The Cycle of Desire – Why We’re Never Satisfied and Always Want More

 

You feel it don’t you? The feeling is stronger in some than it is in others, but it’s always there in everyone, in some form. The feeling is a longing for MORE… isn’t it? If you are aware enough to see it, and experience it, and see what it makes you do… you will realize this is true.

 

Where does this feeling come from?

There is an inherent feeling in human beings where we need to be more than what we are right now. Expansion is what we are looking for. These feelings cause conflict internally and externally because the longing for expansion and to be boundless is looking for expression. But we’re so identified with our physical nature that the only way we think of expressing this longing is physically. And we try to do this but the physical is limited… therefore it is impossible to totally achieve what we want on the physical plain.

Yet people are looking for the expression of this longing for expansion through money, possessions, status, power, some through the attention of others, some through the vanity of their own body, etc. We’re looking for fulfillment through achievement, but has that ever really worked for you? I asked myself the same question and had to honestly answer NO, and I was guilty of this for the first 28 years of my life. Once you achieve a goal you might feel good for a couple hours or maybe a day or two, but then another desire pops up and takes its place and you repeat the same cycle. Think about the last time you got a raise at work? Within 48 hours did you still feel happy? Or did you start thinking about what your next raise would be the next year?

When we turn our attention to the acquisition of material things we turn away from our true nature and away from the present moment. The present moment is the only place that you can find true happiness because it is the only place that truly exists. Is this not true? Can you show me the future? Can you show me the past? No, because they only exist in theory. The current moment is our ever present reality.

And when you really look at this feeling of longing even closer, it’s not even a wanting for more… it’s a wanting for ALL. If I gave you the world… how long would it be until you started looking to the stars and other planets? No matter what you have or get, no matter how great it is… you will just want everything. That is a reality of the human condition.

 

Your real desire for the object is actually not for the object itself, but for the end of the longing for that object. But once you get this object another object and desire will arise. This creates a cycle of never-ending longing and suffering.

 

It is okay to go after your goals and to experience life, but don’t let it happen compulsively, and don’t let it compromise your integrity or happiness. Detach yourself from it. When you realize this as the true nature of what you are experiencing, you break and transcend this cycle of longing. But remember, the wanting for Wisdom and Experience and Truth is a good thing. We are here to live life and pursue our true nature, and you will only find that through wisdom and experiences. You can never understand something truly until you have experienced it and it is in your perception.

Meditation and turning inward will take away these feelings of longing. With a little practice (give it some time), you will feel the boundless sensation in yourself and it will quench the thirst of your longing. You will no longer have to subconsciously impose this boundless longing on yourself or the outside world. This might not sound possible to someone who has never meditated, but please trust me.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I use to be a big skeptic of meditation. My whole life I was very left brain thinking, with a Type A personality. I use to think meditation was for hippies… until I did it for myself and experienced the amazing benefits. Present moment living and mindfulness, along with meditation, will take you to a higher level of consciousness and existence. If you want to be more peaceful, healthier and happier… START MEDITATING!!

 

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Author: Steven Wesley – Wake Up World

3 Steps to Changing the Future

Seers, oracles, mystics… these are just some of the names given to those who were able to look through a window from the present into the future present. Operating using the vehicle of consciousness computing complex patterns, processes, and possibilities based on the unfolding of present circumstances, these able-ones have a perspective that potentially holds a greater power for changing the reality we experience on this planet than anything else.

If you knew with absolute certainly what will happen in the future, be it on a personal level or on a global scale, what would you do with that knowledge? Would you stand idly on the sidelines allowing “destiny” to play out? Or would you take an active role in shifting the present timeline in a way that alters events so that a different future plays out? Nothing is set in stone, for the one constant in existence is that of change.

3 Steps to Changing the Future

The future becomes the future if what happens in the present continues on its trajectory without being modified. The first step towards changing a future that didn’t happen yet is to have conviction that you can change the course of what one day will be called History. The next step is to have the courage and determination needed to become a change maker. The third step is to use the power of the heart-mind symbiosis to expand your awareness to see into the future present based on the present’s actions and reactions.

The first step is accomplished by raising your self-esteem and belief in yourself. Get motivated. Seek out the various practices and techniques that help you accomplish this. If you don’t feel that you can alter reality, you will never do so. Those who do believe they have the power to do so, will, and are doing so right now. Some of those that are doing this are not altering the dynamics of the present in a way that will lead us into a bright future. They actually have much to lose if such a prospective future were to materialize. Do you want others to direct the course of the future that may lead to oblivion of all that we hold dear and all that we aspire to see become a reality? Take a stand. Take a look at the people in positions of power and influence in society… those who are actively shaping what the future holds for us. If they seem impotent in guiding us all towards a peaceful world that is thriving with abundance, while reducing suffering, then why don’t you take the reins instead? If there was anything you should ever doubt, it’s the limits of what you are capable of.

The next step is accomplished by elevating your energy level. Provide your body with the sustenance and nourishment it needs for your vitality to rise in both body and mind. This means eating foods with as much life-force as possible (i.e. the fresher/more recently harvested the better), practicing body-mind modalities like yoga (vinyasa, kundalini, integral), qi gong, tai chi, breath work (pranayama, vase breath, Tsa Lung) and others. There is much to be explored in this domain, so look at what lies in the repository of human knowledge and practice what feels most in alignment with you.

The final step relies on expanding your perceptive abilities. There are advanced yogas, such as the Six Yogas of Naropa, as well as awareness-expanding and insight meditations such as the jhanas and kundalini, that are some of the ways in which you can activate the dormant abilities contained within you. When you pick up a crystal, do you feel the sensation of streams of movement through your hands or does it feel like you’re just holding some rock? When you sit with your eyes closed and breathe, do you gain insights and realizations into the nature of your Self and of Reality or does it feel like you’re just sitting there? Jumping ahead to this step without first laying the groundwork of the previous steps will not give you the results that you will anticipate. A pyramid needs a solid base before the capstone is put atop it. So to, must you prepare your body and mind so that all the ingredients act together to activate your ability to see and alter the future becoming of the present.

Gazing Into the Window of Opportunity

We are in a particularly unique and opportunistic time in human history. Never before has humanity been so connected, thanks to tech like the internet and wireless communication. Never before have we had access to nearly the entire repository of human knowledge in an instant. We are inside a window of opportunity right now. This window may quite possibly close very soon. We can already see attempts to shut it down, with the movements by certain powerful and influential forces. If this happens, we may never get another opportunity like this again. Humans are a very smart species, but their ability at foresight, or seeing into the future, is usually lacking. This inability to see what is becoming imprinted onto the fabric of reality has the potential to be humanity’s demise. If we’re fortunate there will at least be legends of our existence and what we accomplished.

