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Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

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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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.

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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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Alice's Caterpillar puffing on his hookah

"Who Are You?"

“Who are you?” asks Alice’s Caterpillar puffing on his hookah. Who indeed…

I once dreamt I was an Elk watching the world from the highest hill, overlooking all, with stamina to outlast time. Then I awoke as me, merely human. Am I that magnificent elk or this man? What does an elk dream of?

Our ignorance keeps us believing we are absolute. Separate individuals all independently forging a life with so many other individuals. Am I my job, my family or a conglomerate of all those personas to be put on and taken off as needed.

At times I feel like a pillar in the middle of a hurricane, with humanity’s madness swirling around me. Its then that I’m quietly reminded by Spirit ~ “Be the Pillar”

Pillar in the StormTo be the pillar requires a shift, a change in focus. I have always enjoyed taking another look at my life, a life review of sorts. Trying to examine it from a greater perspective. Looking for the wonder, the miracle unfolding. It may not be easy, but it sometimes reveals the clues to finding my direction or future path.

We are all question marks and until we begin to peal away the layers to find an identity that is our true self we may wander aimlessly. In our self realized search if we go far enough we will find a non-self that includes All and embraces love. Now we can cast off the shackles of ignorance. Releasing the lower aspects of ourselves like jealousy, hatred and envy.

When we eventually discover our True Being will we be able to say “I See You” like in the movie Avatar. I see you for the light that you truly are, an incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person and we now genuinely know each other as interconnected beings, part of a greater whole.

Oh-No!! two movie references in one post, am I going to the dogs.. or.. am I possibly the Dog?

I am reminded of a quote from one of the most celebrated mystics of all time -Rumi

“You are not just a drop in the ocean, you are the mighty ocean in the drop”

the Elk, attentive sentries outlasting time.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 souls into loving light. In the Light we are all the Elk, attentive sentries outlasting time.

 

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In my Near-Death Experience (NDE) my soul family of light beings and I re-experienced my life in what is commonly called the life review. The Love and the Life Review were the most life altering aspects of my NDE. I now know how important each life experience is.

Woman in light prayingAs a survivor of life, I cherish the everyday exchanges, especially interactions with other people. They give me the opportunity to practice loving intentions. I’m not always at my best though, so the results are varied. Although I feel I am getting better.

When facing a difficult situation and meeting it with loving intention, I have experienced the perceived difficulty melting away and the situation then flows smoother and with less resistance. On the other hand, I have experienced challenges with simple interactions when I proceed without love in my heart, I find obstacles can pop up from nowhere.

The fastest thing in the universe isn’t light. It is Love Consciousness. Love Consciousness can move from place to place instantly and in multiple locations at the same time. Love is the action and motivator that interconnects us, so all of our consciousness can be one.

Even in these times of confusion and unconsciousness, grace awaits when we allow the Love to flow through us freely without any attachments. Grasping and attachments slow our developing love consciousness, restricting the flow of loving intention.

Imagine a world where everyone practices living with love in their heart and developing an interconnected consciousness. We would still have our differences like many flavors of ice cream although we would use loving tolerance and acceptance toward those differences.

Scale

We will finally tip the scale toward a more loving, tolerant and understanding society.

I know that sounds Utopian, but as we move ever closer toward a shift in consciousness eventually we will reach the critical mass needed for change. The numbers of people practicing loving intention will finally tip the scale toward a more loving, tolerant and understanding society.

I am encouraged that we are moving in this direction. As we communicate with more and more people globally there is a yearning and searching by many toward a life centered on loving intention and expanding consciousness.

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