A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

JOIN SOULSPRING FOR CONSCIOUS INSIGHTS.

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality... PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to Create a Peaceful Mind.

Be of Help to Others

helpingothers Be of Help to Others

Do not underestimate the impact of a small deed. 

What can I do?

The Practice:
Be of Help to Others.

Why?

I'm doing a series on my personal top five practices (all tied for first place), and have so far named three: meditate (including mindfulness, self-awareness, and, if you like, prayer), take in the good, and bless (including compassion, generosity, and love).

I saw one way to bless on a trip to Haiti, in the efforts of many dedicated people: be helpful. As you probably know, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with roughly 80 percent unemployment. The national government seemed like a tattered sheet in the wind. A public middle and high school I visited was missing half its schoolbooks as well as the funds for the last two grades. Imagine your own child in such a school . . . and that the $30 it takes to buy the books she needs is a month's wages, as out of reach as the moon.

Continue reading
0
  45 Hits
45 Hits

Mindfulness and embracing your own reality

young-woman-trail-runner-open-arms-on-sunrise-seaside-picture-id896690574 Mindfulness and embracing your own reality

Allowing ourselves to wallow in the past or the future is the favorite game of the human mind. This constant yo yo situation is a source of a new level of stress, beyond the existing stress level in your life. There are many ways our mind strategizes in order to manage the stress in our lives, yet at most times stress continues to nag at us.

This is like a warning to take charge of our lives and begin to focus on our lives in a more specific way. The important thing is for us to realize that it is imperative to live in the present moment.

POSITIVE CHANGE

This is only possible if we accept our present condition, understand it, realize its impact on our state of mind and our health, and also our power to be able to change this.


Continue reading
0
  359 Hits
359 Hits

“Ram Dass, you have only three things to do in this lifetime…”

spring-daisy-flowers-picture-id915614956 “Ram Dass, you have only three things to do in this lifetime…”

I think that every institution has a difficult time staying as the edge of truth for a very long time, because of the pressure of survival. There has got to be enough structure for the game to work, and the structures often find this kind of mentality too high risk for its stability.

It’s too chaotic, and the question of how an institution is able to leave some degree of that free creativity is the secret of whether or not it has a long life, or it just turns into a nice big institution.

What I’ve noticed in most of the institutions I’ve been part of is that for the first few years it’s very exciting, and everybody feels challenged and at that living edge. Then everybody figures out how to socialize the game, how to appear to be changing and not actually changing, and everybody, because they have children and families now, have to get insurance policies… They’ve got to make the thing stable, and that sort of tempers their way of playing with that chaotic edge, and recognizing what is interesting.

You can make that edge your object of study, and it can draw you in altogether in a new way.

Continue reading
1
  774 Hits
774 Hits

Create Mindfulness with Oracle Cards

morningpractice Create Mindfulness with Oracle Cards

In 1990 I was introduced to a book and author that was to change my life. The book was (and is) called Full Catastrophe Living and Jon Kabat Zinn Ph.D. the founder of MBSR,  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction probably was the single most powerful teacher I had that helped me cope with the back to back deaths of my parents.

I was four years sober and nutty as a fruitcake as I had no real understanding of my empathy overload, or what to do with my constant anxiety, especially because I had begun doing professional work as an intuitive and had no clue as to how I was receiving such intimate information. Looking back I see myself on electricity overload all lit up like a Christmas tree.

Continue reading
1
  247 Hits
247 Hits

In the Details

IMG_0071-1200x900

“God is in the details,” some wise individual once said. Different people interpret that sentence differently, but for me it means the Divine lives in every seemingly insignificant detail in the world. God does not show up solely for fiery sunsets, mountain panoramas, and sacred ceremonies. God is also in the tiny ant crawling across the picnic table and the voice of a neighbor singing off-key at 6 a.m. God exists beyond judgment and circumstance. God is everywhere.

 

Continue reading
4
  243 Hits
243 Hits

How to Really Be Yourself

How to Really Be Yourself How to Really Be Yourself

If you think about being yourself, what does that mean? If asked, "Do you like being who you are?" not everyone would say yes--some people dislike themselves. This can be the product of low self-esteem or perhaps a deep sense of guilt. Liking yourself doesn't have to occur all the time, however. There are times when you behave in ways you aren't proud of and say things you wish you could take back. Yet being yourself is more mysterious than like or dislike.


To be yourself, you have to know who you are. "I" isn't simple and in many ways is very elusive. A two-year-old writing on the walls with crayon is being herself, and so is a middle-school bully tormenting a classmate on social media. Running wild, acting on your worst impulses, and flouting all the normal rules are behaviors worth suppressing. But if you are candid about yourself, such impulses exist inside you.


