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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From an adrenaline-based system to a heart-based system: Anchoring the Deep Heart

meditating-guru-boy-picture-id1015300864 From an adrenaline-based system to a heart-based system: Anchoring the Deep Heart

As I now awake to the melodious sound of happy birds instead of rushing people, to the Earth taking a deep breath, the Sun rising up on a new changing planet, I am in gratitude. We have all known that the pace and the impact of humanity without connection consciousness, without care to all beings or one another had to cease somehow. Little did we envision it would come in the form of a tiny particle. Yes there is tremendous hardship and for that my heart goes out. As we deepen together and awaken to the always connected universe, we are transitioning in force and unprecedented collective from normal to natural, from adrenaline-based stress-based living to a true sense of the underlying connection, love and universality based in the heart, our portal of oneness, of love at its highest singularity. We have the opportunity now more than ever to step out of normal which was devastating the planet into a more natural connected, radically inclusive, resonant relationship with our world, all of Creation and the Cosmos.

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18 Hits

Sheltering In Love (Part 1)

Sheltering In Love (Part 1) Sheltering In Love (Part 1)

During this time of pandemic, we need, more than ever, to feel our connectedness—true belonging with our own being, each other and all life.

These talks explore the bodhisattva path – practices of an awakening being dedicated to living from love. The invitation is to let this season of close-in and global suffering deepen our collective commitment to creating a more compassionate world.

Listen to the final meditation in the talk: Meditation: Embracing Life with an Open Heart (11:54 min.)

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110 Hits

Look Out for One Another

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There is so much fear ricocheting around the globe now. Fear of the deadly coronavirus and fear of disease and dying. Basically, fear of survival. This survival-based fear is embedded deep in our cellular memory as a species on this planet; it is a powerful force affecting everyone. Our collective consciousness holds the emotional residue of every event—wars, famine, pandemics, natural and man-made disasters, etc.—and all that is coming up to be released so that we can reach a new planetary balance. Mostly we aren’t aware of the rebalancing yet, but it is happening. As the virus spreads, we feel both present and cumulative fear, as well as other strong emotions like sadness, anger, or panic.

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100 Hits

Only a Silent Mind Can Be a Healing Mind

Only a Silent Mind Can Be a Healing Mind Only a Silent Mind Can Be a Healing Mind

Crises call for action, and the COVID-19 crisis has triggered global action, much of it motivated by alarm, fear, and the dread of uncertainty. But what about the individual person who feels afraid and uncertain? I’d like to propose an answer based on the silent mind. I realize that this approach might sound a bit alien and “spiritual” in the wrong way, but building castles in the air or retreating into yourself isn’t what silent mind is about.

Silent mind is about reconnecting to your source. Everyone relies on the top layer of the mind, which is active, constantly thinking and feeling. But when these feelings get fixated on anxiety, alarm, dread, and uncertainty, the active mind cannot pull itself out of its own spiral. Mental activity becomes useless to heal itself, just as a runaway car cannot apply its own brakes.

What is needed is a reset. The reset isn’t just mental. Your thoughts are received by every cell in your body, and in turn all kinds of processes are affected—the immune response, hormonal cycles, sleep, and overall mind-body balance, or homeostasis. If the active mind becomes confused and chaotic, balance is disrupted everywhere. What to do? 

Centuries ago, in every culture, a deeper level of mind was discovered, and the usual expression surrounding this level, which is silent, calm, and undisturbed, became religious, as in the Old Testament injunction, “Be still and know that I am God.” If we replace God with “your source,” the message comes through to modern ears: Be still and know that I am your source. The most direct result of heeding this message would be to meditate, because meditation gives direct access to silent mind.

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182 Hits

Breakfast with a Bent Fork (and Other Musings from a Silent Retreat)

bentfork Breakfast with a Bent Fork (and Other Musings from a Silent Retreat)

Gently and quietly, I place my plate, silverware, and mug on the table. Lowering myself into the chair, I settle my feet on the floor and lift my gaze out the window. There is a man outside, holding a mug in his right hand. I chuckle inside my head, “That man is outstanding in his field!”

