Passionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness by Catherine Ingram [updated Mar 2016]

Learn the seven ways to tap into a state of pure joy, at any time, with the spiritual teacher Catherine Ingram. When we deeply relax, free from the stories the past, present and future, a great passion for life emerges, along with an awakened intelligence. This passionate presence is innate; it is a universal intelligence that transcends biological abilities and educational backgrounds.

In this book, spiritual teacher and writer Catherine Ingram offers seven ways to awaken the passionate presence that is in all of us. Each chapter describes one of the seven primary qualities of awakened intelligence. These qualities are based on her observations over years of working with thousands of people in silent retreats and public interactive events called Dharma Dialogues. The seven aspects – tenderness, discernment, authenticity, embodiment, delight, wonder and silence – naturally and consistently emerge as a result of deep relaxation and lead us easily to our passionate presence.

Catherine Ingram is a renowned dharma teacher with communities serving several thousand students in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Since 1992, she has led Dharma Dialogues (, which are public events of inquiry into the nature of awakened awareness and its benefits in life. She is the founder and president of Living Dharma, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to inquiry and service.

Click here to browse inside.

Catherine Ingram – ‘Practical Wisdom In Precarious Times’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Catherine Ingram – ‘Practical Wisdom In Precarious Times’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Catherine Ingram is an International Dharma teacher and Author of three books: “Passionate Presence”, “A Crack in Everything” and “In the Footsteps of Gandhi”. Catherine says, “Our sanctuary is not in finding security in this world. Security in the things and circumstances of the world is an illusion. Our sanctuary is in our ability to relax into ‘Present Awareness’ and passionately celebrate beauty, to show up in love for our friends and families, to live lightly on this earth, and to experience wonder.”

Catherine Ingram – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Catherine Ingram is an international dharma teacher with communities in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Since 1992 she has led Dharma Dialogues, which are public events that focus on directing awareness toward greater wellbeing in an ethical and happy life. Catherine also leads numerous silent retreats each year in conjunction with Dharma Dialogues. She is president of Living Dharma, an educational non-profit organization founded in 1995.

Catherine has been the subject of numerous print, television, and radio interviews and is included in several anthologies about teachers in the west.

A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, Catherine Ingram is the author of two books of nonfiction, which are published in numerous languages: In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations with Spiritual Social Activists (Parallax Press, 1990) and Passionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness (Penguin Putnam, 2003); and one novel, A Crack in Everything (Diamond Books, 2006). Over a fifteen-year period beginning in 1982, Catherine published approximately 100 articles on issues of consciousness and activism and served on the editorial staffs of New Age Journal, East West Journal, and Yoga Journal. For four years she wrote the Life Advice column for Alternatives Magazine based in Oregon.

For the past thirty five years, Catherine has helped organize and direct institutions dedicated to meditation and self-inquiry and, more recently, human and animal rights. She is a co-founder of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts (1976). She also co-founded the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in The Hague, Netherlands (1991) and is a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet. For six years (1988-1994), Catherine also served as a board director for The Burma Project, dedicated to raising international awareness about the struggle for democracy in Burma. She is currently serving on the board of Global Animal Foundation, which works on behalf of the world’s animals.

Her work provides a context in which to consider life experiences—work, romance, creativity, loss, and death—through the calm and simple quiet of the heart.

Interview Recorded 9/7/2013

Kiran, Mystic Girl in the City – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Oct 11, 2015

Also see…

Kiran (Mystic Girl in the City) is an internationally known spiritual teacher and author. She died of massive spontaneous awakening into her true nature, then eight years later, and at the encouragement of Moni Vangolen, Bentinho Massarro, Thomas Stubbs, Adyashanti, and others, she began to talk and teach. Because she spontaneously awoke, with no prior spiritual background, orientation or understanding, she is known for her unique point of view. Folks often call her teachings “fresh” because she doesn’t have any spiritual language or linage she points to. She see’s primarily from vast stillness and embodies “the world” from an “inside-outside” point of view. Seeing the coding of the universe in order to see the universe, it’s very “matrix” like. Visit more of her works and teachings at:

Tools for Sanity: Peace, Freedom and Fulfillment in Every Moment by Mystic Girl in the City (Author)

Peace, freedom, and fulfillment are available to you in each and every moment…

“Well done, a fresh voice among so many sound-a-likes” – Adyashanti

“Tools for Sanity” is an invitation to unfold into an effortless peace. An invitation, if you’re willing, to see yourself and your world in an entirely different light.

Tools for Sanity reveals:

  • Four tools we can all access at any moment that can lead us directly to personal liberation.
  • Transforming unconscious or painful patterns into peace.
  • Engaging in our modern world with ease and effortlessness.
  • What awakening into our true nature is, from Kiran’s personal account.
  • Navigating relationships with sanity and authenticity.

Warning: Contents of this book may be hazardous to your ideas about reality, and/or may challenge your beliefs about enlightenment.

