A Simple Skill to Amplify Mindfulness in a Heartbeat

Heartfulness is the companion, not the opposite of Mindfulness. Awareness is the result and cause of this beloved union.

“In all Asian languages the word for mind and the word for heart are the same word, so in English when you hear the word mindfulness, if you are not hearing the word heartfulness, you are not understanding it fully.” Jon Kabat Zinn - internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society.

Amazing things happen when you begin with the awareness of your breath in Mindfulness and add awareness of our heartbeat in Heartfulness. The synchronized rhythm of your heart beat, breath and mental focus can greatly amplify the experience of harmony and balance in your daily life.

This heartful state of being supports a lifestyle of energetic buoyancy, where life can flow with more harmony, calm, ease, intuition, confidence, safety, concentration, aliveness, gratitude and generosity. As Heartfulness becomes an effortless habit, you will experience increased relaxed confidence and more effective results in your daily activities.

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Set Your Sights on Self-Liberation

In our inner work to awaken and realize ourselves, we must begin where we begin, and put away any other concerns about where that beginning is. It’s enough just to make a start, wherever that may be. What difference does it make at what point you enter into a great river? Sooner or later, all of its waters reach and pour into the sea.

Never let discouragement have the final word, and one day there will be nothing left to discuss. Besides, you can have just as many new beginnings as you’re willing to leave behind all of your ideas about yourself. Nothing in this world, or in any other, can stop you from discovering your original, free being. This has always been your destiny, as Walt Whitman confirms: “The central urge in every atom, to return to its divine source and origin.”

Following are 10 secret ways higher self-studies help you succeed in life:

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Doorways

Everything in our life is here, because at some point, we walked thru a doorway and summoned  the experience.  I will share an example of this; outside my window there are rabbits and an occasional red cardinal eating pieces of lettuce and carrots.  Earlier in the day I put the produce out knowing it would attract some animals.  My thoughts and actions created the enjoyable encounter.  I also credit thoughts and behavior for the not so sweet manifestations.

What ever shows up in our life, we play a significant role in how and why it has appeared.   Our mind creates the door frame and our response leads us through the passage that holds our experiences.  The power of our mind is responsible for building everything physical and non physical on our journey.   Imagination holds the potential for everything.

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Middle Earth

In Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien used the term Middle-earth to describe the land where his stories took place. Situated somewhere between angelic and demonic realms, the inhabitants struggled to hold to the light. Sometimes I feel that is where we live now. Opposing forces are mobilized on all sides. All around are compelling reasons to believe that “evil” is on the rise and that “good” people are increasingly victimized by those in power. Yet holding to the light within darkness means we cannot succumb to what the prevailing belief systems would have us accept as truth. We may live in Middle Earth now, but it is just a way-station on the way to the New Earth. The challenge and balancing act is to accept and live in the present moment while also embodying a new vision for the future.

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Ram Dass – Here and Now – Generosity

Ram Dass sits down for a conversation with Raghu Markus around generosity and sharing the gifts of spiritual life.

Show Notes

What About Generosity? (Opening) – Ram Dass and Raghu look at the delightful consequences of generosity. They talk about the methods and modalities that allow us to cultivate and share our generosity with others.

“Generosity, generous with love; generous with compassion.” – Ram Dass

Our Motivations (11:00) – When Ram Dass returned home from India, his goal was to share as many of the teachings he was exposed to in the East. He and Raghu discuss the motivation behind doing all that work. They look at the motivations of ego and attachment that are behind some of our expressions of generosity.

Maharaj-ji’s Gifts (19:20) – Our hosts reflect on the most important gifts that Maharaj-ji gave to his devotees and have filtered through to the younger generations across the globe.

Living from the Heart (27:20) – Ram Dass talks about the traps of spiritual materialism and ways we can prevent turning the gifts of spiritual practice into more decoration for our ego. We look at the refuge of the loving witness. He and Raghu discuss the shift in perspective about himself and the universe that Ram Dass’s stroke provided.

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Do You Have a Psychically Sensitive Child?

I’ve become fascinated by the ever-increasing number of children who are displaying amazing psychic abilities. I’ve noticed over the past few years how many more questions I’m getting at my lectures, during my radio show and on my Facebook page about psychically sensitive children.

