No Trying, Just Tenderness – Amoda Maa

Published on Dec 18, 2018

In this video – Amoda talks about letting go of trying to fix or control our lives, our world, or our feelings and emotions. And instead she invites you to turn towards tenderness. Tenderness is a surrender of the mind that thinks it can fix things. Tenderness is a powerful way to dissolve the prison bars of egoic control. Tenderness changes everything. This discourse was recorded in Sebastopol, California in December 2018.

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Deepak Chopra – Surrender

Album: A Gift of Love – Music Inspired by the Love Poems of Rumi

Surrender
In love, nothing is eternal but drinking your wine,
There is no reason for bringing my life to you,
other then losing it.
I said “I just want to know you, and then disappear”
She said,”Knowing me does not mean dying”

Defeated By Love
The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
So powerful
I fell to the ground
Your love
has made me sure
I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender
to the magnificence
of your Being

Lost In The Wilderness
Oh lovers, where are you going?
Who are you looking for?
Your beloved is right here.
She lives in your own neighborhood.
Her face is veiled.
She hides behind screens calling for you,
while you search and lose yourself
in the wilderness and the desert.
Cease looking for flowers,
there blooms a garden in your own home.
While you go looking for trinkets,
your treasure house awaits you
in your own being.
There is no need for suffering, God is here!

Alan Watts On The Importance Of Letting Go


by Alan Watts: We think of letting go as something you need to do to relax: a return to a state of flow and calm…
Yet, letting go is actually vital to life. Philosopher and writer, Alan Watts says so much of life happens all the time in the space of letting go. When we let go, we sleep, we relax, and we allow life to happen. In fact, we enter into the flow of the entire universe.

Existence is something that is spontaneous. The Chinese word for nature, ziran, means that which happens of itself.

A master at communicating difficult concepts with resolute clarity, Alan Watts popularised Zen concepts in the West and has much to share about letting go and why it is so important.

Source: Uplift Connect

How Can I Be Free of Emotional Pain? ~ Amoda Maa Jeevan


In this video – Amoda answers a question from the audience about how to resolve an old emotional wound that is felt as a tight knot of pain in the body.

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Art Of Letting Go ~ Thich Nhat Hanh…

Thich Nhat Hanh…the Zen Buddhist master, has some interesting advice about what it means to truly let go. Many people mistake detachment or non-clinging to be a form of aloofness, or emotional disconnect from others, but as Hanh explains, truly letting go often means loving someone more than you have ever loved them before.

The Buddha taught that detachment, one of the disciplines on the Noble Path, also called ariyasaavaka, is not a physical act of withdrawal or even a form of austerity. Though the Buddha teaches of a ‘non-action which is an integral part of the Right Way,’ if it is taken out of context it can give the impression that we should develop a lack of concern for others, and that we should live without truly feeling or expressing our emotions–cutting ourselves off from life.

These type of misinterpretations are sadly common, since there are not always direct translations from the Paali language into English.

This form of detachment is an erroneous understanding of the Buddha’s message. Master Hanh states that to truly let go we must learn to love more completely. Non-attachment only happens when our love for another extends beyond our own personal expectations of gain, or our anticipation of a specific, desired outcome.

Hanh describes four forms of complete detachment, which surprisingly, aren’t about holing yourself up in a cave and ignoring everyone who has broken your heart, or ignoring your lust or desire for a romantic interest. This is not detachment. Letting go means diving in.

To truly let go we must learn to love more completely.


Maitri (Not the Love You Know)
Hanh describes the importance of Maitri, not love as we normally understand in a Westernized use of the word. He states:

The first aspect of true love is maitri (metta, in Pali), the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness. To develop that capacity, we have to practice looking and listening deeply so that we know what to do and what not to do to make others happy. If you offer your beloved something she does not need, that is not maitri. You have to see her real situation or what you offer might bring her unhappiness.

In other words, your detachment may come in accepting that certain things you would normally do to make another person feel loved and appreciated may not be what the person you are actively loving now, needs. Instead of forcing that behavior on another person, with an egoic intent to ‘please’ them, you simply detach from that need in yourself, and truly observe what makes another person feel comfortable, safe, and happy.

He further explains:

We have to use language more carefully. ‘Love’ is a beautiful word; we have to restore its meaning. The word ‘maitri’ has roots in the word mitra which means friend. In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.

In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.

Karuna (Compassion)
The next form of true detachment is compassion. When we let go, we don’t stop offering a compassionate touch, word, or deed to help someone who is in pain. We also don’t expect to take their hurt or pain away. Compassion contains deep concern, though. It is not aloofness. It is not isolation from others.

The Buddha smiles because he understands why pain and suffering exist, and because he also knows how to transform it. You become more deeply involved in life when you become detached from the outcome, but this does not mean you don’t participate fully–even in others’ pain.

Gratitude and Joy
In truly letting go you practice gratitude. Mudita, or joy arises when we are overcome with gratitude for all that we have, such that we no longer cling to some other longed-for result. The Buddha’s definition of joy is more like ‘unselfish joy.’ It means that we don’t only find happiness when something good happens to us, but when others find happiness.

If you’ve ever had to say goodbye to a love or friend so that they could continue on their life’s path–one that may not have continued to intertwine with your own–you may have felt pain when they found someone new to love, or made a new friend that seemed to take your place. This is not true detachment. Joy arises when you find happiness even when others find joy–and it has little or nothing to do with you.

In truly letting go you practice gratitude.

Upeksha (Equanimity)
Master Hanh describes the final quality of true love which sheds inordinate light on the true process of letting go. He states:

The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, non-attachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go. Upa means ‘over,’ and iksha means ‘to look.’ You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love.

