Tag Archive: 2012


A World of Love is Coming!’ Brave Archer Films presents ‘2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning’ a film written, directed, filmed, edited and entirely independently funded and produced by Amel Tresnjic.

Plot: Unlike the doomsday perspective portrayed in the media, the film explores a ‘positive’ spiritual viewpoint regarding the significance of December 21, 2012 and beyond. Furthermore it explores ‘our world’s current state’ and provides an empowering message of how every individual can contribute in making the world a better place. The film investigates the galactic alignment, consciousness awakening, cycles of evolution, our binary star system with Sirius, the fear agenda in the media, who’s behind it, love vs fear, the power of choice and much more.

The film is loaded with amazing revelations of the current times we live in, from exceptional astrologer and teacher Santos Bonacci, spiritual leaders Bud Barber, George Neo and much more. The doco is shot entirely in Full HD, illustrated with high end animations and includes original music by Jonathan Kent.

Please share the message and support the film by making a small donation. It is the key to being able to make films like these possible. Each donation will receive a Downloadable Digital High Resolution copy of the Film. This film has been completely independently funded, produced and released for free. Your donation is very much appreciated.

All donations will go towards spreading the message and production costs of the next film entitled ‘Spiritual Awakening, Rise of the Kundalini.’ To donate visit Paypal below! (You don’t need to have a PayPal account to make the donation, simply click on ‘don’t have an account’ and fill out the form) Please Note links don’t work on mobile devices! https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=HB8K…

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(Reuters) – A few words by an American scholar, a crumbling Mexican monument and the love of a good yarn were all it took to spawn the belief that the world could end this week.

December 21 marks the end of an age in a 5,125 year-old Maya calendar, an event that is variously interpreted as the end of days, the start of a new era or just a good excuse for a party.

Thousands of New Age mystics, spiritual adventurers and canny businessmen are converging on ancient ruins in southern Mexico and Guatemala to find out what will happen.

“No one knows what it will look like on the other side,” said Michael DiMartino, 46, a long-haired American who is organizing one of the biggest December 21 celebrations at the Maya temple site of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula.

It is not the world but “the way we perceive it” that will end, said DiMartino, who pledged his event at ground zero for 2012 acolytes will be a “distilling down of various perspectives into a unified intention for positive transformation, evolution and co-creation of a new way of being.”

A mash-up of academic speculation and existential angst seasoned with elements from several world religions, the 2012 phenomenon has been fueled by Hollywood movies and computer games, and relentlessly disseminated by Internet doom-mongers.

Mass hysteria in a Russian prison, a Chinese man building survival pods for doomsday and UFO lovers seeking refuge with aliens in a French mountain village are just some of the reports that have sprung up in the final countdown to December 21.

Robert Bast, a New Zealander living in Melbourne who wrote a book called “Survive 2012” on how to cope with the possible catastrophe, believes the Maya may have sent out a warning.

“The most likely thing for me is a solar storm, but that’s not going to kill you straight away. It’s more of a long term disaster,” said Bast, 47, noting a flu pandemic could also strike the planet. “I feel the world isn’t as safe as we think it is. The last couple of generations have had it very cozy.”

When dawn breaks on Friday, according to the Maya Long Count calendar, it marks the end of the 13th bak’tun – an epoch lasting some 400 years – and the beginning of the 14th.

This fact would probably have languished in academic obscurity had not a young Maya expert named Michael Coe written in the 1960s that to the ancient Mesoamerican culture the date could herald an “Armageddon” to cleanse humanity.

Since then, the cult of 2012 has snowballed.

Among the sun-bleached pyramids, shaded mangroves and deep cenotes of the Maya heartland, there are hopes December 21 will bring a spiritual re-birth.

Nobody seems quite sure what to expect on Friday, but it has not stopped people getting their hopes up.

“This is the Arab Spring of the spiritual movement,” said Geoffrey Ocean Dreyer, a 52-year-old U.S. musician wearing a sombrero and mardi gras beads. “We’re going to create world peace. We’re going to Jerusalem and we’re going to rebuild Solomon’s temple.”

