Meditation Focus #166
Expanding the Web of Love On Earth
What follows is the 166th Meditation Focus suggested for the next 2 weeks beginning Sunday, February 11, 2007.
EXPANDING THE WEB OF LOVE ON EARTH
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS
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The Moment of Truth Series #7: Bush & Co... Careening in Dangerous Waters (February 4, 2007)
For over 2 decades now there has been an ever growing number of initiatives designed to link up in globally synchronized meditations thousands and even millions of people in common purpose for the healing of humanity and the co-creation of Peace on Earth. No one has systematically documented yet the ongoing expansion of this movement starting from its inception when groups of people began to meditate together in mystical schools along with the gradual dissemination of spiritual teachings and all kinds of meditation techniques. One day, however, will come when historians will recognize this process as the foundation of what is to become the most significant unifying global experience for all mankind. One day, soon, when humanity as a whole will have transcended the limitations of the "skin-encapsulated ego" to become collectively aware of our Oneness with All That Is, such moments of global at-One-ment will be central to the emerging planetary culture of our species. Indeed, one day, very soon, all people will regularly take moments during their daily life to connect with this immensely beneficial sense of Oneness, and continuously derive a common global purpose to serve, in their individual capacities, the Highest Good of All.
This very experience we share together through these weekly Meditation Focuses and through other similar immersions into our collective vibrant Presence as One is the means through which we are anchoring in this very moment the ever approaching future of global harmony and immanent peace that is to Bethanks precisely to our participation in these Feasts for the soul, the hallmark of the emerging Web of Love on Earth. It is important to realize that each time we innerly connect with the Source and add our infinitely powerful soul-driven contribution to global awakening through our own awakening to our Higher Self, we set the stage for this future existence of a planetary culture of spiritual communion with each other and with all Life on Earth and beyond. And at the same time, it is important also to realize that we are acting, in so doing, at the behest of our own future Selves connecting with us through the Omnipresent time continuum to enable what is to Be.
As we are joining in this globally synchronized communion with thousands upon thousands of other souls feeling the very same experience, let us consciously go where no soul has gone before by delving into this ever-present future looping back to the NOW moment, and willfully co-create, in a synchronous expression of visionary will, the conditions that will make possible the manifestation of the New Earth where our future Selves now live... as it has already manifested just ahead in the time continuum. Let us envision the continuous expansion of the Web of Love uniting us all, and contemplate as One the ever greater number of Light centers and shining nodes of peaceful harmony doting the Earth's landscape, ad infinitum. As we feel torrents of Love bursting forth from the heart of our soul, let us encompass all living beings, cells, plants, animals, humans, elementals and angels, in a grand explosion of bliss, ecstasy and joy, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at
"Imagine, if you will, a ring around the planet, much like the rings around Saturn. Imagine that this ring consists of spiritual stardust, glittering and dancing against an illumined sky. It blesses the Earth with a pulsating power, extracting fear from every darkened corner and pouring forth love on every hungry heart. This ring is woven from threads of love, words of inspiration, feelings of forgiveness, prayers for peace and hours of meditation. And this ring is not just metaphor, or the vain imaginings of a hopeful soul. It is an actual forcefield, more powerful than anything made by merely mortal hands. It is the product of the collective yearning to pool our spiritual resources in the service of a world made new. It is a rich and meaningful, eminently practical contribution to the miraculous transformation of our world. Imagine millions of people throughout the world, joined in small, intimate circles of spiritual support, praying together, meditating together, envisioning a healed and peaceful world, creating among its members a sense of sacred communion. Imagine these circles meeting regularly, like tiny clusters of grace, forming together a mystical grid of love and light around the planet."
By the Global Renaissance Alliance -- Taken from http://www.renaissancealliance.org/citcirc/defin/circdef.htm
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,which no man could have dreamed would have come his way."
William H. Murray
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"It is urgent that we require of ourselves a more human pace, a slower, more natural rhythm of human interaction that provides for something more than a superficial presence in relationship to ourselves, our loved ones, and our nation; to take time to think about the America of tomorrow and our place in it, that we may again make great plans. We have to transport our consciousness of America into the future and imagine that which cannot be imagined; we must re-create, summon new forms from the unknown, and draw forth new structures that spring from higher awareness, a greater understanding of ourselves, our nation, and the world. A spiritual dedication and practice of transcendence to create new alternatives can awaken our highest aspirations, can invoke a sense of great purpose, can energize our spiritual capabilities and lead to our own transformation and to the transformation of our nation. How much power has the human heart!"
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich -- Taken from Imagine - Essay on Government
"If we really are at what people like Erwin Laszlo and many others have termed the bifurcation point - a macro shift where the system is so far out of balance that small fluctuations can shift the whole system very quickly because it's all unstable - the theory says small fluctuations of small numbers of people who are aligned in their consciousness and creativity can jump this system fast."
Barbara Marx Hubbard -- Taken from http://www.whatthebleep.com/herald18/hubbard.shtml
"Spiritual life is no longer limited to the quiet seclusion of mystics or seekers living in isolation from society. Now more than ever, we need leaders who truly combine the deep inner work of the heart with active outer service in the world. (...) The choice between an outer life of activism and an inner life of contemplation has become a false dichotomy. Activism without spirituality is blind, and spirituality without activism is lame. What we need now is a new form of "spiritual activism" that combines both spiritual and social transformation. Nothing less can marry the heart's longing to the world's need, and give birth to a truly compassionate society."
