It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Your Conscious Mind: The Creator Within

woman-enjoying-sunny-morning-picture-id830089732 The two minds make a dynamic duo.

The evolution of higher mammals, including chimps, cetaceans and humans, brought forth a new level of awareness called “self-consciousness,” or, simply, the conscious mind. The newer conscious mind is an important evolutionary advance. The earlier, subconscious mind is our “autopilot”; the conscious mind is our manual control. For example, if a ball comes near your eye, the slower conscious mind may not have time to be aware of the threatening projectile. Yet the subconscious mind, which processes ~20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second vs. 40 environmental stimuli interpreted by the conscious mind in the same second, will cause the eye to blink. [Norretranders 1998] The subconscious mind, one of the most powerful information processors known, specifically observes both the surrounding world and the body’s internal awareness, reads the environmental cues and immediately engages previously acquired (learned) behaviors—all without the help, supervision or even awareness of the conscious mind.

The two minds make a dynamic duo. Operating together, the conscious mind can use its resources to focus on some specific point, such as the party you are going to tomorrow night. Simultaneously, your subconscious mind can be safely pushing the lawn mower around and successfully not cutting off your foot or running over the cat— even though you are not consciously paying attention to mowing the lawn.

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The Surprising Success of Wholeness

The Surprising Success of Wholeness The Surprising Success of Wholeness
By Deepak Chopra™, MD, Tiffany J Barsotti, MTh, Paul J. Mills, PhD

As the notions of “holistic” and “wholeness” became popular in recent decades, they also turned into a paradox. People who focused on holistic health, diet, and wellness found themselves to be cut off from people who didn’t care about such things (which is the majority). Trying to be holistic wound up making you separate, which is the opposite of being whole. The meditation/wholefoods/yoga people are a splinter group from the McDonald’s/Monday Night Football/TGIF people.

Perhaps a misunderstanding lies at the bottom of this situation. Wholeness people tend to feel that they are waiting for non-wholeness people to catch on, a little like non-smokers and teetotalers waiting for chain-smokers and beer drinkers to catch on. This divide disappears, however, once you realize that you cannot make yourself whole, while on the other side of the coin you cannot make yourself unwhole. Everyone is whole already.

A simple observation is enough to clarify why wholeness is inescapable. Imagine someone sitting at a computer doing a task. You cannot see the monitor, so you don’t know what their task is. The physical body you see is a person; the thinker responding to the computer screen is a person. The two must co-exist, uniting two sides of reality, physical and mental.  This union defines everyone’s existence. You were born whole, and the only thing that separates you from a random stranger is what you decide to do with your wholeness.

Here we are looking beyond lifestyle, although that would seem to be the most glaring difference between people. Instead, how you use your wholeness primarily centers on something else: awareness. Someone in the meditation/whole foods/yoga group can be miserable, conflicted, and anxious while someone in the other group is content, loving, and secure. Clearly awareness is involved in this difference, but how? 

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Open Heart, Open Soul

Open Heart, Open Soul Open Heart, Open Soul

If your heart opens completely, everything else within you also opens. Your heart becomes an expressway to your soul. And your soul is the designated navigator for this lifetime. Not your mind or your physical body. Before you were born, your soul was downloaded with the customized codes for this particular life journey. God’s cosmic plan is miniaturized within your cells. As soon as you open your heart completely, those soul codes light up and go into super-connectivity mode. Everything starts to flow seamlessly within your conscious awareness, within your physical form, and thus within your life.

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500 Hits

The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless

The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless The Power to Never Again Feel Powerless

When expectations get dashed, we don't see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don't see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative . . . what is not. We feel powerless because we've become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. There is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist . . . persists! 



The only way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship is to develop a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity. We must ask, what kind of "power" is it to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn't happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove that our position is right? To the contrary: the more we don't want the moment, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self, as someone being overpowered by it. 

 

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Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You

Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You Welcome Truth's Light and Make Everything Right for You

Have you ever seen rage in yourself? Generally, we don't want to see certain states within us because we've been conditioned to think of them as being morally "wrong" for us. We don't understand that these dark states are part of an interior world that can be changed when the light of awareness is shined upon them.
 

What happens when we see things about ourselves that we don't want to see?

