCLUSIVE: The Power of the Heart, Baptist de Pape

Published on Oct 7, 2014
From the director of The Secret comes this unparalleled and life-changing film about the astonishing power and intelligence of your heart. Featuring some of the most inspiring and influential icons of our age including Paulo Coelho, Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra, Isabel Allende, Deepak Chopra, and Eckhart Tolle, The Power of the Heart – which ties into a book of the same name – presents fascinating evidence that your heart is much more than a physical organ and that it can actually transform your views of money, health, relationships, and success. The Power of the Heart is an experience that will lead you to uncover… and rediscover… the treasure in your chest.

What God Said: The 25 Core Messages of Conversations with God That Will Change Your Life and the World by Neale Donald Walsch [updated Sept 8, 2014]

God’s number one message to the world.

In just five words…

�You’ve got me all wrong.”

Inspired by his nine-book Conversations with God series, many people have asked Neale Donald Walsch to find a way to deliver the most essential pieces of God’s message to us in a more succinct way.

The result is a concise text detailing and expanding just what we need to know about life and how to live it. Bringing their many conversations over the years into sharper focus than ever before, Walsch in What God Said encourages readers to cast aside religious and cultural trappings. To experience life as fallible—and human—beings, open minded, open-hearted, and all-embracing, and to build on, broaden, and enrich our Ancient Story.

But to move forward on this ever-expanding and encompassing spiritual voyage means not only understanding what Walsch considers the most important insights of his Conversations with God, but also applying them in the most practical of ways. And so Walsch has included solid suggestions on how to apply each of the 25 Core Messages in daily life, The author says that should humanity begin carrying these messages forward, starting today, they can literally change the world.

Neale Donald Walsch devotes his time to sharing the messages of his books through writing, lecturing, and facilitating spiritual renewal retreats. The creator of the School of the New Spirituality and founder of The Group of 1000, a nonprofit organization supporting global spiritual awakening, he lives in Ashland, Oregon, and may be contacted through http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com.

THE 25 CORE MESSAGES OF CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD

1. God talks to everyone, all the time. The question is not, to whom does God talk? The question is: Who listens?

2. We are all one. All things are One Thing. There is only One Thing, and all things are part of the One Thing There Is.

3. There’s enough. It is not necessary to compete for, much less fight over, the “stuff of which there is enough.” Simply learn to share it.

4. There’s nothing you have to do. There is much you will do, but nothing that you are required to do. This is because God wants nothing and needs nothing.

5. There are Three Basic Principles of Life: Functionality, Adaptability, and Sustainability.

6. There is no such thing as Right and Wrong, there is only What Works and What Does Not Work, given what it is that you are trying to do. What it is that you are trying to do, and what you will do, shall determine who you are and how you evolve as a species.

7. Every act is an act of self-definition.

8. Love is all there is.

9. You are the creator of your own reality.

10. The Three Tools of Creation are: Thought, Word, and Action.

11. Your life has nothing to do with you. It is about everyone whose life you touch, and how you touch it.

12. You are not your body, you are not your mind, and you are not your soul. You are the unique combination of all three, which comprises the Totality Of You. You are an individuation and an aspect of Divinity; an expression of God on earth.

13. The purpose of your life is to recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are.

14. There is no such thing as Time and Space, there is only Here and Now.

15. There is no such place as hell, and eternal damnation does not exist.

16. Death does not exist. What you call “death” is simply a process of Re-Identification, and no one concludes their present experience of physical life at a time or in a way that is not of their choosing.

17. There are no victims and no villains. The moment you declare anything, everything unlike it will come into the space, not because you are a victim, but because of The Law of Opposites, which produces a Contextual Field within which what you wish to express may be experienced.

18. There is no such thing as Absolute Truth. All truth is subjective. Within this framework there are five levels of truth telling: Tell your truth to yourself about yourself; Tell your truth to yourself about another; Tell your truth about yourself to another; Tell your truth about another to another; Tell your truth to everyone about everything.

19. The human race has created a precise set of illusions. The Ten Illusions of Humans are: Need Exists, Failure Exists, Disunity Exists, Insufficiency Exists, Requirement Exists, Judgment Exists, Condemnation Exists, Conditionality Exists, Superiority Exists, Ignorance Exists. These illusions serve humanity when it knows how to use them.

20. The Three Core Concepts of Holistic Living are Honesty, Awareness, and Responsibility. Live according to these precepts and self-anger will disappear from your life.

21. Life functions within a Be-Do-Have paradigm. Most people have this backward,imagining that first one must “have” things in order to “do” things, thus to “be” what they wish to be. Reversing this process is the fastest way to experience mastery in living.

