Ascension Meditation, with Thomas Howell (Ishtar Ishaya)

Thomas Howell (Ishtar Ishaya) is a teacher of Ascension Meditation. In this interview he takes us through his fascinating life, from recalling early spiritual experiences, through tragedy and a near death experience, to spiritual exploration and a settling on Ascension

Thomas explains that he chose Ascension as a practice as it seeks to charm the mind with praise, gratitude and love, as opposed to using control or discipline. He found this gentle approach opened up profound states of non-dual awareness

Thomas Hübl – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on 27 Dec 2018

Thomas Hübl is a modern mystic, spiritual teacher, author, and systems-thinker. His work integrates the essence of the great wisdom traditions, scientific knowledge, and his own personal experience.

Thomas offers a unique approach to life as a ‘mystic in the marketplace’ and helps people to attain a deeper level of self-awareness and personal relationship and to transcend a ‘culture of the personal’ and a self-centered worldview. Through his work, people from all walks of life learn how to become a living expression of spirit and how to participate in ‘we cultures’ through an embodied inner and outer connection.

His teachings combine transformation through the integration of trauma, somatic sensitization, advanced meditative practice, and a deepening understanding of cultural processes. Since 2004, Thomas’ leading-edge work has spread worldwide through workshops, multi-year training programs, and online courses. The non-profit ‘Celebrate Life Festival‘ brings together more than 1,200 people every year and has showcased a wide network of experts in various disciplines, through dialogue and exchange. In 2008 Thomas founded the ‘Academy of Inner Science’. This provided a framework for dialogue between the inner science of consciousness and the external scientific-academic exploration of life.

Over the years Thomas has also organized several major healing events, aimed at healing the Holocaust’s cultural shadows. Thousands of Germans and Israelis have been brought together through these processes. In 2016 Thomas and his wife Yehudit founded the non-profit ‘Pocket Project‘, with the aim of exploring collective trauma and shadow work and integrating this through large-scale group processes. A global organization has been launched, intended to research and explore specific aspects of local traumatization. This applies both to past traumas and also to current conflict zones. Thomas was born in Austria in 1971 and now lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, with his wife, the Israeli artist Yehudit Sasportas and their daughter Eliya.

Awareness Explorers Episode 9: Rupert Spira, Guest Explorer

Brian Tom O’Connor

In this episode we talk to Rupert Spira about happiness, and how he leads people to the recognition of our true nature as awareness.

Includes a guided meditation from Rupert for going beyond our normal notion of self into the experience of pure awareness.

Awareness Explorers Episode 19: Rick Archer, Guest Explorer

Published on Dec 7, 2018
In this episode we talk to Rick Archer of “Buddha at the Gas Pump” about the advantages and ethical pitfalls of gurus and spiritual teachers.

Don’t forget to subscribe for more ingenious ways to tap into the ever-present stillness and joy of our true nature.

Rick Archer SAND Conference Q&A and Interview by Shakti Caterina Maggi – Buddha at the Gas Pump

Published on Dec 5, 2018

This video contains my Question and Answer session at the 2018 Science and Nonduality conference. and also an interview of me by Shakti Caterina Maggi, an Italian spiritual teacher who used to be a journalist. My SAND Q&A includes the following points:

How BatGap started.
Which guests have been the most interesting, provocative, intriguing, brilliant, mysterious, surprising, etc.?
What insights have I gained? How has this process influenced my spiritual path? What do I experience while I’m interviewing people? What do I foresee for BatGap in the next few years?
How to deal with family and friends who don’t understand your awakening or interest in spirituality?
A consideration of sudden vs. gradual awakenings.
How do I regard the urgency of humanity’s need to take a spiritual/cultural leap in response to the dire predicament facing us?
The joy and challenge of speaking with people from such a broad range of spiritual backgrounds.
Why science and spirituality need and can benefit one another.
The importance of understanding consciousness to be the fundamental to the universe rather than merely a product of brain functioning.