People who do not understandBuddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love. You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.

Hanh explains that without this quality our love tends to become possessive–a stomping ground of the ego. We try to put our beloved in our pocket and carry them with us, when they are more like the wind, or a butterfly, or a stream, needing to move and flow, or risk dying. This is not love, this is destruction.

For love to be true love, it must have elements of compassion, joy, and equanimity–and this is truly letting go.

The Art of Letting Go is Artless
The real secret is that letting go is not an art, it is an allowing, a being. A non-attached relationship is healthy, strong and filled with effortless love, kindness and compassion. It is completely selfless because your sense of ‘self’ is no longer asserted in every situation. If you want to truly let go, you’ve got to love more, not less. This is the most common misunderstanding about this priceless teaching of the Buddha.

Source: Uplift Connect

Thich Nhat Hanh Explains the Art of ‘Letting Go’

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist master, has some interesting advice about what it means to truly let go.
Many people mistake detachment or non-clinging to be a form of aloofness, or emotional disconnect from others, but as Hanh explains, truly letting go often means loving someone more than you have ever loved them before.

The Buddha taught that detachment, one of the disciplines on the Noble Path, also called ariyasaavaka, is not a physical act of withdrawal or even a form of austerity. Though the Buddha teaches of a “non-action which is an integral part of the Right Way,” if it is taken out of context it can give the impression that we should develop a lack of concern for others, and that we should live without truly feeling or expressing our emotions – cutting ourselves off from life.

These type of misinterpretations are sadly common, since there are not always direct translations from the Paali language into English.

This form of “detachment” is an erroneous understanding of the Buddha’s message. Master Hanh states that to truly let go we must learn to love more completely. Non-attachment only happens when our love for another extends beyond our own personal expectations of gain, or our anticipation of a specific, desired outcome.

Hanh describes four forms of complete detachment, which surprisingly, aren’t about holing yourself up in a cave and ignoring everyone who has broken your heart, or ignoring your lust or desire for a romantic interest. This is not detachment. Letting go, means diving in. For example:

Maitri (Not the Love You Know)

Hanh describes the importance of Maitri, not love as we normally understand in a Westernized use of the word. He states,

“The first aspect of true love is maitri (metta, in Pali), the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness. To develop that capacity, we have to practice looking and listening deeply so that we know what to do and what not to do to make others happy. If you offer your beloved something she does not need, that is not maitri. You have to see her real situation or what you offer might bring her unhappiness.”

In other words, your detachment may come in accepting that certain things you would normally do to make another person feel loved and appreciated may not be what the person you are actively loving now, needs. Instead of forcing that behavior on another person, with an egoic intent to “please” them, you simply detach from that need in yourself, and truly observe what makes another person feel comfortable, safe, and happy.

Hanh further explains,

“We have to use language more carefully. “Love” is a beautiful word; we have to restore its meaning. The word “maitri” has roots in the word mitra which means friend. In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.”
Karuna (Compassion)

The next form of true detachment is compassion. When we let go, we don’t stop offering a compassionate touch, word, or deed to help someone who is in pain. We also don’t expect to take their hurt or pain away. Compassion contains deep concern, though. It is not aloofness It is not isolation from others.

The Buddha smiles because he understands why pain and suffering exist, and because he also knows how to transform it. You become more deeply involved in life when you become detached form the outcome, but this does not mean you don’t participate fully – even in others’ pain.

Gratitude and Joy

In truly letting go you practice gratitude. Mudita, or joy arises when we are overcome with gratitude for all that we have, such that we no longer cling to some other longed-for result. The Buddha’s definition of joy is more like “Unselfish joy.” It means that we don’t only find happiness when something good happens to us, but when others find happiness.

If you’ve ever had to say goodbye to a love or friend so that they could continue on their life’s path – one that may not have continued to intertwine with your own – you may have felt pain when they found someone new to love, or made a new friend that seemed to take your place. This is not true detachment. Joy arises when you find happiness even when others find joy – and it has little or nothing to do with you.
Upeksha (Equanimity)

Master Hanh describes the final quality of true love which sheds inordinate light on the true process of letting go.

He states,

“The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, non-attachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go. Upa means “over,” and iksha means “to look.” You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love.

People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love. You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.”

Hanh explains that without this quality our love tends to become possessive – a stomping ground of the ego. We try to put our beloved in our pocket and carry them with us, when they are more like the wind, or a butterfly, or a stream, needing to move and flow, or risk dying. This is not love, this is destruction.

For love to be true love, it must have elements of compassion, joy, and equanimity – and thisis truly letting go.

The Art of Letting Go is Artless

The real secret is that letting go is not an art, it is an allowing, a being. A non-attached relationship is healthy, strong and filled with effortless love, kindness and compassion. It is completely selfless because your sense of ‘self’ is no longer asserted in every situation. If you want to truly let go, you’ve got to love more, not less. This is the most common misunderstanding about this priceless teaching of the Buddha.

Featured Image: Photo © Unified Buddhist Church.
Source: The Mind Unleashed

Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis (New Consciousness Readers) by Stanislav Grof (Editor),‎ Christina Grof (Editor)

From Spiritual Emergency to Healing and Rebirth

Increasing numbers of people involved in personal transformation are experiencing spiritual emergencies — crises when the process of growth and change becomes chaotic and overwhelming. Individuals experiencing such episodes may feel that their sense of identity is breaking down, that their old values no longer hold true, and that the very ground beneath their personal realities is radically shifting. In many cases, new realms of mystical and spiritual experience enter their lives suddenly and dramatically, resulting in fear and confusion. They may feel tremendous anxiety, have difficulty coping with their daily lives, jobs, and relationships, and may even fear for their own sanity.