If you take a look at how your mind operates, you'll quickly realize that many agendas compete for your attention. In certain situations you call upon a wide range of emotions that want to be expressed. You act differently at work than at home. Habit, memory, and old conditioning compete over your attention. these agendas have their own claims, and there has to be a decision-maker and overseer who chooses which persona to adopt, which feelings to suppress, which behavior is appropriate at any given moment.

Continue reading
4
  1657 Hits
1657 Hits

What is the difference between knowing and being?

What is the difference between knowing and being? What is the difference between knowing and being?

When you walk down the street you see other beings who are doing things, who are thinking things, who are wearing things, who are older or younger, who have personal lives. You see all the individual differences, but you also see them as packaging which holds that being.


This is a 1931 body and it’s decaying at a certain rate. It’s inevitable. I mean, I may prolong it or slow it down, but it’s inevitable. The personality of this being has a lot of residual little neuroses hanging around in it. It’s also charming, it’s delightful, it’s warm, it’s intelligent, it’s a personality, and those are my vehicles for being here on Earth.


It’s like a space suit, when you see those guys on the moon, and they’re encased in these suits. Those suits allow them to be in that particular element, and so we are in an element which requires that we be sheathed in a body and a personality.


Notice what I’m doing. I’m suggesting that we are not an identity with our personalities or our bodies, we are something more than that, and the predicament we face in recognizing this part of ourselves is that it isn’t ‘see-able’ with our eyes, isn’t ‘tasteable’ with our tongues… isn’t recognizable by any of our external senses.


So do we take this whole part of ourselves and assume it isn’t real?

Continue reading
4
  458 Hits
458 Hits

Trusting Who We Are (audio)

tara-brach-trusting-who-we-are

The sign of spiritual freedom is a deep trust in our essential nature, and in the light of awareness that lives through all beings.  This talk explores the conditioning that entraps us in a trance of separation and believing in a limited self.  We then explore the evolutionary shift in identity that is possible as we deepen our attention and presence to the life that is here, and the loving awareness that is the source of existence.

Continue reading
3
  377 Hits
377 Hits

Living Kindness

IMG_3309-1200x900
We learn kindness and patience step by step, sometimes in the receiving, sometimes in the giving. And sometimes, even more powerfully, in the shadow experience: through thoughtlessness or impatience, our own or someone else’s. Hurt by hurt, mistake by mistake, we walk forward into the swirl of human emotion and interrelationship. We learn about pain by being hurt as well as by hurting another. Someone else’s anger or offhand remark can cut to the quick. But to see pain in a loved one’s eyes from our own unthinking or harsh words is to know the other side of pain. It can break your heart, but in the breaking is the opening­—to compassion, to kindness.

When I look back honestly on my own life, I see moments that have taught me, painfully, to be more compassionate and aware. In the years before my mother’s death, she began to have challenges with both her eyesight (cataracts) and memory. I felt tremendous responsibility and fear around making sure she was okay. Once, after a doctor’s appointment, I was asking her questions about what had transpired (What did he say? Did you ask him about ____?). She couldn’t think fast enough to answer me and finally burst into tears. Abruptly I realized I had to slow down and just listen patiently instead of question her. I could see the pain in her eyes at not being able to answer me quickly. It stopped me in my tracks, and I hugged her. What did the answers matter when my mother’s ease of mind was at stake?

Continue reading
4
  1041 Hits
1041 Hits

Meditation and Short Talk: Basic Elements of a Mindfulness Meditation Sitting (audio)

tara-brach-mindfulness-meditation

This short talk and guided meditation offers an overview of what many people find is a natural unfolding within a meditation sitting. It includes the process of arriving in an embodied presence, learning how to come back from thoughts, and then opening the attention mindfully to the changing flow of experience. The meditation provides generous space between prompts for practice.

This is a recording from the morning instructions and sit at the 2017 IMCW New Year retreat.

Continue reading
3
  537 Hits
537 Hits

Find Your Ground

Rick-Hanson-Find-Your-Ground Find Your Ground

What can you do when you're shaken?

The Practice:
Find your ground.

Why?

I've been to New Zealand, and really respect and like it. There's a Maori term - turangawaewae (link is external), "a place to stand" - that I've come back to many times.

I'm sure I don't know the full meaning of the word in its cultural context. But at a basic level, it's clear that we all need a place to stand. A physical place to be sure - hearth and home, land and sea, a bed to curl up in - but also psychological or spiritual places, such as feeling loved, a calm clear center inside, knowledge of the facts, compassion and ethics, and realistic plans.

This is our ground, the place we rest in and move out from . . . even under the best of circumstances. And when you're shaken by events at any scale - from changes in your health to changes in your country or world (here's a recent post you may find relevant: Take Heart (link is external)) - then it's especially important to find and hold your ground.