Shakti’s interview includes the following points:

In which direction are we as consciousness moving? How might the growing awakening of consciousness help humanity avert disaster?

Embodied spirituality vs. avoidance of life through transcendence. Consciousness is relevant to every field of human endeavor.
Consciousness is fundamental to matter.

Finding the foundation of our being and dealing with individual planetary problems from that foundation.
Ethical standards for spiritual teachers.

When is one ready to become a spiritual teacher? The potential consequences of entering the profession prematurely.

The guru is a function of consciousness which can work through imperfect bodies and personalities.

The importance of teachers and students having the humility to acknowledge that we’re all works in progress.

Culturing discernment and discrimination.
Having the freedom to ask anything in a teacher/student relationship in order to dispel doubts.

Is it possible to establish absolute guidelines on appropriate teacher behavior?

The quality of awakening will vary according to one’s constitution.
Awakening enhances individual differences while establishing our fundamental unity.

Sticking with one teacher vs. working with many.
The importance of sincerity. The principle of “the highest first”.

1. To be in the world and not of it is to know you are a spiritual being having a human experience 2.Cultivating non local awareness

Published on Dec 22, 2018

Be aware right now of the space around you, notice how it engulfs every object including your body/mind and is also at the same time independent of it.

Cultivating non local awareness

When you sense your body with total awareness you will open the door to insight, creativity, vision and non local awareness. Try it out.

A Discussion on Teacher-Student Romantic Relationships – Buddha at the Gas Pump

Published on Dec 19, 2018
The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjective perspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.

A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-student romantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions.We’re trying to work it out.

There are exceptions to every generality. In graduate school, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapist sand their clients to become partners.

Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect of people’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teaching activities.

When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path,shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.

The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.

Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.

If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students,he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real world feedback.
The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.

Ethics and Spiritual Teaching SAND Panel – Buddha at the Gas Pump

Published on Dec 19, 2018

Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethicalbehavior are tightly correlated.

The founding of the Association of Professional SpiritualTeachers.
The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might applyuniversally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven an understanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greater confidence in their own discernment and discrimination.

Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach and students surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settingsbut generally does not work today.

Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.

Power hierarchies should not be an essential part ofspiritual development and can lead to abuses.

Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person tooffer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honoredtraditions.
The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritualorganizations.

Entering the teaching profession prematurely.

All too often, when teachers are challenged on their behavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.

How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?

Moving away from a culture of competition to one ofcooperation.
The importance of humility.

The importance of teachers not identifying with their role and thinking that students’ devotion is about them.

South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.

Our Natural Potential: Beyond Personal Development, The Stages of Enlightenment – by David “Davidya” Buckland (Author)

In the last decade, we’ve seen an unprecedented growth in spiritual awakening. Why is this happening? How are we to understand the nature of enlightenment? Is it a normal part of human development we had forgotten how to culture? What is the underlying causal mechanism? What are the common differences in experiencing the unfolding? How can we support people making progress without a decent road map? Can we understand this profound natural potential?
Our Natural Potential will show you the underlying process and the main stages of enlightenment based on an 8,000-year-old Vedic text. Each stage has its own distinct reality, sense of self and the world. We’ll explore the two aspects required to support a full unfolding and detail the reality of each stage.

Enlightenment is not a goal but rather a platform for living a fuller, richer life well beyond any description. This book will discuss how to culture further development and recognize common symptoms and issues. It will allow you to put spiritual teachings into a broader context.

Be prepared to have some of your concepts about the spiritual journey broken. It’s a far greater potential than most people recognize.

David Buckland is a former IT consultant who lives on Vancouver Island in the temperate rain forest of SW Canada. He began his spiritual journey in the mid-70’s. On a long retreat soon after, he began witnessing full time and refined perception clicked on with a bang. He has now been meditating and exploring consciousness for more than 40 years.