In order to avoid looking at itself, the mind will seize on the rage it has seen, and it will try to explain it. It will take the initial darkness, the negative energy, and because it seems to be basically out of control, the mind will try to make of it something that it can deal with. When we live from a nature that does not want to see its "self," then there's no chance that this level of self, this nature, can ever change. When we hide from ourselves the way we feel, the only thing that we're accomplishing is the assurance that these feelings will return again... only more of them! It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: we condemn and doom ourselves by being afraid of the darkness in us. We have one thing to do with our own states, and that is to see them as they are, to catch the part of us that's afraid of being what we've just seen, and to stop trying to hide anything anymore... because we're on this earth to learn.

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We Are Loving Awareness

RamDassNoAttribution01-730x400 We Are Loving Awareness
“Now just imagine that you, as spirit or awareness, have contained yourself in an incarnation, or contained it in a conceptual model of who you are and in a storyline. And then at some point, you dissolve out of that, you break out of that, and there is this incredible release quality.” – Ram Dass 


There is joyousness. Our beloved Baba has left his body, and he is no longer in pain. He has been released from this storyline.  

There is sadness. We no longer get the warm embrace of his loving awareness in the human form. The feeling I got when our eyes locked was that of pure liquid love. It was too much for me most of the time, I almost always wound up looking away before he did. But I will miss it dearly. I will miss him dearly.

When I heard the news last night, I immediately had to sit and meditate. As I settled into my first round of “Ram, Ram, Ram,” I felt tears streaking down my face. A thought popped right up into my head, “Well, I didn’t think I’d be this sad.” I thought I was ready for this; I’m sure many of us thought we were. 

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643 Hits

What Is Here

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One of the key wisdoms I’ve come to know in my life is to always appreciate what is here, rather than search for (and lament) what is not. If you hold the latter focus, you will always find something missing. If you hold the former, the world will open up around you in miraculous ways. Some people call this a gratitude practice, and that’s a good name for it. Life on Earth is so rich with experiential treasures, so much to be grateful for.

In every moment, there is a surplus of wonder in your life. The air you breathe, the sky above you, your friends and family, all of them precious beyond words. Yet, not every person, event, experience, or detail in life is always within your perceptual field. You can have one particular experience today and an entirely different one tomorrow, each of them seemingly separate. If you expand your awareness, however, both experiences are connected.

We live on a planet of polarities, and we are learning to navigate it, to find balance and harmony within that world. The middle path is one that is inclusive of everything within each moment. You don’t get lost in opposites, which can lend itself to only experiencing loss. Instead, you see everything around you as part of a greater network of meaning and connection in the universe. There is no absence, only presence.

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890 Hits

Moments In Time

erik-brolin-1218513-unsplash-1024x57_20190415-153618_1 Moments In Time

Spring time shifts how the sunlight enters our house.  I returned home midmorning, planning on writing my blog.  As I looked for the perfect patch of light, I wondered what I would write about.  It is almost always a mystery until the words find a way to each other and form a story.  Our small kitchen table was perfect for discovering the unknown   I brought my lap top, calendar, and phone.  My office was complete.  Just the dogs and I were home.   Everything was perfect until I knocked over my mug of coffee and coconut milk all over my lap top key board.  It was totally soaked.

I quickly flipped my computer over and watched the coffee pour off the computer and puddle on the counter.  I still held hope that my computer would function.  After about 5 minutes, I used a hairdryer to hasten the drying process.  That is when I lost hope.  My computer was clearly nonfunctioning. My frustration lasted a couple minutes.  It wasn’t great timing, plus I hadn’t backed up my laptop.  
 
My mind went to why did this happen?  Is there a message from the Universe hidden in this spill?  Or was it just a matter of time for an event like this?  I happen to be in the awkward stage of rebranding my business.  I have a new name, website, and a new facebook and twitter account.  I am trying to consolidate all my accounts. All of my original business information was kept on my lap top.  Maybe I just gave myself a clean slate.  I just closed the door on my old business and opened the door to all the possibilities of my new business.  
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What does union feel like in the moment?

kissing-in-the-rain-picture-id638677636 What does union feel like in the moment?

We try so hard to overcome separateness with others in the moment.

More intimacy. More rubbing of bodies, exchanging of ideas. But it’s always as if you are yelling out of your room and I am yelling out of mine. Even trying to get out of the room invests the room with a reality. Who am I? The room that the mind has built.