Unfortunately, much of modern psychiatry has failed to distinguish these episodes from mental illness. As a result, transformational crises are often suppressed by routine psychiatric care, medication, and even institutionalization.

However, there is a new perspective developing among many mental health professionals and those studying spiritual development that views such crises as transformative breakthroughs that can hold tremendous potential for physical and emotional healing. When understood and treated in a supportive manner, spiritual emergencies can become gateways to higher levels of functioning and new ways of being.

In this book, foremost psychologists, psychiatrists, and spiritual teachers address the following questions: What is spiritual emergency? What is the relationship between spirituality, “madness,” and healing? What forms does spiritual emergency take? What are the pitfalls — and promises — of spiritual practice? How can people in spiritual emergency be assisted by family, friends, and professionals?

This groundbreaking work reveals that within the crisis of spiritual emergency lies the promise of spiritual emergence and renewal.

Stanislav Grof, M.D., is a psychiatrist with more than thirty years of research experience in nonordinary states of consciousness. He was born and educated in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and received an M.D. from Prague’s Charles University School of Medicine, where he specialized in psychiatry. He was the principle investigator for a program at the Psychiatric Research Institute that explored the potential of psychedelic therapy. For his dissertation on this subject, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

In 1967 he was invited to Johns Hopkins University as a clinical and research fellow and to the research unit of Spring Grove State Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where he continued his psychadelic research. In 1969 he was offered the position of chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and of assistant professor of psychology at Henry Phipps Clinic. The research team he headed systematically explored the value of psychedelic therapy in neurotics, alcoholics, drug addicts, and terminal cancer patients.

Stanislav continued these functions until 1973, when he moved to California and became scholar in residence at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Since that time, he has focused on exploring the potential of experimental psychotherapy without drugs, in addition to writing and conducting seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association. He has published more than ninety papers in professional journals and is the author of Realms of the Human Unconscious, The Human Encounter with Death, LSD Psychotherapy, Beyond the Brain, and The Adventure of Self-Discovery. He was also editor of the volumes Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science and Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution.

View Here

Christina Grof: Addiction, Attachment & Spiritual Crisis — Thinking Allowed w/ Jeffrey Mishlove

Christina Grof describes her own struggle to overcome alcoholism and suggests that the impulse that leads to addictive behavior stems from our yearning for spiritual union. Crises of spiritual opening, she says, may often look like episodes of acute psychosis and are often difficult and even painful. Unlike psychosis, however, such crises can lead to higher states of personality integration.

Christina Grof is founder of the Spiritual Emergence Network. She is author of The Thirst for Wholeness, and is a developer, with husband Stanislav Grof, of Holotropic therapy.

How To Surrender Your Goals To The Universe – Gabrielle Bernstein

Today I’m really excited to share a lesson from my book The Universe Has Your Back… View Here

Let’s start with a passage from the book about how we can sometimes get in the way of receiving guidance. We often block our own divine guidance when we are:

  • Highly goal oriented
  • Focused on the future to the point that we’re future tripping
  • Trying to make something happen
  • I taught on this topic in a Facebook Live session a little while ago and took questions! You can watch the video below or scroll to keep reading (or both)

Here’s the passage from The Universe Has Your Back. It begins with a Universal Lesson, which are sprinkled all throughout the book.

UNIVERSAL LESSON: GOALS OVERSHADOW GUIDANCE.
The part of me that wants to be in control doesn’t like the word hope. To my fearful mind, hope implies that there’s something I’m unable to make happen on my own. While I may not like that concept, it’s exactly what I needed. Hope helps us move through our problems and choose to perceive them in a new way. Hope is the conduit for miracles. For me to move past the sadness, shame and need to control, I had to surrender to hope and let go of my plans.

In this process, I was reminded of the need to turn inward for answers. Carl Jung said: “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” When we look outside for our faith we get lost in the dreams of who we think we should be, what we think we need and when we think we need it. But when we turn inward we surrender to the one and only truth, which is love. When we surrender to love we can experience our darkest moment as the greatest catalyst for transformation.

The pathway back to hope is through surrender. It’s not something that comes naturally to us — it must be a daily practice.

This practice of surrender is what I want to talk about today. How can we look inside and awaken instead of looking outside only to dream?

We need to look inward and learn to rely on that presence of hope and faith much more. Our ego mind really wants to give up on that word, hope, because of the implication that we can’t make something happen on our own.

But the core message of The Universe Has Your Back is to stop trying to “make” things happen and start aligning with a greater sense of certainty and serenity. In that alignment, you’re tuned in to a power greater than yourself.

And that is when the Universe begins to co-create with you!

The practice of surrender is one of turning over your need to control, turning over your obsessiveness, turning over your belief system that you have to make everything happen.

This is something I’ve been working on in my own spiritual practice: accepting that the less I do, the more can happen around me. There’s a lot to be said for creating and showing up and putting your heart, soul and sweat into something. But that action has to be backed with alignment. It has to be backed with stillness, surrender and connection.

The more in tune with the Universe that you are, the easier your life will be. You’ll be more faithful and better at healing your fearful perceptions. You’ll live with more ease.

In the Facebook Live video, I answered some excellent questions from the folks who joined me and used their comments as jumping-off points. I’ve condensed them here….

Layla said: “I’ve found that goals can give clarity to attract what you want when you’re able to surrender to the exact results.”

Yes — this is a beautiful message! There is value in having clarity. Holding visions of where we want to go is a big part of how we manifest miracles in our lives.