Will Keepin - Taken from http://www.satyana.org/pdf/lws-2002-2003.pdf
"Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Theilhard de Chardin
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below correspond (for most countries) to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage 7:00 AM -- Los Angeles 8:00 AM -- Denver 9:00 AM -- San Salvador, Mexico City, Houston & Chicago 10:00 AM -- New York, Toronto & Montreal 11:00 AM -- Halifax, Santo Domingo, La Paz & Caracas 12:00 PM -- Montevideo, Asuncion * & Santiago * 1:00 PM -- Rio de Janeiro * 2:00 PM -- London, Dublin, Lisbon, Reykjavik & Casablanca 4:00 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, Geneva, Rome, Berlin, Paris & Madrid 5:00 PM -- Ankara, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Athens, Helsinki & Istanbul 6:00 PM -- Baghdad, Moscow & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Tehran 7:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington * +5:00 AM
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=11&month=02&year=2007&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0 to find your corresponding local time if a nearby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus.
1. Web of Love
2. The Greening of the Self
3. Principles of Spiritual Activism
4. The Alchemy of Gratitude
5. In truth there is no life outside of this moment
6. Teachings of the Month by Leonard Jacobson
7. Envision A New America
8. Inner Net of the Heart
Web of Love
The Web of Love is an energetic web which connects the sacred essence of all beings on this planet. In that deepest part of our beings, there is in each of us a beautiful, divine essence which wants nothing more than to love and be loved. The Web of Love, though invisible to our eyes, interconnects all of us through that deepest essence. It literally surrounds and envelops our planet and all who live here. We are all interconnected through sacred love. It is up to each of us how much we choose to be aware of this connection.
We are all capable of giving and receiving limitless amounts of love. Many of us have forgotten this and ended up feeling alone or uncared for in our lives. The Web of Love calls us to remember our true nature. It is a call to join together in sharing the abundance of love that flows within and between us all through consciously connecting with the Web of Love.
Connecting with the Web of Love
Breathing the Web. Here is a simple, yet powerful way of connecting with the Web of Love through breath.
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a web connecting the deepest essence of all beings around the globe. We recommend placing your hands over your heart or the center of your chest as you do this. Take a few deep breaths as you open to this image.
Now, while taking a slow, very deep inhale, say to yourself:
Your sacred love flows in to me.
Then slowly exhale fully while thinking and feeling:
My sacred love flows out to you.
Repeat this a few times while opening your heart fully to all the love present. Make sure to fill your lungs completely on the in breath and to exhale fully on breathing out. Doing this for just a minute or less can powerfully shift you into a more loving space. Try it now, and invite yourself to really let the love flow!
The "you" in these sacred love statements can be all people on the planet, or it can be any individual you choose. For some, it might be easier to start this exercise by imagining the one to whom you feel closest in your life. Breathe the web with that special someone in mind and let the love flow between you. Then envision other people in your life and do the same. When you are ready, envision groups with which you are involved and eventually all people who share our world. This simple breathing exercise can be deeply meaningful in either a personal or a global context.
There may be times when you want to breathe the web, but cant remember the words used above. Love to me, love to you, is all you need to feel the web. You can create your own sayings, too, with words that are more meaningful to you. The most important element is your intention to connect with all people on this beautiful planet through the Web of Love.
Bringing the Web of Love into the World
If you are ready to powerfully transform your life, consider taking the Web of Love into your every day world. You might start your day upon awakening and end your day before sleeping with the above exercise. As you start your work, or whenever you feel stressed, take a minute to stop and deeply breathe in the ever present sacred love of the web and of everyone around you. Then on the exhale, fully breathe your sacred love out to all. You can do it with your eyes open or closed. If it helps to start by imagining only the person closest to you, then by all means do so.
Throughout the day you can breathe the Web of Love during your daily activities. You can silently breathe the web while waiting at a stoplight, with the checker at the checkout stand, or as you pass someone on the street. Each time you open to this heart connection and practice it, you strengthen the love both in yourself and in the world. This simple exercise can be done in less than a minute, yet as you practice it more and more, dont be surprised if you find your life transforming in big ways!
CLIP - Many more resources through http://www.weboflove.org/
The Greening of the Self
Something important is happening in our world that you are not going to read about in the newspapers. I consider it the most fascinating and hopeful development of our time, and it is one of the reasons I am so glad to be alive today. It has to do with what is occurring to the notion of the self.
The self is the metaphoric construct of identity and agency, the hypothetical piece of turf on which we construct our strategies for survival, the notion around which we focus our instincts for self-preservation, our needs for self-approval, and the boundaries of our self-interest. Something is happening to the self!
The conventional notion of the self with which we have been raised and to which we have been conditioned by mainstream culture is being undermined. What Alan Watts called "the skin-encapsulated ego" and Gregory Bateson referred to as "the epistemological error of Occidental civilization" is being unhinged, peeled off. It is being replaced by wider constructs of identity and self-interest--by what you might call the ecological self or the eco-self, co-extensive with other beings and the life of our planet. It is what I will call "the greening of the self."