The man I am seeing is the same one who has his meditation seat right in front of me in the meditation hall. This guy is nice looking and sturdy; he is wearing the kind of pants made for outdoor activities. They are stone colored, Columbia brand, the kind where you can zip off the legs if you want to wade into a stream. His fleece jacket is a medium blue color, not navy, maybe royal blue. He has a Nordic style beanie covering his head. The grasses he is standing in are tall, about knee high, beige and wispy. It’s windy, so the grasses are swaying around his legs.

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160 Hits

A Love Letter from the Divine…

divinemoment A Love Letter from the Divine…

A Love Letter from the Divine….

I want you to know that I love you very much.  It doesn’t matter to me if you eat fudge ice cream in your vintage underwear in the middle of the night.  And I think you’re precious, not following through on your Gratitude Journal yet, fourth year running.

Beloved, I’m not the least bit concerned with those unsavory thoughts about your ex.  I am not limited to momentary facts.  I know your shimmering nature.  I know how AMAZING you are.

But if I’m honest, I am a little concerned about this.  I wonder why you don’t trust the desires that have always been yours.  You strive to ignore your wildest dreams because they feel so good, but I thought that surely you’d recognize their unrivaled power because they feel so good. 

Please know I supplied you with unstinting resources and a hunger strong enough to make any of your desires come true.  And surely you’ve noticed a few of the lines I’ve written for you in some of the self-help books you’ve read.  I keep putting those books out there and you even keep buying them.  But, still, I find you sitting in the corner as though you are an orphan child, as though you’ve been abandoned without a key, a charm, a brand new GPS system and an entourage waiting just for you.  I even hear you whisper, “I don’t know what to do.” 

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139 Hits

Soulful Space

soulfulspace Soulful Space

Knowing that “There is only One thing happening here and it is Good” is not about by-passing reality by any means. Being and operating from the heart space, from a soulful space, and looking out through that lens is the surest way to hold this transcendent perspective.

From a survivor perspective, we can name countless reasons to believe that it is NOT all good. With gun violence, injustice, abuse, poverty – you name it – we can certainly build a case that it doesn’t look so good. And here is where we can take a “time out” in our thinking and remember that we are more than just flesh and bone. We are more than just surviving, instinct-based individuals. We are creative-source energy in a body. We are God-source energy in a body. While that is a lofty statement, it happens to be the truth.

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149 Hits

One Earth—Peace Within Crisis

IMG_0940-1200x900 One Earth—Peace Within Crisis

We have used language to separate ourselves from each other through a litany of pronouns—you, he, she, it, they—which together mean “other.” Yes, we say “we,” but it is usually used in a sense that cordons off “us” from “them.” The greater “we” that encompasses all of humanity is rarely part of our vocabulary. World events in the form of a deadly virus are now compelling us to open our hearts to that inclusiveness. We can no longer separate ourselves from one another, and that includes all of Nature as well. Our survival depends on seeing “we” everywhere. We are being radically schooled in oneness.

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208 Hits

The Virus Can Give Your Life More Meaning

breathe The Virus Can Give Your Life More Meaning

One way to respond in a crisis is to reduce its threat. The other way is to add to the threat. The coronavirus COVID-19 might be the first collective crisis that many people have faced, and it poses an uncertain future in every country that confronts it. But this doesn’t change the two choices just mentioned. Know that your individual actions will have an impact on countless other people.

 

No matter how the COVID-19 pandemic resolves itself—something no one can predict—you can personally choose right now to reduce its threat. If you consciously make that choice, three positive things will happen. You will feel more in control; you will be on the side of healing; and you will add to the meaning of your life.

 

How to be more in control:

This begins by acting responsibly, following what the experts in disease control advise. By now everyone is aware of the need to stay at home, self-quarantine if you show any symptoms, keep 6 to 10 ft. away from other people in public, don’t take long plane flights, and wash your hands frequently (the medical school routine for scrubbing up applies here: Wash your hands vigorously while singing “Happy birthday to you” twice—and don’t forget your thumbs and between your fingers). The active ingredient in effective hand sanitizers is isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which you can also use by itself in at least a 60% solution with water.