There is nothing wrong with having goals as long as they are surrendered. Holding a vision and having clarity on what you want is beautiful as long as you have offered up your vision and you’re in alignment with the Universe.

Your goal should always end with this idea: It’s this or something better.

When we insist on achieving our goal in a specific way or on a certain timeline, we interfere with the Universe’s divine plan and we actually block guidance. Our neediness and sense of pushing keep us from manifesting.

So check in with yourself. Ask: Have I offered up my goals? (The book has tools to help you with figuring out whether you have.) If you see that you haven’t, or that you’re future tripping with your goals, the practices in The Universe Has Your Back will help you release your goals and get into alignment with the presence of the Universe.

See what happens when you actually let go — when you say, “It’s this or something better.” When you are in a place of surrender, your energy relaxes and you make space for guidance.

Sophia asked: “How do you distinguish between signs from the divine Universe and those from our ego?”

When you’re receiving a sign from the Universe, it often feels like a great surprise or a gift. When it’s a message from your ego, it’s usually something you’ve been hunting for. You may be subtly manipulating circumstances to deliver you this “sign.”

When a sign comes from the Universe you’ll likely be a little bit blindsided and be like, “Oh! There you are. How cool.”

Here’s an example: If you’ve read The Universe Has Your Back, you know that one of my signs is an owl. It’s a sign that guided my husband and me as we searched for and then found our Mountain House.

Well, recently we moved on from our Mountain House and bought a new house in the same town! After we’d closed, my broker mentioned he had a gift for us, something he saw and thought I’d like. When we walked in the door, I saw his gift and unwrapped it in the hallway. It was a beautiful bowl … with an owl print!

Now, my broker hadn’t read the book and I’d never talked to him about an owl being my sign. I was very content with the choice I’d made. The Universe just surprised me with it, saying, “Welcome to your new home! You’re on the right track.”

This is how you know it’s the Universe. When a sign is from the Universe it will be in your face. There will be no question.

If you haven’t read The Universe Has Your Back, the book includes a step-by-step practice on how to ask for and receive signs from the Universe.

Danielle asked, “How do you know you’ve surrendered?”

This is a great question. And the answer is very simple: You wake up without anxiety about your goal. You feel more ease. You feel more relief. You have the same experiences, but you feel very differently about them. When you surrender a goal to the Universe, you feel at peace when you think about it.

I hope this book serves you and gives you the greatest sense of certainty and safety in the midst of the chaos of the world. Thank you for reading and for being the light.

Source: Gabby

Letting Go – Steve Taylor Ph.D.

A few months ago, I completed a research project at my university about purpose…
We began with the hypothesis that there are different types of purpose. We identified seven different types, beginning with no purpose, survival purpose (in other words, just getting by from day to day) and religious purpose. We also identified ‘self-accumulative’ purpose, (which means accumulating money, status or power), altruistic/idealistic purpose, and ‘self-expansive’ purpose, which means developing yourself creatively or spiritually. Finally, we identified ‘transpersonal’ purpose, which is the ‘spiritual‘ feeling of serving a purpose that is bigger than you, without much conscious effort or intention. It’s when your purpose seems to flow through you, and carry you along, rather than you pushing it along.

We had some interesting findings, especially in relation to age. There was a negative correlation between self-accumulative purpose and age. That is, the older a person was, the less important money, possessions, status, and power were to them. Meanwhile, there was a positive correlation between ‘transpersonal purpose’ and age. The oldest age group (65-plus) were most likely to feel this kind of ‘spiritual’ purpose, while the youngest age group (18 to 30) were the least likely. (Interestingly, we found that women were more likely to be more oriented around transpersonal purpose too.)

Our research investigated the relationship between different types of purpose and self-reported happiness too. We found that ‘no purpose’ and ‘survival purpose’ were most strongly related to unhappiness, while altruistic, self-expansive and transpersonal purpose was associated with happiness. And transpersonal purpose was most strongly associated with well-being.

Gerontranscendence

Why should older people be more oriented around a ‘transpersonal purpose’? Does this imply that people become more ‘spiritual’ as they get older?

Some evidence for this comes from the theory of ‘gerotranscendence,’ developed by the Swedish psychologist Lars Tornstam. Tornstam suggests that aging can be a process of spiritual development. His research has shown that about 20 percent of people (more women than men) over the age of 65 attain ‘cosmic transcendence’ in which they feel connected to the universe and that they are part of everything alive. They also feel a strong sense of the presence of people who are physically elsewhere.

My own view is that this is because getting older entails letting go of some of our psychological attachments. It means that we are no longer able to depend on external things as much for our sense of identity and well-being. We have to let of our attachments to the future, to our appearance, to our possessions, our success, and so on. This is partly because we move towards the end of (or retire from) our careers, and also because we move closer to death.

This ‘letting go’ is one of the primary characteristics of spiritual development. All spiritual traditions, from Buddhism to Sufism to Taoism, emphasize the importance of not being dependent on external things for our well-being. They tell us that we should not care too much possessions, about ambitions and worldly success, and so on. Rather, we should find a natural source of well-being inside ourselves; a natural contentment that isn’t disturbed by the events and circumstances of our lives. So, for some people, getting older seems to mean becoming more rooted in this inner well-being, as opposed to chasing after sources of external happiness.

The Importance of Acceptance

So in a sense, old age can be a process of natural spiritual development. Obviously, this doesn’t always happen. Many old people struggle as their psychological attachments dissolve away. They may feel aggrieved about changes to their physical appearance, the loss of youthful vitality, and the potential loss of everything they have accumulated (their achievements, possessions, status and so on) through death. Rather than experiencing transcendence, they feel more anxious and frustrated. As the famous developmental psychologist Erik Erikson noted, in old age, there are two paths we can take – into ego integrity or into despair; that is, into wisdom and acceptance, or into bitterness and resentment.

