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08 Nov

A Simple Scientific Analysis to Reveal Your Profound Fundamental Reality

Axiom 1: A thing can only know itself directly

Any simple example can make this clear. Let’s say a storage drive. It can only “know” what is stored within it. It cannot know anything outside of itself directly. The only way the drive can know anything outside of itself is when information about that thing reaches the drive and gets stored within it, and the only thing the drive can know about the outside thing is that information stored within it — nothing more nothing less. (The word “know” has been used for a non-living thing only symbolically and represents what information that thing has access to).

Same thing holds true for a processor. It can only know and process information that gets inside it. In order for anything outside to get processed, it has to get inside the processor and that is all the processor can know and process.

In fact, it holds true for any random example. For instance, take a self-driving car. The car only knows what is within it. An outside object is known by the car only when information about that object enters the car’s systems through its various sensors. That information is what the car knows and not the object directly.

So, to generalize: X can only know X directly. If X knows anything about Y which is outside X, it is only because some information about Y has entered X, and that is all what X knows about Y. X cannot know Y directly unless Y itself enters into X.

This can be applied to absolutely anything in this universe (and beyond). And it makes complete sense as it cannot be any other way.

Corollary 1: You only know yourself directly

Now apply this to yourself and what you know. Seeing is one way of knowing. What does the eye see? Does it see the objects outside directly? Do the objects enter the eye directly? Not quite. The eye only sees light that reflects off these objects, enters the eye, gets absorbed at the retina and becomes internal to the eye. Same thing applies to hearing, touching, tasting and smelling (the only other ways you know something). Information (air waves, etc.) travels to the respective sense organs (ears, etc.) and gets absorbed, and the sense organ only knows that which is within it.

Even the brain (or the central nervous system) only knows itself and the activities within it. Some of this activity is caused by information that reaches the brain through the peripheral nervous system. For example, the light that gets absorbed at the retina is converted into neuro-signals that travel to the brain through the optic nerves, reach the vision center and stir certain neural activity there. Same thing applies to all other sense perceptions (sound, touch, taste and smell). Respective neuro-signals get generated at the different sense organs, travel to the respective centers in the brain and stir different neural activities. The brain also has some of its own internal neural activity (known as thoughts, etc.). And that’s all the brain ever knows — itself and the activities within it.

But does that explain what you actually know or experience? If the buck stopped at the brain and that is all what you knew, you would have known yourself as a slushy gray matter with neurons firing left, right and center. But that’s not the case. Your experience is something very different, something very vivid — a world full of sights, sounds and sensations, with some part of it more tangible (sense perceptions) and some less tangible (thoughts, etc.).

This entity which is knowing such a vivid world within itself is called consciousness, and this consciousness is what you actually are. That is because you only ever know what is within consciousness and never anything outside of consciousness directly. And since you can only know what is within yourself directly, you must be the consciousness itself, knowing a vivid world within yourself. You, the consciousness, are neither the brain nor even a part or product of the brain but something completely different, which will become clearer with the next axiom.

Axiom 2: The whole cannot be known by parts

If something is made up of parts, each part just knows itself directly (as per axiom 1), independent of other parts. There is no way for this conglomeration of parts to directly know the sum total of what is known by all its individual parts.

Consider the example of a distributed system consisting of many computers. Each computer that is a part of the distributed system only knows what is within itself directly. Computers may exchange information with each other over the network but at any given point in time each computer only knows what is within itself directly. There is no way for the whole distributed system to directly know the sum total of what is known by all its individual computers. Whenever information is accessed from the distributed system it only comes from one or more of its individual computers that have that information.

Same thing applies to everything made up of parts. And guess what? Everything in this universe is made up of parts because the universe is nothing but a conglomeration of smaller and smaller particles (quarks, leptons, bosons, strings, etc.) coming together to form larger and larger structures and systems. So, even when we said that the eye knows itself directly, it only meant that the individual cells that make up the eye know themselves directly. Each cell functions independently by processing information that reaches it and passing it on to the next set of cells. That’s why the eye doesn’t really “see” anything. It’s just a distributed system of cells processing light, converting it into neuro-signals and passing those on to the brain, with no way for the eye to really “see” the sum total of information being processed by all its individual cells. In fact, even the cells are further made up of smaller parts and so no.

Corollary 2: You are partless consciousness

The above axiom is also true of the brain as it’s also nothing but a conglomeration of cells. It’s not possible for the brain to directly know the sum total of all the information and activity within its parts simultaneously as a coherent world of sights, sounds and sensations. Even a part of the brain cannot do that as every part will itself be made up of smaller parts. This is very powerful reasoning why you can neither be the brain nor a part of it. Moreover, you cannot be a product of the brain either, as anything made up of parts can only produce something that is also made up of parts, with a part of the source producing a part of the product. If a product of the brain will also be made up of parts, it will have the same issue of not being able to directly know the sum total of what is known by all its individual parts.

Since you, the consciousness, know a vivid world within yourself as a whole, you cannot be made up of parts. Hence, you are partless consciousness which is neither a part nor a product of the brain (or any other part of the body or the whole body for that matter), You, the partless consciousness, are an entity completely different from the brain and the body.

Axiom 3: Partless implies Infinite

So far the analysis was of objects that are part of the world we know and hence easier to understand. But this axiom is going to be very subtle because we have never encountered any object in this world that is partless as they are all made up of smaller and smaller parts and particles. We have no experience of what a partless entity could be like. Some subtle thinking can reveal it though.

If an entity is partless, it must also be formless. Because a form needs different parts to come together in a certain way to build that form. Even the most nondescript form (like a spherical object) has different sides to it (this side, opposite side, inside, outside, etc.). Anything which has sides must have parts too as only different parts can make up the different sides. When something is in contact with one side of an entity, it can only be in contact with a part of the entity and not with the other parts which make up the other sides. Hence, an entity that is partless will also be formless.

If an entity is formless, it has to be limitless or infinite in every dimension. Because if it’s limited in even one dimension, that will result in a boundary, and boundaries define a form. For example, an infinite line is limitless only in one dimension but limited in other dimensions and hence still possess the form of a line. Similarly, an infinite plane is limitless in two dimensions but limited in the third dimension and hence still possess the form of a plane. Hence, anything which is limited in even one dimension will possess a form imposed by that dimension. Hence, an entity that is formless will also be limitless or infinite in every dimension.

Corollary 3: You are Infinite Consciousness, the One and only Reality, and the whole universe is only an appearance within you

As implied by the above axiom, you, the partless consciousness, are also formless and limitless in every possible dimension. Which means nothing else exists outside of you. Because if anything else exists outside of you, it implies a limit where you end and the other entity begins. This means that the whole universe (and anything else) must all be within you. Moreover, since you are partless whereas the universe is made up of parts, it cannot be real and must only be a false appearance within you, as nothing real made up of parts can exist within a partless entity. Hence, you are the one and only Infinite Reality that actually exists. It’s important to note that you are also unchanging as change is only possible from one finite to another finite on at least one dimension whereas you are Infinite in every possible dimension.

