A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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How can we bring awareness into parental relationships?

mother-and-daughter-meditating-in-lotus-position-in-rainforest-in-picture-id925756552 How can we bring awareness into parental relationships?

Normal waking consciousness, dream states, emotional states, and other states of awareness are different realities, somewhat like channels of the TV receiver.

As you walk down the street you can tune your "receiver" into the world on any number of channels. Each way of tuning creates a very different street, but the street doesn't change; you do. You see what you look for. If you are primarily preoccupied or tuned to the physical body, as you look at people you see them as man or woman, fat or thin, tall or short, attractive or unattractive. When you are busy looking at personalities you might see them as introverted or extroverted, hysterical or paranoid, happy or sad. If you were tuned to the astral identities you'd see a Leo or a Taurus, an angel or a demon. It's all in the eyes of the beholder. Christ could walk up to you and you might see him as a pleasant carpenter, dressed plainly. You might think: interesting teacher, he has a nice vibe. If you were looking beyond that, you might see Him as Living Spirit.

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Practice...and Beyond

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Remember the old joke about the tourist asking directions? “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice, practice, practice.” That answer could also be given to the spiritual question “How do I get to the enlightened state?” Practice—a lifelong commitment to finding peace of mind and God. Your practice becomes your life, and vice versa. And yet it is not until the practice softens and becomes a relaxed inner flowering rather than a rigid outer striving that everything shifts. The virtuoso pianist and the devoted meditator discover the sound and light within them, not on an external stage or altar. Carnegie Hall and enlightenment are not destinations; they are experiences.

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The Power to Rise Again

green-tropical-palm-leaf-with-sunlight-background-picture-id941387804 The Power to Rise Again

“We may stumble and fall, but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.”  — Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week.

As a child, I used to love going to church on Palm Sunday and trying to turn my palm into a crucifix or some type of animal. I also loved Holy Week because it usually meant I was out of school for Easter vacation.

These days when I go to church on Palm Sunday, though, I find myself really thinking about the significance of the day. I also find myself thinking about how fast the court of public opinion can change someone’s life, just as it did for Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, he was met with adoration. By Friday, he was dead on the cross. I mention this because if we spend our whole lives working for other people’s admiration and validation, it’s worth remembering that external validation can change on a moment’s notice.

External validation is fluid, fragile and ever-changing. What isn’t fluid, though, is one’s relationship with a higher power. That is what allowed Jesus Christ to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

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5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not Be

innerbonding 5 Ways You Can Think You Are on a Spiritual Path, But Not Be

"...The form our faith takes is less important than the love it imparts....The bedrock of spirituality is to learn about love."
--Judith Orloff, M.D. Second Sight, p. 166-167

The spiritual path is a path of love. There are many people who claim to be devoted to a spiritual path, yet love seems not to be a part of their path. What are they doing that they claim is spiritual if learning about loving themselves and others is not their highest priority?

  1. Some people attempt to use religion and prayer as a form of control - hoping to have control over getting what they want if they pray "right," or believe the "right" thing. Often, they are very judgmental toward others who don't believe as they do, which certainly has nothing to do with love.
     
  2. Some people use prayer and meditation as an addiction - a way to "bliss out" and avoid responsibility for their feelings.
     
  3. Some people believe that being "selfless" and just giving to others is the path of love, but without loving themselves and sharing their love from a full place within, they may have an agenda of getting others' love or approval - or getting God's love - attached to their selflessness.
     
  4. Some people get fascinated with things like learning to leave their bodies, or the power of crystals and precious stones, and forget that the important part of the spiritual path is about love.
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A VISIONARY HEART: Our Superpower moments of the day

heart-in-sky-picture-id155368405 A VISIONARY HEART: Our Superpower moments of the day

Kennedy shares how simple yet high level coherency practices connect, infuse and ignite every cell, encoding the Continuum.

Imagination blossoms in the first luminous moments of each morning. These moments are precious ,bejeweled with the mists of the "in between." We are alone and drifting into the first light still embellished with the Oneness of the night reverie. Here we bridge the worlds and have the opportunity to consciously dream, call the day into being, envisioning the beauty, depth, power, peace ,coherency, the Lifestream...saying YES! to ourselves and the world.