ANXIETY ATTACKS

The words of Coe, a highly respected Maya scholar, were published in 1966 at the height of the Cold War, stirring fears in a world haunted by the prospect of nuclear holocaust.

Coe could not be reached for comment for this article, but friends and academics who know him insist he never meant to inspire a vision of apocalypse when he committed them to paper.

Stephen Houston, a Maya expert at Brown University in Rhode Island and student of Coe’s, said too much has been read into the end of the 13th bak’tun, which was little more than a “dull mathematical declaration” used to bracket dates.

“I see it all as an expression of present day anxiety and not much more than that,” Houston said.

Few remaining inscriptions refer to the event, and the best known one is part of a monument recovered from a Maya site in Tabasco state called Tortuguero – much of which was torn down in the 1960s to make way for the construction of a cement factory.

Still, the mix of religion, ancient inscriptions and media-driven speculation about impending doom remains potent.

“I got an email the other day from a mother who was contemplating taking her own life, because she didn’t know what was really going to happen, she didn’t want her children to live through this ordeal,” said David Stuart, a Maya expert at the University of Texas. “We can dismiss it as a kooky idea, which it is, but they’re still ideas and they still have power.”

U.S. space agency NASA has sought to allay fears of impending catastrophe, noting that “our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

Nothing has given the 2012 theories more oxygen in the run-up to the big day than the Internet, noted John Hoopes, a Maya anthropologist at the University of Kansas.

“Computers come straight out of the same people who were smoking pot and protesting at Berkeley and Stanford,” he said, referring to U.S. student movements in the 1960s.

“This Maya calendar stuff has been part of hacktivism lore for 40 years, since the beginning, and with every significant change in computer technology, it’s gotten another boost.”

Many of those gathering in Chichen Itza praised the Internet as a discussion forum and organizing tool for New Age events.

“We don’t need leaders now we have the Internet,” said Muggy Burton, 66, who had traveled to Mexico from Canada with her 15-year-old, blue-haired granddaughter, Talis Hardy.

The two, who communicate with each other by whistling, plan to live in Mexico for six months, according to Burton, who is going to homeschool Hardy. “It’s the end of the world for her, and the beginning of a new one,” she added.

MAYA SKEPTICS

Mexico’s federal government is not officially marking the phenomenon, but the country’s tourism agency has launched a “Mundo Maya 2012” website with a countdown to December 21.

Up to 200,000 people are expected to descend on Chichen Itza alone for the night of December 20.

Among modern descendants of the Maya, the idea it could all come to an end on Friday generally raises a wry smile – but they are happy to play along if it makes money.

“It’s a psychic epidemic,” said Miguel Coral, 56, a cigar salesman in Merida, a colonial town and capital of Yucatan state. “It’s all about business, but that’s fine. It helps our country. I think it’s excellent we’ve exported this idea.”

Nearby, workers built a pyramid of spray-painted polystyrene blocks for the opening of the town’s Maya festival.

“If people who believe in this joke want to come, let them,” said Jose May, a Merida tourism official of Maya descent. “Nobody here believes that. Those people were sold an idea.”

Hazy rumors have helped feed the sense of anticipation.

A few hours’ drive south of Merida in the remote Maya town of Xul, which means “the end,” media reports began circulating as early as 2008 that a group of Italians were readying themselves for impending doom by building apocalypse-proof bunkers.

Today, the settlement dubbed the “end of the world resort” is open for business as “Eco Spa Las Aguilas.”

“There’s no truth in it,” said deputy manager Andrea Podesta, 45, referring to speculation it was a cult.

“Some people came here, took some hidden photos, and published some very unpleasant articles about us,” he added, noting the glistening new spa was booked up well into 2013.

Inside, a group of elderly Italians, mostly dressed in white, were watching the path of an asteroid on a giant screen. A black-and-white image of Christ’s face hung from the wall and a large stone statue of a robed woman greeted visitors.

Whatever lies in store for the planet, even Maya academics who have fought to play down the hype surrounding the passing of another 24 hours feel there could still be some surprises.

