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I hope you’ll enjoy my latest Contemplative Living Podcast where I explore Authenticity, Non-Judgement and Breaking Free of Separateness. This month’s guided meditation is “Finding Your Authentic Self.”

https://contemplativeliving.podbean.com/e/authenticity-non-judgment-breaking-free-of-separateness/

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In this Contemplative Living Show we will explore Authenticity, Non-Judgment, and Breaking Free of Separateness. Toward the end of the podcast I’ll share a guided Contemplative Meditation.
Today we will be reflecting on Finding Your Authentic Self

The Buddha once said
See what is.
See what is not.
Follow the true way.

Let us be Authentic in our lives, unafraid to live with spirituality as our guiding light. Expressing love and receiving love is the only path needed. When we live as Authentic Beings, we experience the brilliance and majesty of life. Being Authentic in life allows us to be brave as well as tender, a different type of strength.

Click Here to go to the Podcast

170124-acceptance-of-oneselfOur uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.   –Linda Thompson

Our unawareness keeps us believing we are separate individuals. Each of us is independently forging a life with so many other individuals. Am I my job, my family, or a conglomerate of all those personas, which can be put on and taken off as needed? At times we feel like a pillar in the middle of a hurricane, with humanity’s madness swirling around us. It is then that we are quietly reminded: “Be the Pillar.”

To be the pillar requires a shift, a change in focus, a review of sorts. Try to examine from a greater perspective. Looking for the wonder, the miracle unfolding. It may not be easy, but being the pillar sometimes reveals the clues to finding a direction or future path of empowerment that reflects our true nature. No matter what our life experiences are, or how we feel about ourselves, we are all divine with amazing gifts and abilities to share with the universe. We share the responsibilities of sculpting our personalities into loving Light. In the Light we are all the Elk, attentive sentries outlasting time.

Accept yourself to yourself. Acceptance of the past can free us from it. As you come to understand your imperfection, you learn to accept it with the intention of improving yourself. Know this is where we are at this moment and we can step out in the Light of Divine Love where there is no imperfection, there is only simplicity in Being. The freeing quality of acceptance allows us to soar as our True Being.

It can be difficult when seeing yourself clearly for the first time, so be gentle with yourself. Know that your true nature cannot be taken away or diminished by others, because your strength lies within. Continue with this practice until you feel the release of your self-imposed confinement. This may take many days or months, yet developing the practice of acceptance will eventually become a way of being.

Now liberated, flow forward with loving intention and heart-centered actions and life will begin to grow brighter tomorrows. Always identify yourself with gratitude and acceptance. This is who you are at this moment, and you are developing this moment with positive intentions.

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David Bennett is a public speaker, author, teacher, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. He’s appeared on radio and television, including on The Story of God w/ Morgan Freeman, Dr Oz,  Angels Among Us, NBC national news, and PBS. Author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time.
http://DharmaTalks.com

 

160930-free-time-to-free-the-mindHave you ever been working so hard and fast then to only realize you were getting very little done? Of course you have – we all have! We all have moments when we feel so crazed and scattered that our productivity simply vanishes. Its times like these there seems to be no solution.

 Rest and activity are the steps toward progress and always remember balance is key. It may seem counterproductive but in order to be productive we have to balance our outer life with our inner life. We generally have all our work time scheduled; and when we get home we have family, chores, and lists of projects. But what about time for play, rest, and relaxation, do we have time in our calendar for them? Many times rest and relaxation are just an afterthought.” Oh, I’ll take time off when I get caught up.” But we never really get caught up because the projects just keep coming, so the busy cycle continues, and we spiral downward.

 Our thoughts can work against us, greatly adding to our problems. Making them bigger rather than working for us and making problems smaller and more manageable. Do good and feel good. Do bad and feel bad. It’s that simple. Our work life depends on our inner satisfaction and peace. When we feel we aren’t getting anywhere our awareness leaves the present moment and attaches to the past or the future and we lose our sense of direction in the present. Try looking through the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.

 So, what can we do? We must set aside time to apply self-care to our real needs, what our true nature desires. Then life becomes much lighter. Mentally, we are hungry for nourishing experiences that free the mind to inner peace. Every cell of our body already knows to respond to the ever-changing circumstance with adaptability and creativity to maintain its health and balance.

 The creative core is a term for the deep well of creativity and creative capacity that is in every human being. Living from your creative core means you respond to every moment from a place of possibility and openness. When we are creatively and emotionally nourished, then our true nature is in balance with our physical self and we can accomplish more.

