Tag Archive: Leonard Jacobson


Leonard Jacobson: I’ve made Step Two very, very easy and simple…just four things to watch out for..
We humans have been trying to awaken for lifetimes, without much success. Because of the rapid advancement of technology, it is imperative that we awaken now. Otherwise, technology is not safe in our hands. We have become too destructive in our unconsciousness. We are facing a crisis and so it has become imperative that the way of awakening is revealed in a way that is simple and available to all those who have an interest in awakening.

Step one of this teaching leads to Presence in the simplest possible way. It requires no beliefs, no practices, no Saviors, no one standing between you and God. Each moment that you are truly present you are an awakened Being. The problem is that we are so addicted to thinking and so used to living within the mind, that it is difficult to remain present in our day today lives and relationships. It is not long before we are involuntarily pulled out of Presence. That is why step 2 of this teaching is necessary.

Step 1 leads to Presence.

Step 2 leads to mastery of the mind and ego.

Step two involves bringing conscious awareness to all the ways that we are pulled out of the present moment. What are the obstacles to becoming present? What is holding us in the past and future, in the story? Just as I have simplified step 1 of the teaching, I have also simplified step 2. There are 4 aspects to step 2, which means there are only four things that we have to watch out for.

The first aspect is the resistance of the ego. If we are to awaken, we need answers to the following questions. What is the ego? What is its role in your life? How does it function? Why does it resist you being present? How does it pull you out of Presence, and how can you overcome its resistance? We humans must have answers to these questions if we are to awaken in any fundamental way. I answer these questions in detail in my books, workshops and retreats.

You cannot defeat the ego. It is impossible. The very intention to defeat the ego or get rid of the ego is coming from the ego itself. It is just a trick to keep you in the mind and under the ego’s control. But you can come into right relationship with the ego so that the ego will gradually and gently surrender its resistance and release you into Presence. Right relationship with the ego is only possible as you become more and more present. In Presence there is no judgment. When you are present you are love, acceptance and compassion. It is from Presence that you bring the energy of love, acceptance and compassion to the ego. It will take some time, but as the ego begins to trust the flowering of Presence from within, and as it feels the love, acceptance and compassion arising from Presence, it will begin to relax and release you.

The second aspect of step 2 is to go through a process of owning, acknowledging and confessing who you have become on this long journey through time and separation, living in a world where no one is present. In truth, you are love, acceptance and compassion. You are empowered from within. You exist in the realization of Oneness. At the deepest level you are an eternal Being. You are pure consciousness. You are without judgment. This is the truth of who you are when you are fully present. But who have you become? Are you judgmental? Do you judge yourself or others? Are you afraid of what others think of you? Are you a blamer? Are you guilty? Are you angry? Are you caught in an unhealed and unresolved past? Are you a victim? Do you hurt others with your thoughts, words and actions? Do you feel unworthy, unloved, abandoned? Do you feel like you not good enough? Are you controlling? Who have you become?

As a part of the process of awakening you must be willing to own, acknowledge and confess who you have become if you are to awaken into the truth of who you really are. Your life and your relationships are a mirror constantly reflecting to you who you have become, but most of us are unwilling or afraid to look into that mirror. You either hide who we have become from ourselves and others, or you are trying to fix or change who you have become, which is a form of judgment. Or you project who you have become onto others, which is simply another way to be in denial of who you have become.

If you are to awaken into the truth of who you are, you will have to own, acknowledge and confess who you have become. As Jesus said, ”All that is hidden shall be revealed.

The third aspect of step 2 has to do with the repressed feelings from the past still buried within us. Even if you open into a reasonable level of Presence, there will always be someone who will come into your life who will say or do something that will trigger those repressed feelings. Then those feelings from the past project onto the present, and distort your experience of the present moment. Now you are caught in a painful and limited past, which you are projecting onto the present moment. If you are to awaken, you will have to go through a process of liberating repressed emotions like anger, hurt, sadness, pain, unfulfilled needs and fear. This will allow for a much deeper level of presence to awaken within you. In my books, workshops and retreats, I share how to come into right relationship with these repressed feelings so that they are released in a conscious and effective way.

The fourth and final aspect of Step 2 is to bring conscious awareness to how we lose ourselves in others. If I want you to love me or accept me or I want you to think I am good enough, I am losing myself in you. If I’m afraid of your judgment or your rejection, I am losing myself in you. Energetically, I’m moving away from myself, and getting mixed up in you. Which is not good for you. And it is not good for me. We are all lost in each other in the way I’m describing.