“I think there may be some mischief on December 21 because the whole world is watching,” said Hoopes in Kansas, citing rumors hacktivist group Anonymous was planning a stunt. “It’s a very fertile opportunity for a tremendous prank.”

(Editing by Dave Graham, Kieran Murray and Mohammad Zargham)

10 Doomsday Predictions That Didn’t Come True

In light of the Rapture being postponed, here are 10 other predictions that didn’t herald the end of the world…

Are you awake yet?

“The Quickening” was produced by Awakening As One
http://AwakeningAsOne.com

All around the planet hundreds of millions of people are waiting for events to unfold in the year 2012, that they… believe will bring either the birth of a harmonious new reality… or ‘the end of the world.

But what if those events were actually to take place THIS YEAR, in 2011?

In Awakening As One’s new film “The Quickening” we will explain why so many people have been experiencing the sensation that “Time is Speeding Up”; particularly since the Earthquake in Japan.

And we will also show how research indicates that this accelerated experience of reality could peak sometime around October 28th, 2011; culminating in a global experience of Unity Consciousness, which would then lead to the experience of a harmonious new way of being.

“The Quickening” will also take a look at the unfolding of current events and how they directly relate to Hopi and Mayan Prophecies, indicating that we are on the Cusp of Great Changes, which signify the shifting of the Age… and the Birth of a New World.

Credits:

We wish to acknowledge that without the work of these incredible filmmakers, and music producers it would not have been possible for Awakening As One to share its message of Peace and Unity with such beauty, heart and soul.

We invite you to support the filmmakers by visiting their webpages, and viewing their films. We extend our deepest gratitude and respect to the following films, and to all those who assisted in their creation.

Published on Dec 2, 2012

‘A World of Love is Coming!’ This is the OFFICIAL RELEASE of the Full Length Documentary film ‘2012 Crossing Over, A New Beginning’ a film written, directed, filmed, edited and entirely independently funded and produced by Amel Tresnjic.

“Thank you ALL for sharing the message of LOVE. Most people don’t realize that the entire crew of the film… is just ME 🙂 I created the film with the intention to make our world a better place… and the response has been AMAZING. There are no paid ads or any mainstream support. By the power of the people the film is NOW getting translated into more than 14+ languages. Thank you for those who believe in the message and are donating their time to translate it:-) The message of LOVE is spreading all over the world AND THAT’S ONLY BY THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE! Thank YOU ALL! ”

Love and Peace Amel

The Bad News You Expect and the Good News You Need

In July 2008, a two-stage crop circle larger than three soccer fields materialized in England on a farm near Avebury, Wiltshire. Unlike more common symmetrical snowflake formations, this one evidenced a clear and unmistakable message: That in December 2012 we will see the appearance of a celestial harbinger. One that portends a global tribulation in which life as we know it will come to an end.

Fully coherent and free of exceptions, the Avebuy 2008 formation is an urgent warning from distant friends to those who get it and who want to get through it. That is why the first part of this book, “The Bad News,” presents a series of more than 50 illustrations to decode this message with easy-to-follow, building-block explanations. Intended for the common man, the goal is to empower the reader and this need is great.

This is because those who survive the tribulation will live to bear witness to the single greatest die-back event in the history of our species. A pole shift as predicated by America’s “sleeping prophet,” Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) and it could happen as soon as 2013. When it does, it will be a time of testing that favors the meek over the wealthy and powerful. But not for reasons you might think.

PART 1 – THE BAD NEWS

The Big Picture
The Last Pole Shift
The Trigger Event
The Dragon’s Tail
The Great Winnowing

PART 2 – CROSSING THE CUSP

Welcome to Awareness
How the Meek Prevail
The Enlightenment
Transformation

PART 3 – THE GOOD NEWS

We Can Do This
We Have Friends
We Can Reprogram the Future
Alphabetical Index

If you get it and want to get through it, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.

Click Here To Look Inside

December 21, 2012 – Two Suns in the Sky

2012 researcher and author Marshall Masters, offers an in-depth look at the predictions made in a crop circled formation he calls the “2012 Star Map of Doom.”