If in the distant past humans had achieved as advanced, or even greater advancement than present day humans have, those achievements have been lost in the sands of time, leaving only subtle clues and hints of what was possible. Will our rubble one day be looked at with the great mystery as megalithic stone blocks are today? Will this civilization that we have created become so unbelievable that it will join the likes of Atlantis as just a legend?

We have the ability to alter our collective path. This massive organic star craft we call Earth, Terra, Home…this is the only vessel that is sustaining and supporting our continued existence. If this ship breaks down, so do we. The lack of looking at the cosmic perspective and outside the box hinders our ability to make the critical changes that must be made if we are to thrive in a bright future. Seeing the big picture is an ability of an evolved human being… an evolution that is intentionally and consciously guided. No need to wait millions of years for this, as this is organic tech already within us, yet dormant and latent in most. It doesn’t have to be. All it needs is a trigger to activate it…the trigger of your conviction, courage, and determination.

Dwell in Possibility

The adults of the world today still, by and large, suppress rather empower their children’s latent abilities that are contained within. This suppression model makes children grow into adults that become numb and oblivious of the incredible abilities they are capable of. The grooves of conditioning get dug deep, and while these abilities in adulthood (if cultivated and developed) may not be as strong as if their development was started encouraged from birth, they can still emerge and be powerful tools.

Will you see a cinematic playing out of the future in your mind? What is more likely is that you will have the activated ability to see the elaborate and complex nature of the interconnected Whole of all that is happening on this planet, in the collective consciousness. Seeing the all the elements of the Whole, and understanding how each element is playing its role in shaping the present into what becomes the future, you see what the most likely outcomes will be. With that knowledge, you will then possess the power of alter the direction we are headed.

The single biggest barrier to a bright future is the feeling and the feeding of fear. The more fear that humans generate personally and collectively, the more we fuel a dark future. Don’t allow yourself to succumb to unconsciously being food for the manifestation of dystopia. Have belief in yourself and have compassion for others. We’re all on this ride together after all, whether we like it or not. We can make it as enjoyable or as miserable as possible. The choice is always up to us. As Edward Everette Hale once said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” Now that you know how to change the future, redefine what our timeline is leading to. Let’s steer this ship towards a thriving and peaceful future where we can step into the next phase of our evolution towards supramental transformation.

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Author: Paul Lenda

Becoming Multidimensional – Entering the “Dreamspace”

There’s two ways of living your life: one, as if nothing is a miracle; two, as if everything is.

We’re living in two world’s not one: the old is one of systems, logic and control, which strangles the juice out of life. It’s a reality long past it’s self-by-date, essentially because it’s divorced from the flow. Then there’s another world — it’s one of mystery, miracles and magic, where everything has a deeper meaning, a deeper significance and purpose. It’s this that I call the ‘dreamspace’. In fact it’s far more real, far more fulfilling than ‘reality’.

What is this space like? How can you access it? How can you become multidimensional?

Can You Hear the Dreamspace Calling You?

In my life I work to live as spontaneously as possible. Quite frequently yes, there are agreements I’ve made with people that have to be honoured, appointments to be fulfilled. But as much as possible, I leave the moment open, to flow as one with the deeper underlying purpose.

This evening, on my way home, there was a clear pull to take a detour. I didn’t know where to, but as usual, when the dreamspace is calling more strongly, it’ll speak through signs and synchronicity. In this case, my attention was spiked to the movement of cars, number configurations on number shields, and the sudden darting movement of birds.

It led me out into the country, until there by the side of the road, on a hill overlooking an open Somerset valley, was a Kestrel hanging in the air; majestic, wings outstretched, hovering, and very much calling to me. So I honoured the invitation, pulled up just as soon as I could, and followed the guidance.

It took me to a quiet space, high on the valley side, surveying the panorama, which looked very primordial in the dimming evening light as the sun began to descend behind a distant hill. The busy road in the background faded deep into the background, as if in some distant galaxy. My soul was transcending space and time. The trees, bushes and rocks were speaking to me. Not in words of course, not even in thoughts, but with feelings, that brought me so as-one with it all.Now the dreamspace was speaking deeply.

What’s the Purpose of the Dreamspace?

The dreamspace is the space between the spaces. Each and every moment has a deeper purpose, a deeper message, which seldom people hear within society because their minds are too full, they have too many necessary objectives (supposedly), their consciousness is too distracted by the endless gadgetry. It divorces people from the real juice of life.

You have to empty the mind, still the distraction, drop into the heart space, and feel through the senses to truly transcend the moment into the dreamspace.

It wants you to know yourself, as an intimate part of the miracle of existence. It wants to invite you deeper into yourself, and into the co-creation with nature. It wants to dance you back home again, to the open arms of the divine.

But you have to be listening, feeling, and open to how it’s guiding you. You have to be patient, relaxed, without intention or deadline. Nature has eons to catch you. Eons to reel you back in. But only if you are listening and feeling.

Accessing the Dreamspace

Here are some important keys to accessing the dreamspace…

  1. Spend plenty of time each day in stillness, softening the internal contractions, the resistances to quiet emptiness.
  2. Reduce your reliance on electrical gadgetry. No one’s saying don’t use the internet (or else you wouldn’t be reading this!), just use it only when necessary.
  3. Spend as much time as possible letting go of intention-created life. At least take quality time off without a plan.
  4. Go free-wheeling often, responding only to the landing of higher knowing or a pull through the heart.
  5. Allow the guidance to carry you until you feel to stop. Soften into that place and time, breathe, observe, notice all five senses keenly, and then feel through them, so as to transcend the physical density.
  6. Feel the lightness of the moment – how it connects with life around you, especially nature.
  7. Notice how this deeper connection makes you feel. What sense does it resonate inside?
  8. Imagine the dreamspace is now speaking to you. What would it be saying? It’ll be telling you how to change your life, how to reveal more of your true self, what Right Action to take.
  9. Celebrate in the joy of synchronicity, the language welcoming you back home as a cosmic child of the universe. Congratulations, you’ve arrived!

More Real Than ‘Reality’

The dreamspace is that where the movement of divine energy is beginning to breakdown old constructs and reshape new ones for the purpose of education, exploration and further evolutionary growth. It’s searching out and manifesting the possibility of a higher harmony – one that serves ALL life in the co-creation.

That’s why the dreamspace landscape is more real than ‘reality’. Because it directs to what reality is already newly becoming.

It feels like the whole of life is celebrating with you, singing and serenading you. In a way that cherishes your very nature. Why on earth would you want to live any other way!

