Category: Presence / Now


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

Published on Nov 3, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle acquaints us with our real selves! We are Consciousness and not the mind, and hence unhappiness is optional!

Published on Nov 1, 2017

Presence has no requirements, explains Eckhart. When we’re rooted in Presence, we’re no longer swayed by the changing circumstances of our lives.

dyashanti – Sensing Your own Presence (Beautiful Talk)

Check out this talk of him explaining what it is like to be awake:

Published on Oct 24, 2017

Guidance in trusting the deeper self and the wisdom it emanates.

Published on Oct 24, 2017

 Rather than grasping for any state of experience, what if you were to always simply let go into the moment of now? Adyashanti explores how impactful moments of realization help you to see a deeper reality about the profound, ever-present here and now — the most valuable place to be.

Video Excerpted from “Coming Down the Mountain”:

Quotes from this Video:

“Impactful moments are important. They are moments when we get out of our own way and see life through a different lens or through no lens at all.”

“Why do I always end up back here? Maybe I end up back here because here is the most valuable true real place to be. Maybe here is where it’s all about.”

“Look at here a little more closely, and don’t be so obsessed with trying to be there.”

Published on Oct 23, 2017

In this video, Eckhart Tolle acquaints us with the Peace which lies beyond thinking!

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

Donna Quesada:
Leonard, is it necessary to have a spiritual teacher?

Some people are naturally like that, but what about those who want to wake up? Is it possible to self direct?

Leonard Jacobson: Well, I had my first awakening without any spiritual teacher. Of course, without any preparation for what happened to me. And what was interesting for me was, after I had this very powerful awakening that lasted for weeks in a completely altered state…I wasn’t prepared for it and I didn’t know what it really was, so in a way, my journey began after my first awakening.

DONNA: Could you share something of your journey with us? Would you be willing to?

LEONARD: I will briefly, but I just want to complete what I’m saying right now, which is in a way…I wanted to know what happened to me because it was so amazing. It was so wonderful. But I didn’t know what it was. So, then I began reading books by spiritual teachers. I visited a few different teachers…a few different masters to try and discover what had happened. And slowly, slowly it became clear. I was able to open up to that level again in a more gentle way. If you want to know about my first awakening…just very,very briefly…it’s just my story. It’s just another story. But back in 1989, I was attending a retreat. I didn’t know the teacher. I didn’t know any one there. I thought I’d just have a nice vacation. Something to do. And during this experience, I went through some very powerful emotional healings and I noticed I was becoming more and more present throughout these seven days of the retreat. But I didn’t know what it was. But I could see auras around trees, I could see auras around people. There were all sorts of mysterious things that happened. And then at the end of this retreat I had a significant opening which I won’t go into details about. But I was completely and utterly intoxicated with love. Very much like I imagine Francis of Asissi must have been. I was in the company of saints and saviors. I was being taken through a healing of my own childhood, my own past. All sorts of revelations were coming through about what had happened to me and how I’d gone astray. And then, it sort of generalized into what has happened to all of us. How the world had gone astray. And then all of a sudden the whole thing morphed and changed into…suddenly, I was in the presence of God. Don’t ask me how I knew that. But before this moment I was somewhere between atheist and agnostic. And then suddenly, in an instant, I was in the presence of God and all sorts of amazing things happened.

And that awakening lasted for maybe three or four weeks. I couldn’t function normally and had to be taken care of. I was in this completely altered state. And then it slowly settled down and I actually began teaching at that point and sharing what had happened with me. Three years later, I had a second awakening. More powerful than the first and then three years after that I had another awakening, more powerful than the first three. The first two…if I was to describe them…upon reflection because I didn’t know what they were at the time…I would say the first one was a massive opening into enlightenment…an opening of the heart. Because it was so characterized by intense, overwhelming love and oneness and God.