22. There are Three Levels of Awareness: Hope, Faith, and Knowing. Spiritual mastery is about living from the third level.

23. There are Five Fallacies about God that create crisis, violence, killing and war. First, the idea that God needs something. Second, the idea that God can fail to get what He needs. Third, the idea that God has separated you from Him because you have not given Him what He needs. Fourth, the idea that God still needs what He needs so badly that God now requires you, from your separated position, to give it to Him. Fifth, the idea that God will destroy you if you do not meet His requirements.

24. There are also Five Fallacies About Life that likewise produce crisis, violence, killing and war. First, the idea that human beings are separate from each other. Second, the idea that there is not enough of what human beings need to be happy. Third, the idea that in order to get the stuff of which there is not enough, human beings must compete with each other. Fourth, the idea that some human beings are better than other human beings. Fifth, the idea that it is appropriate for human beings to resolve severe differences created by all the other fallacies by killing each other.

25. Your experience of yourself and your world will change overnight if you adopt, collectively, the Five Steps to Peace:

Permit yourself to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.

Explore the possibility that there is something you do not fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything.

Announce that you are willing for new understandings of God and Life to now be brought forth, understandings that could produce a new way of life on this planet.

Courageously examine these new understandings and, if they align with your personal inner truth and knowing, enlarge your belief system to include them.

Express your life as a demonstration of your highest beliefs, rather than as a denial of them.

Click here to browse inside.

Neale Donald Walsch on Manifestation

Published on Dec 9, 2012

Full 30 minute interview at http://www.SoulSessions.org.
Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations With God (Book I) sold more than 7.5 million copies and stayed on the New York Times best sellers list for a phenomenon 137 weeks. His latest project, The Global Conversation, poses 7 questions that Walsch hopes will change our cultural story to create a reality much closer to a type of heaven here on earth. “Food, water and energy will become major crisis points unless we wake up and change the way we are doing life here on earth,” he says. “Seek thee first the kingdom of heaven and all else will be added unto you.” Check out Eloise’s conversation with Neale Donald Walsch at SoulSessions.org.

We have God all wrong – Neale Donald Walsch

Your Year for Change : 52 Reflections for Regret-Free Living ~ Bronnie Ware

Pub Date Oct 14 2014


Having spent several years listening to, and then writing about, the regrets of dying people, Bronnie Ware understands the importance of acknowledging death and finding the courage to live a happy and authentic life in the meantime.

In this tender yet influential collection, Bronnie Ware shares 52 inspiring stories, woven among observations from her daily life, strengthening you with the values needed for regret-free living. You can read one story a week or read them all right through. Either way, Bronnie’s ability to open your eyes to new perspectives will also open your heart to new strengths and dreams. Your Year for Change is a gentle and powerful book that will leave you determined to embrace your life, forgive your past, honor your heart, and create a regret-free future of happiness and wonder.

Bronnie Ware is an author, songwriting teacher, and speaker from Australia. Her inspiring memoir, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, has connected with hearts all over the world, with translations in 27 languages. Bronnie lives in rural Australia and loves balance, simple living, health-loving food, and waking up to the songs of birds.

Bowse here

A Little Something – Bronnie Ware

A Little Something was originally conceived long ago, intended as a photography and inspirational book. Over time though, it took on a life of its own, finally evolving into this clip, an eBook, and the accompanying song!

An Interview with Arianna Huffington By Suza Scalora


On April 6, 2007, Arianna Huffington experienced a massive wakeup call, collapsing in her office due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. When she came to in a pool of her own blood, she realized she was not living, as she puts it, “a successful life based on any sane definition.” The day of this interview, Huffington, the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, found that her new book Thrive View Here had just debuted on the New York Times best-seller list at number one.

In Thrive, Huffington recounts the impetus for her own personal journey inward to find balance, inner peace and a new definition for success she calls, “the Third Metric.” In her new book, Huffington lays out a road map to a new and sane definition of success, based on her learning that “life is shaped from the inside out.” Thrive includes the latest science and research on wellbeing, the wisdom and wonder of poets and ancient philosophers and the healing benefits of the gift that keeps on giving, namely giving.

In your new book Thrive, you address the current definition of success, which is based on money and power. You’ve introduced the Third Metric, which focuses on caring for your inner being.

The first two metrics of success do not create a fulfilling life, and that’s why we need the Third Metric, which consists of four pillars. Well-being and health is the first pillar, because it’s a foundation, and yet so often through burnout, exhaustion and sleep deprivation — we sacrifice our well-being on the altar of the first two metrics of success — money and power. The second pillar is wisdom. How do we connect with our inner wisdom, how do we connect with our intuition, so that we are not at the mercy of external circumstances all the time?