Important question: If you are Infinite Consciousness, the One and only Reality, and the whole universe is an appearance within you, then why do you seem to know only a part of it and that too channeled through a brain and a set of sense organs housed within a body?

Here’s an explanation: Since you are Consciousness, your very nature is to know yourself. But since you are Infinite you cannot know yourself directly in entirety, because anything that is known in entirety is limited to that knowing and hence finite. Hence you, the Infinite Reality, cannot know yourself as you actually are but only as you are not i.e. as false finite things. Since there are infinite possibilities of the type of false finite things that can appear within the Infinite, every possible imaginable and unimaginable finite thing is actually appearing within you. One set of such false finite appearances are dream-like virtual reality simulations. Within each simulation, there is an appearance of a brain and a set of sense organs and other organs housed within a body that represents a living being, through which a world teeming with other beings and things seems be known or experienced. You, the Infinite Consciousness, are knowing each simulation individually as all of them are appearing within you. If you would have known multiple simulations together, it would have become a hodge-podge, with too many overlapping sights, sounds and sensations, which would have not made any sense. Hence the best way to know these simulations is to know them individually and separate from each other. All these simulations are still interconnected as they are all appearing within you, the Infinite Consciousness, and hence they share common objects and events. Each of these dream-like simulations have such a structure that you tend to feel identified with a fake body-mind complex appearing within that simulation (just like it happens during a dream), but you are never actually identified and always remain unattached from the simulation. Nothing of the simulation can ever affect or harm you in any way as it’s not real.

Finally, since Infinite Consciousness cannot be known directly in entirety as it actually is, it can never be available for direct investigation making it impossible to describe its actual nature. But this much is very clear from the above analysis that you are none other than the Infinite Partless Consciousness, the One and only Unchanging Reality that actually exists!

(This article was cross-posted from happinessjourney.net/post/667314451407568896/a-simple-scientific-analysis-to-reveal-your)

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05 Feb

Role of Communication: Friendship v/s Relationship

Post by: Shweta Gautam

Communication is an important part of our life. I believe without communication, humans are no less than animals. The power to think and express our thoughts is solely what separates us from them. But, do we understand the impact, effect, and role of communication concerning the people in our lives?

We all have heard, read, and studied about the importance of communication in our lives. Though I have always seen people talking about communication from a professional perspective. I rarely see people share their views or rather initiate a conversation about the importance of communication in our personal lives. I don’t see people talking about communication with family, friends, and relationships. But, I do know it is extremely important to have it.

As the literal definition of communication reads, “Communication is a two-way process. It includes a sender and a receiver”. Hence, it is important to analyse communication from the personal front as much as we do it for our professional world.

My experiences about communication in both my friendships and relationship have taught me a lot in life. I now resonate and understand the similarities, the differences, and the potential impact it has on an individual. Having friends who understand your relationship and a partner who understands your friendships is a true blessing in disguise. Not all are fortunate to find both at the same time. While I have been lucky to have found friends at an early stage of life, my experience with love has been bitter-sweet. And as I’ll recite the stories of the two important aspects of my life, that have given a lot to me, I am sure you all will relate to my personal experiences at some or the other level. So, let’s begin with what came first – friendship.

 

Role of Communication: Friendship

My experience with friendship began very early in my life. And, I feel I am quite fortunate that I have my first friends as my present friends too, i.e. almost 21 years later I am still friends with the very first people I called my ‘friends’.

I have always been the girl who is too shy and uninterested in talking to strangers but once we know each other I am an unstoppable chatterbox, quite literally. I met both my childhood friends in my school. Because our fathers were their childhood friends, all three of our fathers happened to send their children to the same school. And, we practically carry forward the legacy of their friendship. We went to the same schools, went to the same institutes, attended each other’s birthday parties, shared our lunch during the school recess, and created a lot more memories together every day without actually taking any effort in doing so. The seriousness of our friendship can be measured from the fact that the three of us don’t have a single picture together from our childhood. Because we were too busy living in the moment.

Two girls and a boy sitting together and eating lunch raised some frownings. Especially for our guy friend, he was teased by his friends for having lunch with two girls. Well, I don’t blame them, the credit for the mentality goes to our society.

After sharing almost every big milestone, my friendships with both of them has only grown stronger. Moreover, if someone matters to me, I’ll do all that I can to keep them in my life. And, communication is the very first step to that. Growing up together, we have had our misunderstandings.

As children, the arguments were as mere as misplacing each other’s things or maybe snatching something or just random fights. As teenagers, it was the typical adrenaline rush that acted upon and led us to fight on things that didn’t matter. Most of the time, the fights then happened because of the people who are not even a part of our lives today. And, as adults, we have had some serious issues. Sometimes it is our respective relationships and sometimes it was a pure miscommunication. Because text messages are so strong today to create any misunderstanding and not convey the right information.

Having both a girl and a boy as close friends teaches you a lot about life. These two people beside me, I have never felt the need to search for friendships outside. Yes, I do have other remarkable people who I can call friends too. But, who are your true friends? The names you remember in the most adverse situations. Well, these two are exactly that to me.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that our friendship would have ended a long time ago if we have not been vocal about our feelings. Our first school only had a middle school education. Therefore, I was separated from my best friend. She went to a different high school. And, the guy friend and I luckily went to the same high school.

On the first day of the new school, it was the first time in 14 years that I wasn’t going to see my best friend waiting for me in the school outside the class. Though, at least we had the same institute to spend the other half of the day together.

A new place meant new people. It meant new friends. But, none of us ever saw our new friends as a threat to our old bonds. We knew it was irreplaceable. And that is the very essence of true friendship for us.

A true friend will understand the how and why behind your deeds and will never question you. If they find it wrong, they will stop and guide you for sure. And, today it’s been 21 years since the three of us have been friends. We have had a lot of people come and go. But, irrespective of whether we meet or not, whether we talk daily or not, whether we celebrate occasions together or not, we are connected at hearts.

Adulthood is filled with breaking our expectations. It is the time of life that teaches us some of the hardest lessons. And, one such truth to life is – you don’t get to spend your life with your friends. You spend your life with your partner.

Therefore, if there is one thing that strong and real friendships don’t rely on – it’s communication. We don’t talk to each other daily rather we do it rarely. But, even then we know we will be there to double each other’s joy and half the sorrows when needed. We know that we have a lot of people coming and going in our lives, but we will always find each other besides when in need.

Real friendships rely on trust, understanding, and respect. They are all about picking up from the same place where we left it last time, with the same emotion and thrill.

And, it is not only my childhood friends, as I mentioned I have been fortunate in the matter of friendships. Both my girlfriends from my graduation and post-graduation years are proof of that. Ever since I received my graduate degree, I only met her twice and we are perfectly strong without regular communication. We barely talk on phones, we wish each other on occasions, we support and celebrate each other’s win on social media with a simple share and as a friend, this is everything we expect from each other.