How?

Start with the body, and the feeling of being here. The sensations of breathing . . . heart beating . . . going on living . . . feet on the floor, back against a chair. Whatever is true now can never be taken from you.

Continue reading
3
  284 Hits
284 Hits

Will Your Relationships with Others Create Unity or Isolation?

ram-dass-will-your-relationships-create-unity-or-isolation

Our relationships with each other can be vehicles for our unity and they can be vehicles for our entrapment.


They can be vehicles for bringing us more into the universe, into the moment, into the flow of things, or they can be vehicles for isolating us more into our separateness. In my relationship with you, who I think I am affects who I see you to be.


Say I’m driving down the street and I’m in a rush to get to an appointment I’m a little late for. There’s a car in front of me that is slowing down at a corner unnecessarily. I experience anger at the person that’s driving. I swerve to go by the car with anger in my heart and I look and I see that it is an older, confused looking man who is lost, and then I feel guilt. My attachment to getting to my appointment made me see that person as an obstacle.

Continue reading
4
  6607 Hits
6607 Hits

Finding Our Way

lyndsey-marie-438682-unsplash

Recently I was walking through fresh snow with a friend. As we avoided the dog mushing teams, we shared ideas of spiritual growth, mediumship and law of attraction. We discussed how awareness allows a different feeling to take place in our everyday life. Our interactions with the world have changed.


Certainly for me I have experienced times where I wanted nothing more than the moment at hand. When I was younger these experiences usually occurred in nature or with animals. Now I know connection is always near. I often experience time at a standstill where I am able to remember our vast, limitless energetic connection. I have discovered that as we experience life with less reaction; we move easily to the place of peace, abundance and flow.


If we are reacting to a situation, we are decreasing our connection to the abundant flow of life. As we connect to an event or belief we are shutting down other possibilities. We are only putting intention on our limiting desired outcome. If we are desperate for a particular outcome; we likely want to have some control over the situation. As we put our energy into controlling life, we shut down our ability to receive the energy that allows us to experience the abundance of life.

Continue reading
2
  311 Hits
311 Hits

How do we remain mindful within our anger and righteousness?

ram-dass-how-to-remain-mindful-in-our-anger-and-righteousness

So it turns out there’s no rule book to take with you in life that says, “When I get into this condition, do this.” My rule is actually really simple, I continually work to quiet my mind, to stay mindful.

I continue to work to soften my heart, to stay ‘heartfelt.’ I work as well as I can to keep the energies moving in my system. I mean this is energy. I am constantly opening and watching and listening and tuning. I am listening my way into the universe. I am hearing my way, not listening actually.

You can feel that when you really listen, you almost start to dissolve into the other person’s storyline. You can feel that when you really listen, you tune your way into the universe, and when the fear arises, you sit with it. I sit with it and I don’t push it away. I don’t grab at it. A know what my limits are, and I often say, “I can’t handle that one just yet,” and I don’t end up feeling guilty about it.

I stopped holding myself to a standard of where I should be as a means of beating myself up when I’m not there.

Continue reading
4
  1040 Hits
1040 Hits

One Small Change Can Bring Massive Peace

james-pesavento-one-small-change-can-bring-peace

The biggest struggle for most people is dealing with the incessant stream of unwanted thoughts in the mind. That goes for any time you try to relax or meditate or simply try to sleep. These thoughts drive you crazy and make you think they are crazy. You resist these thoughts, think they are wrong and try to remove them - or at least fight with them.


The one small change that will produce massive results is to accept your thoughts.


Here’s why:

Continue reading
6
  985 Hits
985 Hits

Beyond Mindfulness

James-pesavento-beyond-mindfulness

As you may know, I write a lot about mindfulness – mainly to end your resistance to life and end your suffering. What you are about to read is possibly the most important teaching for your enlightenment. And I am not going to suggest you practice mindfulness. I am going to suggest you go beyond mindfulness.

Most of us spend our time identified with our body mind and emotions. We literally think we are our body, our thoughts and our feelings. Of course this is not the ultimate truth. We are Consciousness, the soul, Atman-Brahman. But we live in the awareness, ‘I Am That’ body, thought and feeling.

‘I am that’ means you are a body, mind and emotion. That limited identification tends to lock you into an ongoing experience lost in a very limited, dissonant, ever-changing experience. Mindfulness has the power to take your attention into the present moment, without judgment. That’s the classical interpretation of Mindfulness. That is immensely beneficial because it takes your attention from ‘I am that’ to ‘I am’. ‘I am’ is one step closer to the soul but it isn’t the soul. ‘I am’ is awareness of yourself now, with the past and future left behind. But it doesn’t eliminate the layers of false identities that are subtler than the body, mind and emotions.