The second was an opening into Christ consciousness…because I experienced all these revelations about Christ and Christ on the cross and what really happened on the cross. And the third awakening, again, was totally over the top. I didn’t invite them. I didn’t want them. And I didn’t hold on to them. But they did last quite a while.

The third one was an extraordinary opening into God Consciousness. There is no way I can describe that to you. It was like a journey in one instant, from the beginning to the end and the end to the beginning. Everything just opening up. All these ascended masters somehow in my presence. I don’t know how that all works but it was life altering. I’ve never been the same since. It’s a little difficult for me to remember who I used to be.

DONNA: Thank you for sharing that. And you know…it’s interesting. You mentioned that you felt a kinship or a closeness to Jesus and his experience during one of your own experiences. And there is an expression I like, that “all rivers lead to the sea.” And as a seeker and someone who loves all of these wisdom traditions, I love it because it reminds us that all these traditions or religious paths are not antagonistic to one another. But rather, behind them there is a similarity…there is a pearl…there is a jewel that is the same. And truth that stands regardless of the facade. Would you speak to that?

LEONARD: First of all, I agree with you. And at the very core of all spiritual traditions…the very core of all religions is a very deep truth that is being revealed by the founders of that religion. Whether it’s Buddha, whether it’s Jesus, whether it’s Krishna, whatever. Or Mohammed. There is a core of essential truth there. But the founders of those paths, traditions or religions, experienced directly and tried to share as best they could. And these truths were emerging from the center of their beings. So, it wasn’t coming from the mind. Expressions from the truth, from presence, from God, from oneness, from mystery. The problem is when you take those truths that are expressed from presence, from God, from the mystery and you’re not in that state of consciousness yourself…but you take those truths and try to practice those truths.

DONNA: Or preach, themselves…

LEONARD: Or preach them. Now you have religion. Religion is attempt by those who are not aware to practice the truth of those that were aware. And it cannot work and it just creates more separation and more division and then you have the Jews wanting to kill these ones. And the Muslims wanting to kill these ones. It’s all insane. The Truth is, there is only one God. And if these three religions could recognize that…realize they are complementary to each other. Then we’d have a different world we live in. But because they are separate where they are, it’s creating a tremendous energy of separation and it’s thrown duality out of balance. And now we are all rust…in that state of imbalance and duality. And our politics are reflecting that. How out of balance we are, in the world. The whole of humanity is out of balance.

DONNA: If I can jump into the process now…if you’ll allow me. You spoke of a two step process of Awakening. I’m interested to know more about that and also the ego’s role as an obstructer. Why does the ego dislike presence so much? And how does that fit into your two step process, if you would?

LEONARD: First, I’ll talk about the process and then I’ll talk about the ego, as well. And I’ll make it very, very brief. The briefer it is, the more simple it is. When you’re in the mind or in the story or in the dream, you’re somewhere in the past or future. That’s a simple statement of truth. All thought takes you into that world of the past or future…because all thought is past or future. And if you believe in those thoughts, or opinions, beliefs… then you get locked in prison within the world of the mind. There is really no way out. So that’s the situation the whole of humanity finds itself in—in prison…of the world of the mind not knowing the way out. In order for you and any of your viewers to come out of the world of the mind…out of the past and future…it’s so simple: You just bring yourself present with something that is already here in the moment with you. It’s of the present moment, which you can see. It’s of the present moment. If you can hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it, smell it…it’s of the present moment. It’s really here. You’re not imagining it. You’re not remembering it. It’s really here.

DONNA: So that is the first step? To get into something here that the senses can perceive?

LEONARD: Exactly. The moment you adjust your focus and tune them into something that is here, rather than going wherever the mind is taking you…in a way, you correct that and bring yourself back without any struggle. No practice. No trying. It’s very gentle. You just bring yourself present with something that is here in the moment. Now, you could close your eyes. And because your body is breathing…because your body can only breathe in the present moment…you could be present with something you hear. This moment. I could say, “who is hearing a sound in this moment?” I am. “Who is present…aware of the body breathing in this moment?” I am. “Who is looking out through the eyes…looking with me in this moment?” I am.