I am not the kind of person who can be kept within boundaries. And hence, I prefer being friends with people who understand that as we grow and move forward in life, we meet new people as well. But, meeting new people doesn’t mean forgetting the old ones. Every single person I have ever called a friend resides inside my heart with many strong and beautiful memories, some bitter ones too. But, in the end, they are all my experiences and my positive outlook on these experiences makes me the woman I am today.

 

Role of Communication: Relationship

Now since you know my experience with friendships, Let’s continue to the most important aspect of my life.

I am an old-fashioned lover when it comes to romantic relationships. Probably this is the reason why my present relationship is the only relationship I have ever been in. And, to my belief, it will be the only relationship I’ll have.

My love story might rather sound like a movie. But, while I prefer my friends to understand me even without any regular or daily communication, I have a contrary opinion about communication with respect to a relationship. I believe that as much as relationships require love, trust, and loyalty, communication is the fourth pillar that makes it strong.

How am I the right person to advise you on anything about a relationship? Well, we have been together for almost 7 years now. And to top that, we are in a long-distance relationship.

Told you, it sounds like a movie. We met on Facebook while we were in high school. Living in two different cities that we didn’t even knew exist. 7 years down the line – in a long-distance relationship- both of us have learned a lot about each other, about love. And, one of the most important lessons is, if you don’t communicate with your partner, you can’t have a relationship going smoothly.

Whether it’s an LDR or a normal relationship if you don’t speak your feelings, you are ultimately risking your relationship and your well-being. Because, when things matter and you keep them inside, they bother you like hell. They can get onto your mental health. I have been there and I have felt that. And, the only way to deal with it is to be vocal about your feelings.

Being in a long-distance relationship, trust issues, jealousy, possessiveness are some of the factors that are sure to come, you simply cannot resist it. And, they are sure to come when you know there are a lot of people waiting for you both to break up. So, how do you deal with all the insecurities and that am-I-not-worth-it feeling? Well, you let your partner know how you are feeling, you let them know what’s going inside your head and heart.

But, is that so easy? Is it so easy to just call and speak out every word? No, it isn’t. While I am the person who believes in talking out to untangle the knots in a relationship, my partner wasn’t this expressive always. As a writer, expression of thoughts is an embedded trait of your personality. But, my partner is the 360 degree opposite to me. He is quiet, reserved, take things to his heart, prefers to keep them inside to not “bother” anybody with his perception, and chooses to communicate when things are completely out of his powers.

It is a fun and learn ride when you are head over heels in love with someone opposite to you, stays 200 km away from you, meets you once in 6 months but loves you more than anything in his world. It has taken me 7 years to make him comfortable with communicating himself especially when I do something that bothers him. After all, we are all humans and mistakes are a part of our existence.

The one secret behind every successful relationship is that it has touch rock bottoms and still survived. We had the worst phase of our long-distance relationship about 2 years ago. This was the time when we felt it was all over and we have lost each other. We even did this “final talk” before parting ways. But, even if life screws you, it always has a backup plan too. Our back up plan was communication. Being away from each other, we didn’t have anything else in our hands. The only thing we could do was talk about the unprecedented times. Hence, we decided to not call it quits and stay together for the sake of the beautiful past we had, for the sake of the potential future we had planned. And, we stuck through it. While a lot of people did everything in their power to separate us, we had them failed at every attempt all because we were up, front, and clear that we wanted to stay together, talk to each other and get through it.

The worst and the best part of the entire scenario was we dealt with all of it from the distance. It gave us this very important lesson of “whatever is meant to be will be yours”. Though, I have a different perspective on that. I believe we have lived it all and will live for a few more years before we finally seal the deal with a kiss because we want to be together.

Every time we are asked about our relationships, the response to being in a long-distance relationship is just this thing – Is he/she loyal? While we always answer the question with a prideful yes, we know this question isn’t leaving us for the next 2-3 years at least. That is how long we plan to take it forward as a long-distance relationship.

My relationship with my man is the most beautiful thing about my life. It is the very reason why I am a professional writer today. I am the artist (writer) and he is my muse forever. I began writing as a way to express my feelings to him. His love, even from the distance, has me bloomed into the woman I am today. Once he was this quiet and not-preferring to communicate kind of a person but seven years down the line, I am happy to admit he has finally begun to be vocal and open about his feelings.

Communication is the strongest pillar of any romantic relationship. While we expect the other person to know us better than ourselves, we often forget that building that bond and level of intimacy takes time. As I mentioned, I am an old school but a hopeful romantic. I fantasize a lot about dreamy getaways but at the same time, I know our reality of the present as well, which is nothing but distance. Hence, while we are working every moment to make this relationship a success, while we are hopeful about our future as a couple, we stay grounded to our reality. We are aware that we still have time to reach there, and along with love, trust, and loyalty, communication is the fourth wheel of our vehicle. And, we can’t lose either of them to not just reach the destination but enjoy the journey as well. After all, we want a good love story to recite to our babies in the future.

 

This is what words do to you, once you begin, it’s hard to stop. Well, we have finally reached the destination of this article. For me, the bottom line of communication for love and friendship with respect to my personal experience is:

“True friendships can survive with or without daily communication but true love requires communication to survive.”


Shweta is a Lifestyle and Wellness blogger and writer. She provides writing services for businesses and coaches in the niche. When not working, she is usually found feeding her passion for braids. She is also an English language enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram to know more about her and her business.

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01 Jul

eGod — when God gets eGo’d

“God alone is real, the world is false; and the individual being is none other than God.”

“God misunderstood is the world; the world properly understood is God.”

“It’s not that there is one god or many gods, there is only God.”

The term God is widely misunderstood to be referring to a supernatural anthropomorphic being in the heavens. Instead it refers to the one and only Reality that actually exists — the ultimate formless partless unchanging infinite Reality which is the ground of all existence, the most fundamental substratum of this universe, the underlying basis and the very essence of everything, the highest Truth beyond which there is nothing more to be known. The various gods represented in different religions are symbolisms pointing to the same Reality. It is what we all are seeking — knowingly or unknowingly — either through externally-focused science or through internally-focused spirituality or just through life itself. The universe with all its living and non-living constituents is nothing but a virtual reality manifesting within God alone. Hence the universe can very well be termed eGod (as adding the prefix “e” to something “real” refers to its “virtual” incarnation e.g. e + mail = email, e + commerce = ecommerce, and the likes).

Why does God manifest as eGod?