 Take a break from social media whenever you can to focus on the positivity in your real, immediate life. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and set time aside for activities that nourish your Being. Reading a book, meditation, or doing something to stir the creative spark within you; all of these things can be the key to your inner satisfaction. Successful people have found that if they spend time on their selves their professional lives prosper. So don’t forget to schedule vacations and make time in your day to bring peace and contentment to your Being.

 Focus your conscious mind on things you desire not things you fear. Doing so brings dreams to life. Self-knowledge has nothing to do with our ego or personality; it is about our True Nature and the unique and vital role that only we can contribute to the cosmos. You are only destined to become one person – the person you decide to be.

David Bennett enjoys the retired life of a public speaker, author, teacher, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. He’s appeared on radio and television, including on The Story of God w/ Morgan Freeman, Dr Oz, Angels Among Us, NBC national news, and PBS. Author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time.
David’s Website is: http://DharmaTalks.com

 

160824-possibleIn today’s world we are bombarded with messages of fear. Fear causes us to shut down only seeing and acting within a small predictable circle of awareness. Fear restricts our ability to live life. In order to reduce fear we have to first slow down and relax, then examine the source, examine the roots.

Our true nature never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we shrink our awareness as a result of fear. The future of a person’s life is like looking down a corridor of approaching potentials. In the center of the corridor are events and locations of opportunities not yet realized. Harmoniously, on the outer fringes of this corridor are events that we have not committed our free will or intentions toward and yet are still available to us as future potentials. If we move our awareness toward those fringe events, then they can become firm possibilities.

When we get caught up in the day-to-day distractions and fear in life we allow them to carry us away from our true nature. This deepens the illusion of us being separate individuals having to forge out a life with no sense of direction.  Also, we simply are not pursuing our potential. Wen distracted we generally do not factor our intensions into our decision-making or into our goal setting.

Already embedded within us are all of the gifts and talents we need to complete the work that we agreed on before coming into this life. Already planted is all of the raw material necessary for us to come into a relationship with and develop our character from our true nature. Our task in life is to discover the talents placed within us, to develop them, and to begin to use them as opportunities as they present themselves.

No one else can do the work we agreed to do, and the universe is aligning what we need in a fluid ever-changing world of potential. We are tasked to use our awareness to recognize the synchronicity as it presents itself. While in this flow, it is good to be grateful for what the universe provides and establish new loving intentions that foster empowering goals that are in alignment with our divine essence.

Have honesty within yourself and act in a way that aligns within your truth. Which is also known as self-truth. We are naturally good, we are already awake, and all of that is within each of us, we only need to look past our mental grasping and distraction. We are never off our path. We can however choose to sit down and not move forward. So developing our awareness is critical to realize the potential that we have to keep us moving.

Living in fear we live in the roots of our awareness and we will never climb to the tips of the branches, to connection, to the greater world that waits. Truth lies within, waiting to bubble up like fresh spring water beneath our roots, only asking us to accept the absolute truth of our true nature. Now is a good time for new growth and an opportunity to open our corridor of potential.

Rise above those old ways of “being” and instead live your life like your true nature intends. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way the Divine exists within you.

David Bennett author, teacher, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. He’s appeared on Story of God with Morgan Freeman,  Dr Oz,  Angels Among Us, NBC national news, and PBS. Author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time.
http://DharmaTalks.com

This was an article on Huffington Post. Follow David on Huffington Post
Image: Man Hand Writing More Is Possible With Black Marker On Visual Screen by Jacek Dudzinski

 

A Contemplative Practice is a Stairway of ReunificationMost spiritual traditions aim for the same ultimate goal: reaching a place of Oneness where we become one with nature, with each other, and with the Divine. But we also recognize ourselves as fallible human beings who live in a world of dualities. One way to transcend this and reach that place of Oneness, our Divine Essence, is by working with our dualities, our inner light, and our shadows. Spiritual development inevitably flows in the direction of love and spiritual maturity. When people turn away from their true nature they thwart their own spiritual development; they no longer move forward.

It can be difficult living a spiritual life in this world that typically rejects all absolutes. Absolutes like the understanding that all things, including humans, are sacred. Many people live life without realizing that deep within the core of our being is a place where our personality and human nature touches the absolute love of Oneness. This place is sometimes called our Divine Essence. Our Divine Essence draws its energy and power from the universal Oneness, and when our essence feels cut off from the Oneness, it withers. When it reconnects, our essence comes alive and we grow spiritually.

It is critical that we acknowledge the importance of inner development in the process of our spiritual growth. Inner development is finding out who we truly are as we connect to our True Nature and requires engaging in contemplation and meditation.