We spend so much effort to get out of something that didn’t exist until we created it. Something that is gone in a moment. We’ve all had moments when the room disappeared and we freaked out, or explained it away, or ignored it, or let it pass by.

A moment. The moment of orgasm. The moment by the ocean when there is just the wave. The moment of being in love. The moment of crisis when we forget ourselves and do just what is needed.

We each come out again and again. We turn and look and realize we’re out, and panic. We run back in the room, close the door, panting heavily. Now I know where I am. I’m back home. Safe. No matter how squalid the room is, no matter how unmade the bed, no matter how many bugs are crawling around the kitchen, it’s safe.

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488 Hits

A World Without Marketing

IMG_0570-1200x900 A World Without Marketing

“Imagine no possessions.
I wonder if you can…”
—John Lennon

Marketing drives our world today. Everything from political candidates to clothing to cars and cell phones is presented to us through a filter of manipulative images and languaging. True needs (supporting life) have been replaced with artificial needs (unnecessary, even detrimental, to our lives). What would the world be like without marketing? Some economists say it would fall apart, no longer driven by false monetary incentives. I don’t believe it.

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952 Hits

Living In A Vortex Of Love

hot-air-balloons-picture-id500901404 Living In A Vortex Of Love
As I crested the top of a hill I spotted two and then three hot air balloons. They were so distant, that I could not make out the individual colors. The balloons were both beautiful and inspiring. The way they moved through the air on wind currents reminded me of someone moving gracefully through life. The vantage point they shared from high above the ground, offered a greater scope of our world and thus our connection. Both the grace and the ability to observe on a large scale, reminded me of living a conscious life. 
 
The following day my family and I were gifted the opportunity to visit a Horse and Human Sanctuary; Tierra Madre. As I opened the gate into the sanctuary we all felt the powerful healing energy. The gate protects everyone and everything in the sanctuary; only open hearts are allowed inside.
 
There was a small wild rabbit just inside, observing our entrance. Soon we were greeted by a dog. We learned the dog had been rescued from the side of the freeway. We found it easy to leave everything but love and inspiration outside. The sanctuary is a safe place for all. 
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779 Hits

Finding Home

SavannahtoJacksonville-1200x900

It seems that we are always getting ready for something. Always preparing for the next step, even though the next step will come whether we prepare for it or not. We think we have control of our lives but we don’t. We pack and unpack our memories, accumulating more and more—until death arrives to show us how memories fall away as does the illusion of control. To move from one place to another is to experience a death of sorts and a loosening of control. Every ending is an opening to something greater.

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914 Hits

The Temple Is You

The Temple is You The Temple is You
Your physical form is not a throw-away container to be mistreated or ignored and then discarded at the end of your life with reluctance or relief. As the greatest mystics have said, your body is a temple. It is the holy shrine that houses God and your eternal soul and is to be treated with honor and gentleness. Perhaps even awe. It is an amazing gift to be alive on this planet at this time. At any time really. There is great mystery involved in our beingness, most of which we will never understand while we are in our physicality. However, we can experience that mystery as the miracle that it is in every moment of our lives.
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925 Hits

Namaste: Seeing the Truth of Who We Are

tara-brach-seeing-the-truth-of-who-we-are Namaste: Seeing the Truth of Who We Are

A gift of evolving consciousness is the capacity to recognize and honor the sacred awareness that lives through our own and all beings. This capacity is blocked by our identification with our “mask” or ego self, and not seeing past other people’s masks. In this talk we reflect together on some key filters of superior/inferior and good/bad that shape the trance of a narrowed identity, and then explore how mindfulness and kindness free us to inhabit the vastness of our natural awareness. We close with tasting the possibility of bringing the spirit of Namaste to ourselves, others and all beings.


Rumi writes: ““Are you searching for your true self? Then come out of your own prison. Leave the little creek and join the mighty river that flows into the ocean. Like an ox, don’t pull the wheel of this world on your back. Take off the burden. Whirl and circle, and rise above the wheel of the world. There is another view.”

