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Archive for the ‘Mindfulness’ Category

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Grasping and holding on to something is not the usual way of nature. It distracts and turns us away from our ideal path. If taken too far craving makes us frustrated and miserable. When we allow gratitude and acceptance to show us where we are at any moment, it focuses us on what is really important. With this focus, a window appears letting in the light and illuminating our true nature. How beautiful…

Allow the future to unfold

Let go of worry, concern, and anxiety by breathing in the freedom of this moment. Life is a rolling wave; ever moving with incredible force and it’s constantly changing. We all have a connection to the universal infinite living mind. Let it be the rose in our hearts, constantly reminding us to be mindful, present, and to shine our Light. Positive attitudes build positive lives and create a more purpose-filled life.

When we expand our idea of who we are and broaden the scope of our awareness, it leads us to challenge other limitations. The Divine within is ever alert, expanding our awareness so that we see clearly. Expansion creates flashes and peaks of insight linking our conscious with our unconscious.

Be True

Although we are allowing change, stay true to yourself by knowing what is truly needed and significant in life. Focus on your unlimited potential, your spiritual connection, and your daily needs. Stay grounded with a connection to your higher self.

Build Self-Confidence

Do not underestimate yourself put everything you have into this life. The lesson is there with every breath. Every breath holds the possibility for all our futures. Every breath is an opportunity to share and teach. With every breath celebrate the joy of living in this moment of ever-expanding change. We have all the creative power of the universe in our hands, so dare to be all that is within you. Accept you are a magnificent Being with the empowering stamina to outlast time and acknowledge your true nature is interconnected to the universe.

David Bennett a contemplative life spokesman, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. Author, of Voyage of Purpose and A Voice as Old as Time.
Webpage – http://DharmaTalks.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DharmaTalks
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DavidDharmaTalks

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.

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The Bell Meditation
An Excerpt from Soul Soothers: Mini Meditations for Busy Lives

A guest blog by Cindy Griffith-Bennett

294a88ef52bb6fde0a41f2964280252bThe Bell Meditation

1. Choose a sound or action that you hear or experience at least five times a day. An action could be using your debit card, and a sound might be your cell phone ringing.
2. Every time your sound or action occurs, take a deep breath. The phone will still be there if you wait one extra ring.
3. Pay attention to where your mind is. Are you thinking about what you are doing now, or is your mind in the past or future? Are your thoughts calm or agitated? Don’t judge yourself, simply note your thoughts, take a deep breath, and shift them if they need it
4. Pay attention to your body. Is your breathing shallow or deep? Are your shoulders tensed or relaxed? Are you sitting or standing correctly? Are you slumped over?
5. Fix anything that might be adversely affecting your body.
6. Pay attention to your surroundings. Are you being affected by outside influences?
7. Note how you are being affected and if possible, fix it.
8. Go back to what you are doing. Bring your newfound mindfulness into your activity.

Where and When42c76b440396bcfac34a391a1ede50a0
Use this mini-meditation to practice mindfulness throughout your day. The Bell Meditation is a reminder to come back to the state of mindfulness. When you hear your “bell,” check in to see where your mind is. Each time it “rings,” take a deep breath and connect with your mind, body, and environment. Bring yourself back to the present moment and mindfulness. Don’t judge what you find when you check in; simply note it.

The Bell Meditation is great for work. You can make any sound or activity into a bell as long as it isn’t happening constantly. A receptionist might not want to make a phone ringing into a bell, yet for someone who only gets calls a few times a day, it is perfect. The receptionist could use the mail delivery along with a trip to the copier as bells. If you are a busy mom, you could use walking through the doorway to the kitchen as your bell, or every time you get in or out of the car. Eventually your bell will get stale and loose its effectiveness and so you may need to change it a bit. If you are a person who gets caught up in the moment, loses track of time, obsesses, or whose physical disabilities are aggravated when you don’t pay attention to your body, this is a perfect meditation to keep you in touch with your thoughts, body, and environment. The Bell Meditation will assist any time you need to bring mindfulness into your daily life.