At a recent lecture on a college campus, I gave the students examples of activities which are currently being undertaken in defense of life on Earth--actions in which people risk their comfort and even their lives to protect other species. In the Chipko, or tree-hugging, movement in north India, for example, villagers fight the deforestation of their remaining woodlands. On the open seas, Greenpeace activists are intervening to protect marine mammals from slaughter. After that talk, I received a letter from a student I'll call Michael. He wrote:
I think of the tree-huggers hugging my trunk, blocking the chain-saws with their bodies. I feel their fingers digging into my bark to stop the steel and let me breathe. I hear the bodhisattvas in their rubber boats as they put themselves between the harpoons and me, so I can escape to the depths of the sea. I give thanks for your life and mine, and for life itself. I give thanks for realizing that I too have the powers of the tree-huggers and the bodhisattvas.
What is striking about Michael's words is the shift in identification. Michael is able to extend his sense of self to encompass the self of the tree and of the whale. Tree and whale are no longer removed, separate, disposable objects pertaining to a world "out there;" they are intrinsic to his own vitality. Through the power of his caring, his experience of self is expanded far beyond that skin-encapsulated ego. I quote Michael's words not because they are unusual, but to the contrary, because they express a desire and a capacity that is being released from the prison-cell of old constructs of self. This desire and capacity are arising in more and more people today as, out of deep concern for what is happening to our world, they begin to speak and act on its behalf.
Among those who are shedding these old constructs of self, like old skin or a confining shell, is John Seed, director of the Rainforest Information Center in Australia. One day we were walking through the rainforest in New South Wales, where he has his office, and I asked him, "You talk about the struggle against the lumbering interests and politicians to save the remaining rainforest in Australia. How do you deal with the despair?"
He replied, "I try to remember that it's not me, John Seed, trying to protect the rainforest. Rather I'm part of the rainforest protecting myself. I am that part of the rainforest recently emerged into human thinking." This is what I mean by the greening of the self. It involves a combining of the mystical with the practical and the pragmatic, transcending separateness, alienation, and fragmentation. It is a shift that Seed himself calls "a spiritual change," generating a sense of profound interconnectedness with all life.
This is hardly new to our species. In the past poets and mystics have been speaking and writing about these ideas, but not people on the barricades agitating for social change. Now the sense of an encompassing self, that deep identity with the wider reaches of life, is a motivation for action. It is a source of courage that helps us stand up to the powers that are still, through force of inertia, working for the destruction of our world. I am convinced that this expanded sense of self is the only basis for adequate and effective action.
When you look at what is happening to our world--and it is hard to look at what's happening to our water, our air, our trees, our fellow species--it becomes clear that unless you have some roots in a spiritual practice that holds life sacred and encourages joyful communion with all your fellow beings, facing the enormous challenges ahead becomes nearly impossible.
Robert Bellah's book Habits of the Heart is not a place where you are going to read about the greening of the self. But it is where you will read why there has to be a greening of the self, because it describes the cramp that our society has gotten itself into with its rampant, indeed pathological, individualism. Bellah points out that the individualism that sprang from the Romantic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (the seeds of which were planted even earlier than that) is accelerating and causing great suffering, alienation and fragmentation in our century. Bellah calls for a moral ecology which he defines as a moral connectedness or interdependence. He says, "We have to treat others as part of who we are, rather than as a 'them' with whom we are in constant competition."
To Robert Bellah, I respond, "It is happening." It is happening in the arising of the ecological self. And it is happening because of three converging developments. First, the conventional small self, or ego-self is being impinged upon by the psychological and spiritual effects we are suffering from facing the dangers of mass annihilation. The second thing working to dismantle the ego-self is a way of seeing that has arisen out of science itself. It is called the systems view, cybernetics, or new paradigm science. From this perspective, life is seen as dynamically composed of self-organizing systems, patterns that are sustained in and by their relationships. The third force is the resurgence in our time of nondualistic spiritualities. Here I am speaking from my own experience with Buddhism, but it is also happening in other faith-systems and religions, such as "creation spirituality" in Christianity. These developments are impinging on the self in ways that are undermining it, or helping it to break out of its boundaries and old definitions. Instead of ego-self, we witness the emergence of an eco-self!
CLIP - This is a sample chapter from the book "Dharma Gaia: A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology"
Principles of Spiritual Activism
The following principles emerged from several years' work with social change leaders in Satyana's Leading with Spirit program. We offer these not as definitive truths, but rather as key learnings and guidelines that, taken together, comprise a useful framework for "spiritual activism."
1. Transformation of motivation from anger/fear/despair to compassion/love/purpose. This is a vital challenge for today's social change movement. This is not to deny the noble emotion of appropriate anger or outrage in the face of social injustice. Rather, this entails a crucial shift from fighting against evil to working for love, and the long-term results are very different, even if the outer activities appear virtually identical. Action follows Being, as the Sufi saying goes. Thus "a positive future cannot emerge from the mind of anger and despair" (Dalai Lama).
2. Non-attachment to outcome. This is difficult to put into practice, yet to the extent that we are attached to the results of our work, we rise and fall with our successes and failuresa sure path to burnout. Hold a clear intention, and let go of the outcomerecognizing that a larger wisdom is always operating. As Gandhi said, "the victory is in the doing," not the results. Also, remain flexible in the face of changing circumstances: "Planning is invaluable, but plans are useless."(Churchill)
3. Integrity is your protection. If your work has integrity, this will tend to protect you from negative energy and circumstances. You can often sidestep negative energy from others by becoming "transparent" to it, allowing it to pass through you with no adverse effect upon you. This is a consciousness practice that might be called "psychic aikido."