We have to go through a process of recognizing these four aspects as they arise within us. And we have to do so with the love, acceptance and compassion arising from Presence. And then the whole story will begin to relax and release you more and more into the present moment. More and more you will be aware of the pure consciousness and sense of Oneness that exists at the center of your Being. More and more, you will open into peace and love. And all these qualities of Presence will flow into your day-to-day life.

Donna Quesada: That’s beautiful, what you say about the ego. I have read the book that you signed for me, “Journey into now.” Thank you very much for that. If you don’t mind, I’d like to read something from the book dealing with repressed emotions. This was a fascinating passage that really struck me. You’re relating a private session you had with someone named Daniel who was dealing with depression and anger. You said to him “You have to own your violent nature. You are angry. You are violent. You are a killer. If anyone hurts you or intrudes into your space, you want to annihilate them. Own it, acknowledge it, confess it and express it, but without judgment. It is not the truth of who you are, but it is a part of who you have become. This is the way of liberation. When you own that this energy is in you, you will no longer project it outside of you. And when you express it fully and responsibly, you will come out of your depression.”

LEONARD: The only thing I would add is that it is important to have fun as you own the anger arising within you! Exaggerate it! Ham it up! Whoever you are angry at, kill them at least three times in very creative ways. It has nothing to do with the person that you think you are angry at. All that is happening is that the person you are angry at has triggered the anger repressed within you from the past. We want to liberate these repressed feelings. On the one hand, you are allowing the feelings to express themselves: I hate you…I want to kill you. Be outrageous. Anger is ridiculous. It wants to kill for the slightest hurt, but because of this we keep the anger repressed. Be present with the anger as it arises, so that you don’t get caught up in the story that anger is telling you. When you allow the anger repressed within you in the way that I am describing, you will begin to laugh. It is funny. The anger will have its opportunity for full expression, and then it will be released from your body. However, you must always express the anger in a responsible way and in a way that does not hurt others or spill onto others.

DONNA: This is a very interesting thing that I think is helpful to everyone because everyone experiences anger. I remember watching something on television; it was a pop psychologist who took his clients to a junkyard with baseball bats and instructed them to get their anger out by beating things and bashing things. But it’s so contrary to what spiritual teachings usually embrace. For instance, Thich Nhat Hahn says, “to practice anger is simply just to rehearse it.” And it’s not productive or positive at all. But what you’re saying is something in the middle. It’s a creative, non-violent way to deal with that energy.

LEONARD: As long as you are present. You see the key is to be present as you allow the anger to surface. On the one hand, you are a raving lunatic expressing anger and killing, torturing anyone who hurt you and made you angry. On the other hand, you are present, allowing the anger to express and tell its story, but you know that the story is from the past and has nothing to do with the present moment. You really should wait until you are alone before expressing the anger. You do not want to hurt anyone. The anger is yours alone. No one can make you angry unless you have anger from the past repressed within you. No one can hurt you unless you have hurt from the past repressed within you. I’ve never ever suggested that anyone has the right to express anger towards anyone. The last thing you want to do is dump anger on people because it will come right back at you. It’s extremely ineffective. The only reason I teach things in my retreats like the anger meditation is to help you liberate these feelings from the past. If they are unresolved and buried within you, they will keep you in that part of the story from where the anger originates.

DONNA: So, it sounds like you are releasing yourself from what we call victim consciousness at the same time.

LEONARD: Absolutely. There is never any need to be a victim. Sometimes it is a strategy to get what you want. It often originates in childhood. For example, the only time mother fully attended to you was when you cried. If you take into account Pavlov’s Dogs, an association forms and a victim strategy develops. You only get what you want when you cry or you are unhappy. This victim strategy can remain with you the whole of your life. At an unconscious level you believe that if you are sad or unhappy, someone might eventually attend to you. But of course, it does not work.

Your life manifests as a reflection of your inner world. If you are caught in the mind, with all the limiting beliefs, judgments and repressed emotions from the past, together with all the fear, anger and hurt that have accumulated over the years, your life will manifest as a reflection of this inner world. On the other hand, if you are fundamentally present and your inner world is one of peace, love, acceptance, compassion and a sense of Oneness and abundance, your life will manifest according to that inner world.

