Meditation Focus #204:
Dissolving The Illusion of Separation


Hello!

What follows is the 204th Meditation Focus suggested for the next 4 (FOUR) weeks beginning Sunday, October 4, 2009.

DISSOLVING THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATION

1. Summary
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus

NOTE: If you are located in Europe, please note that the fourth Sunday meditation on this theme, on October 25, will start one-hour earlier because Daylight Saving Time will have ended. To verify if your location is included in this time change, click HERE. In North America, Daylight Saving Time will end on November 1st.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN PASSING THIS ON TO OTHERS

Also recommended to your attention...

Eye of The Storm Series #8: The Big Propaganda Game (October 2, 2009)
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2009/EyeStorm8.htm



1) SUMMARY

As we all know, life on Earth can be fraught with a treacherously deceitful series of nagging experiences while we are deeply immersed in the thick of duality consciousness, which is specifically designed to make us believe we live alone, isolated from the rest of the universe in our own little bubble of consciousness. To most humans, this illusion is so overpowering that is it nearly impossible for them to try to understand or even believe that this sense of alienation is the direct result of their own choice, made a long time ago at soul level, to disconnect themselves from the Universal Matrix of Oneness Consciousness in their desire to go explore the vast expanses and infinite possibilities offered by the then newly created universe. This process of ever deeper segmentation through countless successive subdivisions of the initial Spark of individuated existence then issued from the Originating Source has been going on almost forever and is still continuing to this day. And yet, if one was able to trace its soul lineage all the way back to Source—while becoming aware that, just like any fragment of a holographic picture holding by its very design all the exact same components and attributes of the whole picture, each soul in existence holds within itself the very same qualities and innate sentient abilities of its Original Source—then one would come to the conclusion, in a sublime "aha" moment of epiphany, that we are absolutely indistinguishable from the Omniversal Source of All That Is and, as such, could claim to be one and the same with It.

This self-isolation bubble-bursting realization is the penultimate antidote to the all pervading illusion of separation that is at the very root of all ill conceived actions, words and thoughts on this planet. But coming to this conclusion, is not a matter of rational thinking - although once experienced it stands as an utterly rational, logic and incontrovertible fact. No. It can, indeed, only come through experience, when we simply turn on the Light of our Total Self, reaching inwardly/outwardly to this sacred, holy place where Bliss coexists with Infinite Love, where our limited sense of self is instantaneously dissolved into the Absolute Vastness of Who We Really Are... and then we KNOW... and everything makes sense... perfect Sense... and all there is to do is to BE and let this Beingness guide the flow of our existence in the Omniversal Cosmic Soup in which we thrive and derive our very existence...

Reaching this ultimate State of Grace is the Holy Grail humanity is here to experience and is the true catalyst for the dimensional shift we are gradually going through as more and more souls on Earth awaken from the slumber of duality consciousness back into perfect synch with and ever greater remembrance of their original and eternal nature as One with and in All That Is. As we are exponentially, ever more rapidly reaching the critical mass of planetary awakening, tapping ever deeper into the sense of forming a vast sentient Being, on Earth and beyond—infinitely beyond—we are now fast approaching the threshold point, now a mere 3 revolutions around the sun away, when our collective amnesia and illusion of separation WILL BE NO MORE. Our Key role and responsibility in the meantime, as part of the awakening community of Light bearers, is to invest ever more of our time and attention into developing, through deep immersive soul communion with All That Is, our inner resonance with all other awakening souls in this physical realm and beyond, and thus expanding the field of awakened Oneness on Earth, which is exactly what we will do/be together in the coming four weeks, for the Highest Good of all as One.


This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/FocusArchives/MeditationFocus204.htm


"In this great story that is my life, I am conscious of my ability to co-create every moment in which I live. I strive to remain awake at all times, knowing when to lift my voice and when to be silent in awe of this magnificent creation of which I am but a drop in the ocean. If I had to declare what is the most defining characteristic of who I am - the ultimate question that drives us seekers of truth - I would have to say that I am one who sees no greater work in life than the work of helping humanity to awaken to the reality of universal Oneness, dispelling the illusion of separation from Self, others and Nature, and lighting the spark of remembrance of our common Source. Our greatest crisis today, the root of ALL of our global dis-ease, is the belief that we are separate...when we are not."