Known as Avebury 2008, it tells us that on December 21, 2012, we’ll begin to experience the onset of a protracted global catastrophe. It will last for years and will include a pole shift, such as the one predicted by Edgar Cayce.

For the readers of Marshall’s book, Crossing the Cusp: Surviving the Edgar Cayce Pole Shift, this video offers an in-depth back story not included in the book.


2012: A Clarion Call’ speaks directly of the times in which we live. It offers a concise overview of 2012 prophecies that foretell of humanity arriving at a point of no return on the Winter Solstice of 2012.

According to ancient prophecy, this date is set to mark the moment of humanity’s rise or fall, the ‘rise’ of which depends upon the consciousness, vibration and awareness of a sufficient number of people. The intention of this book is to inform, to educate and to heal. It brings awareness and understanding and supports people to align with their higher purpose, thus serving their own evolutionary journey, that of the collective, and the Earth.

Accompanying the book are CD’s that each contain separate self-enquiry exercises and guided visualizations which support and complement the teachings in the book. The purpose of writing ’2012: A Clarion Call’ is to offer people a practical and manageable way in which they can become more aware, integrated and evolve their consciousness.
 This book (as well as the CD’s) will support all those who believe that they have something to contribute to the coming transformational ‘Shift’ yet cannot quite grasp just what that ‘something’ is or the next steps they need to take in order to discover it. The book offers a unique approach to healing. It is a life-changing ‘therapy’ handbook and a 2012 information manual. It is written for the people, that is for all people, from all walks of life.

Many are aware of the momentous changes necessary for humanity and the Earth to rise and not fall in these coming years, yet too many are looking ‘out there’ for the answers. I propose that the most effective long-term solution to the current world crisis is to be found not without, but within. Inner transformation on a mass scale is crucial if we are to ensure that the prophesied Great Shift occurs by the Winter solstice of 2012. It is not just ancient Mayan prophecy that foretells of this date being critical, so too does the rare astronomical alignments which converge in 2012.
Click Here To Browse Inside For those using smart phones, scroll down to click Amazon.com full page and then click to look inside.

Nicolya Christi is a Spiritual Teacher, conscious evolutionary, author and writer. She is the Founder of WorldShift Movement, Co-Founder of WorldShift International, and a Co-Initiator of WorldShift 2012.

Nicolya’s focus is on human evolution, inner peace, and world peace. She is the author of 2012: A Clarion Call – Your Soul’s Purpose in Conscious Evolution.

Nicolya incorporates into her group work; Metaphysical Sciences, Psycho-Synthesis and Core-Process Psychotherapy, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Hypnosis, Holographic Re-Imprinting, Past Life Therapy, Future Life Progression, new world paradigm Energy Medicine healing practices, as well as several other evolutionary and cutting edge influences.

Nicolya practices the principles of Sufism – the core message of which is Unconditional Love and Living From the Heart. She is especially connected to higher-dimensional Beings and Energies.

Nicolya has been communicating with wild bottlenose dolphins on the inner-planes, since early childhood. She continues to be guided by these highly evolved Souls whom she recognizes as infinitely advanced Beings, here to assist humanity in personal and collective evolution.

June 1997, marked the beginning of a series of extraordinary out-of-body experiences, culminating in the early hours of October 15th 2009, when Nicolya was spontaneously propelled into an Exalted State:

>a state beyond emotions, thoughts, feelings, mind, and awareness of Self, and into Absolute Oneness with All That Is.

Nicolya experienced Enlightenment and the embodiment of that state of Perfected Union between the Human and Divine Self – which is Pure Love, Pure Light and Pure Bliss. This profound experience revealed to her that humanity is now ready for the next phase of human evolution – a transmutational evolutionary process from Homo-Sapiens to Homo-Luminous.

Nicolya is currently based in Rennes-le-Chateau, Southern France.

Nicolya Christi: 2012 Clarion Call

Nicolya Christi: 2012 – The Final Window

Nicolya Christi is a Spiritual Teacher, Conscious Evolutionist, Author and Writer. She is the Founder of WorldShift Movement, Co-Founder of WorldShift International, and a Co-Initiator of WorldShift 2012.