It’s because God gets eGo’d. This is not a play on words. It’s the truth. The reason why God manifests as eGod is because of a false individual ego i.e. a wrong identification with a body-mind complex. This ego segregates the world into “I” and “not I”, “mine” and “not mine”, “I like” and “I dislike”, “I want” and “I don’t want”, etc. making the one undivided Reality manifest as a world of multiplicity. It’s very much like a dream. The whole dream world is none other than the mind itself but since we assume a false identification with a particular body in the dream, the dream world seems to be divided into multiplicity. The same thing happens in a virtual reality simulation. It’s uncanny how quickly we take ourselves to be a fake body within a simulation and start behaving as if that is what we actually are!

eGod is a collection of countless such dream-like simulations manifesting within God with each simulation representing an individual being with a false ego and a private little world. In other words, God is the “hardware” — the real stuff — and eGod is a bunch of “software” simulations — virtual fluff. The intricate nature of each simulation is such that it’s able to superimpose a false ego on God and also feel very real (just like a dream feels real while we are in the dream). The moment one drops this false ego and knows oneself to be none other than the ultimate Reality, the whole world collapses (not literally but in understanding) into oneness. That is when one starts seeing everything as a virtual manifestation of God alone. It’s like a mind dreaming while also knowing that it’s its own dream.

But don’t mistake this simulation to be a dream of your mind. What you call as “your mind” is just a part of a dream-like simulation manifesting within the underlying Reality. And since the Reality is infinite, the dream-like simulations within it are infinitely more sophisticated, complex and long-lasting than the dreams of our infinitesimally small minds. Moreover, these countless simulations share common objects/events and are so inter-connected that it all seems to be one coherent universe. It’s somewhat like a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) in which the players have a separate simulation going on on their respective computers and they see the game only from their individual perspective but at the same time show up in each other’s simulations as well as share common objects/events giving rise to the feeling that it’s one coherent virtual reality. The key difference is that in a MMORPG each player is a separate individual where as in eGod, God alone is assuming different identities and playing with Itself!

Each individual simulation turns off and back on every time that individual goes into deep dreamless sleep and comes out of it. The whole eGod virtual reality also shuts down after a while and restarts again later. This cycle of eGod or the universe manifesting and unmanifesting in God is beginningless and endless. Each eGod instance could be different from the previous one and it won’t be a surprise if multiple eGods (i.e. multiple universes) manifest within God simultaneously with each eGod being a separate MMORPG-like virtual reality having it’s own collection of individual simulations.

But why should an eGod be manifesting within God at all?

It’s due to the very nature of God which is existence-consciousness-bliss. The nature of consciousness is to experience, so it tries to experience the one and only Reality that actually exists which is itself. But the Reality is infinite and not experienceable in entirety. When there is an attempt to experience the inexperienceable, an illusion is generated in the form of countless dream-like simulations called eGod. For better clarity, take the case of the eyes as an illustration. The nature of the eyes is to see but when they try to see the sky which is so vast that it cannot be seen by them in entirety, an illusion is generated and the sky looks like a hemispherical dome (which it is not).

Hence, eGod manifests within God due to the very nature of the infinite Reality trying to experience itself. The existence-consciousness-bliss nature of God manifests in all the living and non-living constituents of eGod with varying degrees. The consciousness nature manifests more prominently as countless experiencers, the existence nature manifests more prominently as the various experienced objects, and the bliss nature manifests more prominently as the corresponding experiences. Since existence-consciousness-bliss is one inseparable Reality and not three separate things, the experiencers along with their respective experienced objects and the corresponding experiences are also inseparable. And since infinite consciousness also implies infinite intelligence, these simulations are of very high quality with lot of systematism, complexity and inter-connectedness. All of it is so flawless and intricate that it feels very real.

Please note that God doesn’t do this deliberately. It’s the very nature of God. Just like it’s the nature of fire to burn, water to wet, sun to illumine, etc. Fire cannot be said to be doing anything specifically when it burns something. It burns as that’s its very nature of being hot (there is no such thing as a cold fire). Similarly, God cannot be said to be doing anything specifically. It’s the very nature of God to manifest as eGod.

It’s also important to note that eGod is not a problem in itself. The actual problem begins only when it gets eGo’d. With ego, eGod is full of conflicts; without ego, it’s full of harmony and peace!

Why and how to drop this false ego?

This understanding of the Reality is not just for intellectual entertainment. It is to help us realize that we are actually one infinite undivided Reality and that we are only mistaking ourselves to be little creatures of flesh and blood. All problems in life sprout from this misunderstanding as we keep worrying about the survival and safety of something we are not. It’s ok to continue to play our role in this virtual simulation but there is no point worrying about anything as none of it is actually real. This feels quite liberating as it takes away a huge burden off our shoulders. And it’s only possible when we drop the false ego by knowing that we are not this body-mind complex we mistake ourselves to be. We are the one and only formless partless unchanging infinite Reality which cannot be touched or affected by a virtual simulation in any way. Since there is nothing else apart from the Reality there is no conflict of any sorts — just peace and harmony. This realization does not solve all the artificial problems of life, it dissolves them! It’s like we don’t have to solve each and every petty problem in a dream. We just have to know it’s a dream and all the problems lose their grip on us.

In order to drop the false ego, one should systematically learn about the Reality and sincerely contemplate upon it to be convinced. There will be many doubts that have to be resolved through proper reasoning and inquiry into one’s own experience. After intellectual conviction, one can start assimilating it in the mind by living life accordingly. Even though it might take time for it to stabilize, the practice gets validated and starts benefiting every step of the way by dissolving more and more problems of life and bringing more and more peace and joy as one progresses. The final realization will only come by God’s grace though as it’s God’s nature that gives rise to eGod and the false ego. The puny little mind cannot overcome God’s natural power. But the practice will surely prepare the mind to receive and recognize the grace when it comes. The best place to start is to explore the teachings of Advaita (Nondual) Vedanta which is the highest and deepest exposition of the Reality. My recent articles are also on this subject. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions (npabuwal gmail).

Once the realization dawns, life could be like watching a movie. You can enjoy the movie through its good parts and whenever it gets ugly, like if you get too scared or sad, you can simply remind yourself that you are falsely identifying with a character in the movie and you are actually unscathed. You can just relax by sinking back into your real nature of being God, smile, and then jump back in when ready. Moreover, your life will be full of love for everyone as you will know you are not just one of the characters in the movie but the whole movie along with all its characters is within God — the real you — and you alone are manifesting as everything. That’s why love, grace, compassion, kindness, mercy, and all the wonderful qualities come very naturally to God as there is nothing apart from God. And remember, this realization is also at the level of the mind and part of the simulation itself. As God, you were, are and will always be free!

“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.”

“We are not human beings trying to have a spiritual experience. We are a spiritual Being having human experiences”

“Whether you know or not, whether you agree or not, you are none other than God.”