Example
f942b6e5c543f9c042351c84bda0533cDave is an author who travels, and between writing, websites, and social networking, spends a lot of time on his computer. He doesn’t get phone calls often; most people contact him via email. So a ringing phone does not work well as a bell. He also has a rebuilt spine and working at the computer can be quite painful. He wants to develop a bell so that he is reminded to get up and stretch as well as be mindful about how he is sitting. Since he travels, he needs a bell he can carry with him. He found an app for his iPhone that actually has a bell that he can set to go off a number of times a day. Dave is working at home today. When the iPhone bell goes off, he takes a deep breath, and puts his attention to where his thoughts are. His thoughts are positive and in the present moment, so he moves his attention to his body. He discerns that he is sitting in his chair cockeyed and his neck hurts. He stands up to stretch his muscles. Realizing that his neck pain is from the angle he was holding his head, he takes a few minutes to raise the computer monitor a couple of inches. Dave returns to working on the website, noting how much better his neck feels with the monitor adjusted.

Why – Discernment vs. Judgment
As discussed in the chapter on the Walking Meditation, adding mindfulness to your life offers you the ability to get off autopilot and back in your mind’s driver seat. Mindfulness helps you to be proactive instead of reactive, while compelling you to take responsibility for your actions. Yet, practicing mindfulness can also set you up to start judging yourself. You have enough people judging you without doing it yourself. This doesn’t mean that everything you do is fine, and that you are perfect, it only means that judging is not a productive way to institute change.
The human tendency is to judge what is experienced as either good or bad. This person is not nice, so he or she must be bad. This ice cream tastes rich and creamy, so it must be good. Many spiritual teachings emphasize the importance of being able to separate what you experience from how you feel about it. You can then decide if it is in your best interest, without judging it as good or bad. For example, decadent ice cream with all the sugar and calories may make the taste buds happy, and you say, “This is really good.”

ice_cream_coneYet if you eat too much of it, you may find the first rush of pleasure turning into a sugar crash. That sugar rush may feel good or bad depending on how your body processes sugar. Yet to deal with all that sugar, your pancreas pumps out a lot of insulin, challenging your immune system. Sleep will be difficult tonight and your immune system will take 24 hours to get back to normal, so you think the ice cream is bad. But when you look at this situation more closely, it isn’t the ice cream that is good or bad. The ice cream is simply ice cream. It is how your body feels after eating it that makes you decide if it is good or bad. Spiritual teachings suggest that you don’t label the ice cream at all. It is ice cream, not good or bad — it just is.
Looking at things as they are, without judging them, is called discernment. Your mind tends to judge; your intuition uses discernment. Your intuition looks at your situation, along with the most likely outcome of your options, to see which choice leads you closer to your soul’s path. In the case of ice cream, your intuition would not say it is good or bad, yet it might discern that if you have a little of it, maybe a kiddie-sized cone, the sugar in the ice cream cone won’t send you on quite the same sugar high and inevitable crash as the double cone you contemplate getting.
That discerning choice will allow you to have the kiddie cone and still get to the tasks you need to later on, without falling asleep because of a sugar crash. A wonderful story of discernment is about a monk looking out a window. He sees the sun shining, a slight breeze, and puffy white clouds. He exclaims, “This is going to be a great day: the flowers will benefit from the sun!” He grabs a light sweater and begins his walk to the garden for fresh vegetables. The next day he looks out the window and it is raining, a little cold, and a stiff breeze is coming from the north.