Young intuitive children see the world and people as they truly are. They show their sensitivity in such simple ways. For example, if your child encounters someone new and it appears as though they don’t like that person, then I’d suggest that first and foremost, you take a moment to listen to your child.

Your child is probably able to see clairvoyantly, or they’re feeling the colors emanating from the person’s aura. They could also be picking up the energy of the person, and they interpret it as a something they’re not comfortable with. The important thing is that you’re totally supportive and you talk to your child about what they’re feeling.

How can these abilities or spiritual gifts be understood and developed? Rather than look to your child for answers, we must first look within at our attitudes, thoughts, and feelings. Parents and teachers have to realize that being intuitive or psychic is normal. There are too many misconceptions.

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Saying “Yes” to Our Life - A Short Talk and Meditation

Our habitual ways of avoiding pain keep us from experiencing intimacy with our inner life and with each other. This short talk and guided meditation offers instruction in saying “yes” to the life we encounter. As we release resistance, we discover the creativity, wisdom and love that express our truest nature (a reflection from the archives).

Listen to the full talk: Saying “Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening.

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The Butterfly Effect

The art of becoming is accomplished through an act of rebirth. As you continue to evolve as a spiritual creation that is constantly seeking growth and a heightened sense of awareness, the ability to navigate the process of rebirth becomes vitally essential.

I am so grateful to discuss rebirth and how the evolution of a butterfly’s journey from caterpillar to cocoon to gaining its wings to flying can provide important key aspects to our own journey as we manifest the life we want to live! I want to start with a quote from the great Maya Angelou…It reads,

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”


Let’s think about that for a minute. How do you feel about this statement? Can anybody relate? You know you are destined to soar yet you have been just crawling along not realizing nor expressing your full potential. Don’t get me wrong…the caterpillar stage is fine and is important. And I don’t want to negate the importance of the caterpillar experience. You can have joy here. You can have success, happiness, abundance, and love. I am sure if you ask the caterpillar, they are happy moving along eating leaves. I mean what do caterpillars eat anyway? I mean I don’t even know... but and it’s a huge BUT…if you are longing for more or you know there is a greater something that is seeking to be born, in your heart of hearts, you know you have more to give this world then it’s time to be brave and enter into your cocoon phase. You willing enter because you know it’s time. You begin to trust in the magic of rebirth. Maybe you have even had visions of flying and landing on flowers. You can even see what colors your wings are. Have you had that experience? You know where you been, you know where you are right now, and you have seen the vision for the future. The vision is in 3-D Pixar color and it’s clear. You want it. I often say…I want that.


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6 Mindfulness Practices from Around the World

Many cultures around the world have deep traditions of mindfulness practices. Learn how mindfulness is practiced all around the world.

If you look at any culture throughout history, you’ll find that their traditions include some form of meditation or mindfulness practice.

Christians and Muslims pray. Catholics recite rosaries. Buddhists meditate. People in India practice yoga. Native Americans perform sweat lodges…

…and so on.

So why do so many different societies evolve some sort of practice dedicated to helping people clear their minds, and access deeper levels of awareness and consciousness?

It’s because the wisest people in every culture understand the same profound truth: that the quality of our thoughts create the quality of our reality.

So if you want to experience a more peaceful, joyful and fulfilling reality, you must learn to raise your consciousness and access a higher level of thoughts.

But not all mindfulness practices are tied to religion or take the form of prayer or meditation.

Today I’d like to share some of the other interesting ways people around the world cultivate mindfulness to maximize their happiness and fulfillment in life.

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Finding Balance Between Mind and Heart on the Path to Liberation

There are many tools that all serve the process of awakening or liberation, and when you listen inward you can feel – or situations present themselves to show you that your energies are out of whack, or that your heart is too closed off.

Your mind can be full of high wisdom, but that’s in your head. There are times when I listen to somebody, and I can hear with my body. I hear in a certain way in which I’ll feel pressure in my head, or I’ll feel tightness in my chest.


There are two theories about how you do this: One is that you go for broke with whatever you do. For example, if you focus on quieting the mind, and the mind gets quiet enough, at the latest stages the heart will automatically aline and the energies will aline. The first strategy is to find your method and just keep doing it, and wait for the others to all fall into place behind it. There will be tremendous imbalance until very late in the game. The other is where you keep correcting the inner process along the way. I don’t really know that one is better than the other – you have to intuit which way to go.