Soon after awakening in 2007, he began writing on-line under the nickname “Davidya.” The name and related blog ( soon took on a life of it’s own.

In 2011, he earned an MA in Vedic Science, studying Vedic literature, Sanskrit, and world religions. He has observed and spoken with many people having shifts in consciousness and has been working to synthesize historical understanding with modern experience.

Our Natural Potential talk by David Buckland at SAND2015

Using the Alexander model from psychology, David will illustrate that normal human development takes us progressively within. However, without suitable understanding and support, most people stall development part way along. Correct that and the inward development progresses. Once we reach consciousness beyond ego, we shift into the Transpersonal stages of development that psychology has begun to explore.

Using the approach from the Yog Vasishtha of the Ramayana and from Ayurveda, David will outline the two main processes of Transpersonal development that unfold our natural potential. On the one side, we have the 3 primary stages of consciousness unfolding to itself through an apparent individual. This includes a more complete context for Nonduality. On the other side is the unfolding heart and refinement. These two process are often referred to as the masculine and the feminine. It is together that there is a complete unfolding and embodiment.

This approach offers a framework for understanding the vast variety in how an unfolding shows up and a way to put descriptions from throughout the ages into a larger context.

Sean Webb – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

As the author of a book that was used to influence millions of voters in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election through social media disinformation campaigns (without his knowledge), Sean Webb probably knows the human mind as well as anyone can. From his work in logically modeling human emotions for the world of Artificial Emotional Intelligence, to his real-world practice as an author, speaker, and guide to helping individuals supercharge their minds and lives with the knowledge of how their mind works, Sean pushes the bleeding edge of mind sciences to the next level. The interesting part; Sean credits his knowledge to a conscious awakening he had 20 years ago which unfolded how the mind, the universe, and consciousness works both within and outside the human body. And science is proving him right. Over the last 20 years, Sean has become one of the world’s leading experts in how the human mind works, particularly in the area of human emotions, the driving force and motivation of all human actions globally. His work is used by universities and engineering firms to teach emotional intelligence, the foundations of artificial emotional intelligence and his discoveries have proved so effective, that his work is currently being turned into programs to address addiction management and the mitigation of PTSD after early amazing successes within those applications. As an alumnus of Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technologies Development Center, Sean has spent years solving complex systems problems for cutting edge technology and supercomputing companies. His latest complex system solve is associated with the mind; how to model mind processes, how to manipulate mind output, and how to use those disciplines to our collective human advantage. His heart lies in this last portion of the project; teaching individuals about our minds so as to understand the thought processes that steal our happiness and block our ability to enjoy life. He loves sharing the practical neuroscience of how to hack the mind to generate happiness from within without any strings attached, and without changing any of life’s external conditions. He has indeed discovered a new door into the deep mind manipulation, where only practiced meditation and psychedelics have been able to take us before. “And the simple fact is that I pulled it all out of the void,” Sean tells us. Sean has spoken at Science of Consciousness, Science and Nonduality, UNC, UGA, ASU, Emory, Georgia Tech, for numerous multinational corporations, and at NASA. Check out Sean’s work at Sean and his wife are licensed foster parents and are active in numerous children’s and animal charities.

Books: Mind Hacking Happiness Volume I: The Quickest Way to Happiness and Controlling Your Mind Mind Hacking Happiness Volume II: Increasing Happiness and Finding Non-Dual Enlightenment

Don’t let any life situation to absorb your complete attention! Eckhart Tolle

Published on Dec 2, 2018

IN this video, Eckhart Tolle tells how we shouldn’t let any life situation to overpower us!

is a spiritual teacher. He is a German-born resident of Canada best known as the author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. In 2008, The New York Times called Tolle “the most popular spiritual author in the United States”. In 2011, he was listed by Watkins Review as the most spiritually influential person in the world. Tolle is not identified with any particular religion, but he has been influenced by a wide range of spiritual works.