- Isis -- Taken from http://www.shiftinaction.com/node/1968


"The persistent illusion of being separate from those around us, even of not belonging in the community of humankind, is a painful condition. On an individual level, it evokes an aching loneliness and the sense of an inability to love and be loved. On a global level, the illusion of separation results in indifference to the suffering in underdeveloped nations and even to war. Spiritual teachings of all times and places say that separation is not real, that we are children of All That Is, all emanating from the life force and the love that dwells in every atom of the universe."

- Donna Cunningham -- Taken from Healing the Illusion of Separation http://www.essences.com/vibration/may02/separation.html


"When I take a deep breath and go inside to think about that question, the first thing that comes to me is that I think one of our biggest challenges is to look at our way of thinking, and see if there might be a way to serve ourselves even more powerfully by ending the myth that there is somewhere to get to--that there is something else that needs to be done, that there is all this brokenness that needs to be fixed, that there is something…. When I check in with my intuitive self and with my spirit and with the world I am a part of, I think part of our healing has to come from just standing and being still and claiming a healed world, claiming a healed humanity, claiming a healed self. So much of what I see, in people who are out working so hard to make a difference in the world and help cause transformation, is I see a lot of hurting and sick people doing that work. There's a piece of ourselves that's afraid to acknowledge our own grief and our own pain and our own out of balanceness, and there is also a part of our self that's afraid to be bold enough to just claim whole, perfect and complete as the planetary condition and choose to stand there and cause our world to meet us there. So I feel like for a lot of our work we stand at the place of wrong/bad/sick/unhealthy/broken and then struggle and work and sacrifice trying to get to healthy/whole/complete. For me there's something scary as all-get-out, but also really powerful to the point it gives me goose bumps, to imagine standing in myself and the world as whole, perfect, complete, beautiful, connected, community, family. And standing there with everything that I have, and powerfully--through prayer, and through actions, and through words--causing and calling the world to meet me there."

- Julia Butterfly Hill on the Essential Shift (the whole interview is included below)


"It is in the stillness of our heart that we find the peace we seek in the world. It is the connection deep within to the very source of our being where we recognize the oneness of life. It is here that we transcend the duality of perceived right and wrong thinking, judgment, control and attachment. In this awareness, we let go of the need to have the world behave according to our preconceived expectations and we dare to love unconditionally. We embrace love for love’s sake and in doing so, we also experience peace. To know unconditional love is to know peace. When we love without condition, we naturally engage the dynamic quality of peace and allow this energy to permeate our outer experience as well. We balance the inner and outer reflections with a grander perspective that sees beyond the obvious before us. We know we are simply experiencing life from our unique viewpoint in the moment and we have the power to choose love and peace. Although many assume peace to be quiescent, idle and quiet, it is truly an energy that is vibrant and alive. It is colorful, engaging and encouraging. It is filled with potential and enhances our creativity. It calls to us to explore without limitation and to express ourselves with a distinct sense of freedom. Peace is also something we easily share as it is in limitless supply. We joyfully convey it to others and witness its expansion in ever growing waves. Peace begins with us. It has always been this way. The more we express our love, the greater our sense of peace. The more peace we radiate, the more profoundly we comprehend the sublime beauty it reveals. Since love and peace already exist as a state of consciousness within us, it ensures that it will become our collective reality. Peace prevails in you and in me. Together, we are the establishment of peace on Earth."

- Harold W. Becker -- Taken from http://www.thelovefoundation.com/a_special_message.htm - Also available in video format at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lrhrlMyDXs