(This article was cross-posted from happinessjourney.net/post/622649780649312256/egod-when-god-gets-egod)

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25 Jun

Birthstones and Their Healing Properties

A birthstone is a gemstone that corresponds to the month of someone’s birth. It is thought to be lucky to wear your birthstone in jewelry in some way, to receive the energy of that stone. How did this tradition come about? Back in the first century Josephus, a Jewish historian, thought there was a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate, signifying the tribes of Israel, and the twelve months of the year and twelve signs of the zodiac.  Around the eight and ninth centuries, it was a trend to have twelve stones and wear one a month.

 

In modern times, jewelers got together and officially adopted a list of which birthstones belonged with each month, and the list has been added to and updated over the years. Just for fun, let’s take a look and see what our birthstones can do for us energetically!

 

Anyone can wear any of these stones anytime. However, if you wear your birthstone, it is supposed to be stronger for you than it would be for others. And if you wear a stone in the month it is associated with, it with be stronger during that month. You can also have stones on display in your home or on your altar. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or having too much energy, take a break from wearing the stone for a while.

 

January: Garnet

The garnet is a deep red stone. The name garnet comes from “seed” and it represents new beginnings, so it’s great to wear when you’re starting something new. Garnet goes with the first month of January, and also the first chakra, the root chakra. Garner can help release past attachments and family karma. It’s a good stone for grounding and stability. It is also said to keep you safe while traveling.

 

February: Amethyst

Amethyst comes in a range of purple colors, and also in green! Amethyst is most famous for its ability to clear negative energy. It is calming, bringing peace and serenity, and it can also help you tune in to your intuition. Amethyst is widely used in healing and energy work as it is gentle, yet powerfully effective.

 

March: Aquamarine

The light blue aquamarine got its name from the sea and it has been used to protect sailors from the harsh ocean. The cool blue stone is good for healing, and can calm anger in relationships. Blue is the color of the throat chakra, so aquamarine is a good stone to help when you want to speak clearly, and express yourself creatively. It is also said to bring confidence and courage.

 

April: Diamond

Diamonds are precious, and pricey. As an alternative, you can substitute a zircon or a Herkimer diamond, both clear stones. Diamonds amplify energy, meaning that when worn with another stone, it makes that stone even stronger. Diamonds symbolize purity and eternity, which may be why they are the favorite stone for engagement rings. Diamonds are also known to bring strength and vitality to the wearer.

 

May: Emerald

Emeralds are brilliant green, and associated with the heart chakra. It symbolizes love and the awakening of the heart, as well as fertility and rebirth. When we talk of fertility and rebirth, it can be the beginnings of an idea, and the creativity required to bring that idea to fruition. Emeralds are also known to make the wearer magnetic, so that you can attract a person, or anything that you want. Other green stones can be used as substitutes for an emerald.

 

June: Pearl

The luminous white sphere that we know as the pearl comes from the depths of the sea. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Pearls carry lunar energy, so they are calming and cooling. They are also thought to hold creative energy so they are great for artists. Pearls are also recommended for women who want to create a healthy cycle, or a healthy pregnancy.

 

July: Ruby

The ruby is a bright red color, and like the garner is connected to the root chakra. It has grounding energy, and it is also protective, warding off negative energy. The ruby is known to be healing for the body, especially for any condition which affects the blood. It’s good to wear a ruby when you feel like your energy has run out, or if you’re wanting to bring more passion into your life.

 

August: Peridot

The peridot is a light green stone, almost an apple green. Peridot is happy looking, and it is known to stimulate positive thoughts and mental clarity. Like the emerald, if is associated with the heart chakra, and can help heal the heart after a trauma, or after the breakup of a relationship. The peridot also can reduce fearful feelings, and encourage strength and courage. You can wear the peridot when you want to keep away fear and nightmares.

 

September: Sapphire

The sapphire gemstone is a clear royal blue color. True blue symbolizes loyalty, as well as wisdom and healing. Like the aquamarine, the blue color helps the throat chakra and all modes of communication. Wearing a sapphire helps you to speak your truth. The sapphire can also help you to see the truth, making you more sensitive and aware of the motives of people you’re dealing with. Lapis Lazuli is considered a good substitute for the sapphire.

 

October: Opal

Opals and their properties vary a bit depending on the color and their origin. If you want to wear an opal, it is best that you choose it yourself so you can tune into its energy and find one that is right for you. Opals are powerful, and symbolize confidence, love, healing, protection, strength and faithfulness. They also bring protection to the wearer and keep away negativity. Opals are said to help those seeking to overcome trauma or depression.

 

November: Topaz

The traditional topaz is a golden color, but you can find the topaz is many other colors as well. This is another stone that you need to choose yourself so that it goes with your vibe. The topaz is good to wear or have nearby when you’re starting to meditate because it helps to clear the mind and release thoughts. It’s also good for helping to improve concentration, so you can wear it when you are studying. Citrine is a good substitute for the topaz.

 

December: Turquoise

Turquoise is another happy and positive stone. It brings to the wearer relaxation for the mind as well as feelings of calm and peace. It is said that turquoise helps us to be more sensitive and intuitive. It is also a protective stone. Since it is blue, it is great for healing, cleansing, and releasing.

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28 Jan

What I Am (and You Are Too!)

I feel I am a conscious entity in which a simulation, constituting of gross and subtle objects/things, is appearing. The gross (aka physical) objects include a body and a world entering through the sense organs, in the form of gross sights, sounds and sensations. The subtle objects include thoughts and emotions (that are also just thoughts loaded with feelings) in the form of subtle sights, sounds and sensations. These objects are appearing directly in me, otherwise I would not have been able to know/experience them. It’s important to note that even though I experience a body and a world directly, I do not experience a so-called mind (which is actually a composite term used for the mind-intellect-memory-ego combo) directly. The mind-composite is only implied by the type of thoughts that appear in me. To clarify, I do not experience any specific object that I can point to and say that is the mind or the intellect or the memory or the ego. The mind is implied due to some of the thoughts being reactionary and habitual, the intellect is implied due to some of the thoughts being intelligent and analytical, the memory is implied due to some of the thoughts being of past remembrances, and the ego is implied due to some of the thoughts containing an “I” or “my” identity. I only experience these thoughts directly, along with the corresponding parts of the brain that feel active or affected during those thoughts, and never the mind-composite directly.

I further feel that the simulation that is appearing in me is just that – an appearance. I am actually untouched and unaffected by it. Even though I experience certain sensations that can be labeled as pleasant or unpleasant, they are just gross objects appearing in me but they do not affect me. Certain sensations are felt in the body like the feelings of hunger, thirst, itch, ache, etc.. And what we call mental feelings are also nothing but physical sensations felt in the brain tissues. E.g. the feeling of stress is just some brain tissues getting overly strained due to lot of thinking and the feeling of anger is just some brain tissues getting overly heated. So all mental feelings are nothing but physical sensations of brain tissues which are also sometimes accompanied with certain bodily sensations like palpitations, sweating, shallow/rapid breathing, etc. All these sensations just appear in me as gross objects and I am untouched by them. I am just a witness of them. I am like a screen that is unaffected by the movie playing on it, irrespective of how pleasant or unpleasant the movie might be.