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Finding Faith When You’re Freaking Out: You Couldn’t Be More Loved

When it comes to creating the work you love, it's all about learning to cultivate faith. I'd say having faith in your journey is more important than brushing your teeth. Then again, I do much of my work on the phone. "But how do I have faith when things don't work out?" my clients ask. "Where does Spirit go, when I'm freaking out?" I have a gazillion answers. But this month I want to tell you about a miracle I had years ago. I'm hoping it will nourish you and help you become the unstoppable agent of love that you are meant to be.

Years ago, I facilitated a workshop at a women's retreat held at an eco-resort in the breathtaking Mayan Riviera, in Mexico. I remember the moment I arrived. I stared at this remote beach of glittering aqua blue water and untouched white sand. I began to cry. The beauty stung me. It rattled me and stilled me. My travel sweat evaporated. I felt naked and robed at the same time, emptied and filled. And most of all, I felt very, very loved. I felt loved in that moment, loved in the past, and loved for all time—because that’s the nature of real love.

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It’s Pruning Time!

Our minds and lives are just like a garden. A good gardener understands that pruning is vital to the overall health and vitality of the garden and must be done on a regular and consistent basis. When you prune the weeds or old unproductive soil, it gives room for your flowers to flourish.

As we spiritually mature, we must be willing to prune old habits, old ideas of who we think we are or were, and any weeds or outdated information that no longer serve the new idea or the emerging version of ourselves. Each breath presents a new possibility.

There is a Divine Intelligence in nature that cannot be denied. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I am often in awe of the trees and now they simply release their leaves. There’s no effort or unwillingness to surrender. You know I strive to be like the tree.

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The Still Small Voice Within

In this dharma talk from 1975, Ram Dass speaks of the still small voice within that serves as a constant reminder of our true nature and relationship with God.

Ram Dass reflects on the fire of the Living Spirit that exists inside each of us. A flame that becomes suppressed to just an ember by our time in the world. Ram Dass examines how that ember acts as a still small voice within that reminds us of our true nature and our relationship with God.

“Though we have lived our life totally involved in the world, we know that we are of the spirit. As you go towards God, you learn about yourself. When you return from God, you learn about the world. But when you are in the world you know not of the world. You cannot see the forest for the trees.” – Ram Dass

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The Prospering Potential of Tuning Into Your Higher Power

HOW TO PRAY FOR REAL AND STOP BARGAINING

Before I knew a better way to communicate with the Divine, I used to pray a lot. I always believed in a power greater than me. I just thought that Power was following me around with a fly swatter. 

I mentioned last week that I saw the world as ensouled, like I do today, every animal with a spirit, every blade of grass, rock or worm. So why did my prayers hardly ever work? I was serious about prayer! My prayers were so strong and so meaningful and so so so powerful!

Prayers are powerful and mine should work.

Not really, today looking back I know my prayers were totally lame, if you really want to know the truth.

And, here’s why. 

My prayers were bargaining prayers—prayers of pleading spectacles of need and serious purveyors of lack. 

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Do Numbers Keep Showing Up in Your Life?

Numbers play a key role in our lives, in the world, in science and technology. When you think of it, everything in the Universe revolves around numbers. From the rotation of the earth and the planets in our Universe, our calendars, to the way we keep time, everything is based on numbers.

Do numbers keep showing up in your life? This could be how your loved ones on the Other-Side are trying to get your attention.

Oftentimes, your loved ones who have passed on will attempt to communicate with you through numbers. Have you noticed any number or series of numbers that appear repeatedly in your life? It could be on your digital clock, license plate, bills, telephone numbers, or those synchronistic moments when you find you have the same birthday as someone you’ve just met. Many people will see the exact time of the passing of a loved one repeatedly appearing in their lives.

Numbers play a big part in my work, both on and offstage. For a while, I frequently used to see the number 149. No matter what order they were in, these three numbers kept popping up in my life. I searched my memory banks and scrambled the numbers in every possible combination. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what it meant. No one I knew had passed at that specific time, nor did any birthdates make sense. So I figured they were given to me to play the lottery. Well, sadly, that didn’t work either!

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How do you find the right spiritual practice?