It’s what Eckhart Tolle talks about when he says let go of defining yourself by external metrics, and don’t be concerned how others define you. When we connect with our own inner wisdom it’s much easier to do that. And, the third metric is wonder—being able to acknowledge the beauty around us in every moment. Seeing the beauty in everything ordinary, and not to be so buried in multi-tasking that we miss the moment.

That’s really at the heart of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, when he says, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” That’s at the heart of wonder.

The fourth pillar is giving…
Giving, which completes the circle, because if we just lead a narcissistic existence, we can never be truly happy. In fact, there is new scientific evidence that I include in the book, which shows that our genes are wired for us to be giving, and when we are giving all the inflammatory markers that are the precursors of disease decrease. When our happiness is purely based on self-gratification, the inflammatory markers increase.

Being connected to yourself on a deeper level is really what Thrive is all about. What are your daily practices to infuse presence into your life to stay connected to your inner being?

It starts with something very simple, and this is getting enough sleep. After my wake-up call when I collapsed from exhaustion and burnout — I broke my cheekbone and got four stitches on my right eye — I went from four to five hours of sleep, to seven to eight hours of sleep a night. That was very important for me. Everybody needs a different amount of sleep, but getting the required amount of sleep is essential to our well-being and we now have science that proves it’s like a miracle drug.

The second thing is that I meditate every day. In the book, I have small tips, small daily practices, and at the end of the well-being section I recommend that people start with five minutes of meditation. Even the tiniest amount of time spent with ourselves can help us recognize that we are more than our daily activities, and help us acquaint ourselves with our essence.

The third thing is I try to do something physical: working out, walking now that the weather is getting better — I love having walking meetings, instead of sitting in my office having meetings. When I’m in LA I love to go hiking with my friends. Everyone who is in the better shape talks on the way up and the rest talk on the way down.

Can you talk about your decision to bring Eckhart Tolle to the Huffington Post?

The Huffington Post is prioritizing its coverage with many sections devoted to how to help people thrive. We wanted to have the most significant spiritual teachers on the Huffington Post, and so we’re thrilled to have a section dedicated to Eckhart’s teachings.

When you read Eckhart Tolle’s books, what was it that resonated with you and how have his teachings made a difference in your life?

It was actually at the time when my life was filled with ‘time famine.’ I was longing for this inner stillness, and there was something in The Power of Now that made it so clear to me that the inner stillness is actually essential for creation. As you know, I’ve always been a writer, and then launching the Huffington Post, I realized that unconsciously we are operating under a cultural delusion that we need to be driving ourselves into the ground, in order to be productive and creative. I remember in The Power of Now, Eckhart writes that all true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of inner stillness. When we get caught up in the stress of our daily lives, and completing our projects, and getting through our to-do list, this is something we forget.

In your book, you write about the “obnoxious roommate”—the in voice your head. Eckhart talks about our inner critic. Sometimes, we don’t recognize the “obnoxious roommate,” living in our head, because we are so accustomed to this inner dialogue.

Yes. Coming to terms with the “obnoxious roommate,” means, first of all, recognizing that we all have that inner voice, but the voice is not who we are. We need to recognize that we are not that voice of self-doubt and anxiety, the voice that puts us down, that questions our dreams. When we listen to that voice and treat it with a sense of humor, rather than identifying with it and believing it, then it begins to lose its power. So now, my “obnoxious roommate,” only makes guest appearances, while it used to be a completely constant presence.

I love this quote by Iain Thomas that you included in Thrive, “And everyday, the world will drag you be the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what is important.”

I love it because it’s so important to remember that while the world provides plenty of insistent, flashing, high-volume signals directing us to make more money and climb higher up the ladder, there are almost no worldly signals reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are, to take care of ourselves along the way, to reach out to others, to pause to wonder, and to connect to that place from which everything is possible. To quote my Greek compatriot Archimedes: “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the world.”

Suza Scalora is a certified high performance life empowerment coach, speaker, writer and best-selling author. She specializes in the development and delivery of dynamic coaching programs and products to cultivate mindfulness and positive sustainable change. A skilled teacher and instructor with experience facilitating transformative personal and professional development workshops for The International Center for Photography, The Omega Institute in New York, and the Center for Living Peace. She is also the curator and editor for the Eckhart Tolle – Huffington Post Channel, contributing writer for the Eckhart Tolle newsletter, and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post.

Suza is a co-founder and the Educational Program Director of The Whole Purpose, a company that offers individuals and corporations, an innovative approach to physical and emotional well-being through Mindful Wellness and Conscious Communication.