She is the author of ‘2012: A Clarion Call: Your Soul’s Purpose in Conscious Evolution’, and is currently writing her second book, ‘Contemporary Spirituality for an Evolving World’.

Nicolya Christi – Awakening to Our True Essence


Welcome to the Synthesis 2012 festival, A global gathering, world music festival and spiritual celebration in Piste pueblo and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. This 2012 festival will occur at the end of the Mayan Calendar on Dec 20th to 23rd this year. We will arrive on the 20th and participate in the global gathering on the Winter Solstice on the 21st. The Synthesis 2012 festival team is working directly with the local Mayan people, event producers in Mexico to produce this historical event.

Imagine yourself here at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan with the Mayans and thousands of others at the dawn of the new age and cycle this December.

Mayan Calendar Celebration
Contrary to media sensationalism, the end of the Mayan Calendar does not mean the end of the world. When we listen to the words of the Mayan Elders, we learn that the end of the Mayan Calendar is comparable to watching your car’s odometer roll over to all zeroes. The Mayan prophecies foretell of a transition to the age of the 5th Sun, a new time when consciousness, prosperity and the Divine Feminine prevail.

Mayan Calendar Dates
Although scholars may debate whether or not December 21st, 2012 is the exact ending date for the Mayan Calendar, we choose to celebrate this time of transition at Chichen Itza on this date because it is also the Winter Solstice and the Galactic Alignment. We invite you to come celebrate and co-create with us for 3 days of music, dance, ceremony and intention-setting for this bridge of transition to the golden age of the 5th Sun at our 2012 festival.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Attractions

We are currently offering international entertainment including Reggae, West African Drum & Dance, Steel Drums, Flamenco Fusion, Afro-Funk Fusion, Cuban, Mayan Music & Dance, Prehispanic Music and Mexican Dance as well as name bands such as Scott Huckabay, Chris Berry & Pangea, Human, Freedom, Diane Patterson, Al Torre, Mirabai & Ceiba. There will also be a variety of presentations by keynote speakers, a tour of the Mayan temples and access to special places known only to locals and regular visitors. Synthesis 2012 festival participants will also receive a copy of Transforming Through 2012, an in-depth compendium of experts on the meaning of 2012.

Synthesis 2012 Festival Amenities
We have arranged catering and ground transportation and several accommodation options for this 3 day 2012 festival celebration from December 20th thru 23rd.

Chichen Itza & Surrounding Grounds
Although the main attraction is the Chichen Itza Pyramid itself, we are utilizing the nearby grounds for most of the Synthesis 2012 festival ceremonies ad celebrations. Working with the people of the Piste pueblo, we have secured several areas nearby to Chichen Itza for camping, meals, entertainment and comfort lodging.

Chichen Itza Pyramid Tour
We have also made preparations for Synthesis 2012 festival participants to receive tour passes to the Chichen Itza Pyramid on Friday, December 21st.

So mark your calendar for the Synthesis 2012 Festival and celebration in Chichen Itza at the end of the Mayan Calendar.

2012 | Eckhart Tolle Adyashanti Bashar Ken Wilber Terence Mckenna Daniel Pinchbeck

ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

If you thought you could get out of Christmas shopping this year because the world was coming to an end on December 21st — think again. Archaeologists discovered another Mayan calendar in Guatemala showing the Earth’s time will continue beyond December.

A writer for the Boston Globe explains how a Boston University student discovered the calendar by chance while the team was excavating Mayan ruins.

“…BU undergraduate, Maxwell Chamberlain, spotted a faded painting on a patch of wall during his lunch break … William Saturno, an assistant professor of archeology at BU who led the team, began an excavation, and discovered a magnificent, nearly life-sized portrait of a Maya king…”

A 6 by 6 foot room houses the calendar with delicately painted hieroglyphs, numbers, and notations — never seen before. Here’s a video from National Geographic:

“Inside on the walls a well preserved mural and some mysterious astronomical and calendar symbols.”