f85dd682a2e3ac312cd91eaca8e59450He exclaims, “This is going to be a great day: the flowers will benefit from the rain!” The monk grabs his boots, coat, and umbrella for his walk to the garden. This monk’s story teaches three things: 1) weather is neither good nor bad; 2) don’t let the rain determine if you are going to have a great day; and 3) be prepared and don’t forget your umbrella.
All of life offers lessons and opportunities for growth. Allowing yourself the freedom to live without judgment, yet with a strong ability to discern what is best for your highest and most loving good, allows you to make choices throughout your day to create the best environment for growth. Using the Bell Meditation gives you the opportunity to stop living in autopilot mode, and allows you to take control of how you choose to participate in your environment.
After a while of practicing discernment, you will stop making limiting choices based on short-term thinking and begin to make choices that bring you into balance and are best for your long-term goals. Discernment doesn’t tell you that you can never have a double- scoop ice-cream cone. It simply helps you choose a time when the sugar crash won’t get in your way of accomplishing your soul’s goals — and it reminds you to bring the umbrella in case it rains!

Soul Soother
6c91c8881f5c1ee0fff1ebcc730293fb Your soul knows that judgment is a waste of time, yet with discernment you can change what is not working in your life to create an environment around you that promotes the most soul growth. Judgment often creates an adverse vibrational state while discernment is neutral. Living a discerning life allows a more optimistic outlook. You are not living in fear of “bad” things happening as you realize that it is natural for life to present challenges. You stay open to whatever solutions are available rather than shutting down out of pessimism; you’ll feel optimistic, yet realistic, about what needs to be done.

Discernment creates an opportunity for you to think about what you want in your life, how you want to act, what type of energy and vibrations you want around you, see situations and people as they truly are, and make choices that lead you closer to fulfilling your potential.
Your soul wants you to be able to discern the energy and vibrations that are not for your highest and loving good. One way to do that is by using the Blessing Meditation to send loving energy to anyone or any situation you encounter that might need a little extra vibratory boost.

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New Book Release!

Soul Soothers: Mini Meditations for Busy Lives is designed for those of us that only slow down when stuck in the grocery line! Soul Soothers is written so you can read the one page meditation and be out the door practicing your meditation all day! Now you can meditate when doing the dishes, walking from work to your car, listening to a dog barking, waiting at your doctor, sitting at your computer, and even taking your shower!

When you do have more time, each chapter also contains the “Why” aspect of meditation, including spiritual topics such as energy, breath, mindfulness, intuitive listening, Karma, and more. Whether your goal is stress reduction or spiritual development, “Soul Soothers” will bring peace to your frenzied life and you will achieve the benefits of meditation without the guilt and stress of taking time out of your already overloaded schedule.

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New Release Special!
Signed Copy – $14.95
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Visit Spiritual Simplicity Books for your Signed Copy!

Soul Soothers is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Findhorn Press.

 

 

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12/21/12

The End of an Epoch and the Beginning of an Era

The 21st of December is the winter solstice, and marks the longest night of the year. It also heralds the end of the Mayan calendar, and for many, this is a very auspicious week. Do we really know what it means to be at the end of a great cycle? Perhaps, ten years from now, we will look back and recognize it’s significance. This week is a time to celebrate life.

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Winter Solstice Meditation:

 

Start with a white candle in the center of the circle with pine bows, sweetgrass, sage, amber, frankincense and white flowers.

Listen to or envision a lone drum is beating a heartbeat rhythm.

Envision an inner light that begins in your heart and slowly begins to shine beyond you. It moves upward in the night sky.

Your focus moves upward with your light until you see a lone star in the sky. You and your light moved to the star and meld your light with the star.

Shining as the star you notice a temple or sacred space back down on earth. You begin to shine your light down on the sacred space. Slowly you move your focus becoming the sacred space radiant in light.

In the center of the sacred space you find a white rose. The Rose changes once your light touches it, into an elder, a grandmother.

She draws you toward her and she shows you how to make your medicine bundles. You put together all you need for the coming year. So as the coming year unfolds you will have all the tools you need. Love, compassion, strength, respect, balms for the suffering, when your bundle is finished it shines with the light. The bundle rises high up in the air and shimmers and dances, it surrounds you and fills you.

Now your light streams down to the earth, and covers the earth.

You can separate yourself and watch the light go up to the star and down to the sacred space and pour over the earth. It is self-perpetuating now and you can connect to it at any time you want.