Mysitc Girl in the City: Kiran is an internationally known spiritual teacher and author. She died of massive spontaneous awakening into her true nature, then eight years later, and at the encouragement of many teachers, including Moni Vangolen, Bentinho Massaro, Thomas Stubbs, Adyashanti, she began to talk and teach. Because she spontaneously awoke, with no prior spiritual background, orientation or understanding, she is known for her unique point of view. Folks often call her teachings “fresh” because she doesn’t have any spiritual language or lineage she points to. She sees primarily from vast stillness and embodies “the world” from an “inside-outside” point of view. Seeing the coding of the universe in order to see the universe, it’s very “matrix” like. Visit more of her works and teachings

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5 Pitfalls of Spiritual Awakening

Published on Jun 18, 2015

We can easily fall into these traps when we have a genuine awakening! Its good to know the pitfalls.
#1) Getting lost in Transcendence.
It’s so easy to get lost in transcendence, but the point of stillness is the forms of your life! Without a connection to spirit/life/source the forms are empty, but without form spirit is empty.

#2) Thinking you will have special spiritual powers.
Who is that little bit of “me” that wants to be special, who is going to have extra special spiritual powers? That me can make a whole lot of trouble.

#3) Thinking you’ve messed up because you experience intense feelings.
Intense feelings are not a sign that you have messed up your awakening. Awakening brings you into intense “aliveness”, not a static feeling of “happiness”.

#4) Thinking something is wrong because it’s getting so weird and intense.
Awakening is a very intense ride. The teachers rarely speak about this…but they all know it!

#5) Unsolicited Advice
Warning! Unsolicited advice is so easy to give, but it’s not going to benefit anyone. Wait until they ask you directly. (And feel free to ask them!)

More Tools for Sanity from Kiran
Kiran is an awakened spiritual teacher and internationally renowned author and speaker who is interested in helping you find freedom and peace right now, right here in the middle of your nitty-gritty life.

Me World: How knowing our inner crowd leads to spaciousness and higher functioning by Richard Moss

Published on Oct 11, 2015

Richard discusses how the basic sense we each have of “me” or “I” is not a distinct, separate someone, but rather an inner world of competing and overlapping ego-constructs. He describes how these sub-personalities are fascinating to observe and that the more we can differentiate them, the easier it is to flow with life from a place of stillness and clarity.

Into the Stillness: Dialogues on Awakening Beyond Thought by Gary Weber (Author), Rich Doyle (Author)

This is an important book. Don’t be misled by the casually graceful repartee and lightness of touch. Without dogma, without heavy shoulds and should nots, Gary and Rich point towards something eternal, framed in our 21st century understanding of neuroscience, spirituality and … something that arises from, and returns to, the Stillness and the Silence.

They offer practical investigation and guidance towards “the sweetest, fullest, most loving, caring, and manifesting experience that anyone could ever wish for.” These chapter headings include: “Using dialogue for awakening,” “Can you “do nothing” and awaken?”, “Why do we fear emptiness, silence and stillness?”, “Functioning without thoughts: sex, psychedelics and non-duality.”

Gary Weber has a Ph.D. in physical sciences and worked in national labs, industry, and academia in R&D and management. Simultaneously, he has done over 30,000 hrs of self-inquiry and Zen meditation and yoga, and experienced the falling away of the “I” and the loss of self-referential thoughts, desires and fears.

Professor Richard Doyle is Liberal Arts Research Professor at Penn State University where he has taught since 1994. Ever since reading the work of futurist Alvin Toffler at age 12, Doyle has been on a scholarly and personal quest to understand the effects of information technologies on the evolution of human culture and consciousness

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Living in Nonduality – The Hard Questions

Gary Weber’s comments on the panel discussion, “Filling in the Details” at the Science and NonDuality Conference in Doorn, the Netherlands, May 28 – June 2, 2013. Moderator – Jeff Warren, other panelists, Lisa Cairns and Tim Freke.

Topics covered included what happens w/nondual awakening as far as compassion, functioning, changes in personal relationships, sexual desire, synchronicity, fears, surprises, attachments, emotions, surrender, intimacy, control, free will, thoughts, helping others, etc.

letting go into the bliss and joy of stillness

Dialogue between Gary Weber and Rich Doyle on the approaches, and processes of letting go into the deep bliss of stillness. Byron Katie’s “The Work” and the Sedona Method are explained as well as Ramana Maharshi’s “unchanging vs changing” approach to accessing the “peace that passeth understanding”. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Michele Foucault, Robert Adams and Miles Davis also make appearances.

A Spiritual Awakening ~ Francis Lucille

How did you discover your real nature?

You are asking about the specifics in my case. Before I give you the details, I have to forewarn you that this is not a one-size-fits-all path to the truth. The way to the discovery of our true nature varies from one seeker to another. It may be a sudden and dramatic experience or a subtle, seemingly gradual path. The touchstone, in all cases, is the peace and understanding that prevails at the end of the road.