It is the I am that is the awakened you. It’s the true master. Now here is the irony. Everyone on the planet is already a fully awakened being. Always has been. Always will be. It’s already here. Always has been. But to the extent that you become absorbed into the world of the mind…which we all have…then you disconnect from the truth that is ever present within you. So, awakening is not about creating something that is not here—it’s about finding your way out of the world of illusion, into the simplicity and truth revealed through this moment. You are the revealer of truth. You are the redeemer of oneness. You are the revealer of heaven on Earth. That’s who you really are. And I can say that to everyone on the planet. That’s who you really are. Have you forgotten who you are? And the truth is, yes, we’ve all forgotten. We’ve all become disconnected as we’ve become more and more absorbed into this story, this dream…this world of the mind. And then we stay there, not realizing that we are further and further from the truth.

DONNA: So are there degrees of unplugging from the center of I am? Are some people further lost than others?

LEONARD: Oh, absolutely. The further you are lost in the mind, the more insane you are. And I think that’s been demonstrated over and over again in our world. I won’t mention any names.

DONNA: So presence would be the first step then?

LEONARD The first step in the two parts to the path of Awakening. Mastering the art of being present. And it’s as simple as…you notice when you are thinking. That’s okay. You’re not going to hell. Because you are already there. So you just notice you are thinking, without any resistance to the thought. You just bring yourself back and bring yourself present with the moment. Even if it only lasts three seconds. The thoughts come back again. That’s okay. “Thinking”… and then back you come to presence. It could be something you see in the moment. It could be movement. There are so many ways to be present. We can be present washing the dishes. What I say to people is, when there is no need to be thinking, be present. When it’s appropriate to be thinking, then think clearly and well. But don’t get lost in that world of thought.

DONNA: Is that the same as being mindful? That’s become a buzzword these days. Is that mindfulness?

LEONARD: I’ve never really gone into that. For me, it’s not the same. But I can’t speak with great authority. Mindfulness experts talk about that. But my sense of it is, presence is deeper than mindfulness because if you’re being mindful than I have to ask, “who is being mindful?” Who is aware of what is arising within the mind? So the question you ask, “who is mindful?” Brings us back to, “I am.” So really, the I am presence is the awakened you. Now, I’m not sure that mindfulness will take you to the I am presence that you are. That’s for others to determine. But in this teaching, the goal is not to be mindful, the goal is to awaken into the truth of who you are. And then, of course, you are mindful which means, I’m present…when a thought arises, I am witness to that. I’m not for it, not against it. So, who is present? “I am.” It’s becoming grounded in the I am presence. Now, if you were to ask me, “who is present?” “I am.” There is nothing beyond that. Or, shall I say, there is nothing or nothingness beyond that. This point here…I am trying to show you with my hands. At the very deepest level, who you are is pure consciousness…beyond form and beyond contact. You can’t think about that. But that is who you are at the very deepest level. For me, the non-dualists take it too far and dismiss what I call Heaven on Earth, and say it’s not real.

DONNA: I see how it takes you deeper than what is usually referred to as mindfulness. It reminds me of something I heard once…let’s see if I get it right…that mindfulness is not concentration; it’s the awareness of when you’ve lost concentration. So, it’s almost like a lighter level of watching and awareness. But you want to bring us deeper than that.

LEONARD: Who is watching? This is all still the first step. It’s all about what it feels like to be present and what it’s like to be present. You see, most people who are seeking enlightenment…they are looking for bliss or ecstasy. Or some kind of liberation from the pain that’s in their story. As far as I’m concerned, that’s me, me, me…the ego involved. What’s in it for me? I want bliss. That is still what’s in it for me.

DONNA: What is your idea of bliss?