Suza is the co-founder of the non-profit, Love 365, a workshop-based organization designed to support and educate people in cultivating loving relationships with one’s self.

Suza is the best-selling author of The Fairies (1999), chosen by NEWSWEEK magazine as one of the 10 best picture books of 1999. Suza’s other books include: The Witches and Wizards Of Oberin‚ published in 2001 by Harper Collins and Evidence of Angels, published in 2009 by Harper Collins.

Boundless Love: Transforming Your Life with Grace and Inspiration by Miranda Holden

An accessible and practical guide to opening your inner world – and transforming your life

Writing from her personal experience, Miranda Holden (now Macpherson) shows that nurturing an authentic soul life brings a level of power, wisdom, strength, and vision beyond what is commonly available, and that it can transform a life of struggle into one of exceptional ease, depth, and joy. She communicates in a very accessible way using ideas and methods that would otherwise take years of meditation, wading through mystic texts, and many hours of therapy. Accessing the spirit within can provide us with peace, true stability, and meaning in a fast changing world where business, conventional religion, and family life are fast being altered beyond recognition.

Click here to take a look inside.

Nondual Awakening with Miranda Macpherson

Nondual awakening is a matter of removing the obstacles that close us off from the depth of our own being. The practice of going in and through our direct experience to meet whatever we find naturally loosens and dissolves ego identifications.

Boundless Realization by Miranda Macpherson

Deep realization is not just a blissful state, it includes all states, just as the earth’s atmosphere includes all types of weather.

Miranda Macpherson – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview
Miranda Macpherson is a spiritual teacher, counsellor and author of ‘Boundless love’. Known for her depth of presence and refined capacity as a guide into direct experience of the sacred, Miranda teaches and transmits a powerful synthesis of self-inquiry, depth psychology, devotion and meditation. Inspired by Ramana Maharshi, A Course in Miracles, and extensive study into the world’s wisdom traditions, Miranda has over twenty years teaching experience internationally. In 1996 she founded the ground breaking ‘Interfaith Foundation’ in London, and during her 10 years as spiritual director she trained and ordained over 600 ministers and spiritual counselors. She is now based in the San Fransisco Bay Area, and leads retreats and ongoing programs internationally for those wanting to substantially deepen their practice. Miranda offers an integrated and feminine approach to non-dual realization oriented at facilitating direct spiritual experience while providing a practical foundation for authentic transformation. Her clarity and love offers a deep holding in which to rest undefended in the present, taste deeper levels of consciousness and discover how to embody wisdom in daily life.

Book: Boundless Love: Transforming Your Life with Grace and Inspiration

CDs: ‘The Heart of Being’ — Mantra CD ‘Awakening the Soul’ — Meditation CD

Website: http://mirandamacpherson.com

Interview recorded 12/21/2013

No Problem: Turning the Next Corner in Your Spiritual Life Robert J. Wicks

With total book sales of more than 200,000 copies, spiritual teacher Robert J. Wicks brings his characteristic warmth and insight to his newest book, No Problem: Turning the Next Corner in Your Spiritual Life, an “inner workshop” for the soul. He shows readers that personal transformation is attainable through a simple, day-by-day process of identifying and turning the next corner of his or her spiritual life.

For Robert Wicks, forward motion in the spiritual life is “no problem.” All it takes is the right perspective and a little bit of knowledge—both of which he provides through his book’s three-part structure: twenty lessons, three doorways, and thirty daily exercises. Wicks’s twenty lessons are bite-sized and practical, and he shows how the two great commandments (love God, love others) and the parable of the Good Samaritan form doorways to spiritual riches. In part three, Wicks provides the tools and coaching for readers to conduct their own inner workshops. In these thirty spiritual exercises, Wicks invites his readers to acknowledge, accept, and start where they are, employing simple practices and assuring that God’s grace will carry them around the next spiritual corner.
Features & Benefits:
Robert J. Wicks’s books with Ave Maria Press/Sorin Books have sold more than 200,000 copies.
Readers who feel stuck in their spiritual lives will find a variety of helpful suggestions for moving forward.
Wicks has published more than forty books. Among his recent popular books are Riding the Dragon (lifetime sales of more than 50,000 copies) and Crossing the Desert (lifetime sales of more than 18,000 copies).
Robert J. Wicks, who received his doctorate in psychology from Hahnemann Medical College, is on the faculty of Loyola University Maryland. Wicks has taught in universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, social work, nursing, and theology. He was responsible for the psychological debriefing of relief workers following the Rwandan civil war and also worked with relief teams in Cambodia. Additionally, he delivered presentations at Walter Reed Army Hospital to health care professionals involved in caring for Iraqi war veterans with amputations and severe head injuries. He has authored more than fifty books, including Streams of Contentment and Riding the Dragon.
Robert J. Wicks discusses his latest book, “Streams of Contentment”

Robert J. Wicks, Psy.D., professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola University Maryland, talks about his latest book, “Streams of Contentment.” Wicks offers readers a simple prescription for finding contentment: have low expectations and high hopes, recognize that a little silence and solitude is no small thing, and discover the surprising power of humility.

