The most beautiful word on the lips of mankind is the word “Mother,” and the most beautiful call is the call of “My mother.” It is a word full of hope and love, a sweet and kind word coming from the depths of the heart. The mother is everything – she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness….
Everything in nature bespeaks the mother. The sun is the mother of earth and gives it its nourishment of heart; it never leaves the universe at night until it has put the earth to sleep to the song of the sea and the hymn of birds and brooks. And this earth is the mother of trees and flowers. It produces them, nurses them, and weans them. The trees and flowers become kind mothers of their great fruits and seeds. And the mother, the prototype of all existence, is the eternal spirit, full of beauty and love.
By Eckhart Tolle
As awareness grows some people begin to think they’re “getting worse,” so to speak, but they’re simply becoming more conscious of what has already been there for many years. People will often ask me if they are “getting worse”, because they can still detect dysfunctional or reactive patterns within themselves. It’s not as if those patterns will simply disappear as awareness grows; you’ll just be more aware of them.
Ultimately as you become more aware of reactive patterns, you can see them whereas before you were them. There’s a huge difference between seeing a pattern inside yourself and being the pattern—or being used by it, merging with it, or acting it out totally.
Conditioned patterns—or egoic behaviors, one could say—don’t go away immediately as you become present. They have their momentum—especially patterns associated with emotional residues we call “pain-body.” They may act out for quite a while, even as presence is arising.
Usually the sequence is that after a person experiences anger—or any unconscious reaction related to the emotional body or to certain mind patterns—awareness comes in later, after the energy of the pain-body attack has subsided. This can be a while for some people; it could be an hour, two hours, three hours before you wake up and say, “what was all that?”
Fortunately, the time gap between the actual event and the return of awareness tends to get shorter as you become more present—and eventually it will arise immediately after it’s happened, or even while the energy is still there but no longer at its highest—at that point you’re already aware of what’s happening. And then the great step forward is when in the middle of it you become aware.
In the middle of it, there’s already an awareness while it’s still happening. The awareness is there just at the moment the anger, for example, comes in; and just before it externalizes itself and expresses itself. When the impulse comes to be angry, the awareness is there; and at that moment then, you will have a choice in how to express it—not to keep it down—but to take one conscious breath, or walk somewhere, or simply be there as the presence and let it pass through you.
Then after that, you may find the impulse is not as strong as before and you notice it just as it comes in—and immediately you’re there as the presence. And the impulse meets the light of presence and it melts. So be patient with yourself!
It may also happen that as presence begins to flow into other areas of your life—your relationships and so on—the ego joins with the pain-body, so to speak. It withdraws into one corner of your life where it takes up very firm residence and says, “I’m not going from here.” It’s as if the rest of your life may be undergoing great improvement, but there’s one area in one little corner where the ego and the pain-body are taking refuge.
For example, one person in your life towards whom you harbor a strong grievance. Everything else is fine; you forgive everybody else! But there’s that one person, and the moment you think of that person or the name is mentioned, an enormous influx of unconsciousness takes hold of you. It doesn’t have to be a person; it could be a group of people. Or it could be about money. “I’m okay with anything, as long as nobody mentions money!”
So, whenever you discover a dysfunctional, unconscious pattern in yourself, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you’re there. It’s always a great thing to see it in yourself.
Two dear friends recently lost a family member. I was reminded of this poem.
In Light and Love,
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
"My 3 Breakthrough Insights From Retreat With Eckhart Tolle...I’ve just spent three heavenly days in Mill Valley, California on retreat with Eckhart Tolle.
The vibrant peaceful energy of mindfulness (or as Eckhart calls it, ‘presence’) gradually seemed to seep into every corner of my body and being over those days. It is still with me even as I sit here writing in a bustling cafe in San Francisco. I gained so much from these past days but there were three key insights, three ‘ah-ha’ moments that were true breakthroughs for me and I want to share them with you.
1. A Powerful Spiritual Practice: Vigilance In ‘Trigger Moments’“ What are the moments of life that tend to trigger unconsciousness in you?” Eckhart asked. Unconsciousness, spiritually speaking, means that you are ‘taken over’ by reactive habitual patterns of thinking and behavior. You become angry, defensive, moody or negative. He asked us to reflect over the past week and to either write down or note mentally those things that triggered us to become ‘unconscious’ (If you’re unsure you could always ask your housemate or partner – they’ll tell you! (and when you do, that might be a trigger moment too!). Some people are very mindful … until money issues come up, and then there is fear and panic. For others it’s jealousy that takes them over or it could be that when you talk to certain people (like your parents) you ‘lose it’ in some way, maybe becoming frustrated, judgmental or impatient.