"Many native peoples wisely made policies holding before themselves a question: How will decisions today affect the next seven generations? Today, the world is interconnected as never before. It is not only connected presently but decisions made today will have permanent consequences long into the future. If our decisions today are flawed, we cannot say how long the future will last. This is unique in human history. We are the first generation which must ensure consciously and intentionally that we are not the last. Our most critical challenges require new levels of holistic creative thinking and governance that can integrate local concerns with global responsibility. The dangers that used to threaten just a few now threaten the existence of all. Wisdom to understand the interconnectedness of these dangers is now also required. No longer can we afford to think locally and act globally. Humanity’s global footprint must be met with appropriate thinking and policies. There is an Axis of Responsibility. Three issues require global cooperation, the rule of law, and universal norms. Whether we effectively address crushing poverty, adequately organize ourselves to protect the global commons such as the oceans, the climate, and the rainforest—living systems upon which civilization depends—and eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us, defines whether we pass on a sustainable future. Successfully addressing the Axis of Responsibility requires new levels of international cooperation. No state, nor even a powerful group of states, can succeed alone. Universal coordinated approaches using our highest values and the arts of law and diplomacy are needed. Globalization reminds us that we are in fact one human family. The living ecosystem of the planet is our shared home. We would never permit conduct that dishonors our personal homes. Healthy people know that nurturing a family is a crucible of training wherein learning to care for others determines success more effectively that dominating others. The lesson of the last century is that we cannot find security by attempting to dominate each other, nor by trying to dominate nature. In fact, learning to live in harmony with each other and nature is not an ideal; it is both a moral and practical imperative."

- Jonathan Granoff - President, The Global Security Institute -- taken from Axis of Responsibility: Ensuring Our Common Future


"An "Aha" moment is one of those times in your life that all the pieces fall into place. A moment of clarity that enlightens and actually changes you. These moments, though they may be far and few in between, are defining moments where true knowledge has been gained and it is up to you to seize these moments and use this newly discovered wisdom to change your life."

- Taken from http://www.coachtrainingalliance.com/blog/archives/129-Your-Aha-Moments.html



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.

NOTE: If you are located in Europe, please note that the fourth Sunday meditation on this theme, on October 25, will start one-hour earlier because Daylight Saving Time will have ended. To verify if your location is included in this time change, click HERE. In North America, Daylight Saving Time will end on November 1st.

These times below correspond (for most countries) to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:

Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 PM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 4:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 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 -- Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 AM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM

You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?day=04&month=10&year=2009&hour=16&min=0&sec=0&p1=0amp;p1=0 to find your corresponding local time if a nearby city is not listed above.



3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS

The following is provided as a complement to further the process of inspirational understanding of what, in truth, cannot be grasped from a purely intellectual perspective, for the True Key to unlock the vault of your spiritual knowledge lies within you... and nowhere else.

CONTENTS

1. Dissolving the Illusion of Separation
2. Julia Butterfly Hill on the Essential Shifts
3. The Conscious Army - Love Is The New Religion




1.

From: http://www.phoenixascended.org/spiritual/dissolving_the_%20illusion_%20of_separation.htm

Dissolving the Illusion of Separation

by Jean Hudon

From the moment of our birth till the last breath of Life pulsating in the body of flesh given to us for this short period of evolution in the realm of matter, we live under the shadow of the Supreme Illusion, the most formidable obstacle to our awakening that has ever existed: the Illusion of Separation. Separation from the maternal womb, separation from other people, separation from the things we see around us. Later during our life, we learn to disconnect ourselves from our emotions, to develop a rational mind, to cast a cold and distant glance at the miseries and sufferings of this world. And we may even finally cut ourselves from the most important part of our being, from our soul, and, often pushed by an hostile environment, create a rigid and dogmatic set of mind perpetually striving to protect the selfish interests of this hard core of pre-set ideas and opinions we call "ego".

Then, most of the rest of our life is a struggle to find again a balance between the inner aspiration to Peace and harmony we continually feel and the endless contradictions of a lifestyle and behavior patterns dictated by the intransigent domination of this self-created ego. This ingrained system of protection of our self-identity in the face of a "hostile" world has all sorts of hidden mechanisms that are triggered by the slightest direct finger-pointing to vigorously assert its domination over the entire conduct of our life. Even thinking about such things as "ego domination" is enough to trigger a strong resistance reaction so as to protect its integrity, which, in a sense, is a normal reaction given the nature of the ego, camouflaged as it is inside the very fabric of our awareness.

This built-in system of self-protection is a common occurrence resulting from the present nature of our entire social paradigm which fosters the individualistic values of personal achievement through diplomas, wealth and fame over the spiritual values of Self-development, sharing and humility. In times past, when the human civilization was less developed and complex, the aboriginal societies, living in close harmony with the land and other life forms were much more connected with the Web of Life and thus less entrapped within the Illusion of Separation as we are today. The following excerpt of a declaration made by the Chief Seattle in 1854 is a good example of this awareness of Unity with all Life shared by the American Indians of this time...