In my view, the key element here is acceptance. I wrote a book called Out of the Darkness, which was a study of how intense psychological turmoil (such as a diagnosis of cancer, bereavement, addiction or intense depression) can sometimes give rise to personal transformation. I found that the transformation was always preceded by a moment of acceptance; of letting go of resistance, of surrender, or ‘handing over.’ And this is no doubt the case with old age. If we resist the natural process of letting go that comes with aging, we will become more unhappy. If we accept it, we will become happier – and at the same time, more spiritually developed.

Source: Psychology Today

Awaken Interviews Leonard Jacobson – What It Means To Awaken

Posted on October 8, 2017

Donna Quesada: Well, Leonard it’s really nice to meet you. David gave me your book a few weeks ago and I sure have enjoyed it and I was just delighted to know.

I would be talking with you today. So on a personal level thank you and thank you for sharing your time with Awaken.

Leonard Jacobson: Well, thank you, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.

DONNA: Thank you very much. I spent some time in Sydney. Many years ago, though. One day I’ll make it back. Well, as you know the web site is called Awaken.com, so we have a little tradition…so, if you’ll indulge us, we like to start with the question of what it means to awaken. So, if you wouldn’t mind sharing your thoughts on that?

LEONARD: Ok. Well, for me, it’s very very simple. We have to ask the question, “what are we awakening from?” And, “what are we Awakening to?” What we are awakening from is the world of the human thinking mind. The mind that never stops thinking. And whenever we think, we take ourselves into this world of the mind and it’s really the world of the remembered past and the imagined future. Sometimes I call it “the world of the mind.” Sometimes I call it “your story.” Everything outside of this moment is your story. It’s based in the past or imagining into the future. So, sometimes I call it “your dream.” It’s a world of illusion because it’s made up of memory, imagining, concepts, ideas, beliefs. And it’s also a world of separation because we’ve actually separated ourselves from the truth in life and the truth of who we are. The truth of love, the truth of God. So it’s a very limited level of consciousness when we’re functioning within the world of the mind. And we are actually governed by the ego. It’s almost like the ego is the custodian in that world of the mind…in the story…within the dream. And it has a very specific role that it plays within that limited level of consciousness.

When we are in the mind…that part of ourselves speaking, goes all the way back to our childhood. In fact, it goes all the way beyond that. It goes into past lives, but we don’t need to concern ourselves with that for now. But it goes all the way back to childhood, so when you are living with the mind, you are living with all those limited beliefs that form in the mind when you are a child. For example, limiting beliefs like, I’m all alone…there’s no one here for me…I’m not good enough…I can’t do it…there must be something wrong with me…I’m not loved. All of those sorts of limiting beliefs that affect our experience of life and affect our experience of ourselves.

We also live with all of the repressed emotions that have accumulated within us since childhood and they are still with us. These repressed emotions play havoc with our lives. So, that’s what we are awakening from. A world of illusion and separation. Filled with all the limiting beliefs and repressed feelings and false concepts and beliefs. What do we Awaken to?

We Awaken into the world of Now. The real truth. The present moment. And as we awaken into the world of now, into the present moment, we begin to experience ourselves in a completely different way. Almost like we are experiencing a new dimension of ourselves. A new dimension of life. And our experience of life is dramatically changed. So, that’s what I mean by awakening. Awakening into the world of now and then we’ll experience the truth on many, many levels.

DONNA: You know, it’s an interesting thing. You were saying how we are either swinging like a pendulum into the past, or otherwise into the fantasies of the future, but this is something that I’ve thought about before…too much thinking is exactly the problem. But, even when we are in the present, it seems like the mind is still in its fantasies because we are busy judging and we are only judging what we see, which is part of the story. So, we are sabotaged even when we are here. Is that the work of the mind as well?

LEONARD: What’s happening is that you’re not really present. You think you’re present but at the level where you are free of all this. So, you really need to be able to distinguish. When you are truly present and awake in the present moment and when you are in the mind, it is very subtle. We need to be able to distinguish those two dimensions, so we can never be mistaken again. And I have a very clear test, a very simple test that distinguishes whether we are truly present or whether we are in the mind. It’s very similar to that test we did at school, the litmus test. Red, Blue or Orange. Whether it’s acid or alkaline. It’s simple and it’s clear and as non-negotiable as that test. So, the test of presence is very simple. It is the test of science. If you are truly present in this moment, your mind is silent, which means there are no thoughts. You’re not trying to stop thoughts, but you are so present that thoughts stop all by themselves because you are present.

You see, thoughts are always past, future. There is no possibility of thinking within the present moment. It’s impossible. You have to leave the present moment to think about it. So, all our thoughts take us into the past or future. So, that’s the real test. How do you be truly present? You feel like you are truly here and nowhere else and your mind is silent. Even if it’s just for 10 seconds. That’s actually okay. Because slowly, slowly, the space between thoughts will get wider and wider. A huge gap is possible until you wake up one morning and you find that your mind is essentially silent. And you are essentially present. Now, you can still think, of course. You can still think, but now you are thinking consciously. It’s not that stream of uninvited, unconscious thoughts.

DONNA: This is a great subtlety…because I’ve heard it said that you can not stop thoughts—that the mind just generates thoughts. I remember one Zen Master called them “secretions.” And so, the idea is not to stop them, but rather, to not be attached or engaged or busy with them…attending to them.