Let’s define the meaning of “reflection and contemplation” before we move on. Reflections are thoughts, ideas, or remarks that occur as a result of meditation, which then become your center of focus in subsequent meditations or a subject for serious thought or consideration for a period of time in your daily life. These contemplations provide a path into your divine nature.  Unlike other meditation techniques designed to empty the mind, reflections intensely focus on an idea while in a state of stillness or mindfulness.

Many times after posting my reflections online, I find that the contemplations and my life crisscrossed in unexpected ways.  For example, after working with a reflection, I then find it is the perfect message for someone who crosses my path in some spontaneous way. Many who follow my daily reflections online report similar experiences. Working with reflections helps you make empowered choices that imbue your life and relationships with substance and depth.

Reflections are meant to stimulate your intellect and intuition and thus open a connection to your authentic self. They may confound, or they may provide “Aha!” moments. You may find you want to work with a reflection for a day, a week, or a month, letting all its nuances and facets bring moments of light into your life. I suggest looking for synchronistic events that complement the energy of the contemplation you are working on. How you engage with your contemplation is personal, and everyone’s experience is unique. Savor each reflection, as if a piece of hard candy were slowly dissolving in your mouth, with many sweet and bittersweet shades. Sometimes wisdom hits square in the face. As when we walk from darkness into brilliant sunshine and it takes time to adjust. Other times it slowly works its way into our hearts and minds by repeated exposure or over long periods of incubation. In the long run, spiritual growth helps unite oneness into all parts of our lives. This is what spiritual transformation is all about.

Since birth, humanity has had one shared purpose, which is reuniting with the spiritual Source from which we came. We all tread this path in our own way to reach the common goal of reconnection with the Light that shines within us. It is this Light that silently summons us and connects our being to the Source of all things. Through daily spiritual practice we experience growth and climb the stairway of reunification. No matter where you are on your ascent, you will find reflections supportive in locating the next step toward nourishing your being. Reflection practice can be considered a wake-up call that challenges you to look at yourself and the many possibilities before you, so you can change the way you live for the better.

I look forward to sharing some reflections in the coming months. They are created through love and come to you in love.

This is my article reprinted from Om Times Magazine, © [2015], and is available at http://OMTimes.com.

David Bennett enjoys the retired life of a public speaker, author, teacher, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. He’s appeared on radio and television, including on Dr Oz,  Angels Among Us, NBC national news, and PBS. A Findhorn Press author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time scheduled August 2015.
http://DharmaTalks.com
http://SpiritualSimplicityBooks.com

Purpose seems to present itself at all times in all places, we only need to be aware and stay present. Even when the world around us seems to be going a little wacky if we keep stillness and calm in our hearts a path will present itself.

delayedI was delayed for my first flight from Syracuse to St. Louis and it meant I would not make my connecting flight. Apparently there was fire in the tower in Chicago the day before and it shut the airport down, so there were no seats available for a new flight out of Chicago today even thought it was a day later. A couple chose to sit beside me while I was waiting. Spirit gave me a nudge, so I struck up a neutral conversation to pass the time. We were all delayed for a couple of hours. They asked why I was traveling to St. Louis and I quietly told them to help facilitate a retreat for people that have died and came back, “near-death experiencers.” They replied with curiosity that they were interested in the subject, and followed up with “what is a retreat for NDErs like.” I spoke of the challenges experiencers go through and how it is helpful to be with other experiencers to find ways of overcoming the challenges. They had many questions about how to live with a NDE and my feelings about the afterlife. Then purpose revealed itself. The man notified me he was going through lung cancer, and was thinking a lot about his mortality. We then had a quiet and lengthy conversation about how I overcame stage IV lung & bone cancer and about listening to our guidance. I could see hope returning to the man’s eyes as the conversation went on. We took up all of the delay time speaking then they called our flight and we went our ways wishing each other safe and present journeys.

Above the cloudsI love to fly once we gained altitude I closed my eyes and expanded my awareness to feel the thrust of the engines, and be aware of the out stretched wings cutting through the rushing air that fold under the wing that press it upward. I lost myself to the sense of speeding over the planet, leaving wisps of turbulence in my wake that eventually subside into settled air. My awareness sometimes went further to the outstretched land or water beneath and examined with great detail our earth speeding past.