"Every part of this Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sanding shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man. We are part of the Earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat on the pony, and man -- all belong to the same Family. (...) Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know, the Earth, does not belong to man; man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of Life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."

As we go on today, collectively devastating the Earth on an unparalleled scale, we are proving by the absurd the validity of this ancient perception of our place and role in the community of Life. We are destroying the fragile balance, established after billions of years of slow progress, between the unrelenting efforts of Life to take hold on this once barren planet and the sheer forces of entropy counteracting permanently to bring things back to their simplest mineral and chemical expressions. We are simply killing ourselves... This is the ultimate result of a civilization dominated by the Illusion of Separation.

Fortunately, in the late sixties we began to see the emergence of a movement calling for a return to simpler values, more in harmony with the natural rhythms and laws of Life, and eventually leading to the ecological movement of the 80's and 90's. Yet, the old dominant paradigm still exerts a considerable influence and threatens, if not quickly changed, to create a traumatic setback to the evolution of Life on planet Earth. And the key of this change... is in each one of us.

Dissolving this Illusion of Separation is our greatest challenge and our best opportunity to shift from a world of violent competition, war, pollution and despair, to a world of gentle cooperation, peace, harmony and hope. And again, Love is the only force that can change the world... and ourselves. Love within us first, for if we cannot feel Love within us, we cannot feel Love for others. Then Love for all the other human beings, no matter how different they are, for what really matters is not the outside but the inside: the same human body, the same feelings, the same desire to love and be loved. And above all, the same Life animating all our cells... and the cells of all the other Life forms on this planet and everywhere in the universe. This sacred bond of Love is what makes the Illusion of Separation just that... an illusion.

Nothing is separated from anything. All is ONE!...

(To see this material in context, read Pathways to Unity at http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/Pathways.htm)




2.

From: http://www.shiftinaction.com/discover/transcripts/julia_butterfly_hill/essential_shifts

Julia Butterfly Hill on the Essential Shifts (transcript)

Belvie Rooks (Shift in Action): Welcome to Essential Shifts. Our guest is Julia Butterfly Hill whom many of you remember. On December 10, 1997, when she was 22 years old, Julia climbed a 180-foot redwood tree. And the rest is a very important part of our contemporary history, as it relates to non-violent direct action in an effort to honor and protect the natural environment, and one person's efforts to heal the rifts between the human and the natural environment. Julia is the author of The Legacy of Luna, and another really important book that I love, One Makes the Difference: Inspiring Actions that Change our World. She is also the youngest person ever to have been inducted into the Ecology Hall of Fame. Welcome, Julia.

Julia Butterfly Hill: Thank you so much.

SIA: Thank you so much. Many people know a part of your story but I was wanting, by way of background, who was Julia before Luna? Where did you grow up?

JBH: Well, I grew up traveling on the road. My father was a traveling preacher, so my formative years were designed around believing that my life was to be about a very specific concept of what God is and to be lived according to that concept. And then the god of money, which is the main god of our industrialized culture, began to infuse my consciousness. And then I thought, "Well, I am supposed to live my life according to that icon of god, the god of money," so when I went to college I majored in business. I co-opened a restaurant when I was eighteen. I sold that business and did many odd jobs, and became a consultant for the restaurant and bar industry, and that was my life--a little bit different than the icon of a tree-hugger that people know me to be now! [laughs]

SIA: And what was the personal aspect of your journey that led you or called you to the West coast and the Headwaters forest?