For example, if you believe that you are not loved or lovable, which is a limiting belief that formed in your early childhood, you will be unable to attract love into your life, or you will attract those who are incapable of love. Even if many people love you, you will not be able to let it in because at a deeper level, you feel unloved. It is programmed into your story. In this way, life confirms the story within the mind. If at an unconscious level within the mind, you believe that you cannot have what you want, life will manifest to confirm that belief.

Presence is transcendent of the story. As you transcend your story, you transform your story. As you become more grounded in the present moment, all the qualities of Presence will begin to flow into your life. Peace, love, acceptance, power, truth, compassion, clarity begin to flow into your life. Don’t you think that will transform your story?

DONNA: What if someone were to say to you, “What’s the big deal about now? Now is not so pleasant.” Is there ever a place for distraction? You’re in an unpleasant situation and you just want to listen to your music or zone out or enjoy a fantasy.

LEONARD: That’s not a problem, as long as you come back. You don’t have to be present all the time but don’t go so far into your story that you disconnect from Presence. The whole of humanity has been so lost for so many life times. That’s why this world is in the mess that it’s in. Human unconsciousness is the sole cause of all the suffering on our planet, including injustice, cruelty in its many forms, war, inequality, abuse of women, children, and the environment. It is all because we are lost in a world of illusion and the ego is running the show. If the ego is in charge, then it is all about me, me, me! Mine, mine, mine! I am right, what‘s in it for me, how can I take an advantage for myself. This is the way of the ego in the world.

We have seven billion people on the planet functioning under the domination of the ego. There is another way. Can you imagine if humanity had awakened when Buddha walked upon the Earth? If everyone on the planet had responded to his message, would we be in the mess we are in? The answer is, absolutely not. What if everybody awakened with Jesus? We would be living in a different world.

Maybe this is our time now. We missed it with Buddha. We missed it with Jesus. There is a readiness now that was not available in the past. We have reached a crisis point. It is as if we have no choice. As a species living on this planet we must awaken to a higher level of consciousness. We must awaken to a level of Presence where we experience the Oneness. Then everything can change. We are not custodians of this beautiful earth. We are caretakers, which simply means that we are here to take care of this planet. As we deepen into Presence, we will recognize where we are. This is Heaven on Earth and we are so blessed to be here. But until we awaken, we have no clue who we are, where we are or what we are doing here.

DONNA: I picked out a beautiful quote from one of your books, which I would like to read back to you.

“It is time for humanity to awaken at a collective level. Enlightenment can no longer be for a select few, who no longer participate in the world. If there is to be an awakening at a collective level, we will have to learn to function within the world. This means we will have to find a balance between the timelessness of the fully awakened state and the world of time.”

What do you mean by, “If there is to be an awakening at the collective level, we will have to learn to function in the world?” How do we find that balance between the timelessness of the awakened state and the world of time?

LEONARD: It means that you can flow easily between the timeless world of Now and the world of time. There is no obstruction and you are not identified with your life within time. You know that it is all based in the past and future. It is just memory and imagination. But now you are profoundly established in Presence. You can play in the world of time, but that is not where you live. You live in the world of Now. There present moment is your true home.

When I first starting teaching after my first awakening in 1989, it was really difficult to guide anyone into Presence. People had tremendous resistance to it. But over the years, it seems to me that more and more people are opening up. As more of us open into Presence, it makes it easier for those who follow. Eventually we will reach a critical mass, and awakening will become easier and more available to everyone. This is our best hope.

One of the ways I like to describe it is this. Each moment that you are truly present, it’s like dropping a tiny pebble of light into a vast dark pond of human unconsciousness. Ripples of light! Without you even being aware of it, ripples of light are emanating from you each moment you are present, bringing light to the darkness, and affecting human consciousness in subtle and hidden ways, until one day we will reach that critical mass and humanity will simply awaken out of its dream.

DONNA: Indeed. Thank you.

Read Part I Here…

Read Part II Here…

Source: AWAKEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DONNA: Or preach, themselves…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DONNA: So presence would be the first step then?

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

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

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

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

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

DONNA: What is your idea of bliss?

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

DONNA: I like the word.

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

DONNA: I like that! “Decontaminating it.”

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

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

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

DONNA: And so…Step Two.

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

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

Continued in Part III

Source: AWAKEN

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

Awakening – Leonard Jacobson

Awakening involves crossing a threshold from one level of consciousness to another. There are three levels of consciousness…

The first is the level of mind. At the level of mind, your experience of life is always filtered through the past, and governed by your beliefs. When you are in the mind, the focus is on the past and the future, which are constantly projected onto the present moment. The reality of the present moment is never truly experienced, and the illusions projected by the mind are mistaken for reality.