LEONARD: It’s very likely bliss will arise when you are present, but that is not what it’s about. If you are feeling bliss, I say “who’s feeling bliss?” “I am.” What is beyond the bliss? Perfect, infinite, eternal, silence. Perfect, infinite, eternal, peace. Acceptance…compassion. Now…I’m describing God. Now…I’m describing when you come into oneness with God. That very, very deep level of Awakened Presence. You see, what I say is, “God is real…God is here, now.” But we are not. We are lost in the past and future world of the mind. If you want to experience the living presence of God and all things present, you have to come to where God is…which is in the present moment. God is the Present moment, revealed. Do you have to call it “God?” No. But, I don’t know what else to call it. Whenever I call it “God,” it seems to open it up even more.

DONNA: I like the word.

LEONARD: Most people have to go through the process of decontaminating that word before they can experience the word God in it’s pure form. Contamination is put upon us by all kinds of religions.

DONNA: I like that! “Decontaminating it.”

LEONARD: What I say is that, believing in God is for those who don’t know God.

DONNA: That’s beautiful. I read that in your book.

LEONARD: And you can know God directly if you become present enough. Then you come into God’s world. I call it God’s world…the world of here and now…compared with the world of the mind.

DONNA: And so…Step Two.

Leonard: Step Two is all about coming out of the present and the future. Out of the mind and into presence. Because we are so habituated to living within the mind. We’re so addicted to thinking. It’s usually a very short time before they pull back into the story…into the dream…into the mind…back to that limited level of consciousness. Step Two involves bringing awareness into how that happens—witnessing how you are pulled out of presence and taking responsibility for that. How does it happen that you are pulled out of presence involuntarily? What is still unhealed within you that keeps you in the story? For example, judgment. Are you still caught up in judgment?…because that will keep you in the separation. So, Step Two really leads to mastery of the mind and ego. It’s not enough to be present. That’s enough for the cow or the donkey. But we humans have to master another fundamental step, which is…Yes, I’m present, but I’m also a master of my mind and ego.

So, I can no longer be involuntarily pulled out. So, that is Step Two. I’ve made Step Two very, very easy and simple…just four things to watch out for.

Continued in Part III

Source: AWAKEN

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. 

In this video, Eckhart Tolle says that there are no problems, but only challenges and these challenges are here to awaken us!

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh

Your mind is probably running too much – just like mine is. Sometimes it just worries about the most random things that don’t really matter. Well, here are a few simple practices that you can do easily throughout your day in order to pause your monkey mind and feel the joy of the present moment.

1. Walking

Get into your body and feel yourself walking. Walk with 100% attention in your leg muscles. Notice the way your feet roll across the ground. Feel your center of balance moving forward. Walking is actually a repetitive falling forward motion. Embrace your swinging arms and the air softly moving through your hands. Step with purpose. Getting this focused into the simple act of walking will definitely ground you into the present moment.

2. Look up at the stars

It’s no question that looking into a clear night sky can humble any person. You are a tiny speck on a tiny planet amidst the vast canvas of space. Embrace the night sky with your entire heart and glimpse at the infinite part of you. The universe is just like a mirror. Stare up and look at your awesomeness. You will feel yourself become very present, peaceful, and joyous.

3. Smell a flower

If you see a flower, don’t shrug it off. Appreciate it. Allow the flower to bring you right into the now, out of your head, and into it’s blessed fragrance. I always do this. There is an impulse in me to approach every flower I see. People may give me funny looks, but that’s okay, they don’t know what they’re missing.

4. Take a hot shower

Showers are incredibly refreshing. Having the sensations of flowing hot water run all over your body is a magical sensory experience. Many people take showers without thinking about it – or they are just planning their day ahead. But there is a better way. Get present. Get in your body and feel the uniqueness of the experience. Showers are a great daily meditation (and you will smell good too!).

