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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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03 Apr

Help the World: Healing through Scientific Prayer

Presented by Rev. Alan L. Pritz


Paramahansa Yogananda (author, Autobiography of a Yogi) transmitting spiritual blessings.

Negative vibrations of selfishness, greed, and hatred bring disease, unhappiness, war, and natural disaster to individuals and nations. These can be overcome if enough people turn to Spirit in meditation and prayer. By changing ourselves — through spiritual living and communion with the Divine — we automatically radiate vibrations of peace and harmony that do much to counteract the negative effects of inharmonious living. In addition, we can serve as channels for divine healing through scientific prayer. Never has a time been so ripe for social and planetary spiritual healing.

Praying for others is one of the highest services we can offer. Charity, social work, and other forms of relief are valuable and necessary in temporarily alleviating the suffering of others, but scientific prayer strikes at the root cause of world suffering: wrong thought patterns of humanity that ultimately manifest as inharmonious conditions. Though prayer styles may differ, spiritual healing is most effective when methods of transmitting energy correspond with our subtle body structure.

The body/mind is a receiving and broadcasting station. We tune into, or receive, Spirit by focusing at the spiritual eye in meditation. Then, we broadcast or transmit healing forces through the energy centers or chakras in the palms. This is the historical basis of “laying on of hands’ and many other forms of energetic healing.

These 5 steps can be done by anyone regardless of faith orientation. It doesn’t what form of Higher Power you adheres to; what matters is helping.

Step One: Tune-In
Meditate to draw closer to God / Spirit. Commune deeply with the Divine.

Step Two: Ask
Invoke Divine blessing and guidance. God is the sole healer, we are but channels for that Higher Power.

Step Three: Prepare
Rub the hands together briskly. Feel a sensation of warmth or energy gather in the palms (as best as possible). Raise the hands to head or shoulder height with palms facing out. Clearly visualize whoever or wherever you wish to direct healing.

Step Four: Sending
Chant OM or Amen/Amin aloud simultaneously feeling spiritual blessings and energy flow out through the hands. Mentally direct this healing force by envisioning recipients bathed in divine healing light and manifesting perfect health. Again, see them as Whole.
Repeat this process several times or for as long as you feel to do so.

Step Five: Closure
Express gratitude for the healing. Appreciation is ever appropriate for divine gifts.

Consider doing this as part of your daily spiritual practice. The world needs YOUR help and everyone’s input is important! Just do and let God take care of outcomes. Share with others.

 

 

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18 Mar

Love in the Time of Corona

The world is in a challenging place. Our lives have been shifted into uncharted territory as the latest Corona Virus, Covid-19, reaps havoc with economies, societies, and global balance. Rather humbling to have the world grind to a halt by a sub-microscopic piece of genetic material. Scientific definitions aside, we are called to respond to a scenario that sources – often the media – deem calamitous at best, catastrophic at worst. Yet I propose a different perspective, one that is not fear driven but, instead, more gracious and magnanimous.

First of all, fear does nothing useful. It numbs the mind and fuels reactive, panic-based self-centeredness. Consider a spark landing amidst a dry pine forest. Fire erupts and undoubtedly must be contained. Fearful responses are like winds that whip the blaze into an unfettered inferno. Reasoned strategies contain, control, and ultimately eliminate the threat. Our behaviors – which arise first in thought – determine whether Corona will gain further destructive power or, alternately, provide opportunities to ennoble us.

The spiritual world is not separate from the physical. It is the subtle canvas upon which the picture of matter is painted. We, however, get to choose and express the color palate it manifests through our thoughts and deeds. One set of choices results in a gloriously expansive masterpiece; another depicts the cruel hues of defeatism, depression, and self-centeredness. Each of us selects our contribution to the painting by how we respond to what’s before us, moment by moment, day by day.

Naturally, I advocate for making this an opportunity to shine. I know times are difficult, especially for those who are ill or economically deprived. Life often isn’t easy but it’s always impacted by choices. Giving in to the temptation to shrink, to withdraw, to focus on “us four and no more” is a perfect recipe for social/global dysfunction that could be avoided by different choices, by conscious opposition to whatever is contractive. Counter fear with courage, panic with calmness, and meanness with generosity.