Although a first glimpse of reality is an event of cosmic proportions, it may remain unnoticed at first and work its way in the background of the mind until the egoistic structure collapses, just as a building severely damaged by an earthquake remains stand- ing for some time and collapses a few months later, gradually or suddenly. This effect is due to the fact that the glimpse does not belong to the mind. The mind, which until now was the slave of the ego, becomes the servant and lover of the eternal splendor that illuminates thoughts and perceptions. As a slave of the ego, the mind was the warden of the jail of time, space and causation; as a servant of the highest intelligence and a lover of the supreme beauty, it becomes the instrument of our liberation.

The glimpse that ignited my interest for the truth occurred while I was reading a book by J. Krishnamurti. It was the point of departure of an intense quest that became the central and exclusive focus in my life. I read Krishnamurti’s books again and again, along with the main texts of Advaita Vedanta and Zen Buddhism. I made important changes in my life in order to live in accordance with my spiritual understanding. I renounced what many people would call an excellent career, because it implied my involvement as a scientist with the design and development of sophisticated weapons for the French military.

Two years after the first glimpse, I had achieved a good intellectual understanding of the non-dual perspective, although a few questions still remained unanswered. I knew from experience that any attempt to fulfill my desires was doomed to failure. It had become clear to me that I was consciousness, rather than my body or my mind. This knowledge was not a purely intellectual one, a mere concept, but seemed to somehow originate from experience, a particular kind of experience devoid of any objectivity. I had experienced, on several occasions, states in which perceptions were surrounded and permeated by bliss, light and silence. Physical objects seemed more remote from me, more unreal, as if reality had moved away from them and shifted toward that light and that silence which was at the center of the stage. Along with it came the feeling that everything was all right, just as it should be, and, as a matter of fact, just as it had always been. However, I still believed that awareness was subject to the same limitations as the mind, that it was of a personal, rather than universal, nature.

Sometimes, I had a foretaste of its limitlessness, usually while reading Ch’an or Advaita texts or while thinking deeply about the non-dual perspective. Due to my upbringing by materialistic and anti-religious parents and to my training in Mathematics and Physics, I was both reluctant to adopt any religious belief and suspicious of any non-logically or non-scientifically validated hypothesis. An unlimited, universal awareness seemed to me to be such a belief or hypothesis, but I was open to explore this possibility. The perfume of this limitlessness had, in fact, been the determining factor that sustained my search for the truth. Two years after the first glimpse, this possibility had taken a center stage position.

That is when the radical change, the “Copernican shift,” happened. This event, or, more precisely, this nonevent, stands alone, un-caused. The certainty that flows from it has an absolute strength, a strength independent from any event, object or person. It can only be compared to our immediate certainty to be conscious.

I was sitting in silence, meditating in my living room with two friends. It was too early to fix dinner, our next activity. Having nothing to do, expecting nothing, I was available. My mind was free of dynamism, my body relaxed and sensitive, although I could feel some discomfort in my back and in my neck.

After some time, one of my friends unexpectedly began to chant a traditional incantation in Sanskrit, the Gayatri Mantra. The sacred syllables entered mysteriously in resonance with my silent presence which seemed to become intensely alive. I felt a deep longing in me, but at the same time a resistance was preventing me from living the current situation to the fullest, from responding with all my being to this invitation from the now, and from merging with it. As the attraction toward the beauty heralded by the chant increased, so did the resistance, revealing itself as a growing fear that transformed into an intense terror.

At this point, I felt that my death was imminent, and that this horrendous event would surely be triggered by any further letting go on my behalf, by any further welcoming of that beauty. I had reached a crucial point in my life. As a result of my spiritual search, the world and its objects had lost their attraction. I didn’t really expect anything substantial from them. I was exclusively in love with the Absolute, and this love gave me the boldness to jump into the great void of death, to die for the sake of that beauty, now so close, that beauty which was calling me beyond the Sanskrit words.

As a result of this abandon, the intense terror which had been holding me instantaneously released its grip and changed into a flow of bodily sensations and thoughts which rapidly converged toward a single thought, the I-thought, just as the roots and the branches of a tree converge toward its single trunk. In an almost simultaneous apperception, the personal entity with which I was identifying revealed itself in its totality. I saw its superstructure, the thoughts originating from the I-concept and its infrastructure, the traces of my fears and desires at the physical level. Now the entire tree was contemplated by an impersonal eye, and both the superstructure of thoughts and the infrastructure of bodily sensations rapidly vanished, leaving the I-thought alone in the field of consciousness. For a few moments, the pure I-thought seemed to vacillate, just as the flame of an oil lamp running out of fuel, then vanished.

At that precise moment, the immortal background of Presence revealed itself in all its splendor.

Excerpt from Eternity Now, by Francis Lucille VIEW HERE

Not I, Not other than I: The Life And Teachings Of Russel Williams by Russel Williams (Author), Steve Taylor (Editor) [updated Sept 11, 2015]

Russel Williams is one of the most remarkable enlightened spiritual teachers of our time. After an early life of extreme hardship—leaving school at the age of 11, and becoming an orphan shortly afterwards—he underwent a spiritual awakening at the age of 29.

Since the late 1950s, he has been a spiritual teacher, and is still actively teaching now, at the age of 94. Previously, Russel has avoided publicity and never published any writings or transcripts of his talks, preferring to work quietly with small groups. This is the first time any details of his teachings or of his life have appeared in print.