You spend your whole life trying to solve problems, overcome limitations or heal wounds which are a part of your past and do not exist in the reality of the present moment. Life at the level of mind is the world of Maya. It is a world of illusion.

The second level of consciousness is the level of Presence. This level of consciousness opens within you as you become more fully present. You are focused in the here and now, experiencing the truth and reality of the present moment.

You are free from the bondage of the past. You have no anxiety about the future. You are no longer lost in illusion. Life is lived in freedom and joy. You have become grounded in silence.

The third level of consciousness is the Eternal level. It cannot be defined. It can only be experienced. It opens up at the deeper levels of Presence, and it opens up through grace.

At this level of consciousness, there is no time. Everything is in perfect order and harmony. You are in a state of perfect silence. You experience God, Eternity, Oneness. You are at home in the world of now.

Excerpt from Words From Silence [Revised Edition] pp.58-59.

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an author, teacher and mystic, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard Jacobson.com.

Source: AWAKEN

When you become fully present, thoughts stop and your mind is silent… present with something that is actually here now, you must emerge out of the mind, and the world of thought. It cannot be otherwise. A noticeable shift will occur within you as you transition from the past and future world of the mind, to the world of Now.

You cannot stop thoughts. It is impossible. The very effort to stop thoughts is a reinforcement of the thinking process. All you can do is relax, notice that you are in the mind, and then bring yourself present with that which is already present. If you can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it or smell it, in this moment, then it is of the present moment.

It is not something you are remembering or imagining with your mind. You are not thinking it into existence. It is actually here now, and so you can be present with it. Thoughts will stop, and you will experience a deep feeling of peace as your mind falls silent.

But there is an even deeper level of peace and silence waiting to emerge as you become more and more present. As your mind becomes more silent, an inner door is opened, allowing an infinite and eternal silence to emerge. This infinite and eternal silence is the very essence of your Being. It is your true nature. It is the essence of all existence. It is the eternal, silent, presence of pure consciousness. It is the “I AM” of you. It is that dimension of you that exists in this moment, and only this moment. It is that dimension of you that exists in Oneness. It is your Buddha nature. It is the Christ of you, which exists in Oneness with God. It is awakened man. It is awakened woman.

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an author, teacher and mystic, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard Jacobson.com.
Source: AWAKEN</st

The most important key to awakening is to learn the art of being present. It is only from Presence that you can be unconditionally loving and accepting of yourself.

This includes all those things you would like to change about yourself. Jealousy, possessiveness, control, judgment, haplessness, inadequacy, blame, guilt, uncertainty, unworthiness, arrogance, expectation, resentment, anger, sadness, frustration, just to name a few. To want to change any of these qualities in you is a subtle rejection of them, which is not unconditional acceptance. The key is to identify, own, acknowledge and confess all of these qualities as they arise within you. Hide absolutely nothing from yourself. Own and acknowledge all of these things with love, acceptance and compassion. The more you own and accept whatever arises without judgment, the more you will relax and be released out of the past into deeper and deeper levels of Presence.

The second key to awakening is to come into right relationship with your feelings. This is only possible as you become present. There are many emotions from the past, which you repressed, for good reasons then. But now they want to be released, so it is necessary to find an opportunity to feel and express repressed emotions like anger, hurt, pain and sadness. Just be present with the feelings whenever they arise within you. Allow the authentic expression, but do not identify with the story woven into the feelings. The feelings are from the past, which you are projecting into the present. Do not try to get rid of these feelings. That would be a judgment of them. Simply allow them to complete their journey through you. Once released, they will be gone forever. It is important to take full responsibility for your emotional reactions. No one can make you angry unless you have anger repressed within you from your past. No one can hurt you unless you have hurt repressed within you from your past.

As these repressed emotions are liberated from you, you will begin to feel a level of love, peace and freedom that you did not know was possible.

The third key to awakening is to confess. This has nothing to do with the Catholic idea of confession. You have not committed any sin, which needs to be confessed in order for you to be absolved. If you confess these qualities to someone who is absolutely non-judgmental, and who is fully present with you, it will help you to own the quality of which you are confessing. In your confession, you are saying, “This is me. This is who I have become. I am possessive and controlling.” Or “I am blaming.” Or “I always get angry when I don’t get my own way.” Or “I will not allow myself to get too close to people because I am afraid I might be rejected.” By confessing and owning it with love, acceptance and compassion, it is released. And you are freed to the level of Presence where none of these qualities exist. They cannot exist because they are not a part of the true nature of Being. They exist only at the level of mind. If you cannot find someone who is present enough to receive your confession then confess to a tree or a flower, or God who exists at the very center of your Being.