There’s a matter of timing in Sadhana that’s important to keep in mind. We often choose a Sadhana, a spiritual practice, a little before it’s time, or before it chooses us. Before the marriage works. And we find ourselves in this “ought” and “should” predicament where you start out with great love, and within a little while it’s, “Oh, my god, I’ve got to do my practice.” And it’s just another thing like washing the dishes.

Certainly there is value in doing a practice regularly every day, even when you don’t want to do it.

Especially in meditation practice, because in meditation practice the not wanting to do it is as much grist for the mill of meditation as wanting to do it. It’s all stuff you can work with, with your mind, that’s very beautiful. But the delicate balance that has to go on inside one’s self, recognizing that if you build up too much negative tone to your practice, too much resistance, you’re going to have a reaction to it that’s going to take you away from it for a while, before you can come back later on.

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You Are Stronger Than You Think

Do you ever feel insecure or unsure of yourself? Have you ever hesitated to share in a discussion even though you knew the answer? Have you lacked confidence in moments when you knew you could make a difference in the lives of people around you, yet you remain silent? You feel like you know you could say something that would turn someone’s life around, and yet it doesn’t come out of your mouth?

If that is happening with you, there’s a reason.

In these moments of hesitation or withholding, your energy is dispersed out of your deep, core wisdom, and instead, you are most-likely in your head and over-thinking things. Overthinking pulls you out of your core power and strength, and can result in feeling insecure, insufficient, and create a tendency to compare yourself to everything around you.

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Personal Transformation - What It Really Means

Most people have mixed feelings about how their lives are going, which seems inevitable. Taking the bitter with the sweet is an old saying dating back to the 13th century, but it expresses a universal experience. In the face of life’s mixed blessings, however, there runs a deep yearning for transformation. It is expressed through visons of heaven where eternal bliss is gained, in romantic literature where a perfect life is attained here on earth, and in utopian visions of every kind, including worldwide myths of a lost Eden or a Golden Age.

Is this yearning for transformation mere wish fulfillment, like dreaming of what you’d do if you won the lottery? If you are totally pragmatic, the answer is yes, and having abandoned such fantasies you can productively direct your energies to becoming better off by inches and degrees. Even then, modest goals aren’t always achievable. We settle for half a loaf, or less, because common sense tells us to.

But I think the issue runs deeper than pragmatism. In my new book Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, I propose that the desire for transformation is not only realistic but totally necessary. Transformation is like the total change of state when two invisible combustible gases, oxygen and hydrogen, combine to form a liquid, water, that puts out fires. The essential nature of the two gases give no hint that they could be transformed so completely. But that is what transformation means, as opposed to gradual stepwise change.

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The Answer is Always YOU!

When the odds are 1 in 1 million…be that one!

Learn to bet on yourself by cultivating a Divine connection with you. We relate to life through relationships. So why is cultivating a relationship with yourself important? My beloved brother Michael once told me, “When you fall so in love with yourself, the world will have no other choice BUT to fall in love with you.” Learning to respect, honor, and trust yourself will set the tone for every relationship you will have. Because you are literally the reflection of each person that you are in relationship with. Can you see that?

You can never have a relationship with another based on love, mutual respect, and collaboration if you are not loving, respecting, or collaborating with yourself. So who are you?

Take a deep centering breath and ponder this one question... Who am I? Not who the world wants me to be. Not the titles-whether they were given to you or self-imposed. Not your affiliation to or with? Do I like myself? Do I love myself? Do I really trust in the power of the unconditional love of God. This energy and essence that permeates everything.

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The Wheels of my Ministry

A number of years ago when I first contemplated the idea of going to ministerial school, my minister asked me what I wanted to with my ministry. I clearly had only one goal and it was to take my message beyond the walls of a traditional church. My minister just looked at me and after a few minutes he asked me what I meant.

I want to carry a message of truth to people who did not even know what they were looking for but were searching for something - something different than what they grew up with perhaps. I wanted to take it to the streets - outside of a brick and mortar building; outside of an institution.

I was accepted into Holmes Institute but only lasted 2 years. I actually loved school and Ioved my classmates (still friends with most or at least in contact) but the focus everyone but me seemed to have was for a pulpit ministry and I knew I did not want to run a church or even be stuckbehind the walls. So after a one year sabbatical and much prayer, reflection, soul searching, and many consultations, I intuitively knew it was time to travel in another direction, but with no idea about what, when, or how.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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