Slowly, move back to your body and the sound of the drum. Feel your feet on the ground.

Remember you have all the tools that you need for the coming year.

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Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Your Practice

Lately we have been doing a lot of cleanup around our home, I guess you could call it a spring cleanup. This takes me back to a time when I was integrating my near-death experience (NDE). Friends and I made a trip to my mentors home in Virginia, but she didn’t know we were coming.

Margaret Kean was my NDE mentor and I’d like to share a tidbit of what she showed me. Here is an excerpt from our book Voyage of Purpose where I was speaking about that time.

Margaret lovingly and graciously invited us into her home, though with an odd look. Little did we know at that moment that she had just asked the universe for some help and received instant confirmation from Spirit with us ringing the doorbell.

Margaret headed a healing missionary in Swaziland, Africa. She and her assistant, Libby, spent eight months, or more, of the year bringing medicines and healing to the poor in Africa. Margaret and her husband, Len, had decided to sell the retreat center to allow her more time in Africa. Libby was away drumming up financial support for their upcoming mission work. Hearing all this, William and I immediately offered to help get things ready to sell the property; in exchange Margaret offered guidance, sharing, and her company.

One of the many tasks we tackled was cleaning the stone floor in the front foyer. William and I got down on our hands and knees to scrub it clean. While we were in the process, Margaret walked by and in passing bestowed a gem of wisdom that stays with me to this day: “How you approach cleaning is the very same way you approach your spirituality.”

Some people clean by starting at one end and work systematically and thoroughly. Others have a scattered approach and hit spots here and there. There is no wrong or right way, only the way we choose. Whatever your cleaning style is, it is more than likely it is going to be the same method you approach your spirituality. There is no wrong or right way, it is just your process. Trained as an engineer, I do things systematically. Mindfulness works well with a systematic approach and my cleaning habits reflect that. Margaret’s words not only affirmed my approach to spirituality, it made me realize that you can use cleaning to focus and reflect on your spiritual practice…

From time to time those words return to me, and I reflect on them. Occasionally we should perform a little housecleaning to shake the dust off our practice. For me that is returning to what started me down the road of spirituality, my NDE. For others it may be connecting and experiencing the joy, beauty, creativity, and healing of living on Mother Earth. Whatever it is, return to the root of your practice and revive it so it may again shine in your heart, bringing revived vigor and inspiration.

Use your style to approach and infuse your practice with the original loving intention that created your practice. Clean the glass so to say, and as we are shinning things up the light can clearly illuminate our future path. Again there is no wrong or right way, but make sure to utilize “your” process, to keep it on your path.

Bamboo Woods

Along your path you may find that others may have a parallel path

Joseph Campbell once said “I have a theory that if you are on your own path things are going to come to you. Since it’s your own path, and no one has ever been on it before, there’s no precedent, so everything that happens is a surprise and is timely.”

Along your path you may find that others may have a parallel path or may intersect yours from time to time. Enjoy their assistance and friendship. Embrace your own path and your own practice; allow it to propel you into a future of positive potentials.

In our spring cleaning we let go of past hurts and pleasantness, because they weigh us down on the journey. We let go and live in wonder of this moment, always looking forward to the next, forever keeping our light clean and bright. The time has come, enjoy your cleaning.

Blessings,
David Bennett
www.DharmaTalks.com

Center Being

Return to the root of your practice and revive it so it may again shine in your heart, bringing revived vigor and inspiration.

Voyage of Purpose on KindleGreat News!!!

Our book “Voyage of Purpose” is now available on Kindle at Amazon.com.
Our book remains widely available in both print and all other electronic editions as well (EPUB and PDF formats). You can find our e-book at your local independent bookstore, www.indiebound.org, www.BarnesandNoble.com, www.ebookstore.sony.com iBooks and elsewhere. E-books can also be bought directly from the IPG website (www.ipgbook.com).
Please take the time to find our e-book on one of the vendors listed above.

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