LEONARD: Well, you know, that is true. And what you are saying is absolutely true. If you have any intention whatsoever, to try and stop thoughts. Well, that is a judgment of thoughts, therefore it will strengthen the thought. So really, we could say that the thought is really not your business! You just focus on being present and if you reach a certain level of presence you’re really here and nowhere else. The thoughts will stop by themselves, without you trying to stop them. I’m not saying they will stop forever. I’m saying they will stop in this moment. And as long as you are truly present the way I’m describing, then the thoughts will remain silent. Your mind will remain silent until you again get caught up in that thinking process.

You see the truth is that we are all very, very hopelessly addicted to thinking. It’s the strongest addiction. It’s stronger than the addiction to heroin…gambling…sex. Anything else you can think of. We humans are completely addicted to thinking. And we are habituated to living within the world of the mind, which is a very low level of consciousness. And there is a significant obstacle to us coming out of the world of the mind. And that obstacle is the resistance of the ego. The ego wants you to be spiritual. It would love you to be enlightened, but it doesn’t know anything about being present. And so, when you find yourself present and your mind is silent…the ego doesn’t like that. It’s open to enlightenment, not silence. It was looking for the big bang, not silence. And so, it’s very skilled at pulling you out of the present moment. So. in order for us to remain fundamentally present, we have a certain process to go through, which I describe in my teaching as Step Two of the Two Step Path to Awakening.

DONNA: I’m going to be asking you about those two steps. But I love what you said, that “the thoughts are none of our business.” I love that.

LEONARD: We notice them when they are arriving, but don’t get involved. Don’t try and stop them.

DONNA: You mentioned the ‘E’ word. “Enlightenment.” So is there such a thing as enlightenment? Or, is it a step by step moment kind of affair?

LEONARD: The problem is, when you read about people’s enlightenment. It will describe what it is like to be enlightened. What they are really talking about is enlightenment experiences. I’ve had very profound enlightenment experiences. As much as anyone you’d ever read about…ever. In terms of experiences. But all experiences pass. And what doesn’t pass is the one experiencing…so who is experiencing the enlightenment? I am.

You see, many people become identified with the experience itself and then they get caught again into the story, thinking they are enlightened. If somebody says to me “I am enlightened.” The first thing I’ll say to them is “Who is enlightened?” The only answer is…the truth is, “I am.” So, it is the I am that you are. I am presence, which is that dimension of you that is of this moment and only of this moment. This is the Awakened you. I much prefer the word “Awakened” to “Enlightened.” Because everyone has an idea and a concept of Enlightenment, which is just a concept. It doesn’t really mean anything. So if I was going to give you a definition of enlightenment, I would say you are now so fundamentally established in presence that you never get caught up or lost in your story. You might still have a story, you still play in the world of time but you never get lost anymore. You know where the truth is. It is you, fully present in this moment. Present with what is here.

Now you’re open to the mystery. You’re opening into the oneness at the deeper levels of presence. That is where it becomes very, very interesting and engaging because at the deeper levels of presence, the illusion of separation that we live with within the mind is gone. And now, you open into oneness. And at the deepest levels of presence, we literally can experience the living presence of God in all things. In other words, God has Omnipresence. At the very deepest levels, awakened presence is quite a point that heaven on Earth will be revealed for you. It wont be revealed for everyone. It will be revealed to those that are totally present…the past and future is no longer projecting onto the present moment. We are experiencing the present moment in its very pure state. We are experiencing what is really here, free of projections, your opinions, your past experiences, your judgments. All of that is just gone.

DONNA: Before I get to the process of how to get there, I want to get a little heavy for a moment. Many spiritual teachers talk about the “Dark Night of the Soul.” Tolle refers to it as “limit situations.” And one of my teachers, who is one of David’s teachers, shares his experience of having a near death experience, which sort of propelled him, or served as the impetus for his own spiritual path. Do you think a person needs to have a “crisis” in order to open to the desire to awaken?

LEONARD: Well, I’ll tell you how it works from my perspective, which is…almost everyone on this planet is living almost exclusively within the story…within the dream. Let’s call it “the story” for now. Now, who wants to wake up out of that happy story? The answer is, no one! Very few people will be motivated to wake up out of a happy story. But if our story becomes more and more full of suffering, maybe we’ll get to a point where we will spontaneously awaken out of that story full of suffering.

I’ll give you two examples of who went through that. Number one: Eckhart Tolle. He describes it very clearly that he was so down, so depressed…his story was so painful. He was just sitting on a bench somewhere and suddenly he awakened out of his story. It can happen quite spontaneously like that. The story becomes so difficult, so full of pain and suffering that we have a spontaneous awakening out of it. Another example is Buddha. He tried everything…followed every path…every condition…everything. He finally realized he couldn’t get there. So he gave up and in that giving up, of course, it opened up.

DONNA: Surrender.

LEONARD: Yes, It’s a surrender. I give up, I surrender. I can’t do this. And it’s in that moment of relaxation that the truth is revealed for him. I think Jesus had a similar experience when he was baptized in the water by John the Baptist. Symbolically anyway, it washed away his past. His personality was momentarily washed away. Now here’s the real problem though. If you ask yourself who is behind the suffering in our stories…my answer is very simple. It’s God. God is increasing our suffering because what God wants of any of us is to awaken out of our suffering, our story. But no one will wake up out of a happy story, so God keeps making our story incrementally more difficult and painful. The problem is, nobody wakes up out of a…very few wake up out of the story. They stay in the story…trying to make it better. And that’s the trap. It’s easier to wake up out of the dream, than try and fix the dream. Everyone is lost in the dream trying to make it better and the more you try to make it better, the more you get lost in the dream.

DONNA: So would you say to the people, the happily deluded people…is there any need to wake up at all?