Tolle said he was depressed for much of his life until age 29, when he underwent an “inner transformation”. He then spent several years wandering “in a state of deep bliss” before becoming a spiritual teacher. He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995 and currently divides his time between Canada and California. He began writing his first book, The Power of Now, in 1997 and it reached The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000.

The Power of Now
and A New Earth sold an estimated three million and five million copies respectively in North America by 2009. In 2008, approximately 35 million people participated in a series of 10 live webinars with Tolle and television talk show host Oprah Winfrey In 2016, Tolle was named in Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 list of visionaries and influential leaders.

Adyashanti – The Heart of Spirituality

Adyashanti explores the heart of spirituality and invites you to drop this inquiry into your being: What is dictating the orientation of my life? Setting aside judgment and the endlessly dissatisfied ‘me,’ you can dive deeply into the exploration of your highest values, and with clarity, you can orient towards them.

Quotes from this Video:

“One of the most important things about spirituality is to get clear on: What is my orientation?”

“Judgment and shame are the most powerful ways that the ‘me’ orients all attention towards itself.”

“To establish a good orientation, look at the values that come from the deepest state of being: truth, love, compassion, service.”

“A good form of spirituality will give voice and structure to those self-transcending values.”

Rupert Sheldrake – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Rupert Sheldrake, PhD is a biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers and 12 books, including Science Set Free and Science and Spiritual Practices. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Frank Know Fellow at Harvard, and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. From 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project for research on unexplained human and animal abilities, funded by Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and of Schumacher College in Devon, England.

Eckhart Tolle Talks – When You Decide To Play With This World

Published on Nov 19, 2018

Eckhart Tolle Talks – When You Decide To Play With This World.

Science and Spiritual Practices with Rupert Sheldrake

Deepak in discussion with Rupert Sheldrake.

Linda Clair ‘Enlightenment is in the Body ‘ Interview By Renate McNay”

Published on 8 Nov 2018
Linda Clair ‘Enlightenment is in the Body.’ Interview By Renate McNay
Linda is a Meditation Teacher based on ZEN practice. She is the Author of the book ‘What do you want – Conversations about Enlightenment.’
In this interview which is the second one with her Linda says that enlightenment is the beginning of a whole new way of living and although its the end of suffering and fear, there is no end to the practice as long as one is in the body. To be fully free you need to go through being grounded, so grounded that you’re able to let go of everything—even enlightenment.
Stay in your body. The silence is in your body. Its not out there. Stay in your body and you’ll be surprised what happens.
To really become immersed in the silence, you need to free your body – purify your body of the past. Only then will there be silence and that silence is overwhelming.

Sadhguru – Spiritual path is like digging a well..

Spiritual path is like digging a well for water..
you continue to dig. If you keep changing your mind every other day
you’ll have lot of holes in your land but no well;
-How do you put your demons to sleep?You stop creating them.
-What is individuality? individuality gets built up initially
for physical survival, for self-preservation.
-individuality is a disease, individual is a beautiful thing

Transparent openness……Rupert Spira

How to Awaken a New World…Andina Seers

Many people around the globe have a sense, or vision, of a possible world based on peace and love, where individuals are able to live lives of meaning and fulfillment, with authentic and nourishing relationships and in balance with nature and the planet.

The Stirrings of Our Awakening…
For the first time in history we are at a point where we can now realistically begin to turn this vision into a practical reality. This is only now possible because, although often still unknowingly, many of us have already begun taking part in a number of interrelated awakenings that can take us where we as a species have never actually been before.

Awakening No.1: Self Directed Evolution

To begin with, and a foundational aspect of our transformation, we are the first people able to both look back into our own history and see where we have come from, and also at the same time have sufficient information, knowledge, wisdom, communications systems and skills, as well as inclination, to also be able to begin to put together a workable plan for a radically different future for ourselves and our species.
We are now awakening to the realization that it is in our power to participate in something truly magnificent, our own conscious evolution – chosen and guided by ourselves.