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951 Hits

Your Soul's Awareness

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Live as your soul, and trust in God. Live as God, and trust in your soul. One and the same. Your soul is God here on Earth within a physical form. God is in every physical form on the planet—every human being, every animal, every butterfly, every tree, every stone, every tiny grain of sand. There is absolutely nothing that is not Source energy. When we come to this greater awareness, we can be free of separation on every level. Separation from God, separation from others, and separation within ourselves. My mind, body, emotions, and spirit are all one. I am one with all beings everywhere.
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1268 Hits

Mindfulness and Depression

James-Pesavento-Mindfulness-and-depression

There is one symptom of the fear of un-lovability and unworthiness and that is sadness and depression. This wound of un-lovability expresses itself in the feeling of depression. The reason sadness arises from the experience of unworthiness is that it is untrue, yet you believe it. Lack of worth, lack of acceptance, lack of lovability is the great fallacy in life. But you hold worthlessness as a belief on some level and as long as that false belief is in place you will feel the symptoms of sadness and depression.


You believe you are unlovable not because you truly are experiencing yourself authentically that way but because you are gauging and judging your worth based upon the conditioning and experiences of parents, teachers, society, friends, family and spiritual beliefs. You have to fit in, excel, look, act, respond and think like they want you to in order for them to love you. And that is an impossible job with an unattainable result. You live in-authentically to be loved and you dis-connect yourself from your essential self, always living in a created self, seeking to be loved.


When you don’t get what you want you react with anger or you hide yourself away. Either way, deep inside you feel a deep and ever-present sadness. You can’t achieve being loved outside and you aren’t experiencing it inside, where it truly exists, because you are dis-connected to your essential self. As this cycle continues sadness turns to depression.

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2080 Hits

What is an effective process for dealing with the mechanics of your mind?

dealing with the mechanics of your mind

At any time you can look at a thought form and get involved in the content of the thought. In therapy you start to get psycho-dynamic. You can say, “Ok, now I’m gonna look at the mechanics of my mind,” in which case every thought is just another thought. It’s not some special thought or the deepest thought. So I would take the kind of internalized feeling and thought, and I would bring my awareness back to my breath, and then the thought would come again, and I would go back to my breath, and then the thought would come again, and again I would come back to my breath, until eventually I started to appreciate it as just another thought, because at this point I am treating it like that, rather than like it is ‘real’ or ‘solid.’

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2558 Hits

Glimpses of God

Glimpses of God

Those of us who have been on a spiritual path for twenty or thirty years know firsthand that there is no fast track to enlightenment. No door that can be forced open by sheer will power, on the other side of which God sits waiting. No treasure chest that a special secret code can spring open. Detective work and safe-cracking tools will get you nowhere, except back to where you started from, learning again and again to sit quietly and open your heart to the God within. Our lifetime search brings us home to ourselves, realizing at last that God is everywhere and everything, including us.

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2379 Hits

What are some techniques for finding freedom within ourselves?

freedom

I view spiritual practice as the freeing of awareness from identification with anything. That’s a spiritual practice. How that is done is through a wide variety of means. It can be done, for example, in the heart through a devotional practice. In other words, I can bring my mind through to love using some icon, or some being, or some person, and loving it so thoroughly that it frees the mind from all the rest of the stuff. Then I can go into that love so deeply, that I go into the formless love. I go through form into formlessness, and I come to that place of free awareness through love.


For example, I use mala prayer beads. This is a technique for reminding me that you and I are only relatively real. I’m keeping another plane of reality going simultaneously to remind me of the formlessness inherent in the form. In other words, I’m doing a practice while I’m talking to you.


Now the whole idea of a meditative practice is the process of very simply extricating awareness from the identification with thought and sensation.

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2125 Hits

Does the Human Mind Need a Fresh Start?

freshstart

Most people would agree, even without a degree in psychology, that many if not most problems are created by the mind. It’s impossible to be human without the functioning of the higher brain (the cerebral cortex), which is proportionately larger in Homo sapiens, and evolved with unusual swiftness into the state where it can process mathematics, philosophy, art and science. But we are trapped by the mind at the same time, as witness centuries of war on a vast scale down to daily episodes of domestic abuse in the home, or take a clinical view at the countless people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other forms of mental distress.

 

Medicine aims to relieve people of mental distress, with the goal of addressing a mood disorder like depression, for example, and returning the mind to a normal state. But this only highlights our confusion over what “normal” means, because there are plenty of ills created by people who would pass the test for normality. In our own minds was born the atom bomb, toxic chemicals, ecological depredation, authoritarian regimes, religious and racial prejudice, and so on. Normal still leaves the human mind ignorant of how to escape itself, which could be the true mark of Homo sapiens as a unique species.

 
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