LEONARD: No, Maybe it’s not their turn. Not their lifetime. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Some people are just sort of naturally awake and that’s why their lives are flowing so well. And there still is a happy story. And other people…maybe it’s not their time. It doesn’t really matter. Each individual has to find their way to this path and usually it’s the soul that drives us to this path to awakening, even though we’re not aware of it.

Continued in Part II…

Source: AWAKEN

Surrendering to Being through the Body – Aisha Salem

Published on Oct 1, 2017
This video from “Meetings with Aisha Salem” Speaks about surrendering into a deeper surrender through the body. An invitation to bring being into matter.

Welcome to explore the teaching via:

Homepage https://www.aishasalem.com/

***Change and Spiritual Surrender: Opening Yourself to the Possibility of Greatness By Dr. Jennifer Howard

If you have been involved in personal development and spiritual growth you have probably heard someone talk about surrender. Surrender can be different things to different people. When you see a movie and character surrender to the enemy it means giving up. That is the perspective from one level of consciousness. You either fight and win or quit and lose.

If you don’t know another viewpoint exists and you’re not looking at the larger spiritual picture, you might say, “Why would I want to surrender?”

WHAT IS SURRENDER?

From a spiritual perspective surrender is allowing “what is” to just be, or being with life “as it is” in this present moment. This kind of surrender doesn’t mean to give up or quit on yourself or life. Instead, it is more closely related to the saying, “Let go and let God” or let Spirit be your guide.
There are layers to understanding and experiencing surrender. Often times, we feel like we have surrendered when we are aware of being stuck and we finally decide to stop banging our heads against the wall. To surrender, in this sense, means letting go enough to be able to look at all of the elements in a situation that may be keeping you from moving in the desired direction. Meaning, you have relaxed your fixed thinking adequately and can allow deeper wisdom to inform your direction.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SURRENDER

Other times we become so fixated on a certain end result we keep fighting the cues that life gives us and probably feel stressed most of the time.
Perhaps we forget to look at what is necessary to do, or let go, in our lives in order to be moving with the flow of life. This flow allows for more peace and happiness and takes us ultimately to our True Self, where we really feel at home. Surrender can continue going even deeper to what some refer to as the ultimate surrender. The great spiritual teachers explain this as being completely one with life.

How do I begin to surrender like this and allow what is?

In order to do that you, would have to let go of your tightly held ideas of what you think must be. This would mean loosening and transforming the attachments that are connected to your personal Will in order to move with and relax into Divine Will. This profound movement towards surrender gives a sense of releasing into something bigger than us and our own personal agendas. One could even say that you were moving with the flow of your life and you can experience being held by life.

Now this doesn’t mean that we ask for divine wisdom to make our morning cup of coffee or wash the dishes while we lie in bed. We definitely set our own goals and intentions in order to co-create our lives. But as life moves on and some “things don’t work out” with our own ideas about how life is supposed to be, we use these failures as guides and lessons. They can lead us to a greater alignment with our life’s purpose and meaning. And though it might not always seems so at the time, Our Divine purpose will always be for the good of all.

HOW WILL I KNOW I AM READY TO SURRENDER?

For many of us there comes a point in personal development and spiritual growth in which the wisest next step can only be to surrender. We’ve been wrestled to the ground by life.

We can begin by noticing when we feel extreme stress towards a certain life situation or event and then look at where we might be trying to push the river, so to speak. When you are pushing the river and going against the current you often feel body tensions, adrenaline exhaustion and other kinds of physical ailments, along with emotional angst.

Once you observe that you are pushing so hard, then you can examine the deeper meaning of this difficult challenge. Is it simply that we need to stay steady and push past our limited feelings and belief systems? Is it to push ourselves to another level of consciousness? Or on the other hand, are we stuck in the mud about wanting what we want when we want it? Is it some form of an uninformed child-self that won’t let go?

We’ll want to examine our willingness to change and our limited belief systems that arise as we study the situation. It is important to observe the how and why we do whatever it is that is holding us back, so as not to keep repeating the pattern. Having greater consciousness around this situation allows us to be more deeply aligned with our divine purpose and the meaning of our individual existence and impact in life.

I would love to hear your thoughts about surrender….

Author’s Bio:
Dr. Howard is a licensed psychotherapist, healer, author, & professional speaker with more than 20 years of experience in helping people make changes in their lives. She has offices in Long Island, NY, and NYC, & has appeared on numerous national network TV.

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When the Storm Arises Rest in Your Depth – Amoda Maa

Published on Sep 20, 2017

Join Amoda Maa at her 5-day Retreat at Mount Madonna Center, CA
November 12 -16, 2017

In this video – Amoda talks about turning within and resting in the depth of your heart, even when the storm arises. This depth is where presence is, and it is far more powerful to move from here than to obey the argument in your head to do this or that.

An Eastern Approach to Letting Go By Christopher Chase

How Taoist and Buddhist philosophies can help us connect to life

You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.
– Eckhart Tolle

If I had to summarize what I’ve learned from Taoist and Buddhist philosophy it’s been a deeper understanding of how to both let go and connect with life. It’s a kind of yin and yang approach to everything.

How to both let go and connect with life

Reducing Stress, Finding Peace

In the Tao Te Ching the advice is to yield with difficulties, reduce clutter, create space, let go. So over the years I’ve tried to apply this to my thoughts, emotions, goals, expectations and opinions, especially when these are creating fear, anxiety or unhappiness.

This approach has helped me to let go of stress, flow with problems, accept situations that were difficult, and to find deeper peace.