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Author: Openhand – Wake Up World

Understanding Ascension: The Geometry of Energy

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ~ Lao Tzu

After climbing through the jungle, making my way through the grueling forest, dense and bewildering with trails, I came to a clearing on a ridge, on what I sensed must be the very top of the great mountain in the clouds. And as I made my way to the ridgetop and clearing, I saw that this was not the top. I saw it was beautiful and magnificent, but it was after all only a plateau. And from the plateau above the bewildering and winding complex of trails I now stood, I could see in the distance what could only be assumed at this point to be the peak. Perhaps there was a mountain more massive behind it too.

And on the story goes…

There are so many narrative accounts as well as fictional and metaphorical stories that ring out the same truth in the same way as the above narrative. Many of us often have this experience on one level or another at one point or another, where we come to this point in our lives, in ourselves. The reason this story is so often true, metaphorically and specifically, is because that’s how it is, both aesthetically and energetically. No matter how things go, no matter the plateau or peak you reach, there are always more heights to scale, another plateau or peak above you. As soon as you think you’re on top, you’ve stopped evolving, you’ve stopped ascending. And while you may end up at quite an enjoyable and beautiful place there could be a whole series of heights just beyond you that you won’t realize — until you realize ascension is a process, not a destination.

Once you begin on this infinite and exponential journey of discovery, you might stop, but there is no turning back.

The Nature of Ascension

The Geometry of Energy is a meditation teaching of focus, clarity, connection, circulation, unity and expansion. It is also a formula for energy comprehension — through meditative understanding of points, lines, shapes and solids — and a way toward simplification of the ascension process. Through examining the four dimensions of geometry, we are able to engage individuation, understand energy, visualize the big picture, and understand its importance.

In ascension, first you find out what is your current point of view; your plateau. Understand the process of growth, and celebrate the view.

Then you ask: What am I afraid of? Why do I always do X? What do I want to change, or experience? When you know where it is you want to go, and you can visualize the next point ahead of you, then you can visualize your line to it. If the point is something simple like quitting smoking, you can then enhance your line – your approach – to your goal accordingly. If the point is something more esoteric or intangible, like becoming more intuitive, you retain and maintain that point of focus, and the lines rise up to meet you as you ascend. Then you find your higher point, your more true self.

The key is to consciously make connections with lines and directions that most resemble your true nature and the nature you wish to become. Choose the next plateau you want to rise to. Become, embody, meditate and even chant if you will, boldly and simply: “I am X…” and watch your ascension unfold before you. We have a point in focus, lines arise before us. Of course, try to make sure the direction of your lines of ascension are as unselfish as possible; you do not have to destroy the mountain on your way up to its peaks. Consider your approaches in modest and achievable terms, and great heights can be attained as you travel, step by step.

Next, emancipate your energy to be unrestricted and flow with it in a way that opens the linear (direction) and circular (pattern) formations of energy in your life. These openings allow the ‘cocooned you’ to expand and break out, and fly! Be present… get grounded… meditate on the breath… acknowledge and embrace your unique place in the cosmic order. It doesn’t matter what self-realization or self-actualization practice you engage in, but in ascension, energetic circulation and expansion must occur.

Edgar Cayce observed there are four aspects to wellness; relaxation, circulation, assimilation and elimination. These four aspects to physical wellness are also applicable to our energetic bodies. Consider the blood being of our physical bodies being illustrative of our energetic bodies. If we are physically unfit our bodies go to shit. If we don’t move, we eat a lot of crap, or we consume alcohol frequently, our blood literally coagulates and slows down. The same is true for our energetic bodies. If we don’t practice some form of meditation or meditative movement, or get involved with nature and our natural state of being, the flow of our energetic bodies coagulates too, impeding our wellbeing and journey to the next spiritual peak.

Arriving at the Next Peak

Lastly is the process of expansion; the arrival at the peak where the next new peak can be seen. The expansion process is the “breakthrough” that people speak of. It often involves the crumbling of so many outer-shells that it may seem like a breakdown, but it’s actually a breakthrough. Expand your thoughts and focus on the linear and circular openings, psychologically and spiritually, so that the openings can lead to a flooding – but cleansing – unity expansion.

Initially, being mentally and emotionally present can be confronting. The human mind is nearly always clouded by life’s desires and traumas, so when we remove ourselves from distraction and engage in the realization of our deepest consciousness, we may experience an influx of unresolved (circular) thoughts and feelings; the traumas (past) and fears (future) of life may come into our consciousness, seeking to be cleared. Don’t just sit there in a half broke cocoon, half way to being a butterfly, hampered instead of freed, like so many figuratively do. Face the darkness. We may feel that this takes us farther away from an immediate sense of peace and progress, yet we can only achieve peace in the long-term if we acknowledge and resolve the thoughts and feelings that continue to arise in our consciousness. Know that these feelings, now acknowledged, will clear over time. Allow them to pass through your consciousness as you return to the serenity of the present moment.

Each energy dimension opens you up more and more to increased ascension because of their enhanced vibrations and complexities. Each time you engage this process the more the superfluous aspects of your character fall away. The more we move energy the more our unnecessary mental and emotional ‘add-ons’ all crumble from the cocoon; all of our induced masquerades, the less-real pieces of our psychological makeup, the constructs and shells that otherwise restrict our true butterfly nature.

Breakthroughs are often painful at one stage or another, and certainly during the unity expansion process things tend to break. The more you take an active part in your own ascension process, the more likely things will break on your way to becoming. The shell of your ego must be broken too, and then slightly modified, returned to working order with a new greater perspective on life and your unique place in it.

And remember, no matter how far you go, there is certainly always further to go. No matter how your level of being changes as you ascend, there is always another higher summit to climb.

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Author: Ethan Indigo Smith l  Wake Up World

Karma: Can You Live With It?

Over the years I’ve seen people refer to karma in various ways, and it’s clear that the general public isn’t really aware of exactly what karma is, what its function is, and how it’s created. I would like to dedicate this article to dispelling some myths, clarifying the concepts of karma, and also discussing how karma is a very powerful tool which must be viewed with honesty during one’s own journey of awakening.

Let’s start by understanding what karma is, and by contrast, what it is not.

Karma is a an ancient sanskrit word, originating from the word “kamma” which means “action” “word” or “deed”. The concept of Karma originated in ancient India, with Hindu’s, Buddhists and other Eastern Philosophies. The idea of karma is that one’s own actions, words, or deeds are creative on an energetic level as well as physically, and that what you do, think, or say is put out into the Universe as an energetic creative force, and it will then draw back to you, energy of a similar state of vibration.

To better understand this, let’s look at Karma as a Universal law, such as Gravity, the law of attraction, or relativity; for this is exactly what Karma is. Karma is the natural law of “as above, so below”, in that what you do, think, or say on an Earthly level (below) also enacts itself on a higher level (above).