I arrive at Chicago in a good mood and prepared myself for a long night in the airport. Then Spirit nudged me again to go to customer service even though I was already booked on a flight leaving the next morning. When it was my turn I asked what was available and I got the same answer as the representative bowed his shaking head, he then looked again at the screen in front of him and said “wait a minute a standby just opened up on a flight this evening.” chicagoI was so relieved to have listened and stayed in the flow of Being with all the chaos that was swirling around.

Another couple chose to sit next to me just as they announced our flight would be delayed an additional hour. They groaned turned to me and asked the same question, “So why are you traveling to St. Louis?” Again like magic we started a conversation about NDEs and this time they had someone in their family that had an experience. We spoke of the common factors in the experiences like the unconditional love and they gain new understanding of what their family member went through and why it had changed her life. Then the announcement system notified us that our flight would be boarding sooner than anticipated.

It goes to show we can always be of service even in unexpected circumstances. I boarded my flight thinking when I listen and I am present with authentic being, the universe aligns work and rewards.

When we transform our consciousness, we participate in the transformation of the world we know. Let us look through the fog to see what a transformation in consciousness is and promote its development, also let’s examine catalysts and doorways we know of that produce a life long lasting transformation.

hammerBecause you have a hammer in your hand, doesn’t mean you know how to build a house. What is it that makes an extraordinary experience transform into lasting change? In a garden you must prepare the soil and plant seeds to have something to harvest later. Not all the seeds will grow unless you give them what they need to thrive.

Transformation can be a gradual life long process, or it can be precipitated by a sudden shift sometimes painful, or possibly an exceptional experience. When we experience a shift in our worldview, we often feel nothing will ever be the same. Like water wearing away stone, integrating transformative experiences into our core way of being often requires time, patience and inner work. Reconditioning and reshuffling priorities may be required to catch up with our new expanded worldview.

Consciousness itself doesn’t change, instead it is our perception of consciousness that changes. Who we are authentically doesn’t change, rather our false selves are shed and elements of our higher consciousness are recalled, integrated and aligned with who we really are. Being able to step back and look at our beliefs gives an opportunity to see the outdated ones and make room for the new ones calling out for transformation. Intellect can only get us so far, letting go, we can open to new states of awareness.

Become a soul in wonder - childlike

Become a soul in wonder – childlike

Transformation is aided by a strong sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness rather than being suspicious of new information. Become a soul in wonder – childlike, reaching a point where we look for what’s next. What is going to happen today? Yes we have things to accomplish, yet leave an opening for the new to present itself into the present.

Making time in life for creativity allows us to inspire new ideas. We are wired for seeking (since our hunter gatherer ancestors) and creativity allows us to open to our authentic selves. No matter what our outlet is: dance, music, art, writing and journaling, they are all full of surprise and wonder.

A necessity in the transformative process is to find time for silence, introspection and inner authority. Entering the realm of stillness requires that you pay attention to your daily rhythms and natural cycles. I enjoy taking a moment of silence before meetings and events, allowing my inner knowing to open. In silence we open to the inner realm of knowing and broaden previous understandings and experience. Intentionally stopping and being in silence is a simple practice that may feel uncomfortable, but over time can become a refuge.

When allowing these seeds of curiosity, creativity and stillness to mature, many times they will grow into direct knowing of authentic knowledge within our awareness. New realizations can be fragile just like the new sprouts in our garden. To have them blossom we need to reinforce them with practices like contemplative prayer or mindfulness meditation.

Because we’ve had an exceptional experience doesn’t mean we have a pass for a free ride. Instead we have tasted our potential and understand the imperative to evolve. It is a call from our authentic self to participate in the transformative process. Holding the intention of being open to transformation always helps us recognize the opportunities for transformation that present themselves in our daily life. This way we become “coconspirators” in the evolution.

There is a need to bring attention and awareness to our “Witness” or “Observer Self,” in everything we do. That way we become aware of any behaviors like addictions and jealousies that drive our wants and needs. Like pulling weeds, only by seeing them clearly can we overcome these self limiting habits. Cultivating mindful attention and awareness is an act of liberation. A range of techniques are available for learning to discipline the mind. Use the tools of mindful attention to substantially increase the transformative potential of our practice.

Guidance can come from external or internal wisdom. A teacher or mentor is a solid path to take with many known benefits. A good teacher should be balanced by our own internal wisdom. We are the best in discerning if a practice is working in our transformation. Practice on its own isn’t enough, always balance practice with life experiences. If practice becomes an end to, rather than a means, it can become an obstacle to the transformative process. Practice is a sort of flashlight we shine on our inner world to illuminate insight. Once you’ve gained the sight, there is no need for the flashlight.