There is a reason why spiritual traditions discuss proper attitudes and behaviors. It’s because we need how-to-live principles that apply to all circumstances, good and bad. Why is this important? Because we thrive or suffer according to how well we adhere to, or violate, the laws of natural order. Yes, I snuck spirituality into the mix. Ironically, one needn’t subscribe to any faith to acknowledge that harmony is preferable to inharmony; love, joy, and peace more attractive than hate, despair, or violence. This is common sense. Life-enhancing behaviors promote personal well-being and social good. That said, what can we do in the face of the current situation? I’ll make several suggestions yet preface all by this counsel, “Do that which ennobles, expands, and assists. Refrain from that which diminishes, constricts, or deprives.” Hopefully these points will seem reasonable and easily put into practice.

Start with the body/mind. Be prudent and socially responsible, but not fearful. Fear compromises the immune system and, in the case of a contagious disease, is self-defeating. We’ve all read the news to understand issues and responses. Add to these whatever promotes health from the inside out: Proper hygiene, diet, and, as amenable, immune-enhancing supplements. Exercise, get fresh air and sunshine. Yes, breathe deeply. Relax. Stress and tension deplete energy so if you can, practice skills designed to recharge and renew. This may sound esoteric but such are common in yoga, tai chi, or chi gung circles. A genuine smile is said to distribute life force – prana/chi – to every body cell. The happy person is less subject to disease since happiness attracts a greater supply of life energy into the body. Maintaining a positive, joyful attitude is exactly the right thing to do. Fast from worry. Watch comedies, laugh, practice appreciation and gratitude. You’d be amazed how deprivation can highlight the abundance we ordinarily overlook, or help foster insights about things we might take for granted. A grateful heart is a powerful force, as is compassion. Unfortunately, people have been encouraged to stockpile. This generates a mentality that prompts a secondary ‘illness,’ greed. If everyone considered the needs of others they’d re-visit the desire to hoard. We have an abundance of goods that will remain if we don’t participate in frenzied buying. While at the store recognize that excess buying may cause another to go without. Get what you require so others can too. Seem simplistic? It is. This isn’t astrophysics; it’s consideration. Just as a micro-organism can bring the world to a halt, so basic expressions of loving kindness can help the wheels of global order continue moving smoothly.

Lastly, yet most importantly, nourish the inner being. What frees people from suffering? Will money do so? Will toilet paper? Ultimately, nothing material can. Only direct experience of ones’ soul nature provides this. The world perpetuates dramas to enforce spiritual truths. One of these is that faith in Spirit is a divine law. A smooth life isn’t necessarily a victorious life. No matter if sickness or death dance about you, do not be discouraged. Earthly life is an ephemeral existence; lasting reality is spiritual not material. Be helpful and learn to see the Divine in all regardless of race or creed; love everyone as your own. Selfishness cramps the soul in a limiting prison of material desire. Concentrate on the human family without restrictions. Do your part to improve the world but don’t be bound by its troubles or you’ll be ensnared by them; that’s the secret of victory over delusion. And, pray. Thought is a force. When it is focused on the Divine and directed with beneficial intent for the healing of individuals, societies, or the planet, a tremendous power is released. Although subtle in nature, the vibrations of spirituality and healing generated by prayer engender positive changes in the subtle realms that ultimately manifest in positive material outcomes. Whether confronted by a pandemic or not, the right path in life is always to include others in your welfare. By serving all you serve your Self and, in this fashion, emerge triumphant over trials.

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31 Jan

Signs from the Angels

An excerpt from The Angel Experiment by Corin Grillo

While some people think of angels as being sweet, loving, heavenly beings who sit around singing and playing the harp, in The Angel Experiment: A 21-Day Magical Adventure to Heal Your Life, author Corin Grillo assures readers that angels are actually powerful allies who are always available to help them manifest the health, wealth, and life of their dreams.

The Angel Experiment is based on a popular 21-day course Grillo has been offering only since 2015, with miraculous results.  It outlines a nonreligious, yet highly spiritual, step-by-step method for working with the angels in just five to ten minutes a day for 21 days.  The book’s guided daily meditations and invocations offer readers a tangible experience of how angels can help hem manifest the life they truly desire. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

# # #

 

People often get impatient when they begin consciously working with angels because they want a big, juicy, explosive first encounter with their angels. If you are someone who is waiting for Archangel Michael to make a 3-D appearance in your room, giant wings ablaze and angel choirs singing in the background, then you may be waiting a while. Though I am a huge fan of big and juicy angel encounters, from the years of doing this work for myself and others, I know that the angels don’t always come through that way.