What Karma Isn’t

Now we must dispel a few myths attached to the concept of Karma, before going further. I often hear people talk about karma as though it is a person, or an entity, referring to it as some righteous law keeper who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Karma is not a person, or an entity of any sort. Karma has no conscience or consciousness; Karma is a principle put in place in this free will universe which is tied very closely to duality. We live in a reality which is built upon the principles of duality; you understand that every action has its reaction; and that all things have their mirror. Up is always mirrored by down, happy has it’s counterpart in sad, even life is mirrored by death.

Duality is the way this universe is set in to motion, so that our every experience can be fully appreciated by knowing it’s similarity and its opposite. This is a learning tool which is invaluable to every soul alive; we could never truly appreciate the lush and wondrous sensations of Love and Peace unless we had something opposite by which to compare them to. So to better understand Love and Peace we get to experience loneliness, abandonment, and anxiety or chaos. This is duality. And for such a system of duality to work fundamentally it must be governed by a law which acts as a system of checks and balances; and this law is Karma.

You understand now that Karma is not a person, or a being with a consciousness; indeed it is simply a law of physics, much like gravity. It exists to measure our every action, word, and thought and then deliver us a result, or consequence so that we can fully learn about what we have put forward into the world.

If you say something hurtful to someone, that will have a consequence; the tenets of Karma dictate that what you put out will return to you equally. Neo-Pagans and Wiccan’s talk about the threefold rules of Karma, and suggest that what you put forth will return to you three-fold. I tend to disregard this type of thinking, as the law does not seem to favor taxing you times 3 on any of what you put out into the world. So let’s look at Karma as a system by which what you put out you will receive back an equal amount of reaction, response, or consequence.

As Karma is a law of the Universe it is not biased, it has no favorites, in fact it is not invested in your words, deeds or actions. Human beings like to personify things like Karma in order to feel validated, but the truth is Karma isn’t personal on any level, it is a natural law of energetic give and take.

How Does Karma Work?

Now that we understand what Karma is not, and truly see that it is a simple Universal law of balance, we can explore how Karma works. And it’s really very simple to be honest, and won’t require much explanation on my part; Karma gives back to you what you give away. If you do something kind, that goes into the Universe as positive energy, which will shine back to you in some way in your life. If you do something unkind, that goes into the Universe as negative energy, which will also shine back to you in some way in your life.

It’s important at this point to note, this is not a system of reward and punishment!! Karma is not about rewarding the good and punishing the wicked; it is a tool by which we can grow, by reaping the rewards or results of our previous words, actions and thoughts. What better way to learn about how what we do affects the Universe energetically, than to have it affect us energetically as well?

Karma is active always; it is a constant law, and is at work in your life every second of every day. Now, being that it is a Universal Law, much like the Law of Attraction, it is wired up to your inner world, and your inner dialogue.

As with the Law of Attraction, you can say nice kind flowery things about someone, yet think negatively about them, and both Laws will disregard what you’ve said, and go to what you have thought – this is because this is where the truth of your energy is present. It is your deepest truth within that activates any Universal Law.

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How to Keep Karma Positive?

Honestly you can’t keep your Karma positive, the point is not to manipulate Karma, or change it. Karma isn’t set in place to make you try to behave; it exists to help you change from the inside out. And that change can only come through experience, self-awareness, honesty, and ardently trying to become the highest and brightest version of yourself that you can.

So rather than trying to keep your Karma positive, focus on being a kinder and gentler person. The ways you can affect your Karma are so simple; follow your intuition. Intuition is a direct link to your Higher Self, or your Soul. And your Soul always knows what is best; Love. When in doubt, ask yourself “what would love do?” If you respond from that place of Love within you then you can be sure your Karma will be balanced.

Making Conscious Choices and Living With Them

So now that we have a better understanding of Karma, as a Universal Law of balance and equanimity, we can talk about living with the results of your actions, thoughts, and words. There will always be opportunities in this world to react out of anger, or sadness, or jealousy etc, and while most of the time I would say “turn the other cheek” and just let it go, there are times when you just have to express your negative feelings in order to stand up for something or some one, or to make a point, or defend yourself or a loved one. We can’t always turn the other cheek and sometimes you have to do something which will undoubtedly turn your Karma into the negative. If you are aware of this, and have weighed your options, consulted your intuition, prayed about it, and still feel you must stick by your convictions, then you must ask yourself “can I live with the Karmic results of this?”

And you must understand, Karma works in mysterious ways, and the cost could be anything from a “bad day” to an illness, or some great loss in your life. Depending on what you put out there, what you receive back could be life changing. So always be certain you are prepared to receive your Karma, before you do anything which will draw any negative Karma back to you.

Karma seems to work at it’s own pace too; sometimes Karma plays out quickly, other times it seems to take ages. In fact lots of Karmic debts play out over several lifetimes. Depending on the amount of harm you’ve caused, you may carry Karma over into the next life, in order to truly learn from the negativity you have caused and expressed to the Universe.

So instead of worrying about what your Karma may be in the future, work towards clearing your Karma in the now.

How do you do this?

Get Honest, Humble, and Aware.

Sometimes you can clear your Karma with a simple heart felt apology. But giving that apology must come from a place of humility within you, where you realize you’ve caused harm. It is best to always follow your heart; if you’ve treated someone with less care than you’d like to be treated, perhaps you should take the time to right that wrong. It’s best to always act from Love, as opposed to letting your ego feel “right”. Most acts of negative Karma come from the ego itself, and it’s need to be the center of attention, it’s need to be right and validated and revered. But we know that the ego is an illusion; it is a false self which we build up around us in this very mundane world of petty insecurity. The ego wants more, whereas Love wants to express itself. So express yourself honestly, with the highest intentions of giving love, and creating positivity all around you, and if you’ve done or said something in your life which you regret; make amends. And don’t do this to make your Karma different; do it because it is simply what Love would do.

The next time you wish someone’s Karma upon them, remember that Karma is always at work, in their lives, and in yours. Karma reacts to our deepest thoughts, and our every action, so instead of focusing on how so-and-so needs a good dose of Karma, focus on yourself, and what you’re putting out there. If you can live with yourself, chances are your Karma will be good. If guilt eats at you in some way, it’s a good time to start making a humble attempt to make things right between yourself, and anyone you’ve hurt, in any way.

With that said, I wish you the deepest Love that is within you — may it blossom through your every deed, word, and thought. With abiding Love, Dee.

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Author: Dee Bernstein – Wake Up World 

What It Means To Control The Mind

The human mind is a wonderful masterpiece that has immense potential. Most of the potential, however, remains unused with most people, since it is not us who is in charge of things — it is our mind that is in control. Our Mind is rushing through life with us like a car running without a driver, causing us constant suffering and sorrow.