JBH: In August of 1996 I was designated driver. A friend called me and asked me to come and get her because she had been drinking, and I took a taxi over to her, and we got in her car and we literally only made it out of the parking lot to a first stop when we were rear-ended by a drunk driver. She had a two-door hatchback and he had a Ford Bronco, and he hit us so hard that the stereo broke out of the stereo console and bent around the stick shift, and the steering wheel of the car went into my skull. It took about ten months of physical and cognitive therapy to recover from the damage that happened to my short-term memory and my motor skills as a result of that impact. During that time I started looking at the question between real value and perceived value, and I realized that a majority of my life had been spent chasing after perceived value and as a result I never felt completely fulfilled. I never felt completely actualized as a human being. And there is nothing like a steering wheel in your skull to steer you in a whole new direction. [laughs] So that steering wheel literally and figuratively steered me in a new direction of trying to figure out what is real value, what has my life be a life that has such deep and profound meaning for me that it pulls me out of bed in the morning and makes me joyful and completely inspired to be alive. I didn't know where that journey was going to take me, I was just clear that that was the journey I was going to take. And then two weeks after my last doctor released me from the therapy from the wreck, I had acquaintances who were heading West who needed someone else to go along to help cover the expenses, and having grown up traveling...I enjoy traveling and I had not been able to as the result of having to be in physical and cognitive therapy, so I signed on for the trip. And in California I felt, by some deep intuitive knowing, that I was supposed to stay in California. I had no clear reason why, I just knew I was supposed to--so I gave them some money for the rest of their trip, and said, "Have a good trip," and I stayed in California, and then found out about the redwoods, and a few months later was in Luna.

SIA: I love it. You know context is really important, and I've shared this with you--I kind of pride myself on not reading blogs, and I have to confess that I love yours, and from reading your recent one I have this sense of [you as] a woman of the world in a large global context. You talk about being in south central Los Angeles and Italy and Brazil and Oakland. What is your sense of what is going on in the larger world, and what's your sense of the larger global reality, and what pulls you and calls you in what appear to be all these directions?

JBH: Right. I feel almost as if what's happening in our world right now today is two different stories that have met at the crossroads, and there's the struggle for, 'Will one of these stories prevail, or will we have a transformation of the coming together of these stories,' and the one story is the story of perceived value. We only need look at the stock market to realize that most of our society that we take for granted is based on perceived value. It goes up and down because it's not based on real value--quality of air, quality of water, quality of family life and community life, and health. Those can't go up and down. Those are a real value that remains constant. But the stock market goes up and down because it's not based on real value--it's based on perceived value--and what we see is this conflict between those who have been tricked into believing the story that perceived value is actual value. And we have those of us who are awakening to the remembrance of real value. It's in our DNA. It's a part of the divine spirit that makes us. It's a part of creation. I believe that more and more people, at least from my experience, are reawakening to that deep, deep real value. And then the challenge becomes how to try and live in that value, how to try and live in that way in a time and a world that is not supporting it or encouraging it-and, as a matter of fact, is oftentimes attacking it and making it difficult for those of us who choose to stand in this story, in this way of living.

SIA: And how do you personally find the strength? I was struck by something that was on your blog that says "The Earth speaks. Every day, every moment, every breath and those who listen, find the courage, energy, power and commitment that was not there before."

JBH: We have in our language occasional words that actually mean something that make a difference. In the English language I find myself more challenged sometimes than empowered by it, but occasionally there are things in our language that actually, if we remember what they are based on, actually can teach us something and one of those words is "human nature". We have cut off the nature that we are a part of, and we no longer reflect upon, draw upon, or live our lives through the nature we are a part of, and as a result we are a very sick society. We are disconnected. We are therefore a symptom of this disease, this "disconnect disease." The more I found that I'm able to take my own personal broken roots and weave them back into the nature that my human self is intrinsically and divinely a part of, the more I find that power and that strength and wisdom that I could never create on my own, but rather it only happens when I reconnect and am an active part of the healing of the world through the healing of myself. That re-rooting process is where that guidance and strength can come from, and continues to amaze me and astound me not just for myself but for others that I meet--seeing people who are doing absolutely extraordinary things. The community down in south central Los Angeles, the farmers there who we've been working with, the people in Brazil who are struggling to just get clean water and education and health care, the incredible people creating magic in the world that I know happens when we re-root ourselves in that connection.

SIA: What was happening in Italy?

JBH: In Italy, there's quite a few things going on there. Number one, there is a growing vegan movement. I am a "joyful vegan", as I call it. I never say that I am just a vegan.

SIA: A "joyful vegan!" I love it!