This book is partly a record of his teachings, and partly also the story of his extraordinary life. Working with well-known spiritual author Steve Taylor—who has attended Russel’s meetings regularly since the 1990s—Russel has created a profound text which will surely become known as a classic of spiritual literature.

Russel Williams
was born in London in 1921. He now lives in lives in Atherton, near Manchester, UK, with his wife Joyce. Since 1974, he has been the president of The Buddhist Society of Manchester. This is his first book. Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University. He is the author of several best-selling books including Waking From Sleep and Back to Sanity, and a book of spiritual poems The Meaning.


Not I, Not other than I: Russel Williams

Published on Aug 29, 2015

Georgi & Bart join spiritual author and teacher Steve Taylor (…) in a conversation with Russel Williams in Manchester, 2015. Here Russel gives a simple exercise to use right now, to bring heaven to earth.

[About Russel Williams, from the introduction to Not I, Not Other than I]

Russel Williams is a simple man. On the surface, you would think of him as a fairly typical man of his generation, although perhaps one who looks unusually young and sprightly for his 93 years. If you visited him at home with his wife Joyce, you wouldn’t find anything unusual there either. Again, it would strike you as a fairly typical house for a couple of their senior years.

Russel is not educated – he left school at the age of 11 (in 1932) and has had no formal education since. He’s not an intellectual; he hasn’t read a great many books, and in his teachings he only rarely refers to texts or other sources. Although he has been the president of the Buddhist Society of Manchester since 1974, and sometimes uses Buddhist terms or talks about the Buddha as an individual, he doesn’t consider himself a Buddhist. He certainly doesn’t ‘teach’ Buddhism in any formal sense.

As a result, Russel’s spiritual teachings are very ‘naked’ and pure – that is, they are very free of theories, concepts and categories. This gives his teachings a rare clarity and power. There is no system. There are no rituals or rules to follow, and no ideas to take on board. You don’t have to believe anything. You don’t have to accept anything. You don’t have to become anything. All you have to do is be.

Russel often says that he’s not interested in convincing people of anything. He encourages people to play with his teachings, to question them, to find out for themselves whether they are true. He doesn’t think of himself as a guru, and has no desire to accumulate followers or disciples. Everything he teaches stems very directly from a particular state of being, one which he experiences as his constant reality, and which he has done for almost 65 years. There are many different terms for this state: stillness, pure consciousness, emptiness of being, the essence of our being, our true nature…

(Extract from the introduction to the book by Russel Williams “Not I, Not Other than I”, by Steve Taylor.)

Eckhart Tolle: 1. Power of Present Moment 2. Bring presence into your relationships 3.What Is Enlightenment

Published on Jul 28, 2015

Eckhart Tolle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) and A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time. In 2008, A New Earth became the first spiritual book to be selected for Oprah’s Book Club as well as the subject of a ten-week online workshop co-taught by Eckhart and Oprah.

Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.

Bring presence into your relationships

What Is Enlightenment

Waves Of Wonder – 65 Reflections From The Ocean Of Silence by Robert Rabbin (Author), John Anderson (Foreword), Jane Green (Illustrator)

NOTE: Book best read on Kindle for IPAD due to large amount of images

In January of 2012, Robert Rabbin was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. The prognosis offered him was, statistically speaking, about nine months of life. It is now almost two years since that prediction and he is still with us.

In the middle of 2013, Robert, who has already published eight books and a couple hundred articles on the theme of self-awareness, began writing a series of 170-character expressions of his journey into the very depths of inner silence. With the help of his longtime graphic designer, Jane Green, put these expressions — verbal waves of wonder from the ocean of silence — onto images.

I decided to publish this collection of “memes” by Robert, because of the effect his words had on me. Because his words come from a place of silence, they awaken the presence of silence within the reader. And from silence springs forth waves of peace, understanding, and joy.

Certainly, we can all benefit from more peace, understanding, and joy, which is why I felt inspired to publish a collection of his words from silence and share them with you.

What touches you most is that each short expression speaks more about this extraordinary man’s life and thoughts than any 2000 page biography ever could.

If you are interested in living an inspired life, one rich with depth and peace and clarity, one overflowing with the presence of your own inner truth, you will want to read this book.

At 11 years of age, Robert began seeking answers to such perennial questions as Who am I? What is real? How shall I live?

His seeking took him on adventures throughout the world, from the beaches of Mexico to the forests of Finland, from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to the Sinai Desert of Israel, from Kabul, Afghanistan to Bangkok, Thailand. The list of jobs Robert held during these years include truck driver, drug dealer, mountain guide, baker, factory worker, and civilian employee of the Israeli Air Force.

In 1973, after a three-month overland trek that began in Chamonix, France, he entered India. There, he met Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, with whom Robert lived and worked for the next 10 years.

Robert began his own work in 1985, as a distinctive self-awareness facilitator, leadership adviser, and author. He launched several ventures, including Catalysts for Clarity, Hamsa Institute for Enlightened Leadership, Truth for President, Radical Sages, and RealTime Speaking. In 2010, while living in Australia, Robert synthesized his almost 50 years of spiritual study, practice, and inner experience into The 5 Principles of Authentic Living.