But if we were able to control our Mind, our life would change completely. This mad speeding would change into a beautiful, creative dance, giving us happiness, instead of pain.

The question is, therefore, how are we able to take control over our Mind?

The Nature of the Mind

In order to control something, we first need to know the nature of that thing, therefore we must know our Mind so as to be in charge of it. The most important thing we need to know about our Mind, is that it is not something that exists separately, individually, like some inanimate object. The Mind is not an object – it is a process – the process of constantly streaming thoughts. This stream of thoughts is what we perceive as the Mind. When these thoughts disappear, the Mind disappears with them, as the two are only able to exist together. The very basic nature of thoughts, is that they are in constant movement, and this motion, almost automatically, creates the Mind.

A characteristic feature of our Mind is that it keeps roaming, wandering; it operates in something like an automatic mode. Thoughts come and go- the time. If we attempt to suppress them, it is only possible with considerable efforts, and even then for only a short time. During most of our waking time, our Mind wanders either in the past or in the future – in our thoughts we deal with our experience of the past, offences we suffered in the past, or with our future plans, goals, and fears.

Another characteristic of our Mind is that it constantly evaluates things. This means that we do not simply live through our experiences, but we also categorize them as good or bad. We judge everything that happens to us and everybody we meet in our lives. This permanent categorization may easily lead to a distorted perception of the world, as we evaluate our new experiences in these categories. If we find an experience negative, we will tend to keep – and reinforce – that category for similar experiences in the future. Our perception will, therefore, be selective, and we will only accept the stimuli that reinforces our categorization, and we tend to ignore those that fall outside our usual categories.

The third important characteristic of the Mind is that it permanently produces stories. These stories often have a disastrous end. For instance, I suddenly try to remember whether I locked the door of my home or not. The Mind immediately fabricates a whole story around the idea: I did leave it open, a burglar came, my valuables have been stolen, and the police, instead of chasing the thief, will harass me with their questions. We often experience the ends and emotional consequences of these stories. Another type of story deals with us, who are we, what are we like, what we should do, or should have done. The entirety of these stories comprises our personal histories.

A Foolish Game

Most people tend to identify with their thoughts and personal histories, that is, with their Minds. A lot of us are not satisfied with what we are, and we would like to have a better and more beautiful personal history. That is why we create a mental image of our desired personal development and the ways of making the work of our Minds more effective.

In order to achieve the mental image we ourselves have created, we embark on a foolish game, as we attempt to bring our Minds under our own control and be the masters of our own development. Since we do not know the nature of the Mind, this venture is destined to fail right from the beginning.

This game is foolish, since in fact one half of the Mind attempts to bring the other half under control. Our Mind itself deems our own mental image of our personal development as good. At the same time, this half of the Mind deems the other half, the one we wish to change, bad. Mental images fight against each other, trying to overcome each other, using the weapons of selective perception and story fabrication. The struggle goes on, with changing luck, all through our lives. Sometimes we believe that we are making some progress, we are improving, and a few weeks, months or years later we drop into the abyss of despair.

A lot of us play this foolish game all through our lives, because we are unable to recognize the simple fact that a Mind is unable to overcome itself. We may, perhaps, with the utmost effort, suppress what we believe is bad in us. That is, however, just a virtual victory, leading us to virtual calm and personal development because when our power declines, the suppressed forces break out again, destroying all the temporary results that we achieved previously, washing away the results of our personal development.

The Freedom of Tolerance

Now we can see that the way leading to controlling our Minds does not succeed through suppressing them. It is not possible to control the Mind in the ordinary sense of the word. Partly because it only exists in its functions and operation, and partly because there is nobody to control it. One half of the Mind, as we have seen, does not control, only suppresses the other half.

In order to be able to control our Minds, we must step outside of them. This statement may sound surprising to a lot of us, since we tend to fully identify with our Minds and their operations. As long as this identification is strong, we shall not be able to step outside the crazy dance of our Minds; we will have to merely suffer its consequences.

Nowadays, however, more and more of us have begun to realize and experience that we are more than our Minds, more than our thoughts and emotions, and more than the personal history these thoughts and emotions build up. Our attention is no longer completely engaged by telling our personal history and identifying with that personal history, and we become more and more sensitive to the deeper dimensions of our life. We also begin to notice the breaks between thoughts, and we begin to turn towards these gates leading beyond the Mind.

In these breaks between thoughts, Mind does not work, it is not there – it simply vanishes. What is left there is the alert and watching Consciousness. If we are able to take roots in that alert Consciousness, we recognize that this watching alertness is tolerant with the Mind and its operations. We shall see that there is nothing wrong with thoughts, nothing wrong with the operations of the Mind. It is not necessary to struggle against the Mind, as it is not an enemy, only an instrument that without control, tends to function chaotically.

We only have a chance to know the true nature of thoughts and the functions of the Mind, if we detach ourselves from them, keep a distance and do not consider them as enemies. They will reveal their secrets to the alert Consciousness, watching with affection, and we will see the subtle shades of the Mind, the games it plays and the dreams it evokes.

The Disappearing Mind

This tolerant, alert, watching attitude to the functions of the Mind will give us the ability of stopping our thinking effortlessly. Once thinking has been suspended, the continuous stream of thoughts stops, the Mind itself disappears and stops working.

Now we shall not seek our own identity in an identification with the Mind, since we have found our real center, our real self, our alertly watching Consciousness. We will be aware that thoughts and the Mind have not really disappeared, they are still there, only in a dormant state. Our attitude to thoughts and the Mind will entirely change at that moment. We think when necessary and when we do not need the Mind, we put it aside. The Mind no longer dominates our life, it is no more than an obedient tool that we use or not use as we please.

That is when we realize how wonderful an instrument the Mind is, and now we are able to use it for its original purpose. And the purpose of the Mind is to serve as a means of connection, connecting us to the world, to each other. Through the Mind, used with alert Consciousness, creative energies are released to the world to create a wonderful harmony there.

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Author: Frank M. Wanderer; Ph.D   l  Wake Up World

 

18 Signs That You’re Here to Transform Human Consciousness

For many years now, a lot of people have been talking about “The Shift,” this mysterious transformation of human consciousness that is supposedly underway. Ever since the end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012, New Age types tend to twitter away about the evolution of the species, the revolution of love, and other hopeful but fuzzy seeming changes in what it means to be human. I want to take a minute to help us all ground this floaty notion a bit.

See if any of this sounds familiar:

Do you have a vision of some aspect of a more beautiful world, and you know it’s your sacred purpose to help bring it into being?

Do you sense that something is out of alignment in the world, and you want to be a part of the solution?