The fourth key is to come into right relationship with the ego. The ego is not the enemy. It is your friend and protector in a painful world where no one is truly present. Once you know the ego’s true role in your life, you will come to appreciate it. You will befriend it, and gradually the ego will relax and it will allow you to be more present. And you become established in Presence, the ego will surrender and its role in your life will be transformed.

The fifth key is to bring conscious awareness to all the ways that you lose yourself in others. If you look to others for love, acceptance, or approval, you are losing yourself in them. If you fear judgment or rejection from others, then you are losing yourself and you are giving away your power and your freedom. To awaken is to come back to yourself, and release yourself from entanglement in others.

The fifth key to awakening is to accept full responsibility for yourself. This will release you form the world of expectation, resentment, blame and guilt. It will lead you into total freedom.

The sixth key to awakening is to let go. Dance. Celebrate. Lose control.

Excerpt from Words From Silence by Leonard Jacobson (ps. 128-131)

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work Here.
Source: AWAKEN

Posted on July 26, 2017

To trust in God really means to live in total acceptance of what is…

This does not mean that you live passively in the world. You live in the world with love, honesty and integrity. You live an empowered life in partnership with God.

You know that your experience of life depends entirely upon the choices you make. You know that your thoughts, words and actions lead inevitably to the consequences that follow. You know clearly what you want and what you do not want but you are not attached to the outcome.

If things do not go your way, then you trust that whatever is happening is exactly what is meant to be happening for your highest good and for the highest good of all. Perhaps you were not fully conscious in your choices or in your thoughts, words and actions. Perhaps God has a lesson for you that will later prove to be invaluable, even if you cannot see is value right now. Perhaps God has a grander plan for you than you have for yourself.

In any event, your trust in the unfolding will of God is unwavering and unshakeable. If it is happening, it must be the will of God. If you do not accept what is happening, then you have entered into judgment, which will take you into separation. It is that simple.

Excerpt from Bridging Heaven and Earth by Leonard Jacobson (p.256)

About Leonard:
Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. 

Source: AWAKEN

Riding on the wings of thought, I enter the world of time. Riding on the wings of thought I enter the world of the mind.” Leonard Jacobson




The mind is a dimension of consciousness that allows you to leave the present moment and participate in the world of time. It is an intricate world which contains all of your past memories and future imaginings. It contains all your opinions, concepts, ideas and beliefs. It gives you a sense of life beyond this moment and to that extent it is illusory in nature. It is a lot like cyber space. It isn’t real and yet you can access it simply by thinking.

If you get too involved in your thoughts, ideas and opinions, you will find yourself absorbed into the world of the mind. You will find yourself living in the past and future rather than the present moment, which is the only life really available to you.

The mind is like a computer and like any computer, it can only function according to its programming. Our minds are programmed in early childhood with such limiting beliefs as I am not loved, I am not wanted, I am not good enough, I can’t do it, I am all alone, I am not allowed to be myself, I am not allowed to feel or express my feelings, I can’t have what I want, and I have to accept what others want for me. To the extent that you are living in the past and future world of the mind, these limiting beliefs will flow into every aspect of your life.

Awakening involves freeing yourself from these limiting beliefs and opening more fully into the present moment.

To be present is your natural state. In fact, there is only one way to leave the present moment and that is to think your way out of here. And where will you go? All thought is about the past or future and that is where your thoughts will take you. You will find yourself caught in the past and future. The more frequent the thoughts and the more you believe in your thoughts, opinions and beliefs, the more you will find yourself imprisoned within the world of the mind.

Most of our thoughts are unconscious and unintentional. Most of us are addicted to thinking, and so the thoughts just keep arising, pulling us from some memory of the past or some fantasy in the future. If you are not sure if thinking is a significant addiction, then close your eyes and don’t think for 30 seconds. You will discover that the thoughts simply don’t stop. It is not until you awaken fully into the present moment that you will recognize how lost in the mind you have been.