In addition to presenting more than 300 of his signature seminars (currently called “Conversations on the High Wire”), Robert has honed his unique style of public speaking in numerous workshops, meetings, lectures, keynote speeches, and conference presentations. As a personal adviser, leadership coach, and public speaking guru, he has worked with a cultural cross-section of people, including corporate executives, professionals, rock musicians, best-selling authors, fashion designers, spiritual teachers, educators, and entrepreneurs.

Robert has published eight books and more than 200 articles on the themes of meditation, self-inquiry, authentic leadership, truthful self-expression, and spiritual activism. He authored a pioneering column for The New Leaders executive newsletter, called “The Corporate Mystic”; was commissioned to write original essays for three leading-edge anthologies on topics related to spirituality and authenticity in the workplace; and was interviewed for The Awakening West, a collection of conversations with contemporary Western wisdom teachers. He also wrote and produced a 30-minute documentary entitled Brilliant Business: A Roadmap to the 21st Century. Robert is a certified firewalk instructor who has designed and led numerous outdoor adventures for various organizations.

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How to Escape the Prison of your own Mind – Eckhart Tolle

How to Escape the Prison of your own Mind – Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart explains that we must get our usual, conditioned, limited thoughts out of the way. We must become mentally silent. That silence leaves room for the voice of wisdom from within.

“How to be at peace now? By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens.”
Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle’s Findhorn Retreat BK/DVD
“Stillness amidst the World”

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer

A follow up to Pico Iyer’s essay “The Joy of Quiet,” The Art of Stillness considers the unexpected adventure of staying put and reveals a counter-intuitive truth: The more ways we have to connect, the more we seem desperate to unplug.

Why would a man who seems able to go everywhere and do anything—like the international heartthrob and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Leonard Cohen—choose to spend years sitting still and going nowhere? What can Nowhere offer that no Anywhere can match? And why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer, who has journeyed from Easter Island to Ethiopia, Cuba to Kathmandu, think that sitting quietly in a room and getting to know the seasons and landscapes of Nowhere might be the ultimate adventure?

In The Art of Stillness, Iyer draws on the lives of well-known wanderer-monks like Cohen—as well as from his own experiences as a travel writer who chooses to spend most of his time in rural Japan—to explore why advances in technology are making us more likely to retreat. Iyer reflects that this is perhaps the reason why many people—even those with no religious commitment—seem to be turning to yoga, or meditation, or tai chi. These aren’t New Age fads so much as ways to rediscover the wisdom of an earlier age. There is even a growing trend toward observing an “Internet sabbath” every week, turning off online connections from Friday night to Monday morning and reviving those ancient customs known as family meals and conversation.

In this age of constant movement and connectedness, perhaps staying in one place is a more exciting prospect, and a greater necessity than ever before. The Art of Stillness paints a picture of why so many have found richness in stillness and what—from Marcel Proust to Blaise Pascal to Phillipe Starck—they’ve gained there.

Pico Iyer is a British-born essayist and novelist long based in both California and Japan. He is the author of numerous books about crossing cultures, among them Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, and The Global Soul. An essayist for Time since 1986, he also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and many other publications across the globe.


Conversations on Compassion: Pico Iyer

Conversations on Compassion with Dr. James Doty and Pico Iyer, hosted by CCARE at Stanford University on May 13, 2013.

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own. Writer Pico Iyer — who himself has three or four “origins” — meditates on the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still.

Adyashanti – Merge and unite with what is

Great talk that broadens our perspective about why it really means to allow everything to be as it is, loving what is, non-seperation and becoming the situation that you’re in. To Unite and merge with what is.
The talk is from Boulder Intensive, August 2010.

Adyashanti, author of Falling into Grace, True Meditation, and The End of Your World, is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” Based in California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, Associate Teacher of Open Gate Sangha. He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

“Adyashanti” means primordial peace.

Slowing Time Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door by Barbara Mahany

Pub Date Oct 7 2014

Invites readers to discern the divine in the ordinary moments of everyday and live an examined life where everything is a form of prayer.

Barbara Mahany believes the sacred is all around, within finger’s reach—here to be gathered, culled, collected, through the simple yet complex art of paying attention, of savoring the moment, of cultivating stillness. Making room for the God and illuminating the Godly specks in the everyday. Noticing the seen, revealing the unseen, and pinpointing the divine in both.
The book sifts through the terrain of three particular landscapes where the author most often encounters the stirrings of the Divine: under heaven’s dome; on the front lines of the homefront; and in the unspooling of the seasons. The most essential prayer, often, is the life closely examined, held up to the light.
By probing deeply the nooks and crannies of the home-front, the author points out that the reader need not venture far to find what matters most. And the questions stirred will linger, long after the page is turned.