Have you experienced a life-altering event that changed everything for you, and now you want to use that experience to help others?

Do you have an innovative idea that might make the world a better place?

Do you feel called to help others heal, transform, connect, love, create, succeed, and thrive?

Yeah, I thought so. I had a feeling you were one of us! Welcome to what my friend Martha Beck calls “The Team.” In her book Finding Your Way In A Wild New World,Martha Beck defines Team members by the following characteristics. You may not recognize every single attribute, but if you’re a Team member, you’re likely to be nodding your head a lot as you read through these characteristics of those whose souls incarnated here on this planet right now to facilitate this mystical shift in human consciousness. See if any of these Team traits resonate with who you are and how you feel.

  1. A sense of having a specific mission or purpose involving a major transformation in human experience, but being unable to articulate what this change might be.
  2. A strong sense that the mission, whatever it is, is getting closer in time.
  3. A compulsion to master certain fields, skills, or professions, not only for career advancement but in preparation for this half-understood personal mission.
  4. High levels of empathy; a sense of feeling what others feel.
  5. An urgent desire to lessen or prevent suffering for humans, animals, or even plants.
  6. Loneliness stemming from a sense of difference, despite generally high levels of social activity. One woman summed up this feeling perfectly when she said, “Everybody likes me, but nobody’s like me.
  7. High levels of creativity; passion for music, poetry, performance, or visual arts.
  8. An intense love of animals, sometimes a desire to communicate with them.
  9. Difficult early life, often with a history of abuse or childhood trauma.
  10. Intense connection to certain types of natural environment, such as the ocean, mountains, or forest.
  11. Resistance to orthodox religiosity, paradoxically accompanied by a strong sense of either spiritual purpose or spiritual yearning.
  12. Love of plants and gardening, to the point of feeling empty or depressed without the chance to be among green things and/or help them grow.
  13. Very high emotional sensitivity, often leading to predilections for anxiety, addictions, or eating disorders.
  14. Sense of intense connection with certain cultures, languages, or geographic regions.
  15. Disability, often brain-centered (dyslexia, retardation, autism) in oneself or a loved one. Fascination with people who have intellectual disabilities or mental illness.
  16. Apparently gregarious personality contrasting with a deep need for periods of solitude; a sense of being drained by social contact and withdrawing to “power up” again.
  17. Persistent or recurring physical illness, often severe, with symptoms that fluctuate inexplicably.
  18. Daydreams (or night dreams) about healing damaged people, creatures, or places.

You! 

If you read that list (like I did) thinking “Check, check, check,” you’re definitely one of us visionary healer mender way-finders on The Team. And the world needs you to fulfill your sacred purpose — pronto!

As Martha wrote, “If enough people start mending their true nature in the incredibly interconnected world we’re creating, the cumulative effect really could begin healing the true nature of, well, everything.

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Author: Lissa Rankin

Sacred Space – What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

In a recent conversation, a dear friend for many years asked me, “I wonder why it is that people need to hold this special view of what is sacred… why some things are sacred and others aren’t.” This is fascinating inquiry, one that invokes a number of subjects, such as the nature of healing, activism, our working definition of spirituality, and our emotional lives — all of which I hope to touch on here.

Sacred Space is time and space we set aside, or which spontaneously arises, to experience a depth, richness, and sense of meaning that usually escapes us in fast-paced everyday life when we are not as connected as we could be with our body, intuition, good thinking, compassion and empathy, and other emotions.

I imagine that many reading this article consider everything to be sacred. Some of you might even consider evil and suffering to be sacred, since the world is full of dark and light. For me, the word sacred has a definite earthiness to it, a sense of being here engaged in some ritual or activity connected with everyday life. Whereas, what is “divine” to me has more connotations with things ethereal, with a non-material influence or presence in our lives. We could say, in a sense, that what we consider sacred is a certain holiness of earthy things and what is divine is the holiness and immutability of invisible forces.

These are the loose definitions I’ll hold for this discussion, and if your meanings are different, no worries, just use your own words to substitute for what I have defined as “divine” and “sacred.” After all, I don’t mention these definitions to impose my perspectives, but for the opposite reason — so that you know what I mean, so that you can find your own meaning for what is discussed here. The point, after all, is not to get hung up on the words, but on what the words mean and the things and experience to which they point.

So, in a nutshell, we’ll consider sacred to be the presence of something “divine” in an embodied or earthy way. Yet, many of us still, unconsciously or not, hold some aspects of life to be sacred and others non-sacred. Some of us also maintain huge distinctions between what is sacred, what is spiritual, and what is not. No doubt, some of this separation has arisen from religious traditions that maintain God and Spirit to be separate from material existence, and certainly our everyday, mundane activities.

While I’m not here to tell you what is sacred and what is not, I am here to help you clarify what the word “sacred” points to in your own experience, or whatever word you might use to describe what I have called sacred, and then to consider how your perceptions, and divisions, of what is sacred might be holding you back from more richness, fulfillment, and joy in your experience.

Finding Meaning

So, let’s begin with positive sacred experiences. Popular sacred experiences might include spending time in nature, yoga and meditation practice, morning prayer, in church or a synagogue, tender love-making with your partner, a sharing circle, any kind of ritual or ceremony, or a healing session. Other sacred space moments might include feeding birds on a park bench, playing or reading with your child, watching a meaningful movie, making art, petting and cuddling with a pet, sharing deep feelings with a loved one, helping someone in need, giving someone your full attention, or saving a piece of nature.

All these experiences have something in common: we find meaning in them, and/or they make us feel good. If something isn’t meaningful to us or makes us feel not so good, we tend to push it away as non-sacred. So, either unconsciously or consciously, we tend to make a separation in our perception of reality. We separate “positive” experiences from “negative” ones, and we consider some things more meaningful than others.

Now, sometimes we consider ordinary reality less sacred not because it is inherently meaningless, but because we haven’t yet found the meaning in it. So, part of sanctifying what we consider less sacred aspects of life is finding meaning in them. This requires a change in perception and/or a change in heart. For me, this is a spiritual pursuit: finding meaning in what I have previously found meaningless by opening, or spontaneously being opened, to its wisdom. This does not mean making up stories about reality, not infusing meaning into things through denial, but finding real intellectual and emotionally honest meaning in my experience and the nature of reality. And this usually means letting both my heart and mind break open.

In particular, difficult emotions — such as anger, grief, remorse, guilt, and despair — is a domain I have found great meaning in over the years. I have found that when I stay with and welcome these difficult emotional states, they change, and change me for the better. In fact, my very welcoming them and feeling and expressing them allows them to change, allows them to truly transform me into more breadth and depth, so that I can keep my heart clear and open to the rest of life. So, all these emotions have become sacred to me, and they also allow me to experience more meaning and richness in the rest of what I consider sacred.