When you awaken into Presence, the mind is silent. There are no thoughts and so there is no past or future, at least not in those moments of true Presence. I am not against thinking. The more present you are, the clearer your thoughts will be when you consciously choose to think. You can still think, but now you are present, choosing to think in a conscious and intentional way. You are free of those random, unconscious and unintended thoughts. You are intending to think, you are aware of your thoughts and when you have completed whatever you are thinking about, you naturally and spontaneously return to a state of silence and Presence.

It is impossible to participate in the world of time without thought. However, for most people, thinking is habitual. Most of us are caught in a world of separation and illusion and the doorway to Presence is firmly closed. When we recognize this, the process of liberation can begin.

Source: AWAKEN

Posted on June 14, 2017 
Riding on the wings of thought, I enter the world of time. Riding on the wings of thought I enter the world of the mind.” Leonard Jacobson

The mind is a dimension of consciousness that allows you to leave the present moment and participate in the world of time. It is an intricate world which contains all of your past memories and future imaginings. It contains all your opinions, concepts, ideas and beliefs. It gives you a sense of life beyond this moment and to that extent it is illusory in nature. It is a lot like cyber space. It isn’t real and yet you can access it simply by thinking.

If you get too involved in your thoughts, ideas and opinions, you will find yourself absorbed into the world of the mind. You will find yourself living in the past and future rather than the present moment, which is the only life really available to you.

The mind is like a computer and like any computer, it can only function according to its programming. Our minds are programmed in early childhood with such limiting beliefs as I am not loved, I am not wanted, I am not good enough, I can’t do it, I am all alone, I am not allowed to be myself, I am not allowed to feel or express my feelings, I can’t have what I want, and I have to accept what others want for me. To the extent that you are living in the past and future world of the mind, these limiting beliefs will flow into every aspect of your life.

Awakening involves freeing yourself from these limiting beliefs and opening more fully into the present moment.

To be present is your natural state. In fact, there is only one way to leave the present moment and that is to think your way out of here. And where will you go? All thought is about the past or future and that is where your thoughts will take you. You will find yourself caught in the past and future. The more frequent the thoughts and the more you believe in your thoughts, opinions and beliefs, the more you will find yourself imprisoned within the world of the mind.

Most of our thoughts are unconscious and unintentional. Most of us are addicted to thinking, and so the thoughts just keep arising, pulling us from some memory of the past or some fantasy in the future. If you are not sure if thinking is a significant addiction, then close your eyes and don’t think for 30 seconds. You will discover that the thoughts simply don’t stop. It is not until you awaken fully into the present moment that you will recognize how lost in the mind you have been.

When you awaken into Presence, the mind is silent. There are no thoughts and so there is no past or future, at least not in those moments of true Presence. I am not against thinking. The more present you are, the clearer your thoughts will be when you consciously choose to think. You can still think, but now you are present, choosing to think in a conscious and intentional way. You are free of those random, unconscious and unintended thoughts. You are intending to think, you are aware of your thoughts and when you have completed whatever you are thinking about, you naturally and spontaneously return to a state of silence and Presence.

It is impossible to participate in the world of time without thought. However, for most people, thinking is habitual. Most of us are caught in a world of separation and illusion and the doorway to Presence is firmly closed. When we recognize this, the process of liberation can begin.

Source: AWAKEN

Published on Jan 30, 2015

This is a recording of a live video webcast with spiritual teacher Leonard Jacobson, recorded on January 6, 2015. For more information about free video webcasts with Leonard, visit http://www.leonardjacobson.com. 00:14 – Leonard’s introduction
08:34 – The benefits of being present
11:40 – Being present with everything showing up in your life
17:25 – Freedom from limiting beliefs
30:42 – The ultimate outcome for humanity
34:41 – Right relationship with your feelings
47:35 – Establishing a foundation in Presence
53:30 – Becoming a master of your mind and ego
59:00 – Making Presence your first priority
1:04:52 – The choice at the heart of freewill

When you are present, you are love, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You radiate love in the same way that the flame of a candle radiates light and it has nothing to do with who or what you love.

Humanity has become hopelessly lost in love. We lose ourselves in the object of our love and in the process, we lose ourselves. We disconnect from the source of the love, which exists at the very center of our Being. Then we feel a certain kind of emptiness, because we have moved away from the center. We are afraid of the emptiness, and so we relentlessly pursue love outside of ourselves.

We want to be loved. We fall in love. We lose ourselves in the object of the love, which takes us further from the center. Eventually, we become so lost in the pursuit of love and all the hope, pain, fear and attachments associated with it, that we can no longer be present. And if we cannot be present, we cannot find our way back to the source of the love, which is at the very center within us.