When the objective appearances vanish and the simulation stops in deep absorption, I experience my real nature as pure existence-consciousness-bliss (sat-chit-ananda). I do not feel any limitation of time, space, object, etc. in that state. This makes me believe that I am actually unlimited and formless but the simulation imposes an artificial feeling of being contained within a body form with all corresponding limitations. Other people also report similar simulatory experiences, but these simulations are not completely independent. They seem to share common gross objects and events which leads to the conclusion there is just one underlying reality. You, I and others are actually that one reality and not separate entities.

So, even though I am one infinite partless reality, I somehow seem to experience countless parallel simulations simultaneously as separate individuals – each forming a different viewpoint of one big simulation called the universe. It seems like the universe is one gigantic stream of events flowing constantly from one moment to another, and that I know everything that is to be known in this universe from different viewpoints. The individual simulations seem to represent different cross-sections of the universe as experienced from the viewpoints of different individuals. Or maybe there are only these individual simulations and the feeling of one universe is only incidental as these simulations seem to be interconnected sharing common gross objects and events. In either case, I am one reality of the nature of existence-consciousness-bliss with an uncanny ability of generating and focusing at countless simulations and experiencing them simultaneously and separately.

But why should I be doing this? Why can I not just remain as pure existence-consciousness-bliss without generating and experiencing these simulations within me?

Here’s the best explanation I have found:

Take the case of the eyes as an illustration. Their nature is to see. Now consider the sky. It’s so vast it cannot be seen in entirety by these tiny eyes. But when you turn your head upwards, the eyes try to see that which cannot be seen in entirety. The result is an error and the sky looks like a hemispherical dome (which it is not) to the eyes. In the same way, the nature of consciousness is to experience, so it tries to experience the one and only reality that actually exists which is itself. But the reality is infinite and not experiencable in entirety. When there is an attempt to experience the inexperiencable, an error is generated in the form of countless interconnected simulations – each with an experiencer, various experienced objects and their corresponding experiences. The consciousness aspect of the reality appears more prominently as the experiencers, the existence aspect appears more prominently as the experienced objects, and the bliss aspect appears more prominently as the corresponding experiences. So all these countless simulations are just an error produced by the very nature of the infinite reality trying to experience itself. These simulations manifest the infinite reality in a finite way so the consciousness of the experiencers, the existence of the experienced objects, and the bliss in the experiences are all finite, of varying degrees and transient instead of being infinite and permanent. Moreover, since infinite consciousness also implies infinite intelligence, these simulations are of very high quality following various types of laws both at micro and macro cosmic levels with lot of systematism and interconnectedness. They are so flawless and well-structured that they appear to be very real. But it’s important to note that these simulations are absolutely harmless as they are not actually real and are just appearances in the one unblemished reality that I am (and everyone is)!

Another question that might arise is that once this understanding of being the one infinite reality dawns upon a particular individual, what makes him/her continue to experience the simulation and act through a body?

The answer is quite simple. The appearance of experience and action is just part of the simulation and going on of its own accord. The infinite reality is not actually doing anything deliberately. The simulations simply appear in it by its very nature and keep going, irrespective of whether the understanding of being the one underlying reality has dawned upon a particular individual or not. The only difference it would make is that the actions of an individual after this understanding has dawned would appear to be in accordance with that understanding.

Note: You can replace all the occurrences of words “I” & “me” with “you” and “my” with “your” in the above article and it will still be true! I am just trying to take a step back from the apparent simulation and revel in the underlying reality which you, I and everyone actually is. I would highly encourage you to try it too. Its extremely liberating!

(This article was cross-posted from happinessjourney.net/post/190519907835/what-i-am-and-you-are-too)

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18 Jan

Defining Self Care

“Self-care” has become somewhat of a buzz word lately. So many people are talking about it, especially online. In most of the discussions, self-care is used to describe taking a bath, getting a massage, having some aromatherapy, and the like. It kind of comes off as prioritizing yourself, maybe to the point of being selfish. But let’s really unpack this, and understand what self-care really means.

 

This is my definition of self-care: Being responsible for your own happiness and well-being. We can’t “get” happiness from any outside source. That means we can’t buy it, and we can’t rely on anyone else to provide it for us, or give it to us. So, if we’re not happy or well, we can’t blame anyone or anything – the buck, so to speak, stops with ourselves. When we can understand that, then we can make more informed choices about what we do, and how we do it.

 

For example, let’s look at the three pillars of health in Ayurveda, and how this relates to self-care.

 

1) Food: Food is anything we “eat” through any of the senses. What do you put in your mouth, what do you smell, what do you touch, what do you watch, what are you listening to? If you’re stressed out, yet continue to watch violent television shows, or listen to argumentative talk shows on the car radio, you need to make different choices. If your digestion is poor, and you’re eating junk food late at night, you need to be doing something different. This is self-care – knowing how to take care of yourself body, mind, and spirit… and actually doing it. No one else can do it for you. You absolutely have control here – so we have to look at our habits, and stop being on auto-pilot.

 

2) Sleep: You’ve heard me talk about sleep for years as the spokesperson for the Better Sleep Council. What could be easier than going to bed at a reasonable time? And yet, we don’t do it! We have every excuse to stay up later than we should. We’re on our screens way too late, we don’t invest in our sleep by making sure we have a new mattress and pillow. It’s like we see sleep as a chore, something more to fit into our busy day. Like a little kid, we don’t want to go to bed because we’re afraid we’ll be missing something! It’s time to change that mind-set and understand how important sleep is in every area of our lives. Self-care means being disciplined about your sleep schedule, and sleep hygiene so that sleep can actually work for you!

 

3) Activity: Activity is everything we do in our lives – work, exercise, relationships, our daily routine and habits. It’s not just what you’re doing, but also what you’re thinking about. Where is your attention focused? Self-care is also knowing our limits. Are you taking on too much? Are you being too active, is life too hectic? Or are you not active enough, is life too slow? There’s a beautiful “Goldilocks” amount of activity that’s unique to each of us, and “just right” for each one of us. Find yours and take care of yourself in this way. You might have to say no when you feel obligated or pressed to say yes, or say yes when you’re a bit uncomfortable jumping into something new. Tune into your intuition and do what is best for you.

 

Take good care!

Lots of love,

Lissa

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03 Oct

Practice Self-Compassion

**Excerpted from “Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People” (Sounds True, Oct. 22, 2019)

Self-compassion means directing loving-kindness inwardly. Instead of beating yourself up, give yourself a break and acknowledge that you did your best in any circumstance. When you become your own champion, you will feel more protected in the world.

Research shows that people who are compassionate toward their own shortcomings experience greater well-being than those who harshly judge themselves. We all make mistakes, but the larger lesson of love is how we treat ourselves at those times.