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123 Hits

How To Spiritually Surf These Crazy Times

woman-meditating-in-the-nature-in-a-flower-field-with-closed-eyes-picture-id1161250308 How To Spiritually Surf These Crazy Times

I hope you are safe and staying healthy as we all deal with this life changing time we are in. Brian and I are isolating ourselves at home, we’ve stocked up on lots of Amy’s canned organic soup (which I hope tastes good as I’ve never eaten it before), and we are checking in with friends and family by phone, Facebook and Skype.

For the past few days I have been blessed to have the time to listen and read a variety of meditations and blogs that have been comforting and calming.

I have found that my best strategy right now is to stay in the present moment as much as possible and to not let my monkey mind get caught up in “what if” scenarios. Below are links to three free resources that I have found helpful:

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155 Hits

How to play your role during these severely challenging times - coronavirus

woman-hands-holding-burning-heartshaped-candle-picture-id1156845105 How to play your role during these severely challenging times - coronavirus

I know how challenging things must be in your home, your office and in your life. Most people I know feel they are on an emotional roller coaster due to the Coronavirus and fears surrounding their health and economic well-being.

At times like this we can be severely tested. We can feel things are falling apart even though our faith in the Divine says things are falling together. 

If we stay centered in our relationship with the Divine (there is no separation) and we feel deeply into our own connection to Presence, we will find all the things we thought had gone missing.

We will find certainty.  

We will find inner wisdom that will guide us.  
And we will find our calling to support those who need our assistance. 
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158 Hits

Got Soul?

soulfullife Got Soul?

Through the ages, scholars as well as all religious and spiritual traditions have contemplated the definition, significance, and nature of the soul. Some people believe that soul simply suggests another word for spirit, and that they’re really one of the same, or that it implies a religious or even a spiritual quality.

You may often hear the word soul used in today’s modern culture referring to a sense of pride in areas such as religion, social customs, food, music, or even dance. I have even heard the word used when expressing a deep-felt emotion: “He put all his heart and soul into that performance.”

I’ve been amazed by the number of definitions, meanings, and references there are for one single word, which itself can mean so many different things to so many different people.

Soul is consciousness. It is my belief that the soul is the true essence of a person. When you look into a mirror and see your reflection, you notice your body, your hair, your eyes, your smile, or even your frown! The reflection looking back at you, the image you see is just your external shell; it’s not who you really are.

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142 Hits

If You Aren’t You, Then Who Are You?

meditating If You Aren’t You, Then Who Are You?

Whether you call it your spiritual life, your inner journey, or a search for a higher power, there is a necessary process, known as waking up. It consists of no longer being unaware. By growing more conscious, you give up many things you once took for granted. You recognize that they were illusions, unproven assumptions, and second-hand opinions.
 

You can take a major step toward waking up right this minute. All you need to do is answer one questions: Who are you? This question is about your identity, which everyone takes for granted –so much so, in fact, that we lose ourselves in an illusion without ever realizing it.

Let’s start without any assumptions. Drop your assumption that you already know who you are, because what people really know is not who they really are but their story. Your story consists of everything you have amassed in the past through experience, belief, successes and failures, likes and dislikes. When you identify with these things, you mistake a dead relic of the past for who you really are. Your story might be good or bad, something to be proud of or not, filled with experiences you want to hold on to and others you would rather forget. None of this really matters when you want to know who you really are. You are more than your story.

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304 Hits

Hide-and-Seek with God

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“I Am Loving Awareness”
—Ram Dass

Over the past decade, I have experienced divine connection in a variety of ways—in Nature, in solitary or group meditation, and with spiritual teachers who helped facilitate that falling away of form into formlessness. In spite of any longing on my part to hold onto it permanently, however, my experience of God came and went, arose and then receded. Repeatedly, I vacillated between the appearance and disappearance, almost as if I were playing hide-and-seek with God. Then Ram Dass died.