JBH: And part of the reason I say I am "a joyful vegan" is sometimes when people hear the word vegan they think boring food and a sense of lack, going without. Sometimes there is the perception of "angry activist". But, for me, being a vegan is a joyful gift. The food tastes fantastic. Being able to lighten my imprint on this earth that I am a part of fills my heart with joy. So, the growing vegan movement in Italy, I was there supporting that, and also working to invite people who are part of that growing movement to open themselves up to people who might not necessarily agree on all points, but who can be powerful allies. One of those groups would be the "slow food" movement that's committed to holding onto one of the great and rich traditions of Italy, which is its food, and holding onto it in the face of "fast food" and global corporate agriculture. Sometimes I think this is a challenge for all of us: As we become excited and aware around certain issues, we accidentally become a part of the problem when we disconnect ourselves from other people as the result of our excitement and passion, and then we're actually perpetuating the disease of disconnect. So I was there trying to help come through with another conversation of how do we, instead of using our differences as something to divide us, how do we look at our differences as diversity? And, just as we need diversity in a forest to have a healthy forest, or in a farm to have a healthy farm, this same thing with the human nature. We need the diversity to be strong and beautiful and healthy as a human family.

SIA: I was at a gathering with the Dalai Lama, actually in San Francisco, not too long ago, in which he was really suggesting that one way of healing the divide was through travel, by traveling as you are traveling, in search of family and kindred spirits and being a real part of the cultures and the communities that we visit. I have always wanted to visit Brazil. What are some of the things that attract you about Brazil?

JBH: For me, Brazil is a heart chakra country. In the travels that I've done I notice different chakra energies in different countries, and Brazil and a lot of countries in South America seem to be the heart chakra countries. Lots of celebration, much love, dancing, music, a passion for community and getting together and enjoying life together. It seems, sadly, that the more creature-comforts we have the more disconnected we become to our passions and to our zest for life and to our communities. The more technology we have...sometimes technology can connect us just like it's doing with us right now in this conversation, but there's a point when people then just become reliant on these forms of connection and stop actually meeting with each other face to face, and having dinners together, and dancing together, and singing together. Brazil is so beautiful because people--who have so little in the eyes of those of us of privilege from industrialized cultures--they have so much more than us in the realm of the heart and in the realm of the spirit and in the realm of connection with each other. The other thing that I love about Brazil, and I see it actually in many of my travels all over the world, is that it has some of the best that the world has to offer right next to some of the worst. So you see exquisite forests and jungles in the Amazon, and beautiful waterfalls and rivers and then you go to a place like São Paulo, where I was, where the river is so polluted that there are literal islands of plastic gathered up in the middle of it. It looks like an island but when you get close it's all plastic bottles and plastic bags and things like that. And then you have these people living in the shanty towns in extremely poor communities, and there's a lot of violence, and there's a lot of things that are going wrong, and at the same time you see this heartbeat of humanity rising up, and just taking their lives into their own hands, and creating human community based solutions of empowering themselves to find ways to solve what is really a global human family problem--things like the cleaning up of their water, and sanitation, and education, and healthcare and these kinds of things. So, it's life at its most full on and that can really jar us out of the numbness that I think sometimes comes with our comfortability.

SIA: I am just wondering in terms of the journey - Luna, and the space that it has opened up, and your travels--what do you see as some of the essential shifts required of us, individually and/or collectively, to kind of get us to a point where we can talk about this powerful need for transformation at this critical and very perilous time in human history?

JBH: When I take a deep breath and go inside to think about that question, the first thing that comes to me is that I think one of our biggest challenges is to look at our way of thinking, and see if there might be a way to serve ourselves even more powerfully by ending the myth that there is somewhere to get to--that there is something else that needs to be done, that there is all this brokenness that needs to be fixed, that there is something…. When I check in with my intuitive self and with my spirit and with the world I am a part of, I think part of our healing has to come from just standing and being still and claiming a healed world, claiming a healed humanity, claiming a healed self. So much of what I see, in people who are out working so hard to make a difference in the world and help cause transformation, is I see a lot of hurting and sick people doing that work. There's a piece of ourselves that's afraid to acknowledge our own grief and our own pain and our own out of balanceness, and there is also a part of our self that's afraid to be bold enough to just claim whole, perfect and complete as the planetary condition and choose to stand there and cause our world to meet us there. So I feel like for a lot of our work we stand at the place of wrong/bad/sick/unhealthy/broken and then struggle and work and sacrifice trying to get to healthy/whole/complete. For me there's something scary as all-get-out, but also really powerful to the point it gives me goose bumps, to imagine standing in myself and the world as whole, perfect, complete, beautiful, connected, community, family. And standing there with everything that I have, and powerfully--through prayer, and through actions, and through words--causing and calling the world to meet me there.