The truth is, that if you love anyone or anything, it simply means that you are love. The one you are loving in the moment might be lovable, but the source of the love is always within you. If another loves you, do not take it too personally. It simply means that the other is love.

If I am present and I am love, and you are present and you are love, then why do I need you to love me? Why do you need me to love you? The truth is that we do not need to be loved, for if we are present, we are love. So let us hold hands, and gaze together upon this wondrous world with love.

Love everything. Love the dogs. Love the children. Love the trees. Love your wife or husband. But remember it is because you are love.

About Leonard: Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard Jacobson.com.
Source: AWAKEN

There is a very clear distinction between the awakened state of Presence and the world of the mind. When you are fully present, thoughts stop and your mind is silent. That is the test of Presence. It is the test of silence. You are utterly present with what is here and your mind is silent. It is as if silence is aware of silence. That is it. Not one word or thought arises. You are immersed in the moment of now.

Your mind might come in with observations about your spiritual progress or how awake you are, or how enlightened you are. These are just thoughts arising within the mind and probably generated by the ego. Your ego wants to be enlightened. Just say to your ego, “yes, yes darling you are the most enlightened of them all.” The ego will relax with this light-hearted acknowledgment.

Even if you say to me, “I am enlightened,” I would ask you, “Who is enlightened?” The only possible answer is “I AM,” which will immediately take you beyond the mind. It will take you beyond the world of time. It will take you beyond the concept or idea of enlightenment. It is the “I AM” Presence that is the awakened you. That is it. There is nothing beyond that. But the moment you think about it or the moment you have a view of yourself as being awake or enlightened, you are in the mind again.

No one can truly awaken unless they are clear about this distinction. Otherwise, you will think you are present or enlightened when you are not. Even worse, the ego will think it is present or enlightened. This confusion is an obstacle to your full awakening. It is very difficult to free yourself from an ‘enlightened’ ego.

To be present is your natural state. In fact the only way you can be somewhere other than in the present moment is to think your way out of here. And where will you go? You will take yourself into the past and future world of the mind. All thoughts are of the past or future and that is exactly where they will take you. You will find yourself in a world of illusion and separation.

I am not saying that thoughts should stop or the ego should be eliminated. Just be aware of thoughts as they arise and recognize them for what they are. Your thoughts have nothing to do with the present moment. Even brilliant spiritual thoughts are just thoughts. Even brilliant reflections upon your spiritual progress are just reflections within the mind. Do not allow the ego to fool you. Do not reject your thoughts, but also do not believe in them. Do not follow them. Just acknowledge the thought and gently return to Presence.

Once you relax into silence, you will deepen into Presence. And then of course, all sorts of wonderful things can arise from the silence at the center of your being – bliss, ecstasy, love, compassion, truth and wisdom can arise and flow through you.

If you are fully awake in this moment, all separation dissolves as you open into Oneness. Your sense of yourself as an individual also dissolves as you are immersed into the mystery of this moment.

You do not always have to be at this deep level of Presence. Unless you retire to a cave or an ashram, you will still participate in the world of time and use your mind many times each day. There is nothing wrong with thinking, as long as you are aware of the distinction between the awakened state of Presence and the world of the mind. This will enable you to settle more deeply and more fundamentally into the world of now.

About Leonard: Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard Jacobson.com.
Source: AWAKEN
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God is real. God is here now, but we are not. We are lost in the past and future world of the mind.

We are lost in a world of illusion and separation. We are lost in ideas, opinions, concepts and beliefs including spiritual and religious concepts and beliefs.

If we want to experience the living presence of God, we will have to come to where God is, which is the present moment. Then we will begin to experience God as the silent Presence at the very heart of all things present. That’s what omnipresence really means! For believers it’s a comforting concept. For mystics who are awake in the truth of life, it’s a living reality.

Belief in God is an obstacle to knowing God. Belief is a function of the mind and God is unknowable with the mind. To believe in God is to create God in man’s image and it doesn’t work. The truth is that we are created in the image of God, which means that we have all the attributes and qualities of the divine. In Presence, we are love, acceptance and compassion. We are without judgment. We exist in the realization of Oneness and all these qualities flow into our daily lives if we are fundamentally grounded in the present moment.

But if we venture too far into the past or future, we disconnect from the present moment and in so doing we disconnect from our divine nature. We separate from God and the present moment. We then seek to avoid the pain of separation by believing in God, which actually takes us further into illusion and separation. We can only know God through direct experience, which arises when we are very deeply present.