We create in every moment, in every cell, thought, feeling and emotion a dream or a nightmare, love or fear, coherency and resonance or incoherency. These first few moments can set the energy of our entire day. The same truth holds for the last few moments as we drift into the night.
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Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

first-spring-flowers-crocus-picture-id506139864 Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  — Rumi

The other day, the priest at my church said something that caught my attention. He spoke about becoming what he called an “Ambassador of Reconciliation.”

“Are there individuals you have chosen to walk away from?” he asked. “Are there individuals you have chosen not to walk toward?”

If so, he said, then perhaps you should see yourself as an Ambassador of Reconciliation: a person who can bring reconciliation to a person or a situation that needs healing.

This got me thinking. Where can I bring healing to my life? Where can I be an Ambassador of Reconciliation? Who have I walked away from? Who have I not walked toward?

I am a big believer that we all need healing. I believe we are all walking around wounded, and that those wounds play out in all of our relationships.

Whether we care to admit it or not, sometimes we don’t even know why we are so angry, why we are so hurt, or why we have such a strong reaction to a certain person or situation in our lives.

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Creating a Healthier, Happier World…harmonizing with the divine within!

spirituality-picture-id511101732 Creating a Healthier, Happier World…harmonizing with the divine within!

Research has shown that meditation & prayer are proven practices to increase both physical and mental wellness and support a healthier, longer life.

Meditation and prayer are effective antidotes to stress and support your natural self-healing capabilities.

The Ego Mind Perpetuates Illness

The ego mind is determined to hang on to anger, resentment and the beliefs, ideas and stories of the past that separates us from our own hearts and the rest of the world.

These things perpetuate misery, sickness and suffering. If you truly desire happiness, success and ongoing health and vitality of your body, mind and soul it’s vital you become your own codebreaker!

That way you can break the ego mind’s hold over your life and release the code responsible for negative mind, chatter, anxiety, depression and the desire to hang on to resentment.

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Can You Actually See Your Departed Loved Ones?

woman-surprised-with-hand-in-her-mouth-picture-id178110006 Can You Actually See Your Departed Loved Ones?

Can we really see our departed loved ones right in front of us? According to Dr. Raymond Moody, this is possible through mirror gazing, which he also refers to as scrying. He developed his own mirror-gazing technique, his Psychomanteum Chamber, which was inspired by the ancient techniques used 2,500 years ago at the Oracle of the Dead in Ephyra, Greece.

Over the years, I’ve heard Dr. Moody speak many times of the people who have gazed into the mirror in his Psychomanteum Chamber and subsequently had their own personal contact with their departed loved ones.

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Feeling good all the time isn't what awakening is about

awakening Feeling good all the time isn't what awakening is about

The path of awakening is not one where we are eternally feeling good. Along it, it is inevitable that we move through moments and periods of not feeling good at all. As unsettling and disconcerting as this may be ultimately, as the spiritual beings that we are, we have not come here to feel eternally good but to get eternally free.

The spiritual path is all about releasing and letting go of that which no longer serves us

Awakening is not about adding anything onto us. It is not really about learning anything new either. But it is about releasing, letting go and unlearning. Inherently, we already are all that we will ever be. We already are as awakened as we will ever be. We already are as spiritual as we will ever be. The Divine is already inherently within us, and nothing can ever be added onto it to make it more or bigger.

However as we incarnate onto this planet we learn to create stories and fantasies about reality. Some are of our own making. Some we have inherited from the world. From our parents, relatives, guardians, society, culture. These oftentimes are stories that keep us small and limited.

The ego's mantra is: I am not enough and there is not enough. And so, most of the stories we buy into, arise from that perception. It is a limited perception keeping the inherent Divine Light from shining brightly.

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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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Plant the Seeds of Your Intention on the New Moon

crescent-moon-on-twilight-sky-picture-id154948874 Plant the Seeds of Your Intention on the New Moon

As we approach the new moon this week it’s an auspicious time to focus on setting new intentions. Ancient farmers, who followed the cycles of the moon, traditionally planted seeds in the earth during the new moon. The lunar gravity, which is strongest at the new moon, pulls water up through the soil which helps seeds swell with moisture and aids them in bursting open to germinate new life.

