A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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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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201 Hits

Finding Home

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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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247 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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396 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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443 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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742 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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1578 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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2058 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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1801 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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1482 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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1815 Hits

How do we address the lack of environmental awareness?

How do we address the lack of environmental awareness?

Someone asked me if the earth will still be habitable when their three year-old grows up, and is that a part of the cosmic perfection?

More than ever we are awakening to being an integral part of earth’s ecosystem. As inhabitants of this planet we have some responsibility for the nest we live in and maintaining the nest. The same way we clean up our house, we also have to clean up our environment.

Environmental consciousness seems to be happening too slowly. Some people are motivated to keep it from happening. There are economic costs in that awakening — not in the long run, but in the short run – in ways that cause realignment of economic power. People who have that power have a lot of inertia, they want to hold onto it. A company like General Electric may not be ready for dramatic shifts unless they are forced into it because it may change their stockholder dividend.

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834 Hits

How do we optimize our connections to ourselves and to the world?

Ram-Dass-Connections-to-world

I’ve been asked many times whether this is the aquarian age and it’s all just beginning, or if this is armageddon and this is the end, and I have to admit I don’t know.


The way I’ve usually copped out in dealing with it is saying, “Whichever way it goes, my work is the same. My work is to quiet my mind and open my heart and relieve suffering wherever I find it.” That seems to be what my life is about, and it doesn’t matter which it is- it’s the beginning of everything or the end of everything – regardless, that’s still what I gotta do.


I prepare for death… and so from a spiritual point of view, from the point of view of our spiritual evolution, and depending on which way the karma is going to go for the humanity on earth – it’s grist for the mill.

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1454 Hits

Embodied Spirit: Mindfulness of the Body

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The Buddha taught that mindfulness of the body is a direct path to the realization of truth, to peace and freedom. This talk explores how we leave a present-centered awareness of our body, and the pathways of homecoming – a favorite from the 2010 archives.

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621 Hits

Waking Up to Reality Directly

Waking Up to Reality Directly

Many, perhaps most, people would like to change their lives. They’d like the good parts to get better and the bad parts to go away. How you define these good and bad parts are entirely individual, reflecting the infinite diversity of human life. But consider yourself and take stock of where you are now. No one can do this realistically without wanting something to change. Yet after a certain point most people realize that change is difficult, and the path to finding a better life is twisted and rocky. A certain percentage will simply decide that “people don’t change” is a fact of life. If you are a hard realist, you give up trying to change yourself, much less anyone else.

 

With this background, it seems strange that so many people hold out the goal of total transformation, and in fact every spiritual tradition supports this, whether through redemption, salvation, the promise of heaven, enlightenment, or Nirvana. Total transformation goes far beyond making some changes in your life. If limited change is difficult, isn’t it folly to hold out for complete change?

  

Yes and no. The way that people struggle to break bad habits, improve their relationships, stop feeling anxious and insecure, and hoping to stay afloat financially is where change often proves futile. The mind struggling with itself can’t help but wind up with more struggle. In the world’s wisdom traditions, there is also a deep analysis of the ego, the isolated individual “I,” which by its nature is constantly presenting demands that never get satisfied, not to mention that the isolated “I” is by its very nature small and insecure. So relying on your ego or the restless mind doesn’t lead to meaningful personal change.

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1370 Hits

Mindfulness and Addiction

JamesP_mindulfness_and_addiction

When you don’t want to deal with something and you want to avoid it you move into behavior to distract yourself from it. That creates a habit or pattern that can become an addiction. Anything can become this distraction. The possibilities are limitless. You can distract yourself through work, social media, shopping, phone calls, as well as the addictions you commonly recognize; alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, gambling, sex.


Addiction disallows you to be present for life, to be completely engaged, to be open to feeling all that you must feel. Addiction is your solution to not wanting to feel something; the fear, anger sadness, shame.


When you don’t recognize, accept and feel these feelings, they become density. When you recognize, accept and feel them the energy of addiction dissipates and you are depriving the addiction of its energy. It is awareness that is the power that allows the energy of density to dissipate. Shining the light of awareness on your feelings can be difficult because you have constructed habitual patterns to avoid feeling. You fear you will be overwhelmed by emotion if you start feeling it all.

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1658 Hits

“If you think you are free, you can’t escape…”

RamDass_Escape

You realize as you start to come into awareness that you are experiencing other things as if you are them, rather than in a dualistic way, as if you are separate from them. Prior to experiencing that plane of existence, when you’re still seeing it as separate, you experience things like sympathy, kindness, pity, caring, however these are all dualistic concepts, and the term compassion is something else all together.


The term compassion manifests when you come to the plane where you see everything is all part of one thing. You start to ask, “Well whose suffering is it anyway? Whose helping is it anyway?” And the whole idea that, “I’ll help you,” is seen as nonsense. It’s like the left hand is caught, and the right hand pulls it out and the left hand turns to the right and says, “Thank you!” It doesn’t work that way, because they’re both part of the same body. Who are you thanking? You’re thanking yourself, so that on that plane, you realize it’s not ‘her’ suffering, or ‘his’ suffering, or ‘their’ suffering. It’s one level, you go up, and it’s ‘OUR’ suffering.

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546 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind