Tomorrow Never Comes… The Moment is Now!

Mainstream Spirituality teaches us to be content with the way things are. I agree; to be awesomely okay with the moment brings with it not only the wholeness of surrender, but also a tremendous sense of well-being and aliveness. But if you then somehow curtail the natural arising of motivational soul, you limit the potential of all that you can be. Such denial can lead to subconscious frustration and sense of limitation.

We must allow the soul to breakthrough and break free – to fully express and be alive to the bounteous wonders of the moment. Those waiting for ‘it’ to arrive tomorrow may find that ‘it’ never comes at all.

The point is, there are many qualities of the soul, not just surrender and acceptance; these are only the beginning, they get you to the start of the path. To truly experience the wonder of life and the full majesty of your soul, you then have to start ‘walking’.

Each step is about the expression of who you are. Find the sweet-spot of your divine expression in the moment, then the world begins to change and shape around you.

Yes, what you do is important. But truly authentic doing, which delivers Right Action in the moment, can only ever come from truly authentic being. So in each moment, look for and express the majesty of who you are. Get into and peel away any veils that mask your greatness. Begin it now, in this moment, and you will always create a vibrant and alive tomorrow.

The time is now. There is no other time!

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Openhand – Wake Up World – Your World Within

Meditation as a Self-Healing Tool

The body is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that can be flipped on or off with thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that originate in the mind. This is great news, because it means, in essence, that you can heal yourself. But how?

One of the many simple ways you can flip on your body’s self-repair mechanisms is via meditation.

What Does It Mean To Meditate?

Dictionary.com defines meditation as “continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation,” but I prefer Harvard professor Dr. Herbert Benson’s definition. He defines it as “Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity while passively disregarding everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and returning to your repetition.” With this definition of meditation, anything can be a meditation – not just sitting with your eyes closed in the lotus position, but walking, making art, cooking, shopping, dancing, driving… whatever.

How The Body Heals Itself

In my medical training, we were not taught that the body knows how to heal itself. Yet it is equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms that repair broken proteins, kill cancer cells, fight infections, prevent aging, and maintain the homeostasis of the body. When the body gets sick, whether from the common cold or something more serious, like heart disease or cancer, it’s almost always because the body’s self-repair mechanisms have broken down, usually because of stress.

When the nervous system is stressed, as it is during the “fight-or-flight” stress response that is so commonly triggered in modern day life, these self-repair mechanisms are disabled and the body is at risk for disease. Only when the counterbalancing relaxation response is activated, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on, can the body heal itself.

Why Meditate?

So how can you turn on that relaxation response so the body can heal itself? One of the simplest and most effective is meditation!  Meditation has been scientifically proven to activate the relaxation response, and as a result, almost every health condition improves. In his research at Harvard, Herbert Benson demonstrated that meditation is effective in treating angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmias, allergic skin reactions, anxiety, mild to moderate depression, bronchial asthma, herpes simplex, cough, constipation, diabetes mellitus, duodenal ulcers, dizziness, fatigue, hypertension, infertility, insomnia, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, nervousness, postoperative swelling, premenstrual syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, side effects of cancer, side effects of AIDS, and all forms of pain – backaches, headaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, joint aches, postoperative pain, neck, arm, and leg pain. (Most likely it helps many conditions not listed here, but Dr. Benson just hasn’t gotten around to studying them yet!)

Meditation has been shown to decrease stress-related cortisol, reduce respiration and heart rate, reduce the metabolic rate, increase blood flow in the brain, increase activity in the left prefrontal cortex (which is observed in happier people), strengthen the immune system, and lead to a state of relaxation.

Meditation also reduces work stress, anxiety, and depression, promotes cardiovascular health, improves cognitive function, reduces alcohol abuse, improves longevity, promotes healthy weight, improves immune function, and heightens quality of life.

How To Start Meditating 

Deepak Chopra recommends the “RPM” (Rise, Pee, Meditate) approach to meditation, suggesting that those who can will be well served to meditate first thing upon arising.  However, if you, like me, have young children, you may find it easier to meditate when the kids are napping or away at school. If you work outside the home, you may find it easier to meditate over your lunch break or just before bed.

Regardless of when you do it, it’s crucial to make the time in your schedule to help your nervous system relax.

Here are Some Tips to Help You Get Started with a Sitting Meditation Practice:

1. Create a peaceful environment

If you’ve never tried a sitting meditation before, start by creating a peaceful environment in which to meditate. I have two altars I’ve created at home, one in my bedroom and one in my home office, which I sit in front of to meditate. When I sit down to meditate, I light the candles, burn some incense, and take a moment to let my altar soothe me.

Some people have rooms exclusively dedicated to meditation.  Even a small closet can be tricked out to become a special space designed to help your body relax and your soul connect. Meditating outside can also be lovely. Because I live on the California coast, I often meditate at the ocean on a rocky beach that is usually deserted or in Muir Woods, among the peaceful redwoods. If you have access to quiet spots in nature, try a beach, a riverfront, a meadow, or a forest free of distractions. 

2. Minimize disruptions

Turn off the TV, silence your phone, and play soothing music if you like. The point is to create an environment conducive to freeing your mind from its daily clutter and relaxing your body.

3. Choose your meditation position

If you can, sit on the floor and close your eyes. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position unless you want to, but sitting on the floor helps you feel grounded, connects you to Mother Earth, and roots you into your body when you meditate. Feel free to use pillows, cushions, and other props that help you feel comfortable. Keep your back straight so you can breathe deeply with ease. If sitting on the floor is too uncomfortable, sit in a chair and place your feet firmly on the floor to develop a sense of grounding.

4. Set a timer

If you’re new to meditation, start with just five minutes per day and aim to work up to twenty. Set a timer so you don’t have to interrupt your meditation to check your watch.

5. Close your eyes

Closing your eyes minimizes visual distractions, helps you come back into your body, and starts to settle you.

6. Focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale

Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield suggests that if you notice yourself remembering, planning, or fantasizing, refrain from judging yourself, but do call it out. “Hello remembering.”  “Hello planning.” “Hello fantasizing.” Then return to the present moment, focusing on your breath. The minute you notice your thoughts starting to wander, come back to your breath and try to empty your mind. If your mind continues to wander and your breath isn’t enough to empty your mind, try counting your breaths or repeating a one word mantra like “peace” or “one” to clear your mind.

7. Release judgment

Most importantly, don’t judge yourself as you learn to meditate. Criticizing yourself for meditating “badly” or beating yourself up because your monkey mind won’t calm down will only stress you out, defeating the purpose of making attempts to help your body relax so it can repair itself. Remain compassionate with yourself, and pat yourself on the back for any progress you make.

Can’t make it more than 10 breaths into your meditation? Give yourself a hug and try again the next day. Like anything, it just takes practice. As someone who resisted meditation for most of my life, I can attest to the fact that it really does get easier with regular practice, and the benefits are so worth the effort. 

www.choki.org

Follow on Facebook!

Author: Lissa Rankin – Wake Up World

The Prayer Flag Tradition

Prayer flags are not just pretty pieces of colored cloth with funny writing on them. The ancient Buddhist prayers, mantras and powerful symbols displayed on them produce a spiritual vibration that is activated and carried by the wind across the countryside. All beings that are touched by the wind are uplifted and a little happier. The silent prayers are blessings spoken on the breath of nature. Just as a drop of water can permeate the ocean, prayers dissolved in the wind extend to fill all of space.

The prayer flag tradition has a long continuous history dating back to ancient Tibet, China, Persia and India. The tradition has now reached the West and is rapidly gaining popularity. The meanings behind prayer flag texts and symbols, indeed behind the whole idea of prayer flags, are based on the most profound concepts of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.

The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Dar Cho. “Dar” means to increase life, fortune, health and wealth. “Cho” means all sentient beings. Prayer flags are simple devices that, coupled with the natural energy of the wind, quietly harmonize the environment, impartially increasing happiness and good fortune among all living beings.

History of Prayer Flags

According to some lamas prayer flags date back thousands of years to the Bon tradition of preBuddhist Tibet. Shamanistic Bonpo priests used primary colored plain cloth flags in healing ceremonies. Each color corresponded to a different primary element – earth, water, fire, air and space – the fundamental building blocks of both our physical bodies and of our environment. According to Eastern medicine health and harmony are produced through the balance of the 5 elements. Properly arranging colored flags around a sick patient harmonized the elements in his body helping to produce a state of physical and mental health.

Colored flags were also used to help appease the local gods and spirits of the mountains, valleys, lakes and streams. These elemental beings, when provoked were thought to cause natural disasters and disease. Balancing the outer elements and propitiating the elemental spirits with rituals and offerings was the Bonpo way of pacifying nature and invoking the blessings of the gods.

It is not known whether or not the Bonpos ever wrote words on their flags. The preBuddhist religions of Tibet were oral traditions; writing was apparently limited to government bookkeeping. On the other hand the very word, “bonpo,” means “one who recites magical formulas” Even if no writing was added to the plain strips of cloth it is likely that the Bonpos painted sacred symbols on them. Some symbols seen on Buddhist prayer flags today undoubtedly have Bonpo origins, their meaning now enhanced with the deep significance of Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy.

From the first millennium AD Buddhism gradually assimilated into the Tibetan way of life reaching great zeal in the ninth century when the religious King of Tibet invited the powerful Indian meditation master, Guru Padmasambhava, to come and control the forces then impeding the spread of Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche, as he is popularly known, bound the local Tibetan spirits by oath and transformed them into forces compatible with the spread of Buddhism. Some to the prayers seen on flags today were composed by Guru Rinpoche to pacify the spirits that cause disease and natural disasters.

Originally the writing and images on prayer flags were painted by hand, one at a time. Woodblocks, carefully carved in mirror image relief, were introduced from China in the 15th century. This invention made it possible to reproduce identical prints of the same design. Traditional designs could then be easily passed down from generation to generation.

Famous Buddhist masters created most prayer flag designs. Lay craftsmen make copies of the designs but would never think of actually creating a new design. There are relatively few basic designs for a continuous tradition that goes back over a thousand years. Aside from new designs no real innovations to the printing process have occurred in the past 500 years. Most prayer flags imported to the West today are woodblock printed. Some shops are now starting to produce prints made from zinc faced blocks that can be etched photographically resulting in finer detail than the hand carved woodblock. Natural stone ground pigments have been replaced by printing inks, usually having a kerosene base. Most of the companies in the west prefer to use silkscreen printing techniques as wood carving is a time consuming skill requiring lengthy apprenticeship.

When the Chinese took over Tibet they destroyed much of everything having to do with Tibetan culture and religion. Prayer flags were discouraged but not entirely eliminated. We will never know how many traditional designs have been lost forever since the turmoil of China’s cultural revolution. Because cloth and paper prints deteriorate so quickly the best way to preserve the ancient designs is by saving the woodblocks. Woodblocks, often weighing several pounds, were too heavy for the refugees to lug over the Himalayas and woodblocks no doubt made wonderful firewood for Chinese troops. Most of the traditional prayer flags today are made in Nepal and India by Tibetan refugees or by Nepali Buddhists from the Tibetan border regions.

Raising Prayer Flags

Prayer flags typically come on ropes to be hung in horizontal displays or printed on long narrow strips of cloth that are tied on vertical poles. Prayer flags on ropes are printed on 5 different colors of cloth (yellow, green, red, white and blue) so sets are always in multiples of 5. Pole flags are either a single solid color or the 5 colors sewn together into one flag. They range in height from about 3ft to 40 ft or more. Pole flags often have colored streamers or “tongues” that are imprinted with special increasing mantras meant to increase the power of the prayers written on the body of the flag. It is also common to see displays of many plain white prayer flags on poles erected around monasteries and pilgrimage sites.

Placing prayer flags in and around one’s home or business imparts a feeling of harmony, increases the spiritual atmosphere and brings to mind the teachings of enlightenment. By placing prayer flags outdoors their sacred mantras are imprinted on the wind, generating peace and good wishes. Ropes of prayer flags can be strung horizontally between two trees (the higher the better), between house columns or along the eaves of roofs. Sometimes they are strung at angle (be sure that the wind horse points uphill). Vertical Pole Flags look wonderful in a garden, try a prayer flag “grove” in a breezy area. Bamboo works the best for flagpoles but any wood, metal or plastic pole will work.

When raising prayer flags proper motivation is important. If they are put up with the attitude “I will benefit from doing this” – that is an ego-centered motivation and the benefits will be small and narrow. If the attitude is “May all beings everywhere receive benefit and find happiness,” the virtue generated by such motivation greatly increases the power of the prayers.

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Timothy Clark. Copyright Radiant Heart Studio

Why We Should Bring Meditation Into Schools

“If every eight year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” ~ Dalai Lama

Imagine if meditation was a regular part of school life for children. Just think how different the world would be. If every child was able to connect to the ocean of consciousness that permeates all that is, the desire to do wrong by others would dissolve.

Meditation allows us to discover through experience the truth of who we really are. The problem in today’s society is that we are constantly running from ourselves, and consequently from the truth. We’re so occupied with work and social events that we never take the time to discover who we truly are at the core of our being.

Most of us learn to be something we are not. We learn to fit in, to conform and to abide by social norms. We learn how to put on a mask in front of other people. We learn how to be slaves to our own ego. We become so good at running from ourselves that we can’t stand the thought of ever taking off the mask we’ve become comfortable wearing. So we betray ourselves and we let our ego roam free. We become numb to the world and every living creature in it. We sell our soul for an illusion of who we are, and deep down, a part of us knows that we are on the run. Many of us have no hope of ever reconnecting with the self as we have run too far…

What if we never started running from ourselves in the first place? What if we learned to be at peace with ourselves from an early age? If schools taught meditation, children would unearth their own passions, their own interests and their own creative potential. They would not be so bothered by their own insecurities and would learn to live for the moment instead of always reaching for somewhere where they are not.

Meditation helped me find meaning in my own life. I would not be following my heart and trying to change the education system if it weren’t for meditation. It connected me to the deepest yearning of my own soul, and aligned me with my life’s purpose. Likewise, children who practise meditation on a regular basis are not so prone to stress, worry and illness. They also develop stronger bonds with all living things and have less of a need to compete with their peers.

I believe it is crucial for us to give children this gift of mindfulness. It is my hope that one day the practice of meditation will become as commonplace as cleaning one’s teeth.

The Benefits of Meditation

Many clinical studies have proven that meditation increases the brain’s cortical thickness, protects the body from disease, and significantly improves focus and concentration.

Schneider, Grim & Rainforth et al. looked at 201 men and women with coronary heart disease who took part in one of two groups: a transcendental meditation (TM) program or a health education program. After five and a half years, the TM group showed a 48% risk reduction for heart attack and stroke.

Another study by Pagnoni & Cekiccompared gray matter in the brains of Zen meditators and non-meditators over a long period of time. Though gray matter ordinarily reduces with age, the gray matter of the Zen meditators did not reduce at all.

In the report, Pagnoni & Cekic stated:

“The finding of a reduced rate of decline with age of both global and regional gray matter volume in meditators may in fact indicate the involvement of multiple mechanisms of neuroprotection.”

Lazar & Kerr et al. reached a similar conclusion in a study on the impact of meditation on cortical thickness of the brain.

They found:

“Regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to somatosensory, auditory, visual and interoceptive processing. Further, regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.”

Goyal & Singh et al. studied 3515 participants in mindfulness meditation programs and found evidence of decreased anxiety, decreased depression and decreased pain.

Just imagine how much future generations of children would gain from this regular practice. The benefits are truly extraordinary. We need to do everything we can to bring meditation into schools. If we’re going to learn to live peacefully with one another, we must first discover that peace within ourselves.

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Will Stanton / Wake Up World 

 

Free Will – How Free Are We?

What is free will? Is it the freedom to do as you will? This is what is implied. Does this mean we are free to flout the laws of the land? Obviously not, so there goes a bit of freedom. Or does it? Do we need to flout the laws of the land? Probably not. So is that now freedom reclaimed?

On a physical level free will does not really mean so very much. It’s a term, a theory, rather than a reality. Most people are driven by the demons of their childhood conditioning, and the emotional baggage they incarnate with, so any action resulting from this conditioning is certainly not free will. It’s not so easy to recognise free will, or to actually experience it.

So physically, free will is more a perception than a reality. How about the freedom to believe whatever we will? Do we have this?

Actually, if you have any beliefs from your childhood, teen years and as an adult, no, you have taken on a whole boatload of other peoples’ beliefs and made them yours. There’s nothing free about this! Consider your religious beliefs; if you are Anglican, then that is the basis of your spiritual beliefs – no freedom there. Catholic, Buddhist, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist, Mormon, Fundamentalist, Muslim, these and a whole lot more are all religious beliefs that you inherit or accept with the religion. No free will at all. Generally, we grow up with our parents’ beliefs until, as adults, many of us attempt to get rid of them. Reaction, no free will here! Reaction to anything means no free will. Reaction is the abdication of freedom. Reaction is fear based, coming from the past; no freedom in this. It would seem that free will is rather difficult. Do you have the free will to stop thinking for one minute? Yes, you have the free will to try, but very few people have freedom from their own negative thoughts for more than a moment or so! You have the freedom to speak truthfully all the time, but do you do this, or is the price of such a freedom too high?

Free will, even mentally, is a nice concept but seldom a reality.

How about emotional free will? Sorry, but that is surely the most impossible of all. I facilitate 5-day intensives in a number of countries every year, and I have yet to witness what I consider to be true emotional free will. Nothing about us gets to be more conditioned than our emotions. We either suppress or deny them. Our reactions are usually more emotional than mental, even though thought precedes emotion. Emotionally, we are a very needy species, and abysmally poor at sharing our true feelings with each other. Do we have the free will to talk to people on the street, and say positive or loving things to each other? Well, we actually do have the free will to do this, but we are too inhibited to do it. Public speaking is considered one of our greatest fears. Why? Because we fear rejection and ridicule. This is automatic, no freedom of choice. Of course, we can overcome this, but most people never do. Anger is not emotional free will; it is emotional reaction.

Sorry, we are too emotionally conditioned for emotional free will.

So, the very idea of truly free will is getting bashed around a bit! Surely, we actually do have free will. We know that governments do not like us to have too much freedom of any sort, apart from conceptual freedom. We have a press that attempts to direct and control our thinking; we have politicians who attempt to convince us that their clever lies are actual truth. Every politician knows that it is not the truth that is important; it is our “perception” of the truth that matters. We are pushed and pulled mentally and emotionally by methods of advertising that use mind control; in fact, we live in a world that actively discourages true free will. We live in a world where consensus reality says, “My will be done, not yours. The only free will you have is what I allow you.”

Modern society is more about controlled will than free will.

One of the most common human conditions I encounter is self-criticism. A word about this; Oneness means all life is connected. Physics talks of the web-of-life; same thing. What this actually means is there is nothing outside Self. I do not mean the identity self, but the metaphysical Being you truly are. So in reality, whoever or whatever you criticise, it is you that receives its sting. If it is nasty negative criticism, it is you the venom poisons. Consider the boomerang principle; whatever you put out comes back. In essence, “all” criticism is self-criticism. Very few people can find the free will to end self-criticism. So much for free will! But it is possible. I do not criticise myself, although I used to, very heavily so. Self-criticism causes anxiety and depression, leading to heart disease and failing health, yet even this is not enough for us to find the free will to stop. Why not? Because our will is conditioned, not free. It’s the same with self-judgement, along with its old friend self-comparison. So many people bestow these conditions on themselves, knowing that it is to their overall detriment. Why? It makes no sense. Where is the free will to simply stop doing it? Why do we indulge in negative self-destruction? Whatever happened to free will?

Free will is not doing too well, is it? What free will?

Okay, enough; it’s time to showcase true “free will.” But let us be very clear about this, free will is a demanding choice. Yes, you can find the freedom to choose your thoughts, but it is not easy. Simple, but not easy!

First and foremost, free will demands that you live consciously. What’s that you say, you do live consciously? I doubt it. Most of the world’s population lives subconsciously between roughly ninety-three percent of each day. This means you! Think about it for a moment. Living subconsciously, you do not have free will. For better or worse, you are living from a program of the past . . . and it’s mostly worse! The good news is that, just occasionally, you indulge in original thinking, and the suddenly freed will suggests that it would be a good idea to erase the program of control. The moment passes, the program reasserts itself, and you decide that you will do it – tomorrow. And we all know that tomorrow never quite arrives!

Is it your free will in action when you decide to follow your “own” spiritual path? Or is this your long ago soul choice coming into its time? It is your conditioned subconscious program that causes you to procrastinate along the path of life. We really do sabotage most attempts we make to think freely, without any bias. Thinking freely does not mean thinking in the way we were taught at school, nor does it mean getting stuck in left-brain dominant thoughts. It means to allow your brain to   become attuned to a higher energy, while new and creative thought flows through the brain’s receptive centres. Usually, we churn out thoughts from the transmit centre; seldom are we receptive.

I have found, oddly, that it takes great self-discipline to cultivate free will, yet you eventually reach the place where free will is disciplined by no discipline at all. I did say that it’s odd! It would seem that you have to battle the mind to gain the freedom to think positive selective thoughts, but this is not so. By battling the mind, you create the very opposition that you are battling. This is not the way. As I have said, it is required that you live consciously. Be aware of your thoughts, observe them rather than censure them. Once you have established a pattern of being conscious, you will find that by focussing on the elevation of your thinking, rather than allowing thoughts to go their own capricious way, your thoughts and thinking will become more free, more receptive, revealing insights into life and living that cause the heart to sing.

To truly exercise free will, your whole body, your whole Beingness, is, as it were, more fine-tuned than anything you have ever known. You begin to experience a freedom you had never imagined. Mostly – and we can all slip – you are able to respond to life’s situations, rather than react. Fear reacts, Love responds. Fear comes from the conditioned past, while Love comes only from the moment. When you respond to life, you find that this is a more joyous way to live, and the brain actually likes it, releasing the appropriate ‘happy’ enzymes and hormones to share its pleasure with the body. Mind you, this is whole-brain activity, not left-brain dominant.

The actuality of free will is very different from the concept of it. To actually live from free will becomes a bit of a joke. You ask yourself, just who does this free will belong to? Does it belong to me, the identity, as my own choice? Or, does it belong to a higher aspect of me that I call Self, and this so-called free will is actually the will of Self. And you ask, did I learn or find free will, or has it always been here… just out of reach. Have I gained free will because I have submitted to Self, and if I did this, just how free is my will?

Did I choose my spiritual path from free will? Did I unwittingly and unrelentingly put myself through so much pain and suffering to become enlightened from free will? Or, did the will of Self, the Being I am, re-assert itself at the most appropriate time in my present incarnation?

If life has taught me anything, it is that true free will is freely living from the will of Self. And the will of Self is spiritual growth. So free will is more of a surrender than an acquisition. I surrendered to a higher will than the will of my identity-self; the will I surrendered to is the will of the immortal Self I am.

I have played with the subject of free will and I have enjoyed it, but I have not written my words frivolously. I have presented what I consider some serious food for thought. Maybe I have shown you a good reason to surrender your free will to the freedom of will that is already awaiting you. But, you still have to get past that conditioned program!

Never mind  – If I can, you can. Remember, you can only do it consciously!

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Michaels J. Roads – Wake Up World

Taking Responsibility For Our Energy

For some, what I am about to share might seem radical, ridiculous, or even crazy, and for others will appear self-evident. I feel compelled to actively put it out there because I feel in many respects it is a crucial key to shifting our reality; the more people who take it to heart, the better our collective outlook will be.

At an early stage in my journey I became aware of the fact that each human is in fact a fractal of the whole. Deep within the vastness of our being we each contain every essence, every type of energy from the most sublimely divine to the most wickedly depraved. Initially when this realisation came to me it was quite abstract and there was a distance between me and the idea. However, as I explored the deeper regions of my being I found myself coming face to face with aspects that showed me that this was not just some faraway concept, it was a hardcore reality.

The more I explored my inner world the clearer it became that we implicitly contain every energetic expression. I realized that there was nothing that I could see in my outer world that was not in essence a part of me. Initially I was frightened by the understanding that I contained such dark and horrible pieces. Did this mean that I was evil? I didn’t want to be evil. Those guys out there are sociopaths, I am not a sociopath; I would never do those things, perpetrate those acts. On some level I feared that if I allowed myself to accept the dark aspects, I would become them. The only sane, good option it seemed was to leave them unclaimed; to reject them. However, as I explored these uncomfortable parts of myself it eventually occurred to me that it was actually possible to ‘own’ these parts without choosing to enact them. After all I am a sovereign being with the ability to decide what actions I deem worthy of expression. I could claim all my dark, ugly bits, bring them into conscious awareness, and still choose to operate from a space of love.

Casting Out The Dark

As young developing humans most of us learn to reject ‘undesirable’ aspects, to repress them in order to feel comfortable with our selves, and to ensure acceptance in our social group. We select what we are, and what we are not. In order to elucidate I will use the most basic example: I am light, I am not dark. However, if we are truly a reflection of the whole, then we should contain everything, even darkness. In rejecting and ‘disowning’ our dark parts we cast them out. But where do they go? I suspect this energy, cast out of our inner world, manifests in our external reality.

Rejected as part of the whole, thrown away from love, these elements seek to be re-integrated. They show up everywhere in our environment waiting for recognition. We perceive them as threats, and try to fight or ignore them. This doesn’t work; it only exacerbates the problem and reinforces the dualistic state caused by the self-imposed separation. If we recognize that external reality is a reflection of our inner state, it becomes clear that it is important that we take responsibility for our energy. In order stop adding to the problem we need to cease focusing so much on the outside and do some inner housekeeping. By healing our inner world, through acknowledgement of all that we truly are, we take responsibility for our energy and cease contributing to the darkness of our outer collective reality.

In order to illustrate my point I will use an analogy of a gardener. Imagine each of us is a gardener who has been gifted with the responsibility of managing every seed in existence. As this gardener we become aware that there are some seeds that develop into beautiful food and flowers. We value these seeds and carefully plant and nurture them. However, we also believe that some seeds grow into nasty weeds. Fearing the potential of these seeds we don’t want to be associated with them so, like most other gardeners in our world, we toss them away into the wind. ‘This is not me I want nothing to do with these seeds.’ These unclaimed, unmanaged seeds end up everywhere and thrive and threaten to dominate our environment. No one is willing to take responsibility for these plants. ‘No, I would never plant such a seed; this plant has nothing to do with me. It must just be the nature of reality.’

If instead we accepted responsibility for ‘owning’ the whole gamut of seeds, we could cease contributing to the communal problem. As a wise gardener we would not toss the potentially dangerous seeds away, we would do the opposite, aware of their power, we would keep them close by, where they could be kept in check and managed responsibly.

Continuing on with the gardening analogy, when we stop fearing the seeds that we allowed to get out of control through neglect and mismanagement, we might discover that judging them as weeds may have been rash decision triggered by fear and misunderstanding. If instead of pushing away the dark seeds, we chose to look at them more closely, we might discover that they have valuable qualities and attributes that we were previously unaware of. When tended and cultivated consciously, with understanding and awareness, we might find that their growth can actually have benefits for the whole.

“Like colors to an artist, there is no good or bad, the whole spectrum is available for expression. The darker colors are necessary to add depth, and when used appropriately, with awareness of the whole, are vital components of the emerging beauty.” ~ Jump Into the Blue.

Acknowledging The Wholeness

The more of us who assume responsibility of our own darkness, the less truant energy will be available to continue to animate the dark story that has been unfolding on this planet. Are we ready to stop being irresponsible gardeners dominated by unconsciously driven manifestations? Are we ready to stop placing the blame ‘out there’? Are we ready to own all that we truly are and stop denying our accountability? Are we ready to become custodians of our reality, acknowledging the wholeness of our being, so that we can consciously determine which elements we want to cultivate in our external reality? Rather than working to repress, fight, and deny some of what we are, let’s become mindful co-creators, nurturing and guiding a peaceful world based on love and beauty in full awareness of all that we are.

There are many approaches to begin exploring our inner world and integrating our shadow aspects. Carl Jung, a pioneer of shadow work, wrote much on the subject, and there are many great books and healers that teach strategies to facilitate the process. However, the most important attributes of initiating inner healing include being open, and willing to look at oneself as honestly as possible. A lot of my personal work takes place in meditation or in the bath. However, with certain challenging aspects I worked with a soul retrieval practitioner. She held space, and assisted me to connect with, and create an opening in my heart for some of my more stubborn, hidden, or sneaky parts.

The beauty of this work is that, not only does it contribute to healing our collective reality, it also creates powerful shifts on a personal level. When we face and integrate our fears and all our bits that we previously avoided, we find a new level of inner peace, solidity and wholeness.

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Christina Lavers – Wake Up World

Emotional Energetic Healing: The Future of Medicine is Here

“Everything is energy.” ~ Albert Einstein

Energy medicine is at once time-honored and new. Whether using traditional forms like acupuncture, t’ai chi and reiki or modern applications such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), magnetic, vibrational or music therapy, working with the human energetic system to create wellness is an esteemed practice that produces tangible results.

According to Dr. Erin Olivio in the article Energy Medicine: “The field of energy medicine involving putative energy fields is based on the fundamental premise that all physical objects (bodies) and psychological processes (thoughts, emotions, beliefs and attitudes) are expressions of energy. Therefore, all bodies are believed to be infused with a “subtle” energy or life force. This life force is known by a variety of terms corresponding to different traditions. Intraditional Chinese medicine it is called qi (pronounced CHEE), in the Judeo-Christian tradition it is called spirit, and in Ayurvedic medicine it is represented in the doshas.”

What the ancients recognized, science is now validating. Candace Pert, PhD, is one researcher who has significantly contributed to the legitimate study of Mind-Body Medicine.

How emotions affect physiology

“Most psychologists treat the mind as disembodied, a phenomenon with little or no connection to the physical body. Conversely, physicians treat the body with no regard to the mind or emotions. But the body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.” ~ Dr. Candice Pert

In Dr. Pert’s book, Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, she explains how a class of proteins called peptides (including endorphins) act as a nervous system, delivering information throughout the body. Her theory is that the surface of each cell is covered with receptors for specific peptides. These free-floating molecules function as messengers. When we have a specific emotion, a cascade of peptides are released that ultimately influence our body.

Paul Trachtman explains how this sequence works in Smithsonian Magazine:

“… it’s through the emotion-modulating peptides that an embarrassing thought can cause blood vessels to dilate and turn a face beet red. In the same way, the molecules of emotion can mobilize immune cells to destroy an incipient tumor. Techniques like meditation or visualization may also act as forces to set those molecules in action.”

The question is: If emotions alter the functioning of the body, how do we experience healing by addressing subconscious negative emotional patterns?

This is the topic of a cutting-edge documentary on Mind-Body Medicine: E-Motion.

The energy of emotions

Leaders in the field of energetic medicine — including Sonia Choquette, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Bradley Nelson, Don Tolman, and others — explore the connection between emotions, the body and health in the documentary.

Taking into account the subconscious mind is 1000 times more powerful than the conscious mind, we are likely to ask: What actually controls it? The answer lies with unresolved emotions.

When we have traumatic perceptions buried in our subconscious mind, these emotional memories — when triggered — will cause a reaction in the body that sets-off a cascade of stress hormones, thereby altering our physiology.

How are these negative perceptions created? By our thoughts, because thoughts create emotions. And when we feel an emotion strongly enough, it will become trapped and disrupt the energy field of the body. Anger, aggression, anxiety, depression, sadness — these negative emotions will lodge themselves in the body and are the leading cause of physical pain. Eventually, if the blockage isn’t cleared, disease will develop.

Dr. Joseph Mercola provides an example:

“… those suffering from depression will often experience chest pains, even when there’s nothing physically wrong with their heart. Extreme grief can also have a devastating impact — not for nothing is the saying that someone “died from a broken heart.” In the days after losing a loved one, your risk of suffering a heart attack shoots up by 21 times!”

He also points out:

“Your body cannot tell the difference between an actual experience that triggers an emotional response, and an emotion fabricated through thought process alone — such as when worrying about something negative that might occur but has not actually happened, or conversely, thinking about something positive and pleasant.

“The fact that you can activate your body’s stress response (which produces chemicals that can make you sick) simply by thinking means that you wield tremendous power over your physical state in every moment. Moreover, it means that you can literally manifest disease, or healing, by thinking.”

Needless to say, in order to enjoy vibrant health, it’s vitally important to release emotional baggage.

Tips on how to ditch toxic emotional imprints

The team of experts in E-Motion believe there are active steps we can take to heal the body, the subconscious mind and our overall health. Here are a few:

  • Always remember that our mind is the key to healing.
  • Expect good things in life.
  • Slowdown when you feel a negative emotion arise and acknowledge it, then honor and release.
  • Be clear about your purpose in life. To discover your calling, answer the question: “If I weren’t afraid, I would …”
  • Focus on the color of food to heal the chakra centers. For example, exposure to sunlight + eating pineapple and oranges will help fortify the 2nd and 3rd chakras, which helps alleviate depression.
  • Participate regularly in a water fast to clear problematic emotions from the body.
  • Learn The Emotion Code technique by Dr. Bradley Nelson to rapidly release stuck emotions.

And finally, never underestimate the healing power of gratitude and liberal self-love.

 

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author Carolanne Wright / Wake Up World 

Tigers and Snow Leopards Thriving in Bhutan

Biologically, Bhutan straddles an area with high biodiversity richness—the Eastern Himalayas. Precipitation from the monsoons, great altitudinal variation, and its location connecting the Indian plains to the high Himalayan peaks on the edge of the Tibetan plateau allow for an amazing assemblage of biodiversity that is still being discovered today. Bhutan is the only place on Earth where snow leopards and tigers share the same habitat. Recent survey results show that both these endangered large cats are not only surviving, but thriving, in Bhutan.

Bhutan is providing new insights on tiger biology. Tigers were once considered a creature of the tropical forests of Asia and the temperate forests of the Russian Far East, but Bhutan has proven to science that one can find tigers even in places above 4000 m. Contrary to earlier assumptions, the middle hills of Bhutan are an equally important haven for tigers. According to tiger biologist Tshering Tempa, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP), in central Bhutan, could have as many as 26 tigers, with a density of 2 tigers per 100 sq km.

This park further connects with the rich Royal Manas National Park to the south and Jigme Dorji National Park to the north, that extends to the Tibetan border. Tigers have been recorded from all three parks.

Tempa is head of the Department of Conservation Biology at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) and part of a team of government researchers currently conducting the national tiger survey for Bhutan. Tempa’s tiger surveys have been supported by the Bhutan Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Karuna Foundation, and the University of Montana. World Wildlife Fund-Bhutan and the Wildlife Conservation Division of the Department of Forest and Park Services are other partners in the national tiger survey.

“Results from our study have changed the way we view our forest. We documented seven species of wild cats in JSWNP and for the first time, recorded tigers with cubs at 2500 m,” states Tempa with excitement. “This is huge for tiger conservation—with adequate prey and contiguous habitat, tigers can adapt to varying landscapes, even high mountains.”

The tiger survey also recorded gaur, a large wild bovid, at 4100 m—a new record for this tropical and subtropical ungulate. “The forests of Bhutan continue to fascinate us through such findings. Our data indicate that the future of tigers and many endangered species in the region will benefit from the pristine and contiguous forests of Bhutan. Imagine, in Bhutan, a tiger can travel all the way from the foothills on the Indian border to the high Himalayas. It is the tremendous prey biomass and habitat contiguity that allow this,” Tempa concludes.