From the front pages of the Chicago Tribune, to her revered page-two columns, Barbara Mahany has opened her heart and told her stories and the stories of her family’s life that have drawn in thousands of readers for decades. She writes from the well of her Christian-Jewish marriage. Bracingly honest and heart-achingly daring, she explores the sacred mysteries with a voice, recognizable and clear. She is a sought-after speaker, and writing teacher. She lives in Wilmette, Illinois.

Eckhart Tolle TV: 1. Assisi Retreat 3, Transcendence Through Stillness 2.Can we transmit stillness through technology?[updated July 26, 2014]

Transcendence Through Stillness

Published on Jul 25, 2014

Eckhart offers keys to transcending identification with ego through discovering stillness within and aligning with the two primary movements of the cosmos.

Presence has a place in our modern modes of communication.

How Can I Dive Into The Stillness of Children? ~ Eckhart Tolle

In this Question and Answer snippet, Eckhart explains how transcendence of thought can happen at any age.

The Power of Defenselessness ~ Miranda Macpherson [ updated May 19, 2014 ]

‘I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely, when you are in darkness……
the astonishing light of your own being’

All non-dual teachings remind us that we are already ‘That’. The depth of our being is God, eternal pristine awareness. Yet there is a world of difference between knowing this conceptually, and genuinely experiencing for ourselves the indestructible presence that lives us.

How can we let direct experience of our true nature genuinely open up?
The most direct route I know is the practice of defenselessness. It is the means by which we can get out of our own way, and let the web of our ego patterns unwind. For many years I grappled with this, understanding that surrender was the quintessential task. I would meditate earnestly to quiet my mind, try to remember who I really was, and pray – offering up the more difficult aspects of my personality caught up in some story of separation, usually triggered by a relational twirk. Sometimes my agitation would dissolve into the deeper ocean of grace, other times I would feel like a cat chasing its own tail. That’s because the one trying to surrender was the one in the way.

I was introduced to defenselessness through the workbook lesson in ACIM, ‘in my defenselessness my safety lies’. I sensed there was something pivotal about this invitation that seemed to turn 180 degrees on its head the belief that we must defend ourselves from danger within and without. Yet it was only after the spontaneous surrender that occurred in the cave of Ramana Maharshi did I understand the true power of this teaching. How defenselessness exposes our illusions and reveals the indestructible nature of who we truly are.

The power of nothing:
The instruction I heard in that cave of deep silence was all about nothingness. Nothing to be, do, get, become, seek for, relinquish, just be as you are, rest in God. By grace, the story of ‘me’ was rendered defenseless and it disappeared. Then a whole new dimension of space and silent presence opened up. This was far more than just a momentary spiritual orgasm. Its wisdom has continued unfolding in the years afterwards, revealing a very practical method for awakening that I practice and share with people daily. Defenselessness shows us how to relax the protective tendencies that we accrue through our lifetime that buffer us from the direct contact with our true nature.

If we genuinely do not try to get anything, reject anything or become anything, there really is nothing for our ego to do. Nothing to fight with or against. No victim, no victimizer, no self and other. No world. At first this feels dis-orientating. Then a host of awkward feelings often arise, sometimes fear, hopelessness, not knowing what to do. We feel dis-armed, and although this is the point when our ego typically would raise the red flag to distract attention onto something else, spiritually speaking, this is when we strike gold. If we just stay present, soft and open, defenses start dissolving and we will pass through the vulnerability they were built to protect in the first place. If we can allow this and not engage a story about who we are because of it, a natural unwinding of our armour begins. We meet more directly what we were trying to guard against. If we can just meet that avoidance purely, just as feeling, as body sensation, as subtle energy, the experience naturally dissolves, and we land deeper in a more essential aspect of our being.

Defenseless with what?
I am not suggesting that you try to practice defenselessness when crossing a busy city street, or when faced with a situation that might be asking you to stand up for yourself. Defenselessness is not to be confused with collapsing, being a doormat or shying away from speaking a difficult truth (with as much mindfulness as we can). A true spiritual path is not about wafting about in some pastel vapour.

Defenselessness is an inner practice. It shows us how to be present and un-armoured with our self first, so that we more substantially retrieve deeper wisdom. It asks for the humility to loosen our idealized self-image, our ideas of who we think we should be or would like to be, to just meet ourselves wherever we are, warts, jewels and all. Just meeting the truth of our own experience without defense, whatever that happens to be, trusting that the truth always brings some form of liberation. This helps us to be more available to grace, more real with ourselves and with the ones we love. Supports us in wiser action. Defenselessness exposes what truly is.

Understanding our Defenses:
It is important to view our defenses from a compassionate lens, because we all develop them for a good reason. Our survival instinct forms defenses from the moment we first experienced ourselves separate from the infinity of pure being. As infants this feels like being separate from the love we needed, the holding, the safety. Disconnected from the strength, the peace, the contact, the freedom. Of course the more enlightened and attuned our parents were, the more graceful this can be, but it the self-forgetting is a natural and unavoidable part of human development. It is not a mistake nor is it wrong.