For us, when the moon is at its darkest and beginning a new cycle, its energy encourages us to align ourselves with new growth as well. It’s a time to go inward and contemplate what we will manifest in our lives. While the full moon is often celebrated as a time to circle and make use of its power, it is all about release and letting go of that which no longer serves us, while the new moon helps us begin something new and invites to co-create with fresh energy.

Aptly, in the 4-card Universal reading this week, the first card is Skuld, the Norse Goddess of the Future. Her name means “she who is becoming”. She is the youngest of the three Norns, or Fates, who weave each person’s destiny into the tapestry of time. She shapes the future. She comes to show us that we have a small moment in time this week where we get a glimpse into our future, to see what is possible for us. The Universe is sending signals, signs, and omens that remind us that all things are possible. These flashes of insight can become potent moments of inspiration for us.  

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Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred - Part 1

lionpresence Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred - Part 1

This two part series explores how we regularly leave our body and skim life’s surface in a mental trance, and the ways we can train our attention to come home again. We look at working with physical and emotional pain, and the gifts of love, wisdom, creativity and aliveness that arise as we learn to fully inhabit these living forms and all our senses with awareness.

Be The Energy

Trust the energy that courses
through you. Trust – then take
surrender even deeper.
Be the energy.

Don’t push anything away.
Follow each sensation back to
its source and focus your awareness
there.

Be the ecstasy…

Be unafraid of consummate wonder.
Emerge so new, so vulnerable,
that you don’t know
who you are.

Be the energy,
and paradoxically,
be at peace.
Dare to be your own illumination,

And blaze a trail across
the clear night sky…..

Danna Faulds

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See Everything as the Divine Mother

divinemother See Everything as the Divine Mother

At one point Maharaji said, “See everything as the Mother and you will know God.” What was he talking about? seeing your mother in everything?

We, Westerners. Have our share of relationship complexities with our mothers. With interpretations galore courtesy of Dr. Freud. The view of the mother in India is different. The country is called Mother India. A Western devotee once told Maharaji he hated his mother. And nobody understood what he was saying. The concept didn’t make it across the cultural barrier. In India the mother is so deeply respected and revered, there was no way that statement could be understood. There is an Indian saying that there may be bad children. But there are no bad mothers.

The Divine Mother, the Goddess, has many dimensions. In the broadest sense consciousness and energy. Eternal spirit and matter are male and female. Out of the One in the first glimmer of duality comes Purusha. The formless spirit. Prakriti, the cosmic energy that coalesces into form. As God and Goddess. They are Shiva. Who personifies pure absolute consciousness and the seed of procreation, and Shakti. Who manifests infinite forms.

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Make use of the moments in between to build spiritual muscles

spiritualmuscles Make use of the moments in between to build spiritual muscles

Formal spiritual practice is the very fundament for anyone who truly desires to consciously grow and unfold. It is through this formal practice that we make ourselves increasingly open and available to catch insights as to that which is true and real. That we may release and let go of the small and limiting beliefs and perceptions that keep us from going further. That keep us at the level of consciousness that we presently are at. 

However we must never forget to use the moments in between to build spiritual muscles as much as we can. It is in those moments in between the formal practice that we are really strengthening those muscles. 

Like Eckhart Tolle reminds us, it is one thing to have a regular practice of formal meditation, lets say in the morning. And a totally different other to maintain that level of presence throughout the day. 

In other words, formal meditation, although beautiful and powerful, is not enough. Formal praying, although powerful and magnificent, is not enough. The same with forgiveness, visioning and surrendering. But it is what we do in between those moments of formal practice that truly builds those spiritual muscles we need.

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See With New Eyes

bluebird See With New Eyes

March 20th marked the Spring Equinox and the ushering in of spring in the northern hemisphere! After the quiet introspective season of winter, the earth seems to suddenly come bursting back to life. Everything feels new as the cycle begins again.

I live in a very rural area, so I have very few human neighbors, but I do have a front row seat to nature. Without looking at a calendar I can see the cycles of life right outside my window, and this week my animal neighbors were telling me that spring is here!