Did Jesus believe in God or did he know God? Was he so deeply present that he could feel and sense the Presence of God in everything? Was he so present that he experienced Oneness with everything, and so he felt one with God? Christ is a state of consciousness, not a person. Jesus the man awakened to Christ consciousness. He opened so fully into the present moment that he could see, feel and sense the Presence of God in everything. Christ consciousness is available to everyone who is willing to surrender belief in God and become fully present.

If you want to go beyond belief in God to the direct experience of God, then you will have to learn how to be deeply present. As you deepen into Presence, the illusion of separation dissolves. You will feel fulfilled by the moment as it is and your constant striving for more dissolves. You relax. You accept the moment as it is. You can sense that there is a Presence in everything and somehow you know that the Presence in everything is the Presence of God. You feel overwhelmed by love and gratitude. Your soul rejoices. It is what your soul has been longing for from the very beginning of time. You are aware of the extraordinary abundance and beauty of the present moment. You feel one with God. It feels like you have come home.

There is one step beyond Christ consciousness. It is God consciousness. In Christ consciousness, you are so present that you experience yourself as one with God. In God consciousness you have become so fully immersed in the present moment and Oneness that all sense of yourself as an individual dissolves. Only God remains.

About Leonard: Leonard Jacobson is an awakened spiritual teacher, mystic and author, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. For more than 35 years, Leonard has been teaching people how to become fundamentally present and arise in mastery of the mind and ego. Find more of Leonard’s work at Leonard Jacobson.com.
Source: AWAKEN
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If we are fully present, there are no thoughts. If there are no thoughts, then quite literally, there is no time. There is no life outside of this moment. We can no longer function in the world of time, because there is only now. You would need a team of caretakers to take care of you, or an ashram would have to develop around you to take care of you and receive your enlightened utterances.

One such example is Ramana Maharshi. When Ramana awakened, he did not participate in the world of time. He remained in the silence and an ashram developed around him. That is the beauty of India. The Indian culture allows for one to enter into that fully awakened state and remain there. They know how to respond to one who is fully awakened.

But it is time for many more of us to awaken. Enlightenment can no longer be for just a select few, who do not participate in the world. If there is to be an awakening at a collective level, we will have to find a balance between the timelessness of the fully awakened state and the world of time. This means that we must master the art of moving easily between those two dimensions.

To do so, we must know that the present moment is the truth of life. We must know that everything outside of this moment is illusory in nature and so we no longer believe in any of it as true. We must recognize that life at the level of mind is simply play. It is sometimes happy and sometimes sad, because it is a world of duality. We relax and accept the dual nature of life within time. We are no longer for or against anything. We have transcended judgment. Life is accepted fully and so too is death. Joy is accepted fully and so too is pain. But we are so deeply grounded in the moment of now, that we no longer get caught in the movements of the mind and its world of thought and emotion. We are no longer identified with the story unfolding within the world of time. We are no longer defined by that story. We are deeply grounded in Oneness. We can move easily into time and the world of thought, and we are able to return to silence and Presence at will. In fact, silence and Presence are always there as the foundation of our existence, even when we consciously choose to venture into the world of the mind.


A man went for a walk one day. As he walked, he became aware that he was feeling lost and alone. Rather than push the feelings away, he allowed them to be present with him. “I’m lost. I am all alone,” he cried to himself. A deep sadness arose within him.

Suddenly a voice arose from a deeper level. “If you are lost, then where are you?” It was the voice of his Being. It was the voice of truth.

The man paused to consider the question. “If I am lost, then where am I?” he asked aloud. He sat down and as much as possible, he became present with his feelings.

“I am lost. I am all alone!” he repeated several times.

Once again the voice of his Being gently challenged him. “You say you are lost. Then where are you?”

The man tried to see where he was. Suddenly, it became clear to him.

“I am lost in my mind!” he cried.

It was so simple. He was lost in his mind. He was lost somewhere in his remembered past. Or somewhere in his imagined future. One thing was clear. He was not here now. He closed his eyes and became very still. He became very aware of his body and his breath. He became very aware of the sounds around him. He could feel the soft caress of the breeze upon his face. He became silent. He began to feel very present. The feeling of being lost and alone disappeared. He paused for a few moments in silent gratitude. He opened his eyes and his heart exploded with joy as a bird soared into the sky.

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