If we consider certain aspects of life not to be sacred, then we might hold them out of our hearts. When we hold parts of life out of our hearts we hold them away from our love and healing. Things I tend to want to hold outside of sacred are pollution, GMOs and toxic agriculture, dishonesty, and needless violence. And I confess, these are all still largely non-sacred to me because they desecrate the very fabric of life. But, if they spur more compassion, more revolution, more love, and more care for our environment, then they acquire some sacred value. And I do see that they inspire these qualities, however seemingly unnecessarily.

With this said, these industries don’t show enough transformational value, as with difficult emotional states, that I consider them worth keeping, at all. In other words, while they might elicit sacred internal moments, and sacred activism, they don’t create enough goodness in the world, and in fact, do great damage. And the good they do is only in the context of our trying to get rid of them! So, right or wrong, I do have a limit to what I consider good and “sacred.” What destroys the planet and our lives, with little redeeming value, is not sacred to me. With this said, destruction and death are natural, and sacred to me, but not when they are avoidable (largely by natural means) and go against the inherent wisdom of nature.

Love and the Sacred

So indeed, part of what is sacred relies on what we find meaningful and valuable. I find the Earth and its biosphere valuable. I find the proliferation of other species valuable. I consider clean water, soil, air, oceans, and forests valuable. So, I hold judgment over what injures these. And the sacred meaning I find in these negative influences is fighting against them and more deeply regarding as precious what they injure. I consider this gritty form of revolution part of the love revolution, as we protect what we have defined to be sacred. And since part of what fosters care for our planet involves feeling our anger and protection, our sadness and despair, these emotions increase our participation for what we love, for what is sacred. Love, then, is more than just a feel-good experience. And so is what I consider sacred.

When we can join what we consider non-sacred to what we do consider sacred, we join Yin and Yang, and we bolster the cycle of fertility and sustainability through ordinary activism, which is love in action.

For this reason, it’s important for me to keep my mind open to what I might be in denial of or blind to. For, if I misread part of reality and deem it evil when it is not — as certain religious and “spiritual” doctrines and edicts have done for too long, and I think many times in gross error — then I myself become a negative force. Discerning reality, therefore, is important to our sense of the sacred and our love. If I suddenly become aware of the great value of toxic agriculture, pollution, and mercenary greed, then I might be able to embrace these more and consider them sacred. So far, I have not found much grace, much sacredness, in these enterprises.

We can create an external space with similar qualities we want to cultivate inside us. And, we can bring qualities inside us that we want to see in the external world.

So, if you are torn up inside, find sacred space outwardly to help heal yourself inwardly. And if you are in chaos outwardly, summon your sustainable and enduring inner resources to the aid of the external moment.

Spiritualizing the Ordinary

A popular domain of the sacred is what many include in their definition of spirituality. Rituals, ceremonies, and gatherings of all sorts that we consider sacred are often held in a special space with special preparations. This has been the case for millennia in all cultures. Part of my struggle, however, has always been how to integrate the meaning and quality of attention common to these special functions and experiences into everyday experience. How to spiritualize “ordinary” life.

Indeed, many don’t even try to integrate “sacred space” in to “everyday space.” Their spiritual life is separate from everyday life. This creates a schism between what we consider sacred and what is not. I have never been satisfied with a spiritual life that does not directly and practically influence my everyday life, thereby spiritualizing the mundane.

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Author: Jack Adam Weber – Wake Up World

Emotions and Truth: Our Human Experience

Emotions spontaneously arise each day despite our efforts to control them. They often surface without warning, whether we want them to or not. Fortunately, many of these emotions translate as pleasurable ones – feelings of joy, contentment and love. However, like it or not, there are times when less than desirable emotions come forth – anger, frustration or possibly fear. But experiencing these unpleasant emotions is not necessarily a bad thing.

Emotions play a major role in who we are as individuals and are the driving force behind how we interpret events we encounter. The question then becomes, is our reaction based on reality?

For example, to examine someone’s idea of perception I may announce, “It’s winter again and the snow is coming.” I will no doubt receive a diverse assortment of responses. For some, the thought of winter brings about great excitement: “I can’t wait for the snow! I can’t wait to get out on the ski slopes!” .. “It’s my favorite time of the year. I can’t wait for the holidays!” While others have an opposite response: “Oh no! It’s cold and my hands and feet are always freezing. I have to bundle up every time I go outside and it is just miserable.” .. “All I can think about is the added chore of shoveling the driveway.” For some, the winter may also be associated with a tragic incident that occurred during a snowstorm, so the winter months and snow act as a reminder of that grievous event.

Responses to the previous statement can vary quite a bit. Although we can view this as nothing more than different points of view, the question is, why are there so many different opinions and where do they come from? Is any one position right or wrong?  Are we all right?

Of course there are many obvious reasons why someone might experience a particular feeling, but there is also something a bit deeper. It is not just about how we interpret the spoken word, but also how we perceive it. How we react to the statement, “It’s winter again and the snow is coming,” is based on our interpretation, which in turn is going to determine the emotions that are partnered with the statement.

Is our reaction based on reality?

In the simplest of terms, we can conclude that the reason for so many differing points of view is that we each possess our own personal life experiences. There are many books, published research studies, and countless opinions surrounding this topic, but basically it all comes down to personal recollection and what we remember about various life events, what we felt at a given moment in time, and what we may have seen.

So, what drives the emotions that are based upon our life experiences? What is the connection?  Why is it that we can have such a strong reaction to a single statement based on a past experience that in reality may not have occurred exactly as we remember?

How many times have you decided not to do something because it brings up a memory of a past event that you do not want to revisit.  “I just can’t do it,” you say. But with this attitude, you could be closing doors on some amazing opportunities that could greatly enhance your life, simply because you fear a negative outcome when, in fact, the opposite could very well be true. Many of us live our lives in this uneasy state and then find ourselves incapable of responding to a particular situation. Often, in a case such as this, we begin to listen to the opinions of others; but of course the opinions of other individuals are based on their personal experiences, interpretations, and perceptions.

There are those like Dr. Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, and Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, who believe that our bodies are alive with emotions down to a cellular level. However, saying that emotions are encapsulated even to this level may still be a stretch because cells, the foundation of physical life, do not account for our energetic level. Or do they?

What really drives our emotions?

Dr. Candace Pert found that every cell of our body expresses the emotions that we experience. In other words, emotions are not just located in the brain in the form of  interpretations, they exist throughout our bodies. If this is true, then there must be an energetic force present. But where does this energy come from?