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194 Hits

Discovering The Pearl From the Wounds

singe-pearl-sitting-in-an-oyster-shell-on-a-light-background-picture-id121124449 Discovering The Pearl From the Wounds
Rather than feeling like a victim of your wounds, you might want to embrace them as the injury necessary to produce the being that you are capable of becoming.


“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” ~ Stephan Hoeller

I used to envy people who seemed to lead easy, uneventful lives. From day one, my life was not easy or uneventful. There seemed to be challenges at every step. Why was I so unlucky?

I no longer look at it that way. Now I’m grateful for every challenge that honed me into learning how to be a loving adult. Had I not had the injuries – the woundedness – I might never have embraced the learning path.

I meet people time and again who were never truly challenged until they lost a loved one, or got cancer or lost all their money. They are so unprepared to manage these huge life challenges, because they haven’t yet discovered the pearl – who they are in their essence – and they haven’t yet connected with their Guidance and developed their loving adult.

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177 Hits

Feeling Stuck? How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

unstuck Feeling Stuck? How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

When are you? As you experience yourself in this moment, are you really present in the now?

Of course, we’re all physically here right now, but most of us don’t often truly live in the present moment. Our minds have the incredible ability to draw us back into the past and propel us into the future, all while we go about our day-to-day lives. While it can sometimes be good to relive old memories and dream about our future, living in the past or future more than the present can also keep us stuck. 

How many times have you found yourself in a repetitive cycle you just can’t seem to break? Or, what about getting caught up on a future outcome, while avoiding things you need to focus on now? We’ve all been there, myself included. So what do we do to come back to our present moment and get unstuck?

In my #1 bestselling book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in Your Life,  I teach you how to work with the map of your life. I lead you through a profound process to discover the inner landscapes you inhabit on your path—the unseen patterns, hidden motivations, and family legacies—and show you how to break free of whatever is holding you back from the super amazing and meaningful life that is your birthright. And, one of those things that can keep you stuck is time-wandering—living “somewhen” other than the present moment.

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214 Hits

Lent Unraveled in Three Steps

girl-releasing-a-butterfly-picture-id169937958 Lent Unraveled in Three Steps

Did you know that Lent is a 40-day observation of fasting and feasting for millions of faithful Christians and Catholics? Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter Sunday. Typically, people give up something for Lent, such as sugar, meat, or something physical. Regardless of creed or religion, what if everyone actually tapped into the spirit of the Lenten season. I'm calling this experience… Lent Unraveled.

Think of Lent as Let’s Eliminate Negative Thinking. Decide to take 40 days to anchor yourself in a daily practice of prayer and meditation while being intentional can push your life so far forward.

A question that I often ask myself is…”But why though?” Do you want more out of life? Are you seeking a deeper more meaningful everyday experience and connection? Are you ready to create a life of abundance, love, bliss, joy, and prosperity? 

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326 Hits

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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261 Hits

How do We Find Our Spiritual Orientation?

orientingyourself-730x400 How do We Find Our Spiritual Orientation?


Each of us has a dominant theme in this incarnation.

Some of us are primarily head-tripping. Most of us lead with our hearts. We have these incredibly intricate mosaics for describing our individual differences. These differences have an interesting place in the scheme of things; are they real or false?

Part of how we define our inner work is that we learn to listen to all these individual differences. Then we can determine what our particular path is.

For each individual, there is a unique karmic predicament, and for each individual, there is a unique dharmic possibility. It’s called ‘dharma,’ meaning ‘practice’ or ‘path.’ Very rarely, you know it beforehand. Most of the time, you don’t even know of it when you are doing it. It sort of sneaks up on you, because nothing else works. By the time you understand your dharma, you’re practically finished using it, but it’s not terribly important that you know everything about where you’re at.

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400 Hits

Surprised By Simplicity 

simplicity Surprised By Simplicity 

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Albert Einstein

"The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply." Kahlil Gibran

“Be Here Now” This classic three word title from Ram Dass is brilliant simplicity.

Aha! moments spark meaningful insights.

Truth is simple.

There are no new truths but there are always new perspectives.

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296 Hits