Still, it’s often easier to have compassion for others than oneself. Over the years, many psychotherapist friends have lamented to me about this issue. Don’t worry. This is an area of growth that loving people must address so they can be more compassionate with their own struggles.

Compassion can be learned. Start by planning at least one act of kindness toward yourself daily. For example, turn off your computer and enjoy a walk or tell yourself, “Good job,” or “I’m happy that I didn’t react nastily to a controlling friend.” My Taoist teacher says, “Beating yourself up a little bit less each day is spiritual progress.”

SET YOUR INTENTION

I will be my own best friend. I am not perfect, nor are any of us. I will not beat myself up. I will treat myself with kindness.

 

*    *    *

Judith Orloff, M.D., is a New York Times bestselling author, a member of the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty, and has a Facebook Empath Support Community with more than 6,000 members. She has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, and in Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and more. Her new book, Thriving as an Empath: 365 Days of Self-Care for Sensitive People  (Sounds True, Oct. 22, 2019), draws from her own experiences as an empath to share the secret to well-being. Learn more at drjudithorloff.com.

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19 Sep

Being Thankful Out Loud

An excerpt from Loving Out Loud by Robyn Spizman

 

While it can be easy to feel like it is impossible to make a positive difference in these divisive times, the new book Loving Out Loud: The Power of a Kind Word by New York Times bestselling author Robyn Spizman promises that our words can go a long way in that regard, especially when we share them out loud.

 

Loving Out Loud offers readers creative ideas and practical insights for cultivating kindness in their lives while connecting more deeply with the world around them. The book is divided into chapters that provide readers with powerful ways for raising kinder children; loving their significant others, family, and friends; and valuing teachers, coworkers, and everyone in between. We hope you will enjoy this excerpt from the book.

 

# # #

 

Since I haven’t thanked you yet today, let me do so now. I realize you could be doing any number of things at this very second, but you chose to read this article. For that I am truly grateful.

 

Having a mindful, kind attitude can change our view of life. I like to think of it as being a kindness “influencer,” as with social media. Imagine together starting a Loving Out Loud (LOL) campaign of caring about each other. Watch what happens when you share an attitude of gratitude in your world and show appreciation to others out loud — it’s electric and kinetic!

 

Albert Schweitzer summed up gratitude when he said, “Often…our own light goes out, and is rekindled by some experience we go through with a fellow-man. Thus we have each of us cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

 

When we appreciate someone and become that spark, a thank-you becomes a gift and lights us up. We all have so many people to thank. How we thank someone becomes part of our signature style of kindness. Studies continue to prove that the more we do for others, the happier we feel. There is a direct correlation. Cultivating kindness is a wonderful opportunity to uplift others as well as ourselves. When we turn our attention to noticing what we are grateful for, we bring out the best in ourselves.

 

If you stop and think of all the people you know who deserve a thank-you, you’ll be surprised to see just how many have an impact on your day, along with your life.

How a Thank-You Can Brighten Your Life

There are days when we all feel down or blue. A thank-you “out loud” is a really nice way I know to shift a mood. It can begin with the power of a simple hello, showing your genuine delight and lift up another person, including yourself.

 

A kindhearted hello leads to friendships, new contacts, relationships, and more. You are not just breaking the ice but are igniting an opportunity when you take the risk to connect with another person and reach out first, sharing positive words or an observation. You create the possibility of making a new friend. In return, you are also seen as friendly, outgoing, considerate, engaging, complimentary, and interested. These good traits contribute to making a wonderful first impression.

Be Thankful Out Loud

The words thank you are universal in their ability to spread good feelings. It’s clear that when we thank the people who touched our lives in little as well as powerful ways, we celebrate a part of life that validates each other.

 

Think for a moment:

  • Who has helped you along the way in your lifetime?
  • Who wrote recommendation letters on your behalf?
  • Who took the time to teach you to ride a bike, read a book, play an instrument, hit a home run, play tennis, or cook a special recipe?
  • Who makes your life easier or has come to your rescue?
  • Is there someone who has been there for you through thick and thin?
  • Do you practice saying “thank you”?

Every day there are opportunities around you, and when you seize them out loud, you build and increase your LOL radar. When you see someone in uniform who has served the country or provides safety or a public service, get in the habit of saying, “Thank you for your service.” Here are some other ideas.

Make a Thank-You Date

A friend recently reminded me how special it is to thank others out loud with a scheduled “thank you” date or get-together. Every year, she takes her babysitters out for a thank-you lunch dedicated to expressing her appreciation. It makes her kids’ caregivers feel special, and they make new friends at these dates, since they have so much in common. Whether it’s a lunch to thank a teacher, breakfast to thank Grandma for driving car pool, a mother-daughter walk at the park, or a dinner with a friend who volunteered to help you, thank-you dates are memorable and a tradition worth establishing.

 

Having written about the topic of thanks, love, and kindness for decades, I’ve discovered many clever ways to say “thank you,” some that don’t even use those words. For example, I loved it when a younger gentleman gave a handshake to an elderly coworker and said, “I want to shake the hand of the nicest person I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. You are one generous soul.”

 

I continue to marvel at all thank-yous that make us feel appreciated, but some hit it right out of the park. I’ll never forget one I received that made me smile from ear to ear. It has stuck with me over the years as among the most touching thank-yous ever to warm my heart.

 

I sent a holiday gift to a friend of mine’s daughter. As she opened it, her parents videotaped her reaction and sent me the thank-you video capturing her excitement. Her joy in unwrapping her present was off the charts. That was one gift that kept on giving joy!

 

# # #

 

Robyn Spizman is the author of Loving Out Loud. She is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and popular keynote speaker who has appeared in the media for over three decades, including NBC’s Today show more than thirty times. She lives in Atlanta. Visit her online at http://www.robynspizman.com.

 

Excerpted from the book Loving Out Loud. Copyright ©2019 by Robyn Spizman. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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03 Sep

The Four Friends

“The Four Friends” is an ancient fable that the Buddha repeated to teach the value of respect for one another. The lesson we can learn from this is that when there is harmony, there is also happiness.

 

Long, long ago, there was a pheasant would eat fruit, and then spit out the seeds. A small sapling grew from one of those seeds. That sapling then grew into a small tree that bore fruits, and the pheasant happily ate them.

 

Then, as the tree grew bigger, since the pheasant had difficulty flying, he could no longer reach the fruit.

 

A rabbit arrived, and said to the pheasant: “Neither of us can reach the fruit. Let me lift you so you can pluck the fruits, and we can share them.” The pheasant agreed, and the two enjoyed the fruits of the tree.

 

As the tree grew bigger, the fruit became out of their reach.

 

A monkey came by and agreed to help the rabbit and the pheasant. The monkey lifted the rabbit, and the rabbit lifted the pheasant, and the three all shared the fruits.

 

But then, the tree grew even bigger still.

 

Finally, an elephant arrived on the scene, and joined in to help the other three. The elephant lifted the monkey, the monkey lifted the rabbit, and the rabbit lifted the pheasant. Now, however high the tree grew, they could always reach the fruits!