I believe that our essence is indeed a non-localized interrelated dependent mechanism that only works optimally when all parts are fully functional. What does this mean? It means that while most of modern medicine focuses solely on the physical, down to the cellular level, without a connection to the energetic level true human health can never be achieved. How do we know if there is a healthy functioning connection between the two? The answer lies in our emotions.

Emotions in and of themselves are really nothing more than a type of communication system that allows us to connect the different aspects of ourselves.

Emotions, in a way, are alive. They are the language of our totality, but they need to be interpreted, and this can be tricky. On the surface, this sounds like an easy task, but you don’t have to dig too deep to realize that our interpretations may change with varying circumstances. This is why we often seek counsel to help us organize and better understand our own emotions, and why at times, we seem unable to control them.

There are many instances when two individuals may have the exact same experience, but because interpretation is unique to each, they will not describe the particular experience in exactly the same terms. One may say, “I just don’t understand why she is so upset over this . . . she must be an overly dramatic person!”  While the other may say, “I just can’t understand why he doesn’t seem to care about what just happened . . . he must be cold-hearted.”

So, here we are again, who is right and who is wrong? Is one more enlightened perhaps than the other? Well, this is where it gets a bit tricky.

What do most of us think of when we hear the word, “enlightened”?  Going along with the same theme thus far, our definition is dependent on how we view ourselves. What does enlightenedmean to the Christian? The Buddhist? The Muslim? The yogi? The naturalist? We could go even more superficial. How about the meaning of enlightened to the Republican or the Democrat or even the Capitalist and Socialist? And don’t all these groups’ arguments and debates raise strong emotions? Each strongly believes to their core that the opposition is wrong. Why can’t they see that they are wrong and we are right?

Each of the aforementioned groups (and the list is very short sighted as any and all groups apply here,) has their own theory surrounding what they “know” without a doubt to be the truth. If any are confronted with an idea outside their dogma of truth, what emotion do you think comes forward? Unfortunately, this is the cause of many wars, and also the reason that religion and politics are thought of as taboo topics for light conversation. So, now arises the obvious question, how can all of the different associations have the ownership of truth? There must be more to this than what we see on the surface.

What about those who move from one affiliation to another? Many times this happens after some sort of traumatic event. I have seen first hand a sudden change in viewpoint and how this “change” literally led one to be alienated from those in their original group. If they “knew” the truth in one group and suddenly now “know” the real truth…then which is the actual truth?

Many believe that “real” truth can never change.

I am one who also believes this to be true; however, I of course feel a need to put a spin on it. Let me explain:

Let’s say that “real” truth is found on a small island just like the one depicted on the TV showLost.  In the TV show, there is an island that moves in and out of what we perceive as reality. This “reality” includes our current perception of time and space along with what we cannot yet perceive. For example, trying to precisely define the 4th dimension would be an extremely difficult task because we could only interpret the 4th dimension on the basis of our understanding of the 3rd dimension.

Using a quantum physics definition, this island is a real place that never changes. It only “appears” to change as we view it from the outside looking in. Some of you reading this may be a bit confused already, whereas others may find my analogy quite simplistic. Imagine if you would, the type of artwork that requires you to blur your vision in order to see the image emerge from what on the surface looks like nothing more than colored dots.

The moment you see the picture, it feels almost like a revelation. The picture did not all of a sudden appear, it was there all along. It was your perception that allowed you to see the image. The same theory applies to the example of the island. The island is always there, exactly where it should be. To someone on the island, life seems normal. But to us on the outside looking in, the island seems more mythical than real.

In order to find your way to the island, a series of events must first occur. You must first make the decision to go on your quest. You have to go outside of your cage of perception filled with boundaries and allow your mind to expand. I emphasize the word your because forward progress can only be made when you are moving forward on your quest. And let’s say that you have made the decision to move forward and currently live in the United States. And another person who lives in China has also just made the decision to move forward. And there is yet another ready to go who happens to reside only a few miles from where this island was last known to exist.

Must these three individuals travel the same road to reach the island? Which of these three people lives on the road best to begin the journey–the one in the United States? China? Or that spot a few miles away? Of course logic dictates that the spot a few miles away is likely the best place to begin. But is it?

Before I continue, I would like to present this to you.

When we are talking about how we feel and the notion that emotions are interpretations or perceptions of some sort of reality, is it possible that we can arrive at the truth from many different locations?

Since this island has no constraints surrounding space or time, and being that space and time are a human condition, unbeknownst to you this island could very well be right in front of you. It is also a possibility that you could in fact be on the island right now. But since the reality of time is not inter-correlated, you are unaware of the presence of the island.

So, the answer to the questions of who is closer to the island? and is there a single road that leads to this island? is . . . no one is closer and no, there isn’t.

In order to take the first step in the pursuit of this island, we must open our minds and accept that this island is real. It is not the truth itself that is changing, but rather the perception of the truth that changes. It is the perception of the individual in pursuit of the truth that leads to transformation. And if we relate this to health,

We must recognize that we possess the power to heal ourselves and that certain emotions give us life, whereas certain emotions don’t!

So, how do you know when you have arrived at the truth? There is not a simple answer to this question because the journey to the island may very well be a never-ending one. Because we are fluid and our thoughts are fluid, each perception of the truth is a single segment on the path moving us toward our own realities of truth at any given time.  The way in which you think and perceive things is hopefully very different today from that of 10 or 20 years ago, even just last year or yesterday.  And once this realization comes to the forefront, there is no turning back. It could even be said that you have become enlightened; enlightenment also being a process.

In my story, my truth lies in the fact that I cured myself from Multiple Sclerosis 100 percent naturally.   How could I go back to any other truth at this point?  That would be disastrous for me.

Where we go terribly wrong is when we place judgment on others whom we think, or worse, “know,” are misguided in their views, are unenlightened. It is as though we are all on a staircase and everyone is exactly where they need to be

If our own perception of the truth can change, how could we possibly pass judgment on another?

Truth revolves around whatever one is feeling in any situation. What is the feeling or emotion that we associate with judgment? Is it possible that at the very moment that we pass judgment, the “island” of truth has moved?  What happens to our perception when we do this? It is as though we have become stuck in proverbial quicksand leaving us cemented in the muddled sands of our own emotions. Emotions thicken and slowly solidify. And sadly, because change can be difficult, many of us look for reassurance by aligning ourselves with the things and people that seem to justify our feelings and confirm our emotions. Change can feel really uncomfortable and may lead to a sense of loneliness.

On the other hand, during periods of change, we may also encounter wonderful experiences that we have not yet imagined. But first, the initial step must be taken; the one in which you begin to believe that there is something more than just the island and you are prepared to go on your quest to find your truth.

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Author: Dr. Michelle Kmiec  l  Wake Up World

 

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. 

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Author: Lissa Rankin – Wake Up World

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