Nawang Norbu, Director of UWICE, posits that Bhutan is a vital link for the survival of true wilderness in Asia today:

“When we think of the Himalayas, the image which is most familiar is that of the high snow-clad mountains. But the Himalayas are more than that. Given that habitats rise from sea level up to alpine meadows within a vertical climb of less than 100 km, biodiversity in all its glory, encompassing sub-tropical to alpine species, can be experienced within a narrow stretch. This diversity and richness of birds, plants and other biodiversity are imperiled across much of the Himalayas due to land-use change and a burgeoning human population. Having maintained a forest cover of over 70% and with more than half of all its land under protected area status, Bhutan remains an exception and continues to provide safe habitats required for most of Himalayan biodiversity. Endangered bird species such as the charismatic Rufous-necked hornbills are common sightings in Bhutan. In Nepal and surrounding areas, such birds are believed to have gone locally extinct. Bhutan still maintains a human population of less than a million thereby exerting minimal pressure on natural habitats. In my mind, there is no doubt that Bhutan is the last refugia for Himalayan biodiversity.”

PA-map-600x465

Bhutan’s protected areas and biological corridor network cover more than half of the country. (Map: DoFPS)

“Bhutan has benefited from far-sighted leadership of our kings and subsequent governments. Our responsibility is to pass on this intact environment to our future generations,” states Chencho Norbu, Director General of Bhutan’s Department of Forest and Park Services.

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author Tshewang Wangchuk

From article “Bhutan: a Frontier for Culture, Biodiversity, and Adventure” / National Geographic 

Waking Up From The Biggest Illusion In The World

We live here on Earth, together with billions of fellow human beings. That we live is an irrefutable empirical fact. Similarly, the fact that other people live on Earth, too, is also an empirical fact.

We do not merely live, however, but we are also personalities. We are personalities who are similar to each other in various respects, and largely different from each other in other respects. That we are personalities, different from each other is also an empirical fact for us.

Out of these two experiences, however, only one is true, the other is deception. Only one is a fact, the other is an illusion, and the biggest illusion in the world at that.

The Beginnings of the Illusion

Let us take a closer look and examine which of the two experiences is true and which is a mere illusion.

Our life in this world begins when we are born. It is obvious that we are alive, but we are not yet a personality. At that time only the simplicity and greatness of the present moment, of existence, is known to us.

The society, and its culture, is what shapes us into personalities while we grow up. We become a personality when our Ego is born. This is an inevitable step in the evolution of the Consciousness, so there is nothing wrong with that. The Ego is born, the separate little Self, as a focus of the Consciousness. That little Self obtains experience about itself and the world. In the natural course of evolution and as a result of the experience gathered, the Ego withdraws to give way to the process as a result of which Consciousness awakens to its own existence through a human form.

The progress of this evolutionary process can, however, be impeded by an illusion: the illusion that the individual is becoming somebody, a personality. We begin to become somebody, a personality, when we start to identify with the Ego, with that separate little Self. Under that illusion we believe that the Ego is a reality, and we are identical with the Ego, and the development of the separate little Self is in fact the foundation of our personal development. Nowadays it is virtually impossible to avoid that kind of illusion, since mankind has lived in it for thousands of years. The deception has become independent, and the illusion of the Ego is now a reality for the entire mankind, including, naturally, us.

The Nature of the Illusion

Our identification with the Ego makes us therefore somebody, a personality. On the other hand, our identification with the Ego will be the root of all our problems and misery. Since around us everybody considers the Ego as the most important centre of their life, we are also brought up by our parents to have a powerful Ego, a centre point in our life, by the time we reach adulthood. It is necessary because our society–and its culture–favors and worships the individuals with a powerful Ego.

Our parents and teachers bring us up in the spirit of the permanent endeavors to become somebody, to become a strong personality, to become somebody different from what are now (to become bigger, more important and better than other people). That is why we always watch the other people, we compare and measure ourselves to them. All that time, we also try to adjust our actions and deeds to the expectations and opinions of others. We keep dealing with the past and the future, and we never have sufficient time to stop and notice the immense illusion behind our life.

The End of the Illusion

An illusion may only survive if it is continually fanned and nourished. If we take a look around through innocent eyes (that is, through eyes free of any kind of opinions) we will soon realize how every society nourishes and fans, through its various institutions, the illusion of the separate little Self, the Ego. How they nourish the illusion of ”somebodyness” in us and in everybody else. All that may take place because every society, every culture is based upon individuals, and if those individuals disappear, they wake up from their ”somebodyness,” the former modus operandi of that society collapses.

That is why Eckhart Tolle is perfectly right when he asserts that the world can only change from inside. The internal change means that we wake up from our ”somebodyness” and we begin to understand what our mission is in the evolutionary progress of the Consciousness.

We must therefore wake up from the illusion of our ”somebodyness” in order to concentrate our attention on reality. That reality is nothing but the innermost empirical fact in our life, that is, the fact that we live, and we constitute a vibrating Consciousness, full of life. That is the reality that has been shrouded from us by the illusion, the mistake that we concentrated all our efforts on sustaining our ”somebodyness.”

If we stop nourishing that illusion, it will vanish after a while. In order to sever the power line of the illusion, we must learn how to notice the vividness and beauty of the present moment. Once we are able to accept the present moment, we are able to accept ourselves and we are able to enjoy the simplicity, tranquility and peace of existence. The Ego and the experience of ”somebodyness” then disappear, and we remain nothing but pure, vibrating energy, Life itself.

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Frank M. Wanderer, Ph.D – Wake Up World

The Awakening Of Society Is Just As Important As The Awakening Of Our Self

Spirituality is a very personal affair regardless of the various pathways or disciplines that one may follow. Yet even though there is an abundance of avenues for spiritual endeavor, there is generally a universal agreement on the principle of unity.

“If reality is unified, then we must also accept that everything is essentially equal.”

There are many ways that one may be introduced to this philosophy. We may have been brought up around it via our family. We might have had a profound revelation in a one-off experience. Some are initiated through ongoing paranormal activity. Others just intuitively feel it. Altered mind states could have been the catalyst. A gradual or instant revolution could have occurred in our mind where synchronicity deposed coincidence. There could have also been an influence by assorted texts and teachings which infer this similar conclusion. For most of us, uncovering the wisdom of unity most likely occurred via a combination of channels.

“Transcending the illusion of disconnection is a personal path.”