4. Integrity in means and ends. Integrity in means cultivates integrity in the fruit of one's work. A noble goal cannot be achieved utilizing ignoble means.
5. Don't demonize your adversaries. It makes them more defensive and less receptive to your views. People respond to arrogance with their own arrogance, creating rigid polarization. Be a perpetual learner, and constantly challenge your own views.
6. You are unique. Find and fulfill your true calling. "It is better to tread your own path, however humbly, than that of another, however successfully." (Bhagavad Gita)
7. Love thy enemy. Or at least, have compassion for them. This is a vital challenge for our times. This does not mean indulging falsehood or corruption. It means moving from "us/them" thinking to "we" consciousness, from separation to cooperation, recognizing that we human beings are ultimately far more alike than we are different. This is challenging in situations with people whose views are radically opposed to yours. Be hard on the issues, soft on the people.
8. Your work is for the world, not for you. In doing service work, you are working for others. The full harvest of your work may not take place in your lifetime, yet your efforts now are making possible a better life for future generations. Let your fulfillment come in gratitude for being called to do this work, and from doing it with as much compassion, authenticity, fortitude, and forgiveness as you can muster.
9. Selfless service is a myth. In serving others, we serve our true selves. "It is in giving that we receive." We are sustained by those we serve, just as we are blessed when we forgive others. As Gandhi says, the practice of satyagraha ("clinging to truth") confers a "matchless and universal power" upon those who practice it. Service work is enlightened self-interest, because it cultivates an expanded sense of self that includes all others.
10. Do not insulate yourself from the pain of the world. Shielding yourself from heartbreak prevents transformation. Let your heart break open, and learn to move in the world with a broken heart. As Gibran says, "Your pain is the medicine by which the physician within heals thyself." When we open ourselves to the pain of the world, we become the medicine that heals the world. This is what Gandhi understood so deeply in his principles of ahimsa and satyagraha. A broken heart becomes an open heart, and genuine transformation begins.
11. What you attend to, you become. Your essence is pliable, and ultimately you become that which you most deeply focus your attention upon. You reap what you sow, so choose your actions carefully. If you constantly engage in battles, you become embattled yourself. If you constantly give love, you become love itself.
12. Rely on faith, and let go of having to figure it all out. There are larger 'divine' forces at work that we can trust completely without knowing their precise workings or agendas. Faith means trusting the unknown, and offering yourself as a vehicle for the intrinsic benevolence of the cosmos. "The first step to wisdom is silence. The second is listening." If you genuinely ask inwardly and listen for guidance, and then follow it carefullyyou are working in accord with these larger forces, and you become the instrument for their music.
13. Love creates the form. Not the other way around. The heart crosses the abyss that the mind creates, and operates at depths unknown to the mind. Don't get trapped by "pessimism concerning human nature that is not balanced by an optimism concerning divine nature, or you will overlook the cure of grace." (Martin Luther King) Let your heart's love infuse your work and you cannot fail, though your dreams may manifest in ways different from what you imagine.
The Alchemy of Gratitude
by Karol Avalon
Traditionally, "gratitude" is a sense, or feeling, of thankfulness in response to receiving a tangible gift or abstract gesture of kindness.
Another view is that gratitude is a conscious choice to focus on life's blessings rather than on its shortcomings. In this understanding, the practice of gratitude is a way of life. Every moment is filled with opportunities to fill our consciousness with feelings of gratefulness, thankfulness and appreciation. From the littlest flower we see in the garden to the traffic jam on the way to work, we can choose to be grateful.
In the relatively new field of "positive psychology," researchers are studying the science of thankfulness . In The Psychology of Gratitude, Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami and Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, show how participating in regular, deliberate appreciation improves almost everything. By having their research participants keep weekly or daily gratitude journals and practicing self-guided exercises, the researchers discovered their participants slept better, exercised more, increased positive emotions, had more rhythmic heartbeats, progressed toward personal goals more quickly, and helped others more often.
"Psychology has generally ignored the positive emotions," says Dr. Emmons. "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress, and to achieve a positive sense of self."
The work of Dr. Darren Weissman, author of The Power of Infinite Love and Gratitude, supports Emmons findings and applies them directly to physical health. Weissman's search for healing modalities that actually heal patients lead him around the world to study a wide variety of techniques.
A well-known figure in alternative healing circles, Weissman eventually presented at two World Congresses of Alternative Medicine. However he intuitively knew that there was something missing. Then, working with a deaf chiropractic student, he stumbled across a key. His friend signed the universal symbol for "I love you" and Weissman felt the energetic impact of the symbol on his own body. After some testing, he realized that signing the symbol actually caused weak reflex muscles in the body to strengthen.
Now Weissman has developed something called the LifeLine Technique which integrates and transcends all the techniques he already knew and practiced. But the glue and foundation of the LifeLine Technique is the power of infinite love and gratitude.
Waves of gratitude
Have you noticed the waves of gratitude spreading across the globe, undetected by the mainstream press, yet felt in every grateful heart? All around the world, people are creating venues to support and reinforce each other in remembering and practicing the principles of gratitude.