 

These four friends became good examples to others in the forest. The bird taught other birds to be good. The elephant taught those with fangs to help others, and the rabbit taught the creatures with paws to do their part, and the monkey taught those with fur to do good for others. Eventually, the small group influenced even human beings by their example of cooperation, despite differences in size, strength or even species. By working together, the four friends learned the value of unity, integrity, friendship, generosity, and selflessness for the greater good.

 

The Four Friends, or Thumpa Punshi, is a familiar theme in paintings, curtains, thangkas and walls in Buddhist temples and homes. It is thought that wherever this picture is displayed harmony will increase. The picture acts as a reminder of how we should stay together and help each other. We all have various strengths and challenges, and yet we can complement one another to accomplish those things that we cannot achieve alone.

The Four Friends. I got this picture from allposters.com – I have a canvas print hanging in my home!

 

“Respect should be freely given to all simply because all have Buddha-nature, because all can become Buddhas.” – Stonepeace

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15 Jun

The Eight Steps of Love on Every Breath

An excerpt from LOVE ON EVERY BREATH by Lama Palden Drolma

At this time, when our human family is facing many challenges, it is more important than ever that we find peace and sustenance in our hearts. In the new book Love on Every Breath: Tonglen Meditation for Transforming Pain into Joy, author Lama Palden Drolma introduces a profound, ancient meditation that has been practiced in isolated mountain retreats in the Himalayas for centuries, which is now available to the modern world.

In the standard Tonglen, the meditator simply breathes in the suffering of others and then breathes out love and compassion to them, but this approach does not always work well for Westerners, who often find it difficult to get past the ego’s roadblocks. That is why Lama Palden prefers to teach the more user-friendly “Love on Every Breath” variation to Westerners, which comes from the Shangpa lineage of two enlightened women.

We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

# # #

Love on Every Breath is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana meditation from the Shangpa lineage that combines breath, awareness, imagination, and an energetic transformation process. The meditation brings all these components together in a powerful way in order to open our hearts, to reveal and cultivate our kindness, love, compassion, and wisdom. In Tibetan, this is called the Extraordinary Tonglen, since it uses special techniques of Vajrayana to transform suffering. The Tibetan word tonglen is composed of two words — tong means “giving or sending,” and len means “receiving or taking.” First, we open ourselves to receive and feel the suffering of ourselves and others, breathing it into our heart center. This is the “taking.” The suffering is then instantaneously and effortlessly liberated in the heart and transformed by a special method into unconditional love. At this point, on the out-breath, love and healing energy are sent back out to whomever you are doing the meditation for at the moment, whether yourself or another. This is the “sending.”

The primary purpose of the Love on Every Breath meditation is to cultivate our love and compassion, to transform and liberate our heart. When we come from a place of love, everything shifts for us. This book gives you the tools to transform and empower yourself and come to a place of creative engaged freedom.

The Love on Every Breath meditation is not an exotic Himalayan practice, but it is something that emerges out of us spontaneously and naturally. It is inherent in us to want to remove suffering — others’ or our own. The problem for many children (and adults) is that we absorb the suffering of others, and then it stagnates inside of us. Love on Every Breath gives a way for the suffering to be liberated in the body and the psyche and emerge as compassion. There is a felt sense as this happens.

 

The Eight Steps of Love on Every Breath

The Love on Every Breath meditation has eight steps. The complete meditation is done as a sitting practice and takes about forty-five minutes to an hour from start to finish, but the practice is highly adaptable and can be easily abbreviated.

 

Here is a brief description of each step. In step 1, Resting in Open Awareness, we let go of everything. We let go of the past and the future; we let go of any and all ideas about ourselves or others; we completely let go into our bodies and into relaxing. We become aware of our mind so that we don’t allow it to wander into thinking. Rather, we stay present with what is. Usually, the easiest way to do this is to join our attention and breath. This anchors us in our body, and in our felt sensations, instead of in our thoughts. This is a doorway into calm abiding. We simply rest in awareness and openness; openness is synonymous with emptiness.

 

In step 2, Seeking Refuge in Awakened Sanctuary, we go for refuge, for sanctuary, to the awakened ones. This helps create a context and the space for our meditation. We also ask the buddhas and other awakened beings to support us during our meditation.

 

In step 3, Cultivating Awakened Mind, we engender the altruistic intention to fully awaken to be able to help liberate all beings from suffering.

 

In the fourth step, Stepping into Love, we invite an awakened being, traditionally Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, to be present above the crown of our head.

 

Following our heartfelt prayers, Chenrezig dissolves into ourselves, and we meditate that we become inseparable from Chenrezig. The awakened mind is then established in the heart center as a crystal vajra of light, which is a symbol of the indestructible, pure luminous empty reality of who we truly are, our buddha nature. The vajra is what transforms the suffering — not our individual personality or ego. This saves our ego from saying, “I don’t want to take in more suffering! I have enough of my own!”

 

The Vajra that Appears in our Heart Center

 

In the fifth step, Taking and Sending for Yourself, we imagine our ordinary self in front of us and contemplate our pain and wounds, meeting ourselves with loving awareness. We breathe in our suffering as a dark smoke-like substance, breathing it right into our heart center. As soon as it touches the vajra of light, we visualize a lightning bolt arising from the vajra, transforming all suffering into white light, symbolic of unconditional awakened love and healing energy. When we are breathing out, this white light goes into the heart center of our ordinary self, where it heals, illuminates, and awakens.

 

In the sixth step, Taking and Sending for Others, we meditate on a loved one, and gradually we include others. As in the previous step, we contemplate their suffering, big and small, see it as dark smoke, and breathe it into the vajra in our heart. When the suffering touches the vajra, it is instantly transformed. Then, on the out-breath, we imagine the white light going into the person or people, filling them with light and healing, and eventually bringing about their awakening.

 

Chenrezig, together with the vajra of awakening, greatly enlarges our capacity to welcome the suffering and transform it. Slowly we expand our meditation out to various people and groups of people, until finally all beings are included. We rest in the love and joy of all of us awakened together.

 

Step 7, Dissolving, involves dissolving our visualization, completely letting go, and resting in open awareness. Then in step 8, Dedicating, we dedicate any and all benefit of our meditation to the awakening of all beings.

 

# # #

 

Lama Palden Drolma is the author of Love on Every Breath. A licensed psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and coach, she has studied Buddhism in the Himalayas with some of the most preeminent Tibetan masters of the twentieth century. Following a traditional three-year retreat under his guidance, Kalu Rinpoche authorized her to become one of the first Western lamas. She subsequently founded the Sukhasiddhi Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist teaching center in Fairfax, California. Visit her online at http://www.lamapalden.org.

 

Excerpted from the book Love on Every Breath. Copyright © 2019 by Lama Palden Drolma. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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