5. Embrace your art or craft

Whether writing, drawing, painting, playing music, anything! Enjoy it completely and so utterly that your mind is emptied into the presence of your concentration – your flow, into that one creative practice. I do this when I improvise on my ukulele, just feeling the notes flow from my fingers to my ears. No planning, no thinking, no stress. Just music. This is a wonderful way to become present.

6. Exercise or run

Get your blood pumping. Many people I know just love running to clear their head. Start moving your body (notice the theme here – your body brings you into the present in so many ways). Even running for 10 minutes can do wonders for your health, energy levels, and calming the monkey mind. If running isn’t an option, then try doing yoga, lifting weights, or just jumping up and down on your bed for a few minutes. 🙂

7. Admire nature

Mother Nature is beautiful. Go into nature and let the scenery invade your senses. Often times I like going out into the forest, where I can be surrounded by calmness and being. The trees are not trying hard. They are not worrying. You can sense their peacefulness. Allowing the birds singing to echo in your mind, the leaves rustling in the wind, all of it, bringing you into a meditative state. Nature is divine.

8. Smile at people

You are a people! Smile at yourself. Smile at others. I can not tell you how many times a smile has completely brought me out of my head – out of my own little world – and deeply into the present moment shared with another soul. Sometimes a stranger and I lock eyes, and we smile, and everything else melts away. We don’t know each other at all, but we share something within. We share this moment. And the moment is a joyous place, where smiles are born. Smile at everyone. 🙂

9. Laugh

Going hand in hand with smiles, go and laugh. Laughter is a wonderful meditation! In fact, there are lots of people who do “laughter yoga.” What a funny practice. Literally. Whether you’re with friends exchanging silly stories, inside jokes, or watching viral youtube videos (much more fun when watching with others) you can laugh your ass off. Try it. I guarantee you won’t be worrying about anything while you’re rolling on the floor with sore abs.

10. Watch kids play

In a non-creepy way please lol. Kids are perfect examples of living without worry. They are so present and they don’t hold back what they say. They question, they wonder, they have a unique and fresh perspective. Look at them play, doing the most random insignificant things that amuse them. Making up games, creating invisible friends, and embracing their imaginations. In many ways, kids are wiser than we are. They haven’t forgotten to have fun. Try being around kids and watch your inner child-like wonder begin to surface.

11. Cloud gazing

If you’re not convinced how awesome clouds are, just sign up for Instagram. Clouds are an ever-shifting entertainment of nature. Sort of like stars, they remind me of my smallness, yet my significance. That I am here to admire their shifting shapes. Looking at clouds has always been an exercise in imagination too. As a kid, we always tried to pick out shapes. You may have done this too. Try it out.

12. Pet your cat or dog

Get as present as your cat or dog. They don’t care about anything except dangling shoe strings, red lasers, and tennis balls (or frisbees in my dog Clipper’s case). Animals are so chilled out. They are unconditionally loving and it will rub off on you if you let it. Take a de-stress break, call your animal, and just be with it for a minute. Don’t have any pets? Pet your neighbors. Don’t have neighbors? Go to the animal shelter.

13. Look at your hands

You have fingers! WOAH. And thumbs! Look at your hands and fingers. You are an incredible human body. The mere fact that you can navigate around the world, pick up things, interact, touch and hold others, create things, and express yourself is amazing. Appreciate deeply the fact that you can see and feel yourself. You are alive. Be present with that fact for a moment.

14. Go all in

Go ALL INto your senses. You can create a burst of clarity by entering your senses completely. It’s like emptying your mind quickly and letting only your senses flood your awareness. It’s not thinking. Stepping back from the labels we paint all over the world and instead of seeing everything directly. It’s kind of hard to explain, but imagine being on a diving board, looking into the water below. Your mind is usually up there on the diving board, looking into the murky water of experience because everything goes through so many filters and labels. Going all in is a mental dive into the water of your senses. Submerging yourself completely in the now, instead of watching it from above with your mind.

Source: Purpose Fairy

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