Brother David Steindl-Rast, author of Gratefulness: The Heart ofPrayer, is a Benedictine Monk and world-renowned spiritual leader. His website, gratefulness.org attracts 25,000 visitors a day from countries across the globe, all united in the practice of grateful living.
Radio Gratitude is an emerging network offering powerful positive programming to this growing community, both online and via satellite. The shows are being designed to engage minds and hearts with music, talk, humor and cutting-edge commentary. Appreciation Awards will be given to special individuals who are actively making a difference on the planet. Founder Jan St. John seeks to create an on-air convergence zone for the growing Gratitude Movement. She believes a "critical mass of consciousness, united in gratitude, can turn the tide on the planet,"
In San Francisco, Matthew and Terces Engelhart have opened Café Gratitude now in three locations throughout the Bay Area. Café Gratitude patrons come to eat a wide array of delicious living foods. An awning outside their Berkeley location in greets passers-by with the words: "What Are You Grateful For?" This question is embedded in all the café's colorful serving dishes as well as T-shirts, caps and posters.
The Gratitude Movement is even taking to the high seas. From February 20-28, 2007 the Ocean of Gratitude Cruise will feature Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of The Hidden Messages in Water and several other presenters who will give people the opportunity to explore many implication of the power of gratitude. Emoto's work researching Hado, the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level of all matter, shows that the Hado of love and gratitude creates the most beautiful water crystal formations. Mary Manin Morrissey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams, M.J. Ryan, author of Attitudes of Gratitude, and Michael Stillwater, Inner Harmony, will share activities and practices anchoring the Way of Gratitude.
The Ocean of Gratitude Cruise will bring together like-minded people from across the U.S. in an environment of relaxation and play, where gratitude pioneers can meet, connect and network with one another. Just imagine - people, from all walks of life, coming together in a "convergence zone" of gratitude. This is the kind of space where a quantum shift can occur, on both the inner and outer planes.
Connecting with others, in a spirit of love and gratitude, creates the space of miracles.
As Rupert Sheldrake points out in his theory of morphogenetic field resonance, the "100th Monkey Effect" occurs when enough people drawn together by a shared purpose, are holding the same thought all at the same time. When that happens, the rest of the world, in varying degrees, will experience an internal shift.
Think of it. The nerve center of the entire planet touched and enlivened by simply sharing an expression of genuine thanks. Could it really be that simple?
In truth there is no life outside of this moment
When we are in the world of the thinking mind, we are somewhere in the remembered past or the imagined future. We are in a world of thought, memory, concept, idea, opinion and belief. We are not here now. What we are experiencing is not the truth and reality of the present moment.
In a very real sense, the past is intruding into our experience of the present moment, coloring and distorting it. All those limiting beliefs and painful experiences of the past adversely affect our experience of life.
To awaken simply means to awaken out of the world of the thinking mind into the world of the present moment. This does not mean that your memory of the past or your sense of the future disappears. You still participate within the world of time, but you are no longer identified with or defined by those memories from the past or imaginings into the future. You come to know yourself as the One who exists in this moment. You know that only the present moment can fulfill you and so you choose to live more and more fully in the present moment. The present moment becomes the very foundation of your life.
As you awaken, your experience of yourself and the world will dramatically change. Fear, anxiety and conflict disappear as you enter into a world of love, peace and abundance. You come to know yourself as LOVE. You encounter the living Presence of God within you and within everything around you. Separation dissolves as you enter into Oneness.. This is what is meant by enlightenment. It is what Buddha spoke of. It is what Jesus spoke of. It is what Lao-Tzu and Krishna spoke of. It is what God promised to Abraham.
Awakening is simple. Healing is available in a way that defies reason. But there are certain steps which each of us must take.
The first and most essential step is to know, through your own experience, the awakened state of Being. It is a state of profound inner silence, peace and stillness. I am able to convey this state by direct transmission, but not in a way that encourages any kind of dependency or projection.
The second step is to come into right relationship with certain aspects of yourself including your ego, your thoughts and your feelings. You must bring the energy of love and acceptance to every aspect of yourself. All judgment of yourself and others must end if you are to awaken into the truth of life.
The third step is right understanding. We are souls on an extraordinary journey. Once you know the true nature of your journey, you will begin to awaken. Everything that has ever happened in your life will suddenly make sense. You will come to regard the problems and difficulties in your life as nothing more than opportunities to learn your lessons and awaken into Oneness.
The fourth step is to come into alignment with the universal laws of life. If you are to awaken fully, it is necessary to live in integrity in every aspect of your life.
Teachings of the Month by Leonard Jacobson
Freeing yourself from the Past
Overcoming the Obstacles to Awakening
Doing the Work
What is it like to be truly present?
Freeing yourself from the Past
In truth, there is no life outside of the present moment. Sooner or later, we must all come to terms with this simple fact.
If you are to awaken fully into the present moment, and remain fundamentally grounded in Presence, then you will have to liberate yourself from entanglement in your own past. It is not the true past. It is the remembered past, which you access through the mind whenever you think. You will also have to free yourself from the imagined future, which is nothing more than the past projected forward. It is simply a fantasy.
The true future does not exist in the world of the mind. The true future unfolds through the doorway of the present moment, just as the true past is accessible through the doorway of the present moment.