SIA: You know I really love and get a lot from the fact that, in your process, which I find is very thoughtful, I feel like what you're engaged in is a deep internal process of questioning, reflecting, and deep listening that you sometimes share out loud with the rest of us. I find that what it does is connect at a very deep place because it so models standing in your truth. All of us are needing to do that, and so I really thank you always and so much for that. And one of the other things that I really relate to is, in the context of your current work and your personal passion, how you live that in the world, creating a foundation like the Circle of Life Foundation to kind of carry forth some of those ideas. There are a lot of websites that I visit, but I love your website! It is very hopeful. I love the range of things that you do there. I particularly like the idea of providing tools, and all of the positive things, the conversations across the divide, and this bus that you have...You do these renewable energy-powered tours?

JBH: We did. We got an old touring bus that had lots of seats in it, the kind that was used to take people to go see tourist sites, and we took it and converted it to be a model of the solution of what is possible in our world. I felt that's so important, now more than ever, because we live in a time and an era that's feeding off the stories of everything that's going wrong. So, fear and violence and cynicism and apathy and overwhelm--these are all great human conditions for making us fantastic consumers. The more afraid we are, the more we buy. The more uncomfortable with who we are, with ourselves, the more we buy. All these things make us fantastic consumers, and as a result everywhere we look, every magazine cover, is based on getting us to feel that everything is wrong and afraid and scary and the things that fix it are superficial. What our world needs is more modeling of the solutions that aren't superficial, but are about what our souls long for, the kind of world we want to live in, having that be available to us to see and be inspired by. So, the bus runs on recycled vegetable oil that we gather from behind restaurants and filter and clean and heat up and literally drop directly into the engine, and run the engine off recycled vegetable oil. It has solar panels that run all the interior appliances--all the appliances have been chosen to be energy efficient. The stove runs off ethanol; the shower is made from tiles that we gathered from old construction sites and from behind tile stores, broken tiles, we reused all of that; we have a gray water attachment system--the water from the sinks is captured on board and used to flush the toilet with; the list goes on and on and on and on. Really we wanted to create something that would show people a myriad of possibilities, and in doing so hopefully to inspire people to look in their daily lives and say, "Where are ways I can make a difference?" An example being the gray water catchment system. Sadly a lot of building codes make it illegal to have that even though that means we waste pure drinking water every day. But one of the things we can actually do is, underneath our sinks, we can open up the pipes and put buckets, and then we can gather that water from our sinks and use it to water our plants or use that to flush our toilet with. I laugh at our stupid moments in history, because it's fun to laugh at our mistakes so that we can powerfully find solutions. I joke that one of our stupid moments is when we chose to start using fresh clean drinking water to flush our toilets with. You know, it's just not one of the most brilliant things we've ever come up with! So there's all kinds of little things that might at first sound troublesome, or, "What's that really going to make a difference?" or, "Oh that's a hippy thing!" But we're part of the problem or part of the solution every moment of every day. Myself and my organization Circle of Life is really inspired at looking for and modeling and connecting people with the solutions.

SIA: And part of what I love is the sense of humor offered on your site. Circle of Life does all of these little quick guides, and one of them is "Peeing Green" and "How to Win an Argument with a Meat Eater". I went on and I love the levity-but, as you were saying, we sometimes stand in the heaviness, so the levity and the joy.... What is it that you're hopeful about? What is hopeful for you?