Letting go of stress

Falling Back into Communion

On the flip side the great masters of the East offer wonderful advice on how to connect more closely with the world around us, with nature, with creative activities and people, with the great flow of all existence. They emphasize how we are each a part of Nature, unique sentient expressions of our Universe.

As we let go of our limited human thoughts and obsessions, we fall back gracefully into communion with the Source of all things, connecting directly with the Universal field of life and energy that has brought us into being.

Back to the Source of all things

Our Primal Virtue

This is who we really are, the sages and masters tell us. We are this great dance of creative awareness, relationships and activity. Breathing in deeply and mindfully we pull the outer world into us, breathing out slowly we let it go.

Carrying body and soul
and embracing the one,
Can you avoid separation?

Attending fully and becoming supple,
Can you be as a newborn babe?

Washing and cleansing the primal vision,
Can you be without stain?
Loving all men and ruling the country,
Can you be without cleverness?

Opening and closing the gates of heaven,
Can you play the role of woman?
Understanding and being open to all things,
Are you able to do nothing?

Giving birth and nourishing,
Bearing yet not possessing,
Working yet not taking credit,
Leading yet not dominating,
This is the Primal Virtue.

– Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching

Adyashanti – Letting Go of Fear

Published on Jul 7, 2017http://adyashanti.org – Adyashanti explores how to move through existential fear, and reminds us that even in the midst of this fear, you can simply stop, be still, and relax in the knowledge that you will let go when you are ready to. This letting go can be a loving act that you bring into the world. By opening up your circle of regard to all beings, your letting go takes on a benevolent quality and affects all those around you.

Video Excerpted From “In the Face of the Infinite”

Letting Go – The Freedom of Awake Awareness with Tara Brach


Published on Mar 27, 2017

Letting Go – The Freedom of Awake Awareness (08/31/2106)

We know we need to let go of harmful habits like obsessive worry, blame and over consuming to experience true well-being, yet much of the time we are stuck and judge ourselves for being out of control. This talk explores what’s so difficult about letting go and how we can’t will it but we can be willing. We then explore the shift to awake awareness that enables a natural dissolution of clinging and resistance, and the deep peace and freedom of letting be.
***********************************************************************

Adyashanti – A Radical Embrace of Everything [updated March 25, 2017]

Published on Mar 24, 2017

http://adyashanti.org – Adyashanti explores the human and divine qualities of life, how your humanness is an expression of divinity, and how your humanness and divinity are intimately intertwined. By extinguishing any attempt to avoid or transcend anything in your experience, an opportunity presents itself, and a fuller embrace of life becomes available to you. Adyashanti reveals how your revelation of the interlocking nature of humanness and divinity can be the catalyst for you to radically embrace all of existence.

Video Excerpted From “Jesus: Unifying Human and Divine”:
http://bit.ly/2dDIRf8

Quotes from this Video:

“This kind of surrender brings with it a kind of redeeming quality. It has a sense of being restored to your natural condition — not because you’ve left your humanity — but because spirit has completely embraced it.”

“This is the gift of the whole story. It is the descent of spirit into the world of time and space, whereas other stories are the awakening of spirit from time to the eternal. This is the eternal descending into time.”

“When you wake up, it tends to take you into emptiness. Yes, it’s an extremely full emptiness, but it’s an emptiness nonetheless — the emptiness of pure consciousness.”

“The story is giving voice to our divinity, and finding the divinity not just outside of humanity, in the unborn space of emptiness, but finding the divinity right in the world of form — and through a complete embrace of life as it actually is.”

“So to do this you’re embracing everything that it is to exist, which is the triumph and the tragedy of it. It is not a movement of seeking to avoid it, and it’s not a transcendent movement necessarily.”

“It’s a radical embrace of everything. It’s a ‘yes.’ It’s a leap of faith, and that brings the experience of redemption. Suddenly, you’ve discovered the completeness within everything. You’ve discovered the grace within the chaos.”

“Something within us reaches out for both of these kinds of graces — the transcendent grace and the grace within the human existence. Both of these are yearned for within the depths of our being. “

DROPPING THE STRUGGLE Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have ~Roger Housden


Is it possible to fully accept, even love, the life you have? Is it possible to drop the struggle to make yourself and your life different? Acclaimed teacher and bestselling author Roger Housden says yes in this profound alternative to nonstop striving and self-criticism. Whether about our relationships, careers, or spirituality, many of us judge ourselves as not measuring up. But fulfillment comes when we stop struggling and learn to trust the wisdom of what life presents us with.

Housden wrote Dropping the Struggle as someone who, up until a few years ago, spent much of his time in a covert struggle with life. Despite his success, he often felt that something was missing. He struggled for years with an ongoing spiritual longing, with questions of meaning and purpose, with the search for love, with all the usual difficulties of being human, until he finally realized — though not with his thinking mind — that the only thing life was asking of him was to rest in a deeper knowing that was always there, usually silently, behind the arguments and strategies that would so commonly occupy his conscious self.

“Struggle will never get us the things we want most,” Housden writes, “love; meaning; presence; freedom from anxiety over the past and future; contentment with ourselves exactly as we are, imperfections and all; the acceptance of our mortality — because these things lie outside the ego’s domain. For these, we need another way. That way begins and ends in surrender, in letting go of our resistance to life as it presents itself.”

Read An Excerpt

Roger Housden talks about DROPPING THE STRUGGLE

Published on Aug 17, 2016

In our culture of “get more, have more, be more,” is there any place for “good enough is good enough”? Author Roger Housden says “yes” in this interview about DROPPING THE STRUGGLE: 7 Ways to Love the Life You Have.

Amoda Maa – Is Letting Go the Same as Surrender?

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