To free yourself from the past, there are a number of steps you will have to take.
1. If there are feelings from the past, which have been repressed within you, will have to allow these feelings the opportunity to surface into conscious and responsible expression. You are not trying to get rid of these feelings. You are simply allowing them to express. Everything in existence has a right to exist, including the feelings of need, hurt and anger. If they were denied the right to exist when you were young, because they were too painful then or simply not allowed expression, they will have to be restored into the flow of conscious expression that was once denied them.
2. Forgiveness is a powerful force, which can release the past from you and you from the past. Forgive all those who have hurt you and seek the forgiveness of everyone you have hurt. The forgiveness must be authentic. Sometimes, the pain and the anger at those who have hurt you must be experienced fully, before forgiveness can occur.
3. With some people, healing of the past is necessary before forgiveness and release can truly arise. The good news is that, through the power of awakened Presence, which is a state of Oneness with God, emotional and soul healing is possible in a way that defies all reason and is beyond belief. In working with others, I have so often seen their lives transformed, as we successfully bring to consciousness some traumatic experience from the past, either in this lifetime or some earlier life time, which has been unconsciously projecting into and affecting their current experience of life.
4. To the extent that you maintain yourself in resentment, guilt or blame, you cannot be present, simply because these feelings keep you imprisoned within the past. You must bring these feelings to the surface. Bring them to consciousness in a loving and accepting way. Identify, own, confess and express these feelings, but do not project them onto anyone. Do not believe in them. You are allowing them into consciousness, simply so that they are no longer hidden and so they can no longer control you unconsciously. Feelings of resentment, blame and guilt are an indication that you are not taking responsibility for your life or for yourself. It is easier to blame someone, than to take responsibility for yourself.
5. This next point is the most difficult to understand and is the most easily resisted. If you continue to generate good feelings by remembering happy experiences from the past, you will remain in bondage to the mind and ego forever. Identification with happy memories holds you in the world of the mind and locks in place all those unhappy and painful memories you would rather avoid. This is because the mind is a world of duality, and there is no way to avoid duality, other than by becoming so fully present that Oneness is revealed as the fundamental ground of your existence. It is the same with deriving pleasure from the anticipation of a future event. Only the present moment can fulfill you. It is only when we awaken fully into the present moment that duality is transcended and Oneness is revealed.
Overcoming the Obstacles to Awakening
In the last teaching, I spoke about how to liberate yourself from the world of the thinking mind into the world of NOW. I shared the key to becoming present, which is remarkably simple. However remaining present is not so simple. Even if we are present for a short time, most of us are quickly pulled back into the past and future world of the mind.
There are a number of obstacles which we must become aware of if we are to awaken fully into Presence and remain fundamentally present in our daily living and in our relationships.
The first obstacle is the ego itself. The ego wants to become more spiritual. It wants to acquire spiritual knowledge. It would love to become enlightened. It will have you visiting many spiritual teachers and reading many spiritual books. But it will back off very quickly if you find your way into the truth of life through the doorway of the present moment. This is because the ego needs to be in control of your life. It is addicted to its position of power and control. But it can only be in control of what it knows and it only knows the past, which it remembers, or the future, which it imagines. It does not know the present moment, and so it will desperately resist your entering into and remaining in the present moment. In fact, as you begin to awaken into the present moment, it has a bag of tricks to seduce you or tempt you back into the world of the mind.
The second reason that it is difficult to remain present, is that most of us have a lot of emotions repressed within us from the past, particularly from our childhood relationship with our parents. These emotions are continually being activated or triggered, which brings the past flooding in, making it impossible for us to remain in the truth and reality of the present moment. To the extent that you are caught in the emotional pain and traumas of the past, you cannot be present.
The third reason that it difficult to remain present is that there are a number of very powerful hooks that pull us out of the present moment into the world of the mind. Looking to others for acknowledgement, approval or acceptance is an example of such a hook. Fearing rejection or judgment from others is another hook. Anything that entangles you in the mind of another is a hook that pulls you out of Presence.
To awaken fully into the present moment involves disentangling yourself from others so that you are fully with yourself.
To free yourself from the above obstacles and hooks, there are a number of steps you must follow.
The first is that you must awaken to the dimension of Presence within you. It opens up the possibility of true healing.
Then you must come into right relationship with the ego, so that eventually it surrenders its need to be in control of your life.
From a state of Presence, you bring the ego and all its so called negative aspects into the light of consciousness, in a way that is acknowledging, loving and accepting. All judgment of the ego and all attempts to annihilate the ego must cease. As long as you judge or reject any aspect of yourself, the ego will prevail as the dominant inner force, simply because the ego thrives on judgment, condemnation and rejection.
The only thing that will bring the ego to a place of surrender is the energy of love and acceptance. If you love and accept every aspect of yourself at the level of mind/ego, particularly those aspects of yourself that you have been hiding, judging or trying to change, the ego will eventually surrender.
The next step is to allow into conscious expression, all those emotions repressed within you. In my private sessions, workshops and retreats, I offer very clear guidance and support in accomplishing this. It does not mean that you are identified with the feelings. You are simply allowing them to surface into conscious expression. The fact that the emotion is arising is of this moment and so you must be present with it as it arises and expresses through you. But the story associated with the emotion is not of the present moment, and so it is important that you do not become identified with the story. You will have to express the story as a part of expressing the emotion, but the story itself is not the truth. It is of the past or future. It has nothing to do with this moment. Do not believe in it and do not act upon it as if it is true.