Awakening No.2: Enlightenment

The second awakening that is now also taking place is that we are also the first of our species to, in large numbers, awaken directly into spiritual enlightenment. For millennia enlightenment has been the province of only a handful of saints and sages but now hundreds, if not thousands, of people are awakening directly as the source and ground of all life – and discovering the mystical truth of who, and what, we really are.
That this awakening is taking place is in itself profoundly transformative at both the deepest and subtlest levels of our human psyche. Opening into enlightenment neatly whisks us beyond any sense that we are separate individuals, or that others and the world are separate from us. It is both of these beliefs that underpin so much of the suffering, fear and strife that is currently plaguing our world.

Awakening No.3: The Infinite & The Individual

On awakening into Oneness all previous beliefs in the seemingly obvious reality of separation instantaneously dissolve in the clarity that is unveiled. There is a direct seeing of the unity of all life, which is sometimes also called nondual awareness as we have relocated beyond ‘twoness’ or duality.
Whilst this awakening is absolutely necessary and fundamental, it is not by itself sufficient. This will already be abundantly clear if we consider the financial, sexual and other scandals surrounding many people who have a glimpse beyond the veil of the illusion of separation – but are still under its shadow.
In order to actualize our fullest potential, awakening into our One nature is served by also waking up into the more human areas of our lives, which in the past established teachings on spiritual awakening have dismissed as irrelevant.
However, in reality the Infinite and the Individual are intimately interrelated since they are the two aspects of the same one source.
Within the fundamental awakening into the absolute and singular truth of who we are, other arenas of awakening are simultaneously occurring within the world of relative reality and duality – and awakening into both of our natures is necessary to fully embrace the rich tapestry of being human.

Awakening No.4: Recovery from Our Childhood

In the past spiritual teachers have readily dismissed the impact of childhood with admonitions to ‘put it behind you’ and to live only in the ‘present moment’.
However, as seekers of truth awaken into our underlying unity, and experiencing some challenges with this, they begin to recognize the very real impact that unhealed trauma has on curtailing and fracturing their relationships with themselves, with other people, with nature and with the planet.
This discord is also being backed up by recent scientific research which is now shedding light on how our psyche, and our brains, are formed as well as deformed, by what has taken place during crucial childhood developmental stages.
Out of all of this is emerging a growing realization of the level of contraction that our biology can impose on ongoing awakening into our fullest awakening and freedom of being.
Fortunately, ways to recover from the past and heal and regrow our brain are also now becoming well established.

Awakening No.5: Ray of The Absolute

Underlying the appearance of everything, and everyone is an undivided, timeless and changeless unity, and within this emerges the reality of an individual Soul – which can be seen as not only each person’s unique blueprint but also as far greater than we have believed ourselves to be.
It is here that we also connect more and more with our unique gifts and open into our multiple dimensions of awareness which include intuition, empathic ability, telepathy and awareness of the energetic fields of our environment – to name but a few.
It is by using information provided by these that we can also most easily align more and more with our soul’s purpose and discover, and then share, our abilities with the world. In so doing we ultimately live out the fullest expression of our uniqueness as an ever emerging and unfolding aspect of the infinite and changeless One source that we are.

Awakening No.6: The Unfolding Process

As we intentionally, actively and selectively participate in our own transformation it begins to dawn on us that there is a process that is taking place and that we are on a journey with a number of recognizable stages, and also pitfalls,
Getting comfortable with paradox is one an important part of this process as all of the transformation is also discovered to be taking place, paradoxically, within a vast and changeless infinite stillness.
We also begin to learn ways to effectively tend, enhance and integrate our journey of transformation, and as we do so we consolidate a trajectory that can enable us to achieve escape velocity from our current strife ridden, separation based and limited consciousness.
In doing so we take a discontinuous and evolutionary leap, one that is very different from any undertaken by humanity so far, and alight into very different future… and as a very different kind of human.

Source: Evolutionary Awakening

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