1.Tears of Recognition – one way our souls speak to us. 2. What is your life consecrated to? ~ Richard Moss


Richard talks about why we should listen to our tears of recognition. It is the soul saying this is what matters. When we listen we know why we are here. What our lives are consecrated to.

What is your life consecrated to?

Richard speaks about what it means to live a consecrated life.

Allow Your Light to Fill the Darkness: A Primer to Living the Light within Us According to the Tao by Daniel Frank

How do we recognize error in our thinking? How can we enjoy the spiritual benefits of practicing our religion while not condemning the religion of others? These questions, and so much more, are addressed in the eighty-one commentaries included in this book. These commentaries refer to, but are independent of, the illuminating and compelling essay collection about Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, as voiced in Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

Living “right,” according to the Tao, anticipates that we have both the understanding needed to make right choices and the knowledge to recognize the types of behavior that are important for us to change. However, of equal or greater significance to these skills are the feelings that drive our internal motivation at our center. Many of us need to learn the life lessons that keep popping up as issues in our lives. They keep resurfacing again and again until we finally recognize the lessons and actually learn them. We know we have really been learning our lessons when we notice that our intentions are genuinely beginning to change. Not learning them holds us hostage and keeps us repeating the same dumb behavior.

Each commentary has at least one labeled graphic that represents one or more aspect of the main idea of each section. The purpose of these graphics is to provide visualization for what otherwise might remain more abstract . We have absolutely no concept of how the connections we feel and know to be real actually come about, between ourselves and others, between us and the happenings of life, or between us and God. We often describe these feelings or experiences as resulting from some type of energy, but what might that really mean? Reflecting this unexplainable, invisible, but vital connection on the written page through symbolism provides our minds with a crutch to assist understanding and recall.

Although the illustrations as drawn may have little or no basis in the facts, as they are accepted today, or even as new discoveries may reveal, the understanding of the concepts that develop through their use helps us apply the “gems” that Lao-tzu speaks of in the Tao, to our lives.

With a modest upbringing and supportive parents, Daniel Frank completed his teacher training at the age of eighteen and started his nonstop forty-two-year teaching career the following year. He acquired his BA and BEd while working full time. In January of 1978, his interests led him to a course offered at the local secondary school based on the book How Should We Then Live? by Francis A. Schaeffer, a “theologian and philosopher . . . [with] forty years of intensive study of humanism and Christian truths” It stirred something within him to search for more answers to the question asked by the title of Schaeffer’s book. Although many of the authors he has read to date have contributed to the view of God he holds today, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer tops the list.

Click here to browse inside.

Aside

Living With Saints and Sages by Devadas T. Chelvam (Author)

Living with Saints and Sages is a bridge that connects spiritual masters from various religions or without any religion, focusing on their whole-hearted commitment to realize the true meaning of life. Clarifying the common confusions concerning religion, the book provides the reader with the clear concepts conducive to steady progress in the art of living. “The joy and love that pervades these individual narratives seem so natural and immediate that we can’t help feeling that this is how our Creator would wish to deal with each and every one of us . . . To read this book is to sense that God is offering us a ‘Romance with the Infinite'” -Dr. Quincy Howe, Professor of Classics and Religion

Devadas Chelvam studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York, Columbia University, and Fordham to earn master’s degrees in theology and sociology. Initially a Catholic priest in Sri Lanka and the United Sates, then an agnostic, and now he accepts that all the people are marching towards Truth, though their paths may differ widely.

Click here to browse inside

Living with Saints and Sages by Devadas Chelvam

Overview
Living with Saints and Sages is a bridge that connects spiritual masters from various religions or without any religion, focusing on their whole-hearted commitment to realize the true meaning of life.

Clarifying the common confusions concerning religion, the book provides the reader with the clear concepts conducive to steady progress in the art of living.
“The joy and love that pervades these individual narratives seem so natural and immediate that we can’t help feeling that this is how our Creator would wish to deal with each and every one of us … To read this book is to sense that God is offering us a ‘Romance with the Infinite'”
-Dr. Quincy Howe, Professor of Classics and Religion

Frank Strock’s Interview with the author of Living with Saints and Sages – Devdas Chelvam

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