The third step is to clearly identify the hooks that pull you out of Presence. These hooks only have power over you to the extent that they are allowed to function unconsciously. If you bring these hooks to conscious awareness, then they have no power over you. You can gently disengage from them as they are activated.
These steps will liberate you from the world of the thinking mind into the world of NOW. I do not mean to imply that you will always be present. But the present moment will become the very foundation of your life. You will come to know yourself as the one who exists in the moment of NOW, and only in the moment of now. This is the truth of who you are. And your life will be transformed. God and Heaven on Earth will be revealed.
Doing the Work
Awakening is simple. In just one evening teaching session, or a private or telephone session, I can reveal to you the keys to liberating yourself from the world of the mind, so that you open up into the fully awakened state of Presence. There is nothing complicated about being present. It is our natural state.
But remaining present in our day to day life is not so easy. We are constantly pulled back into the world of the mind where the ego prevails. Once again we are limited by our past emotional wounds and limiting beliefs. Once again, we become entangled in our remembered past or imagined future. Once again, we become entangled within relationships.
If you want to become permanently established in freedom and Presence, you will have to do the work.
What is the work?
1. Learn how to be present. Remember to be present whenever you can each day. Deepen into Presence. Become more and more grounded in Presence, so that the present moment becomes the very foundation of your existence.
2. Bring consciousness to how and when you are pulled out of Presence.
3. Get to know your own ego. How does it function? What is its role in your life? What are its patterns of control and manipulation? What are its strategies of survival? How does it trick or seduce you out of the present moment and keep you imprisoned within the past and future world of the mind? How can you remain awake and present if the ego is still in control, and allowed to function unconsciously!
4. Who have you become at the level of mind and ego? You must be willing to own, acknowledge and confess every aspect of your ego, with an attitude of love and acceptance. If there is any judgment of any aspect of yourself, or others, you cannot awaken.
5. Bring consciousness to the energy of judgment, blame and guilt within you.
6. You must come into right relationship with your feelings. Learn how to express your feelings responsibly and in a way that leads to true healing. Allow all those feelings repressed within you to surface into conscious expression, for healing and release. If you have feelings from the past repressed within you, they will constantly be triggered. You will be pulled out of the truth and reality of the present moment, over and over again. A painful and unhealed past, and all the limiting beliefs you learned in childhood about yourself, others and life, will continually project onto the present moment, distorting it.
7. Bring consciousness to the hooks that get you entangled in others. To be awakened means that you have disentangled yourself from your own past and future and you have disentangled yourself from others.
In conclusion, I would like to quote a passage which appears on page 149 of Embracing the Present,
A difficult journey
"It has been almost impossible for me to escape from my mind's world. It has been a difficult journey to escape from the entanglements of my own past. What hope do I have if I am caught in your mind's world?
How can I untangle myself from your past? How can I untangle myself from your expectations, your fear, your anger, your hurt, your blame, your guilt, your childhood wounds and unfulfilled needs. These things belong to your past. Not mine. You have no right to take me there. Untangle yourself. Come out of your mind. Be present with me. Remind me to be present with you. Free of the past, let us share the present moment together."
When you become fully present, thoughts stop and your mind is silent. You are not trying to stop the thoughts. It simply happens as you become present. Thoughts stop as you become present, because thoughts are always about the past or future. You cannot think about the present moment. You would have to take yourself out of the present moment in order to think about it. So if you bring yourself fully present with something that is actually here now, you must emerge out of the mind, and the world of thought. It cannot be otherwise. A noticeable shift will occur within you as you transition from the past and future world of the mind, to the world of now.
You cannot stop thoughts. It is impossible. The very effort to stop thoughts is a reinforcement of the thinking process. All you can do is relax, notice that you are in the mind, and then bring yourself present with that which is already present. If you can see it, hear it, feel it, taste it, touch it or smell it, in this moment, then it is of the present moment.
It is not something you are remembering or imagining with your mind. And so you can be present with it. You are not thinking it into existence. It is actually here now and so you Thoughts will stop, and you will experience a deep feeling of peace as your mind falls silent.
But there is an even deeper level of peace and silence waiting to emerge, as you become more and more present. As your mind becomes more silent, an inner door is opened, allowing an infinite and eternal silence to emerge. This infinite and eternal silence is the very essence of your Being. It is your true nature. It is the essence of all existence. It is the eternal silent presence of pure consciousness. It is the "I AM" of you. It is that dimension of you that exists in this moment and only this moment. It is that dimension of you that exists in Oneness.
It is your Buddha nature. It is the Christ of you, which exists in Oneness with God. It is awakened man. It is awakened woman.
What is it like to be truly present?
To be present is to awaken into that dimension of your self and that dimension of life which is transcendent of the thinking mind. You are silent and you are fully present with what is actually here now. If you are fully present, there is no moment other than this moment. That is what it means to be awake in the truth of life. You are so fully present that you exist in this moment, and only in this moment. You are awake in the eternal now. At the very deepest level of awakened Presence, the past and future have disappeared and only the present moment is available to you. You cannot function within the world of time, for the simple reason that there is no time. There is no sense of your self outside of this moment.