Live Science says those calendar symbols are …

“…complex indeed, featuring stacked bars and dots representing fives and ones and recording lunar cycles in six-month chunks of time. … The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, … called baktuns. … In one column, the ancient scribe even worked out a cycle of time recording 17 baktuns.”

That 17 baktuns means time will extend 7,000 years into the future — contradicting the previous Mayan calendar that resulted in end of the world rumors. The Daily Beast says scientists believe…

“…the excavated room is a work space where a Mayan nerd—a calendar-keeper, astronomer, and scribe—puzzled away, covering two walls with calculations much like today’s scientists do on a whiteboard. The paintings and text date back to the year 800—a remarkable five centuries earlier than the oldest known Mayan hieroglyphic books.”

This newly discovered calendar does extend our time here on Earth quite a bit — But a scientist quoted in the Huffington Post says the idea the world would end in 2012 is a modern myth…

“It’s like the odometer of a car, with the Maya calendar rolling over from the 120,000s to 130,000 … The car gets a step closer to the junkyard as the numbers turn over; the Maya just start over.”

Explore the mystery of the 2012 prophecy in a whole new light. This film goes deeper than the vague predictions made by ancient prophets and seers; it explores how the earth is in the middle of a transformation that will change the way we live our lives forever.

Understand how the changes we see around us are unfolding right now. Learn the true nature of the Mayan Calendar, understand the workings and meanings of its cycles and end-date, and see that not only did the Maya track and measure time, cycles and nature, but they charted a galactic alignment that occurs once every 26,000 years.

Featuring the leading authors in the 2012 genre, including David Icke, Patrick Geryl, Adrian Gilbert, Geoff Stray, Gregg Braden, Annabel Burton, Peter Taylor and John Major Jenkins.

This unique dialogue brings together two leading counterculture thinkers, Daniel Pinchbeck author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, Toward 2012: Perspectives on the Next Age, and Breaking Open the Head, and Graham Hancock author of Fingerprints of the Gods, Supernatural and most recently the fantasy adventure novel Entangled.

Pinchbeck and Hancock discuss the implications of the Mayan Calendar “end-times” date 2012 which Hancock first drew to the attention of his readers in Fingerprints of the Gods published in 1995. Hancock’s evidence for a great lost civilization wiped out in a global cataclysm 12,500 years ago is explored in depth together with his suggestion that the survivors of that civilization may have sought to pass down a message to the future and indeed specifically to us in the twenty-first century — a warning that the next great lost civilization may be our own.

From the geology of the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Egypt to the mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant, from ancient maps showing the world as it looked during the last Ice Age to out-of-place artifacts indicative of high technology in ancient times, the discussion ranges widely across some of the most intriguing evidence for an immense forgotten episode in human history, and moves on to consider the spiritual crisis of the modern age. Could a new paradigm emerge from our present state of chaos?

Hancock and Pinchbeck see hope in efforts by people all around the planet to reclaim sovereignty over their own consciousness, and identify a powerful role for shamanistic visionary plants such as Ayahuasca and Psilocybin in ushering in a gentler, less toxic, more nurturing state of mind. “It does seem like when you ingest them,” says Pinchbeck, “you get a lot of messages about how to reintegrate into the larger community of life.”

Magnificent presentation by Pane “AstralWalker” Andov about the mega event that will take place at the end of year 2012 and beginning of the 2013. He explains that thousands of years ago from the galactic centre of the Milky Way, there was a powerful release of an enormous amount of energy, which like a huge, shining, circular wave is spreading across the galaxy from its centre to its edges.

The released energetic pulse is already affecting the whole galaxy including the little dot we call our solar system. Very soon it will reach us and hit us with full strength. He explains what kind of implications this spreading wave of energy will have on our solar system, especially to our star and our planet and how it will affect the DNA of life.
The way that Pane connects the dots makes it clear what our planet will face soon and what we as humans can do about it. He is also a contactee and delivers important messages which he backs up with scientific data. For the record, his DNA was changed when his biological body was only seven years old, enabling him to utilize abilities such telepathy, remote viewing, astral travel and to make contact.