When we are young and dependent, this dis-connection from the essential ground of what we truly are, feels like our needs are being denied. It can feel like being tied and bound in hell. It is incredibly stressful to our young nervous system, that cannot fully self soothe until around the age of seven. We don’t yet have the capacity to understand that the reasons why are not being responded to precisely the way we need, may not be because of anything we have done. With each moment of dis-connection from the love and support we needed, a mind-body and spirit contraction happens and we lose a little more contact with the grace at our core. To shut down and cut off from experiences that feel too much, feels like the only power we have.

Mud covering the jewel of your being:
With each layer of defensive contraction, beliefs are formed about what the world is and who we are. These beliefs are unconscious and begin forming our view on reality. This gives rise to our sense of identity, setting in motion patterns that shape our life. Each contraction and its defensive reaction acts like a layer of mud over the exquisite jewel of our being. By the time we reach adolescence, we are usually set in our defensive patterns of responding, and are reacting our way through life. Forgetting completely that the infinite grace of the universe is living us, we start polishing the outer surface of the mud, trying to shape it into something appealing, lovable, something that will get a positive result from the world. It seems to work somewhat for a while.

At some point in our life, a crack appears in this carefully manicured personality structure we have formed. If we are lucky, this ego piercing happens earlier than later. Usually some unexpected turn of life’s wheel initiates the crack – like the loss of a cherished love affair, death of someone close to us, an accident or illness, or losing our status or career. However this happens for us, our familiar ways of holding and knowing ourselves are de-stabilized. We feel helpless, vulnerable and deficient – just as a young child. We often feel angry about our plight and look for someone to blame. This is a further layer of defense. Spiritually speaking, this crack appearing is extremely good news, if we can muster the maturity to turn within and practice defenselessness in a moment like this. Not to rush to patch up the crack and re-polish the ego veneer, but to peer into the crack and see what might be underneath.

The fear to look within:
Much of my work involves sitting with people in soul friendship, encouraging them to be present and defenselessness in a moment like this, harnessing it as a portal to liberation. To welcome the experience of deficiency, vulnerability, not knowing what to do, and to genuinely let it be. To lean into it (like diving through a wave of the ocean) with willingness to really see what it really is.

So often, our habits of closure are held together by assumptions that have not been fully questioned. We confuse feelings with facts. Just as it is ineffective to re-assure a young child there are no scary monsters poised to pounce in the dark of the bedroom when the lights go out, just mentally telling ourselves there is nothing to fear doesn’t work. What truly helps is to turn the light on and patiently support the child to look everywhere they believed the menacing presence lurked. To look long enough for the child to discover through their own direct experience, that what they feared does not exist. We cannot skip this step.

Common to virtually everyone I share this practice with across cultures and religions is a very hidden fear that at the core of our being lies something bad, deficient, empty, not good enough, flawed. Turn within enough and at some point we all hit this. Its what makes us most want to run back up to the surface. Christianity made a whole religion out of this and named it ‘original sin’. Really, it is the ego’s primary state of deficiency. Often we feel ashamed about it, or frightened of it, and so suppress it deep into the unconscious. It feels like a huge problem, but spiritually it is perhaps the most important gateway into freedom there is. What appears to be the defect of our character is actually the most direct portal through. The Japanese value of ‘wabi-sabi’ understands this. The chip on the ceramic vase rendering it imperfect, is central to its beauty. The petals falling in a seeming mess off the roses, create spontaneous art on the table.

The gateway of deficiency:
When we directly contact our sense of deficiency – of being empty, rotten, not good enough, it feels that to expose it would cause us to be swallowed up by it, never to escape. Let others really in to see this, and it would be confirmed by rejection. We believe we are the only ones with this guilty secret and conclude that we must have done something bad to be experiencing this. Yet if we can just rest undefended with this sense of deficiency, this feeling dis-connected itself, we taste a very important truth – that our ego IS deficient. It can’t do anything but imitate the real thing. We find ourselves asked again to just be nothing, do nothing, get nothing, become nothing, seek for nothing, relinquish nothing, just be as we are, rest in God.

At first it feels very counter-intuitive to soften our defenses and courageously open into what a lifetime of conditioning suggests we protect against. This is what makes spiritual awakening feel like being asked to go towards death. All of our fears really come down to this. Fear that we will not exist in the way we know ourselves. Fear we will have no control in the unknown. Could we meet even this and not protect, not cleave to some spiritual concept even, not leave? That is the nexus of deep transformation.

Reflect on something in your life that recently triggered a defensive reaction. Firstly, refuse to judge yourself for the fact this arose. Instead, be curious about what feelings your defense was attempting to push away or protect from. Sit with this question deeply for about 20 minutes:

‘What don’t I want to feel?’
Every defense is a protection against feeling something. Could you open into it and see what it really is deeper than your thoughts? Sometimes it feels like we will die, melt down or go crazy if we let ourselves fully feel rage, terror, loneliness, grief, valuelessness, hopelessness, nothingness, despair. This is coming from a very young place inside that could not handle the intensity of such experiences. Yet if we can stay in the present, take in the loving support of the universe, and just open to the energy, the direct bodily sensations of the experience without telling the story about it, something very magical happens. We realize that our fear was just a gargoyle on the gate to the inner sanctuary.