 

Patience is required when working with angels, and so is managing your expectations. Those are two big keys in allowing angel messages to come through.

No Coincidences

Before I teach you the different ways that angels communicate with you, there is one thought that I want you to delete from your consciousness. This thought will absolutely block you from the reality of angels and miracles, so it’s important that you get rid of it once and for all.

 

The thought is “That was just a coincidence.”

 

The angels are master manifesters, and when you begin talking to them, they will do everything in their power to let you know they are real and right there with you.

 

Your angels send you signs of love, comfort, and even protection all the time, but one of the main reasons you may not have noticed them is because you may have been telling yourself all along that every cool thing that happens to you is “just a coincidence.” This one thought will suck your angel magic dry fast, so get rid of it from here on out.

 

Let’s reimagine this whole “coincidence” nonsense together. Have you ever turned on the radio and the song that came on had a message in it that was just what you needed to hear? Have you ever had a magical solution to a problem appear out of nowhere just in the nick of time? Have you ever met someone in such a weird way that it just seemed to be kismet?

 

Take a moment now to think of some of the more unexplainable and magical things that have happened to you that you might have written off as coincidences. When you add them all together, they start building a picture that doesn’t seem like coincidence at all. These little things can happen to you daily. They can be large or small, and if you dismiss them, you are missing the golden truth: that you are not alone. Your angels are listening to you, supporting you, and actively helping you whenever and wherever they can.

 

From now on, know that every so-called coincidence is actually help and support from your angels and the divine. If you master this one mental shift, your life will open up to a magical world that has been hiding from you in plain sight: the world of the miraculous.

Subtle Angel Signs: Intuition and Your Intuitive Senses

Angel signs won’t always look like what you might expect them to look like. Sometimes they will be big and loud, but other times they will be subtle and soft. The key to being able to recognize those signs, and to receiving the angels’ love and clear guidance as a result, is to tap into your gut instincts and your subtle senses, also known as your intuition.

 

We all have intuition, whether we are aware of it or not. Your intuition is like a muscle, and the more you flex it, the greater it grows.

 

Listening to your intuition and your intuitive senses is the most important skill you can learn in working with angels. Your intuition holds the voice of your soul, your song, and your essence. It’s through your intuition, your thoughts, and your feelings that the angels pass on amazing loving guidance. I don’t want you to miss this guidance, because you could be missing pure gold.

 

Most people in the West haven’t had much practice in flexing the muscle of their subtle senses, because Western culture tends to place a much heavier emphasis on logic and linear thinking than on intuitive, heart-centered consciousness. We in the West are so used to overidentifying with our loud, tantrum-like logical mind that we often completely overlook the awesomeness that is our intuition. And when I say “awesome,” I mean awesome!

 

It takes some practice, but if all you did was slow down and learn to listen to the still, small voice of your heart, instead of that wild pack of wolves in your head, life would go a lot more smoothly.

 

There is no better time than the present to begin learning to develop and trust your subtler senses.

 

# # #

Corin Grillo is the author of The Angel Experiment and founder of the Angel Alchemy Academy. A trained psychotherapist, angel channel, healer, and teacher, Corin has helped thousands of people all over the world go from angel-curious to angel-powered. She lives in Northern California. Visit her online at http://www.CorinGrillo.com.

 

Excerpted from the book The Angel Experiment. Copyright ©2019 by Corin Grillo. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.

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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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06 Jan

The Many Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is really the best thing we can do for our overall health – and all it takes is our commitment to actually do it. Seriously – you don’t need any special gear, or any special place, or any special time to do it. We just have to make the slightest bit of effort to sit still and be quiet. But yet – even though we know how great it is for us, somehow we find every excuse not to do it. What’s that about? Here’s hoping this list of just some of the amazing benefits will motivate us to carve out just a few minutes of time in our otherwise busy day to embrace the bliss of this beautiful practice. This is the best habit you could ever adopt!

 

– Meditation is a great antidote for stress. With our hectic schedules our nervous system runs high on adrenaline. Meditation gives us a time to pause and just chill. Meditation lowers levels of cortisol, the hormone that makes us feel stressed. With reduced cortisol we feel less anxious, less depressed and generally more calm.

 

– Meditation puts a smile on your face. When you meditate, serotonin is produced in your nerve cells. You feel a little more content, a little more centered, a little more comfortable in your own skin. And this good mood shows – you look better, too!