Regardless of our beliefs, and the series of events or informational resources that led to our personal awakening, our fundamental understanding is unity. We are each a part of a complex integrated whole, and our external environment is a reflection of our fundamental nature, including what is in harmony with us and what isn’t. So, irrespective of how peaceful we have set up our internal environment, if we truly want to experience peace, we need to transform the outer world – the collective mental and physical landscapes that we inhabit. If we are all truly unified, we have a responsibility as part of this awakening to continually heal and grow our internal and external worlds.

“The personal awakening is synonymous to the collective awakening.”

A Global Metaphysical View

Unity can be used as a universal term to describe the outcomes of various fields of thought. Examples include: Energy; Mind; Consciousness; Holographic universe; Light; Love; Spirit; the Source; the Field; the Akashic Field; the Zero-point Energy Field; Quantum Field of Possibilities; the Collective Unconscious; Undivided Wholeness; Nirvana; One; God etc. If these are all equal to each other in terms of their agreement that a unifying principle exists, then we have arrived at an agreed global metaphysical position which incorporates both our rational and intuitive hemispheres.

“The primary nature of reality is unified.”

Irrespective of what reality is literally made of, whether its essence is of a material or immaterial nature, it’s irrelevant to our goals. As long as we agree that a property of reality is unity, and that unity inherently implies that everything is fundamentally equal, then together we can get on with making this earthly experience fair and peaceful for all.

“Earth’s global culture needs to heal and grow as one.”

That is why an agreed metaphysical view for our global society has significant implications for our future. From both a personal and societal standpoint, as well as a rational and intuitive standpoint, we know to treat everyone and everything uniformly. The way we care for ourselves should be equivalent to the way that we care for others. Our philosophical and practical social systems should also ensure that each person has access to the resources they need to adequately survive and thrive.

“Because we are unified, the suffering of others is a reflection of our own suffering.”

No matter how far we may be personally removed from it, the reality is the majority of our fellow man is distressed from a lack of external and/or internal resources. The former is strongly influenced from an unequal distribution of food, water, shelter, infrastructure, education, medicine and political representation, whilst the latter from a lack of knowledge and skills in emotional regulation and psychological balancing, as well as a poor conceptual capacity to face and overcome the challenges to establishing and maintaining one’s inner peace.

“Suffering is pandemic across the so-called developing and developed nations.”

Translating a Global Metaphysical View Into Practice

When we individually undertake a process of spiritual introspection, we all arrive at the exact same place; unity. Yet when we translate that wisdom into practice, the result is a plethora of personal, philosophical and cultural differences. That is why so many distinct religions exist, especially because the expression of how we should operationalize this perspective is subject to the environmental influences present during its inception and development.

“There are infinite expressions of how to live in unity.”

Now that many people undertake this process outside the context of pre-established models, it is no wonder that there are so many individualized methodologies to spirituality. And there’s nothing wrong with that either; there is no one strict way to live, so as long as it doesn’t conflict with the primary principle of unity and its inherent implications, then it should be encouraged and embraced.

“Regardless of the personal path we choose to take, spirituality is a journey of enlightenment for both the inner and outer realms.”

The Health and Growth of The Self

We are all subject to the suffering of the self and it is our personal role to transcend it. But our health is much more than is usually defined; it’s not just our physical and mental well-being. The reality is we have many layers of our life to take care of including our physical, psychological, emotional, philosophical, sexual, behavioral, creative, social and spiritual vitalities. With this in mind, we should be continually asking ourselves what areas need more attention and what strategies can we implement to heal and grow. We also need to find a true love for ourselves.

“Therapeutic and developmental practices which harmonize all of our life vitalities ensures that we raise our vibration and align ourselves closer to our spiritual path.”

Even though we literally make the free choice on how we think, feel, act and live, we are still strongly influenced by our environment, such as parents, peers, culture, society, government and the age we live in. Therefore, as an adult we are both independent and conditioned agents. But we can transcend our conditioning and align ourselves to the fundamental wisdom and knowledge of the universe. Therefore, the time we become truly free is the time that we take full responsibility of ourselves and ensure that we, not anyone or anything else, are the most influential factor for how we evolve for the rest of our lives. That of course means taking full responsibility for how we think and feel.

“To be truly free, we must empower ourselves to guide our thoughts and emotions.”

It’s the basics. Excuses which blame something or someone for our thoughts and feelings just don’t cut it on the spiritual path. Spiritually, we have experiences for our growth; we are co-creators of our experience. Now this doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for the actions of others which hurt us, the response we provide is incorporated into the overall context of the negative and positive vibrations that they’ve attracted into their life.

“If people act unjust, then justice will inevitably be served.”

The new age mantra that “everything happens for a reason” may be true in the sense that experiences have innate information that we can capitalize on to progress us on our path of enlightenment, but it is equally true that proportional actions need to transpire in response. Just like we should respond to the injustice we serve ourselves, we should also respond to that which surrounds us. The tricky part is determining what that response should be which is why we draw on both our rational and intuitive capacities to guide us.

“Not only should we accept our experiences, but also respond to them accordingly.”

It is true that we make so-called ‘mistakes’ which deliver us to our destiny; however that doesn’t mean we should make that same choice again. We should learn from it. There are innumerable times that we have had an undesirable experience which resulted in our growth, regardless if it was influenced from the actions of ourselves or others. And that’s what we need; to learn, to heal, and to grow. We need to harmonious our energies and become our new, more developed selves in every moment. When we conceive of our experience this way – where our wants are the healthy and unhealthy desires of our ego and our needs are the experiences we require for sustained growth – then we always have something to offer ourselves.

“If we process each experience as an opportunity to learn, regardless of how undesirable that experience is, we always get exactly what we need: growth.”

Every moment is therefore an opportunity to progress our health and well-being. When we treat ourselves and others disappointingly, we should process it in the context of our learning and then make amends. The same applies when somebody treats us poorly; when we are exposed to underdeveloped actions by others, we should embrace it as a part of us, as well as give a calculated response in return. After all, we have accepted that we are fundamentally united. For example, what information and energy can we embrace from it? Is there some action we can do to encourage the health and growth of both the internal and external worlds?

“When we embrace our experience, we must develop a healthy balance between awareness, acceptance and action.”

www.choki.org

Follow us on Facebook!

Author: Phillip J. Watt

 

Page 5 of 10« First...34567...10...Last »