Complete Allowing:
To practice defenselessness with our self amidst our most vulnerable places is such an expression of love. To be absolutely present, not abandoning ourselves, and yet totally welcoming of whatever comes provides the fresh air for our soul. Just resting in being, things open up in the way we truly need. Your soul knows the way and a question like this (for 20 minutes) helps that way be found:

‘What’s it like to allow your experience completely?’
Ramana Maharshi said that enlightenment is not really a change but a shift of attention. This question shifts our attention to the opposite of defending. Allowing is a non-doing practice. Ceasing to interfere or control or even try to guide ourselves. It is something we can learn to let our ego habits relax.

What happens when we truly rest undefended is a mysterious process and it is slightly different every time. We are no longer in charge and that is the point. Finally we are humble and in this, grace becomes dynamic within our being – showing us what might need to be seen or done, perhaps appearing as guidance or perhaps revealing in direct experience a deeper taste of who we truly are. It is no longer in our hands. We are undefended, and powerfully open to the mystery. The inner teacher is liberated and we find ourselves resting more deeply in the vast ocean of indestructible being.

Miranda Macpherson ‘Be Nothing Do Nothing Get Nothing Become Nothing’ Interview by Renate McNay

Published on May 14, 2014

Miranda Macpherson ‘Be Nothing Do Nothing Get Nothing Become Nothing’ Interview by Renate McNay

View Here on her book ” Boundless Love: Transforming Your Life with Grace and Inspiration

Stillness, Insight, and Emptiness: Buddhist Meditation from the Ground Up by Lama Dudjom Dorjee

Meditation is the key to meaningful Buddhist practice, but establishing a solid foundation requires skill and sustained effort. In simple and inviting language, this book shows how to develop a successful meditation practice.

In Tibetan Buddhism, developing a consistent and sustained meditation practice is the first step toward discerning the true nature of reality as taught by the Buddha. Lama Dudjom Dorjee encapsulates the Buddha’s teaching in terms that are accessible and encouraging for beginning meditators, covering topics from establishing a proper meditation posture to realizing the luminous and spacious qualities of the mind.

Chapters discuss
•The life of the Buddha
•The first turning of the wheel of dharma
•The four noble truths and the eightfold path
•Proper meditation posture
•The nine stages of shamatha, or resting the mind
•Common obstacles to shamatha and their antidotes
•Benefits of developing shamatha
•The subsequent stages of practice, including insight/vipashyana meditation and mahamudra

Born to a nomadic family in eastern Tibet, LAMA DUDJOM DORJEE grew up in India and received a distinguished Acharya degree from Sanskrit University in Varanasi. In 1981, at the request of the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, he came to the United States as a representative of the Karma Kagyu lineage. He is presently Resident Lama of Karma Thegsum Choling in Dallas, Texas.

Click here to take a look inside.

Nangchen Khenpo Dudjom Dorjee Rinpoche teaches on Right Effort

1. Eckhart Tolle Reveals How to Silence Voices in Your Head – Oprah Winfrey Network 2. Eckhart Tolle’s Definition of God

How do you calm the voice in your head, and how can you clear your mind of bad memories?

Eckhart Tolle’s Definition of God – Super Soul Sunday – Oprah Winfrey Network

Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that only through the present moment do you have access to the power of life itself. That power is God. Watch as Eckhart explains why only believing in God is a poor substitute for the reality of God. Plus, watch as he demonstrates the simple exercise you can do to visualize the present moment.

Transmission of the Flame ~ Jean Klein

Dialoges between Jean Klein and his students and friends during recent seminars in the United States and Europe form the text of this illuminating book. In many different settings and circumstances Klein casts and recasts the teaching of Advaita addressing each individual in his or her uniqueness while at the same time demonstrating the oneness of being. These far-reaching exchanges-exploring almost every aspect of self-knowledge-show that it is only through living fully in not knowing that we can awaken to our real nature: the I Am of pure consciousness

Click here to read an excerpt from Transmission of the Flame by Jean Klein

Jean Klein – Discovering the Current of Love

Yoga teacher Lilias Folan interviews Jean Klein with basic and practical questions about the search for truth and the direct path as well as questions about Jean’s own background.

This DVD is a welcome introduction for those who know little of Jean and a warm, joyful reminder for people already familiar with his approach

Full video available to buy from:

~ ~ ~

Jean Klein, master of Advaita Vedanta in the tradition of Ramana Maharshi and Atmananda Krishna Menon and author of many books on non-dualism, spent several years in India going deeply into the subjects of Advaita and Yoga. In 1955 the truth of non-dualism became a living reality. From 1960 he taught in Europe and later in the United states.

Jean Klein – The Flame of Being

Michael Toms’ interview of Jean Klein is a profound and meditative exchange that reveals the real nature of being: silence, space and listening.

Michael Toms’ thoughtful questions encourage Dr. Klein to go deeper into the fundamental issues that confront anyone searching for the truth: the real meaning of freedom, the thinking process, silence versus the quiet mind, welcoming the essence of our being, the relationship between teacher and student, death and how to assist someone who is dying.

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