This does not mean that one who has awakened is always functioning at the deepest level of Presence. It is possible to function at a more superficial level of Presence so that the world of time becomes available. Even when you participate in the world of time, you are still deeply grounded in Presence and the present moment is always recognized as the truth of life.
If you are fundamentally awake in Presence you live without judgment, fear and desire. You live in a state of acceptance. You live as Love in the world. The illusion of separation has dissolved. You live with a strong sense of the Oneness of all things and a continuing awareness of the impersonal or eternal dimension of existence. You see others as equal and enlightened, even if they are unaware of it. This extends to animals and the world of nature. It is impossible for you to intentionally harm another. You are compassionate and you always act with integrity. You cannot be dishonest. There is something inside you which simply will not allow it. When you are fundamentally awake in the truth of life, you are substantially free of ego motivations and reactions.
This is not to imply that one who is awake is somehow perfect. At times, you can react like any one else, and experience fear and uncertainty, or feelings like hurt and anger. The difference is that now, you know that you are caught temporarily in the illusion of separation. You do not believe in the story that is presenting itself to you. You know that the past is somehow projecting itself into the present. You do not identify with the experience or any emotional reactions arising out of the experience. And yet, you take full responsibility for whatever you are experiencing. The experience is owned and accepted, but not acted upon as if it is the truth. In the midst of constant change, you know yourself as the One who never changes.
From: Kosta Makreas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Envision A New America - Join Our Global Movement
Dear Friend of World Peace,
Envision A New America!
This is a powerful movement of the imagination and of manifesting power that the entire world can join and co-create! It's where America joyfully meets with the international community in order to be re-invented!
Every Sunday, no matter where you live, you and many thousands of your friends can join to envision your new, ideal America.
We WILL create what we can envision.
And we WILL do it in very practical detail...
Come to the web site and learn how to start the simple, free, loving process to envision an ideal New America.
Desire it, think it, imagine it, pray for it, meditate on it, perform sacred ritual for it, intend it, focus on it, demand it, act on it, invoke it, will it, manifest it, build it, affirm it, chant for it, sing for it, speak for it, write for it, shout for it, birth it in joy with your Being!
We, the people, are the most powerful force on the planet. And we have awakened to what we desire to create in our positive future.
So, THANK YOU for joining this movement! The entire planet thanks you.
Envision A New America!
In the Spirit of Peace,
Envision A New America
San Bruno, CA
Inner Net of the Heart
The Inner Net of the Heart is a new initiative that links up spiritual practitioners across the globe in focused prayer and spiritual practices directed specifically to particular arenas of human suffering. We are a global inter-faith network of spiritual and religious communities, monasteries, sanghas, and other spiritual groups of every faith and tradition. We recognize that human beings of all cultures and races across the planet comprise a single human family. As one family, we can no longer live in isolation from one anothers pain and suffering.
The purpose of the Inner Net of the Heart is to focus the collective lens of the spiritual heart of humanity upon areas of intensive suffering and need, using focused prayer, meditation, ritual ceremonies, and other spiritual practices. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, in the prophetic words of Martin Luther King, Jr. When there is great suffering somewhere in the human family, we must respond appropriately, just as we naturally do when one of our own family members becomes ill, or when misfortune befalls a member of our spiritual community or organization.
Human suffering is brought home to us every day through the global media and internet, and indeed from the interconnected web of life itself. As we enter the third millennium, we need a way to respond to this living reality. When we learn of a great tragedy or threat somewhere on the planet, rather than merely feeling pity which is often a way to distance ourselves from those who are suffering, we need a way to direct the collective heart of prayer and compassion to our brothers and sisters in need, whether they are nearby or far across the land or sea.
The Inner Net of the Heart provides a vehicle for focusing the lens of collective human prayer and meditation upon injustice, suffering, and inequities within the one human familywherever they may occur. The Inner Net operates by orchestrating focused prayer vigils and spiritual ceremonies and practices across many different faiths for the necessary healing and transformation.
NOTE: The Global Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace (from February 1 to May 16, 2003) was the inaugural project of the Inner Net of the Heart. Its aim was to galvanize the spiritual resources of the planet to respond to the urgent need to stop what was then the imminent war in Iraq. A website - http://www.innernetoftheheart.org/ - was created to feature future initiative from Inner Net of the Heart, but it no longer exists. You can read complementary information on this Prayer Vigil for Peace at http://www.satyana.org/diplomacy.html with the following noteworthy conclusion:
"Although the invasion of Iraq took place, we should never underestimate the power of the collective will of humanity. In Gandhi's words, "the victory is in the doing, not the results." The combined power of millions of hearts yearning for peace in every corner of the globe is potentially enormous. Projects such as this one are sowing the spiritual seeds that will one day bear fruit, as the entire human species learns to function as a diverse yet unified family. This is our birthright, and ultimately it is our only feasible destiny. As Venerable Tenzin Palmo told us, "It is essential at this time of great world conflict that the many spiritual traditions come together to pray for peace in the world to benefit all beings."
If this e-mail has been forwarded to you and you wish to subscribe, send a blank email to email@example.com (English only)
For more information, please review the material posted by the Global Meditation Focus Group at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/focusgroup.htm
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