The ego, the sense of a self as separate from the world, can become overactive and keep us out of our hearts and in our minds. Ego pulls us out of the present and into the past or future, out of our deeper wisdom and living shallowly. Yet, it is a mistake to try to destroy the ego, instead one of our primary functions in the transformative process is to reestablish an internal balance between ego and soul, or self and other, doing and being. Remove ego from the driver seat and let your creative, intuitive self have a turn at the wheel.

yay-611217Keep the transformative process moving toward increased insight by shaking things up. Try something different. Use a purification ritual to shed the old baggage or beliefs both spiritually and emotionally. Try living in the moment, developing a deep sense of gratitude, joy and love for your present environment. It takes courage and commitment but try surrendering to the mystery and allow life to unfold and worry less about the past or future. Stop resisting and get out of the way, so you can find your sense of aliveness and engage in life with the fullest loving intention. The transformative process opens us to the fundamental human core of love and divine truth. Once we learn how to open that door it’s like a well oiled hinge, it opens easily.

Understand that transformation is a form of spirituality integrated into all aspects of life, not a hat you put on and take off. It affects all arenas of the daily experience, goings and comings, work, play, in the car or at home; not just when we are in a sacred place, meditating or on a ten day retreat. Many times we spend our time attending workshop after workshop, group after group and we feel exhilarated at the time, only to return home and have difficulty integrating what we learned or experienced. We are attempting to be part-time yogis. The purpose of a transformative path is to change our way of being full time.

Finding a like-minded community with whom we can share our transformative process is essential. Our dominant culture does not always support a consciousness transformation that emphasizes meaning over materialism. Having people in our life who support our metamorphosis helps fortify our young blossoming plant. Transformative development happens in the context of shared experience and with connections, guides and peers. Being part of a community also helps us with learning how to behave with other people. New on the horizon are Internet and teleconferencing based meetings that have the potential of reaching even the most isolated individuals.

Use simple reminders on a daily basis to remember the transformation in our lifes. These can act as a trigger to keep us working in the present. Also develop ways to take action bringing our new perspective into the world. It can be creative expression or a form of service to others. When we take our ideals and put them into practice through action, we create powerful experiences. We can use conscious intention to propel ourselves forward with positive meaning and choose the life we want.

What’s interesting is the reversal that takes place. At first our transformative activities fed our life, now our life feeds our transformation, by living the art of transformation. It takes courage to live life with an authentic awakening and realized truth. It means facing everything and no longer pushing things we do not want to deal with in the corner. It requires bravery, commitment and love to be who you really are or risk the awakened state diminishing.

Take what you have learned, the insights and direct experiences and give them form. Become the embodiment of your transformative process. Becoming the Spirit of each life interaction, we become the practice of our truths and love, making it a seamless and graceful partnership with our higher consciousness. Be a convergence of life and practice where you bring the fruits of your life journey back home.

Large group of multi-ethnic people cheering with arms raisedThe most common element of consciousness transformation is when self awareness extends beyond the boundaries of the individual personality and we find the interconnectedness of all beings. There is a gradual realization that there isn’t any separation, with a knowing of unity and yet our soul is intact. Tentatively at first we step from center stage into the flow of shared identity. Transcendence from “I” onto “We”, is a natural progression people are finding globally; the shift is aways here and available to everyone. There is a growing intensity worldwide of shifting our consciousness and awakening.

As the transformative process progresses we experience an expanded view of reality and our place in it. Often we are led to a greater intimacy and interrelatedness with the people in our lives. A different kind of love plants a seed of openness and authenticity with everyone we interact with throughout the day. Many express how this process has opened their hearts, making them believe the transformative process is not a series of steps, but the path to love.

Compassion and a need to relieve suffering grows from this universal love. A love that calls us to act in ways to remedy suffering. The more we walk our paths with an open heart the more we realize that everything is sacred and divine.

Aha! Transformation isn’t really a change at all, but an unveiling and reorganizing of who we are and finding the divine that’s already within. Then we see the spiritual light shines brightly through every living being. With that comes a responsibility to be in balance with all life by staying awake and aware. With this noetic understanding our concern for a sustainable life is intertwined with all lives.

So tmay 2005 027end the garden with a practice that is comfortable for you. Fertilize the soil, pull the weeds, stake the seedlings and provide the environment for the natural, never ending transformation process and rest ever more into your authentic self. The potential for awakening to enlightenment is within us because we are all interconnected beings of light and part of the greater all.

Not all transformative paths start with an exceptional experience, but most begin with some kind of deeply felt, unshakable realization. This shift can be triggered by something as subtle as reading a blog.