I’ve been watching birds calling to each other as they build their nests. I also watched a pair of coy-wolves (a coyote-wolf hybrid) roaming my property, looking for the perfect den. It makes me happy knowing that in just a few short weeks new life will be surrounding me, little eyes will be opening and seeing their world for the first time. Whether they are walking around on wobbly legs or trying their wings out, they are in a complete space of not knowing what their world will be but moving forward with curiosity anyway. It’s a great reminder for us to always look at the world with the curiosity of a child, without all the judgment of our past experiences to cloud up our vision.

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How to Contact Your Departed Loved Ones

communicatingwithdead How to Contact Your Departed Loved Ones

If spirits can reach out to you, then it’s fair to say that you can reach out and communicate with them. Best of all, you don’t need a medium like me to do it for you nor do you need special abilities to make this type of loving connection on your own.

There are numerous ways to communicate with passed loved ones and stay in touch everyday, but you have to start with a strong mind-set and a belief that it is possible.

Your loved ones know when you’re reaching out to them. If you have this strong belief in place and are missing a particular loved one who recently passed, I’d like you to try the following 7 steps to invite them to your own private get-together:

1) Find a comfortable place and safely light a small votive candle on a table. Place a picture of your loved one right in front of you. Try to find the happiest picture you have of them because, in reality, that’s how they look now! Look into their eyes in the picture for a few moments. See the light that’s coming from them and remember that beautiful image in your mind.
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God Is a Blue Heron

blueheron God Is a Blue Heron

Every day I walk two miles on a nature trail near where I live. I have come to call it my “walk with God” because in nature I often feel that deep connection with all I see. One recent afternoon, before leaving on my walk, I stepped out onto the lanai just in time to see a great blue heron standing stationary at the water’s edge right in front of me. Its body was stretched tall, its legs long, its eyes alertly focused on something nearby. Its presence was so striking that to me it felt like an extraordinary being dropped in from some other celestial realm. As it walked majestically by, that impression only intensified. “God is a blue heron,” I thought.

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Featured Book: ‘WILD MERCY’ by Mirabai Starr

Durga Featured Book: ‘WILD MERCY’ by Mirabai Starr

“Ever since I met her when she was a teenager at the Lama Foundation, Mirabai Starr has been absorbed in the teachings of the great mystic saints, especially the women. Like her namesake, the poet-saint Mirabai, she brings to her work an intense love of God and a passion for the Beloved. My Guru said, ‘Love is the best medicine.’ Mirabai will help open up your heart to love.” – Ram Dass

Mirabai Starr writes creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. She has received critical acclaim for her revolutionary new translations of the mystics, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich.

The following is an excerpt from her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics (April 2019, SoundsTrue), available for pre-order here.

Join Mirabai and kirtan artist Nina Rao for a Wild Mercy book launch event on April 23 at Deepak HomeBase, on the mezz at ABC Home in NYC.

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Let Go To Birth New Magic

spring Let Go To Birth New Magic

This week we enter a new phase of our world as the spring equinox welcomes new life in the northern hemisphere. Regardless if you are in the north or south it is a signal that the season before is dying so a new one can be born.

In the 4 card universal reading this week we have the first card symbolizing this death – the goddess Morrighan who features prominently in Celtic and Welsh mythology specifically in the sacred text of Welsh legends – The Mabinogion (I tend to mispronounce this since it makes me feel like I have a mouth of marbles, but I do know it is Mab-In-OH-Gee-On, and I am practicing, lol).

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Three Ways To Embrace Your Essential Feminine Energy

feminineenergy Three Ways To Embrace Your Essential Feminine Energy

The power of gender energy isn’t exclusive. Women and men are born with, influenced by, and have access to both feminine and masculine energies. These energies are not naturally incompatible. When they are in balance, they each work together to provide strength and support. It is only when they are imbalanced that problems arise.

Currently, there is a world-wide imbalance in gender energy. The doctrine and dogma of patriarchy has dominated and largely replaced the soft curve of creative fertility with the hardness of iron crowns, sharpened swords, and the heavy weight of intolerance.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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

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