 

– Meditation helps with focus and concentration. With a calm mind you can handle tasks with aplomb. You can pay attention, and be more aware of what you are doing so you can do it well. This also helps to improve your memory, you remember what you did!

 

– Meditation is good for the body. Studies show that it lowers blood pressure, and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It can even boost your immunity, so you can stave off illnesses more easily.

 

– Meditation helps you to be more patient, and more present. When in a long line at the store, or stuck in traffic, you can approach the situation with a sense of “this too shall pass.”

 

– Meditation helps you to release negative emotions more quickly. Instead of hanging on to anger or upset, you can process the feelings and let them go more easily.

 

– Meditation helps you to manage pain. With less anxiety, you can tolerate pain better. You learn how to breathe through the pain with meditation so you feel it less acutely. Meditation teaches us to self-sooth.

 

– Meditators have an easier time falling asleep, and often sleep more soundly than most.

 

– Meditation can improve relationships. It’s easier to communicate when you are calm and can think clearly. It also teaches us to look at our thought patterns so when emotions arise we can identify and deal with them.

 

– Meditation helps us to connect with who we really are. That space of silence is where all the wisdom is, and we can download it where we give ourselves the opportunities to do so.

 

– Meditation is good for the brain. Research shows it can slow the aging process and even reverse brain aging.

 

– Meditation can rev up your metabolism. We feel better so we have more energy and move more. All this helps with weight loss, too.

 

– Meditation helps you to forgive and let go of past issues with people. You feel more peaceful and can see the bigger picture. It allows you to feel more empathy. It allows you to let in gratitude.

 

 

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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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08 May

Proper Attitude Towards Adversity

The past year has been fraught with changes and challenges. My wife retired due to health issues and I decided to close my office in order to help with her needs. In addition, I have been dealing with nerve damage resulting from a serious bout of shingles two years ago. Seems like we entered a season of life where such things happen, but, c’est la vie.

There is nothing on the spiritual path that can be separated from learning and lessons. Regardless of how much we may prefer alternate circumstances, the appropriate attitude is understanding how we can change in the face of adversity, not how life can be made more accommodating. It is said that yogis learn to be even-minded in the midst of life’s ups and downs. That has always seemed like cookie-cutter commentary to me but the reality is, it’s true.

When we identify with the body and life around us, we subject ourselves to the consciousness of being the body, the mind, and so forth. We identify with the world. This is not the correct spiritual perspective. The reality is we are souls inhabiting bodies. When we identify as children of the Divine we allow ourselves to engage with Spirit as heirs to the Kingdom, not mortal beggars subject to the will o’the wisp of fate.

The only way to accomplish this is to change our ‘center of gravity’ from dependency on outer gratification to realization of the soul’s qualities within. When able to touch and grasp a joy or peace that is independent of external causation, we realize more clearly our soul nature. Life continues to hammer these lessons home until we finally get them. The lesson plan may differ for everyone but it’s there. And even then the process may not cease. Why? Because this is a world of duality; wherever there is an up, there must be a corresponding down. Learning to be anchored within through meditation is a must; a grace and necessity cultivated through spiritual practice.

This doesn’t mean – as in my case – that we’ve perfected the art of living, but, we have a better handle on meaning, purpose, and method. Talk is cheap but life does not brook nonsense. Unless and until we take spiritual practices seriously, we remain at the mercy of whatever comes next. Yogananda counseled disciples to not take this life too seriously. He was right. It can be a torment to those who do, an entertaining drama – with ups and downs – to those who recognize it as a spiritual play. This doesn’t disqualify one from being human and feeling, rather, it helps one learn that both can be spiritualized to a higher standard. Looking at life through the lens of wisdom allows one to seek and see God in everything; to surrender to what’s trying to happen while simultaneously doing your best to remedy untoward circumstances. In short, learning to be even-minded and cheerful amidst upheaval by virtue of being anchored in and associated with the fruits of the soul.

As Spring is a season of rebirth and renewal, I invite you to delve more deeply into who and what you are, the essence of Spirit. There is no down-side to this exploration. Rather, it is an investment that pays great dividends when the winds of outer life shift from balmy to blustery. Seek the Kingdom within; realize the truth of your eternal Self, and you shall be increasingly comforted then, finally, free.

Blessings to you all.

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