He claims that from time to time numerous ET races communicate and deliver important messages to him as a result of alternations to his DNA in early childhood. One of those races is the positive race that is delivering the genuine crop circles, and they explained to him what the complex geometries mean. That’s how Pane was able to translate the complex geometric designs which contain the solution to the equation regarding what humanity is facing, when it’s going to happen and what can be done about it.

http://www.kosmicsense.com/episode3.htm

A MUST SEE DOCUMENTARY ADVENTURE FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE THE WORLD CAN & WILL SURVIVE

Featuring an All-Star Cast of Over 50 of Today’s Leading Alternative, Metaphysical and Native American Teachers

Described as “One of the most unique Documentary films in years .. a Cinematic Vision Quest”

..With one of the most captivating and emotional final scenes ever caught on film

I often teach that Buddhism is about how to be truly happy, so I have been studying the new research field of “happiness studies,” which focuses on the objective measures and causes of happiness. Researchers have found three factors that reliably increase happiness as we grow older — gratitude, generosity and reframing (seeing your situation from a more positive perspective). Not surprisingly, the Buddhist tradition offers these same three factors as spiritual practices for cultivating happiness. I would add two more — curiosity and flexibility.

Gratitude. When I ask audiences what they like about being older, people often answer “Gratitude,” and then say what they are grateful for: grandchildren, good health, free time, wearing what they want, the chance to travel, giving back to the community. One person included the ham sandwich she had just had for lunch. I have an exercise I call the “thank you” prayer. People repeat the words “thank you” silently to themselves and watch what comes up. It’s amazing how many and how readily images of gratitude come to mind.

Generosity. One happiness study reported that if giving weren’t free, drug companies could market a great new drug called “give back” instead of Prozac. It’s scientifically proven: giving back and helping others makes us feel happier and more content. Giving is a universal spiritual value taught by every religion, and the desire to give back naturally increases as we age. It is part of our emerging role as community elders — something we can do into our sixties, seventies, eighties and beyond. Giving is truly a spiritual practice, and it naturally lifts our spirits. My new book Aging As A Spiritual Practice: a Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser offers many tangible methods to cultivate a generous spirit. Among these is a contemplative exercise from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition that allows us inwardly picture recipients of our generosity and direct compassionate feeling toward them.

Reframing. Aging includes its share of reverses, losses and sorrows. What makes the difference is our attitude about them. If a bad knee means we can’t jog anymore, we needn’t despair; we can take up swimming. If we lost money in the recession, we can cherish what we still have. If we become ill, we rejoice when we recover. I have developed a meditation called “Vertical Time” that focuses on the positive aspects of the present, rather than regrets of the past and worries about the future. We tend to think of time as linear and horizontal, but it is also vertical — one breath at a time. Vertical Time is really breath-based reframing.

Curiosity
. Curiosity is an important attitude to cultivate as we age. There’s a tendency to hunker down in our old familiar routines. It’s good to resist that temptation. Physical exercise grows new muscle, mental activity grows new brain cells, emotional engagement lifts the spirit. Curiosity keeps us young; we need to cherish it. If you see an interesting ad for a wildlife class, consider taking it. If you go into a bookstore, try browsing in sections you don’t usually visit. If you haven’t seen a friend in too many years, reach out. Children are naturally curious, and we can be too.

Flexibility
. Things change as we age, and some of those changes are irrevocable. Our youthful stamina is gone forever; a dying friend will never return. In the face of these changes, it’s important that we not become rigid and stuck in our ways. With every reversal comes new opportunity. No matter what the issue, no matter how big the problem, there is always something constructive that you can do. Never give up, never let aging get the better of you. This is how the “extraordinary elderly” do it — the ones who have beaten the odds to enjoy their old age to the very end.

The Spiritual Life. A spiritual perspective on aging is not just for personal transformation; it is a medicine for longevity and health. Research shows that people with an active involvement in church or spiritual community live on average seven years longer than those who don’t.

These five practices for aging well really work; science says so, common sense says so, and every religion says so. Aging As A Spiritual Practice builds on these truths to treat the process of aging as an opportunity for inner transformation. We deserve to enjoy our aging; it is our reward in the continuing adventure of living a whole and fulsome life.

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