JBH: Personally, I almost never use the word hope. Number one, if you tell people there is not hope that's an excuse for them not to get off their butts and do anything, and if you tell people there is hope then that's an excuse for people not to get off their butts and do anything! And, either way, the reason I feel the word can be disempowering either way is because it's about something in the future. And we never get the future. All we get is this moment, this breath, this moment, this breath, this choice, this word, this moment. So, if I can at all claim hope, it is what's in this moment, and the people that I see, moment by moment, using their lives as a gift of service to the world they're a part of of that. I find hope when I'm riding the public transportation system in the Bay Area. This one time I saw this older woman get on board, and it was obvious that she'd had a very tough day, and was completely worn out, and the shaking of the BART train system was making it difficult for her to stand, and a young man looked up at her and saw her fatigue, and just stood up without saying a word and offered her his seat and walked to a different part of the train--and it literally made me cry. I don't think most of us are that open to the miracles of the now, the magic of the now--but it made me cry because I, anytime, am so open. I look for magic in every moment. I look for the blades of grass pushing through concrete. I look for and celebrate and honor the teachers who are fighting for all they're worth to protect our beautiful young people in schools, and allow them to be individuals who use their minds, and believe they have more value than just what job they're going to go do when they grow up. I find hope in seeing someone helping an elderly person across the street. The list goes on and on-so, for me, if there is hope, it is not because of something that might happen someday, but rather because of all the millions of myriads of miracles that are happening every single moment.

SIA: Wow. Well, Julia, I, on that note, want to thank you. And as an elder, really, in relation to chronological age...children and babies and grass and nature and rivers and streams all have something to teach. I just want to let you know that you're a person that really inspires me, that makes me really happy to be alive on the planet at this time with you, and that I have deep, deep, deep, deep love and respect for who you are in the world--and I just want to thank you so much.

JBH: Well, thank you for holding that mirror to me and reminding me of my divinity. We need to be those mirrors for each other that allows us to stand in our divinity. So, thank you for reminding me of that.

SIA: Thank you so much...and get some rest!

JBH: [laughs] That's right.

SIA: OK. And we'll be in touch. Thank you, Julia.

JBH: Thank you. Bye-bye.


"The adulation that came with the star power of Julia's story was difficult for her. Julia didn't want it to be about her. What she wanted more than anything was to have people incorporate the inspiration that her story provided into their own lives, to own their own power. She asked that each of us really get that we can make the world a better place, that each of us get committed to a world grounded on love, not fear, one blessed by community not isolation, and one where each of us lives consonant with our principles and values."

- Ina Pockrass -- Taken from A Winter Solstice Tribute to Circle of Life




3.

The Conscious Army - Love Is The New Religion - video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89FNX7v3Zls

Video transcript:

"On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark. But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground. An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light. It is a silent revolution from the inside out, from the ground up.

It is time for me to reveal myself. I am an embedded agent of an secret, undercover Clandestine Global operation, a spiritual conspiracy. We have sleeper cells in every nation on the planet. You won't see us on the T.V. You won't read about us in the newspaper. You won't hear about us on the radio. We don't seek any glory. We don't wear any uniform. We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.

Most of us work anonymously. We are quietly working behind the scenes in every country and culture of the world, cities big and small, mountains and valleys, in farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.
Occasionally we spot each other in the street. We give a quiet nod and continue on our way so no one will notice. During the day many of us pretend we have normal jobs, but behind the false storefront at night is where the real work takes place.

Some call us the 'Conscious Army'. We are slowly creating a new world with the power of our minds and hearts. We follow with passion and joy our orders from the Central Command, the Spiritual Intelligence Agency.

We are dropping soft, secret love bombs when no one is looking ...

Poems ...Hugs ...Music ...
Photography ...Movies ...Kind words ...
Smiles ...Meditation and prayer ...Dance ...
Social activism ...Websites ...Blogs ...
Random acts of kindness ...

We each express ourselves in our own unique ways, with our own unique gifts and talents.

'Be the change you want to see in the world'... That is the motto that fills our hearts. We know it is the only way real transformation takes place. We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined.

Our work is slow and meticulous, like the formation of mountains. It is not even visible at first glance and yet with it entire tectonic plates shall be moved in the centuries to come.

Love is the new religion of the 21st century. You don't have to be a highly educated person or have any exceptional knowledge to understand it. It comes from the intelligence of the heart embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse of all human beings.

Be the change you want to see in the world...

Nobody else can do it for you. We are now recruiting. Perhaps you will join us or already have...

All are welcome... The door is open!"

Brian Piergrossi, from the book
'The Big Glow: Insights, Inspirations, Peace and Passion'



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