Continue reading
5
  1396 Hits
1396 Hits

Mindfulness and Why You Meditate

James-Pesavento-Mindfulness-and-why-you-meditate

Meditation is about re-connecting. Mindfulness is about creating spaciousness and present moment awareness. Together they create the foundation for transformation to unfold.


Meditation is a journey from an outwardly focused life where the senses are always keeping your awareness focused outside, to bringing the awareness inward and leading it to the Self, a state of pure awareness. Meditation allows the realization of the authentic Self and the essential nature of who you are. Meditation is knowing the Self, realizing who you are and immersing yourself in the light of the Self. Self-realization is your natural state of awareness. It is restoring connection.


Mindfulness is bringing yourself back to the reality of the present moment. It is disengaging from the past and future that capture your awareness, causing you to live in old or future illusory realities and allows you to rest in the now. Now is the only place power resides. Now is the only neutral place from which to make conscious choices, receive what the universe is offering you and seize possibilities. Now is the only place transformation is possible. And mindfulness creates the space for awareness to blossom. You can only move from reaction to response when there is some degree of spaciousness. You can only change your energy to change your life in the present moment.

Continue reading
4
  1778 Hits
1778 Hits

Peace Is Everywhere

IMG_3393-1200x900
Beneath the noisy thoughts in your head, there is peace. Underneath the emotional upset, there is peace. Behind every human action and reaction, there is an unwavering core of peace. It may be hard to perceive at times, but if you take a deep breath and allow everything to just be as it is, you are immediately brought to the peace that always lives within. I have learned the truth of this over time and through experience. That one breath changes everything, and I am centered in absolute stillness and peace, no matter what else is going on around me.


The world we experience every day is full of excitement and drama, all of it compelling. We are here on Earth to immerse ourselves in those diverse experiences and emerge on the other side with new awareness and wisdom. We may not know it consciously, but our souls are guiding us on our earthly journey. It is a journey through the polarities and extremes of life back to the center of all creation, which is infinite peace and oneness, which is God. To know peace in the midst of every experience—chaos or celebration—is to live in alignment with divine Source energy. It is why we are here (and where we came from), all of us in our uniquely diverse lives: to come back home to peace and radiate it out from the core of our being. More and more, we are coming into conscious realization of this extraordinary process and the transformative power it holds.

Continue reading
6
  740 Hits
740 Hits

How to Connect to Very Chatty Universe – to have a real conversation about what counts!

colette-baron-reid-how-to-connect-to-a-very-chatty-universe

You know people always ask me how do you have a conversation with the universe? Is it prayer and meditation? Of course, both of those are regular practices of mine and they are important (in my opinion) but neither is particularly good at the dynamics of what we know is a conversation. You know one person talks then the other one talks back.


Praying is good but it’s more talking “at the Universe” than with it sometimes. How many times have I been on my knees (AHEM in the past mind you) saying Dear God, Spirit, Universe angels and whoever else runs the show – please, please make this go away (you know when you’re unhappy with your crappy result of manifesting) I promise wholeheartedly I will never do “it” again!! (eat the whole cake, kiss the wrong guy, chase the wrong results). I came from the school of bargaining prayer. If I do this please can I have that?? I will be a good girl if you remove my mom’s Cancer, don’t let my dog die, watch our house be taken away.


Eventually, prayer for me was centered on gratitude and allowing, forgiveness and radical acceptance. I learned to pray for the willingness to be willing (to let go, to surrender, to let go some more etc.)  and sometimes the Universe would answer by giving me a break or by testing me until I was ready.


I always felt the partnership but it took ages to get the conversation part of it practical.  

Continue reading
2
  1106 Hits
1106 Hits

Mindfulness, Trust and Surrender

james-pesavento-mindfulness-trust-and-surrender

You have been conditioned to attempt to control life, to mold it into shape, to be the master of conditions and to be in charge of your life. So you are constantly trying to fix and change what is in order to assert control to create an outcome. This process arises from fear and lack of trust. You fear that if you lose control life will spin further out of control and all that you have built and struggled to create will disintegrate before your eyes. You fear the future because you have no trust or belief in the fact that life is looking out for you, unfolding and happening for you, for your evolution, for your expansion and for the expansion of your happiness and awakening.


You watch life and see that, when left alone, life falls apart. If you don’t take care of your house, it becomes shabby and derelict. If you don’t take care of your body, it becomes dirty and disease ridden. If you don’t put energy into your business, it goes into bankruptcy. So you assert control and, to some extent, it works.


But if you feel deeper into this idea of control you will see that it reaches beyond giving energy to something in order to make it thrive. It is true that if you give energy to something it will thrive and this is beneficial. It is the attachment to an outcome that creates the problems and suffering.

Continue reading
5
  771 Hits
771 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