Eckhart invited us to take note of these triggers, to know what ‘pushes our buttons’ so that we can become incredibly vigilant at the very moment when they arise again in our life. This way, these triggers lose their power to pull us into unconsciousness and negativity. We can now meet those triggers from a new place of heightened awareness and can choose new responses rather than ‘falling into’ old reactions. I love that we can take our challenges and turn them into a spiritual practice. Something we once saw as an obstacle can then become our greatest source of liberation – love it! Why not make a list of your ‘trigger moments’ in the past week and try this powerful practice out for yourself?
2. Wow Moment: Quantum Physics Says Spirituality Is Aligned With Science. On the second day of the retreat, we had an intriguing surprise as Eckhart talked with Lothar Schafer whose work in Quantum Physics has led him to the conclusion that we are all one consciousness. The full interview with them was taped and will be released in the coming months but I’d like to share with you my favorite quote from Lothar … “Spirituality is now, for the first time in history, perfectly aligned with the cutting edge of science. Some people see spirituality as stupid, but being spiritual, that is being in touch with the source of consciousness within you, seems to me highly intelligent and the source of much happiness in humans.”
3. Insight: A Moment of Awe Is A Spontaneous Meditation. Some moments of life are awe inspiring, aren’t they? They stop us dead in our tracks and open us up to the wonder of life. Maybe we see a beautiful sight like a sunrise or a majestic mountain or could be a spine-tingling piece of music that does it. “In those moments you experience a cessation of thinking, the mind is rendered speechless,” said Eckhart, “and that is a form of spontaneous meditation. You may notice a sense of aliveness, connectedness and peace within you in those moments and that is because the usual noise-making activity of the mind has subsided – you can now feel your own radiant true nature, your beingness, and it feels good!”
What a beautiful and inspiring insight! Many of us experience these little mini-meditations – these moments of awe – during our days and weeks. What we may not have noticed at the time though, is that our mind had become still. We may not have realized the connection between the cessation of thought and feeling content and peaceful. That's a powerful insight to have because that realization may change the way you live your life. It may change your priorities. It may change your assumptions about what happiness is and where it comes from. It could create a seismic shift in your life to have that simple realization. It sure did change mine.
So then – enjoy your delicious moments of awe all the more! As they happen notice the stillness and quiet within and know that it is always there for you, that oasis of calm – just one deep, slow, conscious breath away."
Malas are often also referred to as mala beads, Buddhist beads or Buddhist prayer beads.
Mantras are Sanskrit words, sounds or phrases which are repeated in meditation as an object of concentration. The vibrational quality of the mantra sound currents are thought to help attune the mind and body leaving one feeling refreshed, clean and purified. Mantras can be chanted out loud or internally. They have been used throughout the centuries and it is believed that the sacred power of words and the accompanying sounds in mantra aid in spiritual progression (transcending into higher states of consciousness) and to effect healing in the physical and energetic bodies.
For a list of mantras (sanskrit words) and their meaning go to:
Affirmations are a positive statement you say or think about yourself. Saying daily affirmations helps reprogram our negative self-talk so we can manifest more positive thinking, feeling and experiences in our lives. It really is that simple. Using mala beads is one way to establish a new positive pattern of behavior.
Here are 80 simple affirmations to get you started:
80. I am amazed and blessed with all the gifts I am given.
79. My thoughts are clear and my mind is brilliant.
78. I am vibrantly alive with creative energy.
77. Everything is happening in its own perfect time.
76. I make the decisions that affect my life.
75. I forgive myself for all of the wrongs of my past.
74. I expect and give thanks for lavish abundance and beauty in my life.
73.Perhaps I am flawed, but my love is pure, deep, and flawless.
72. I make the decisions that affect my life.
71. I observe before I react.
70. I am willing to change.
69. Money flows in relaxed, easy abundance.
68. Today I practice kindness.
67. I accept the flow of life and find that all my needs are lovingly provided.
66. It's a fresh new, brand new day.
65. Life, I love you.
64. I look forward to my future with awe.
63. It is what it is.
62. It feels peaceful to simply observe without the need to judge.
61. My life is a continuing expression of my purpose and my true nature.
60. I release the useless so that the new and useful may have room to come into my life.
59. This, too, shall pass.
58. I know how to recognize and express my emotions in a healthy way.
57. When faced with a problem, I am capable of finding solutions.
56. There are miracles all around me.
55. I radiate love and breathe in joy.
54. I love myself enough to create comfort in my life.
53. I look at my past with love and forgiveness.
52. I listen.
51. I have so many good people in my life and so many more yet to meet.
50. I am spending less than I earn and saving the rest.
49. The door I've been knocking frantically on was already left unlocked.
48. I choose to be happy.
47. I take 100 percent responsibility for my actions and I allow others to take responsibility for their own actions.
46. I remain calm, clear minded, and breathing deeply regardless of my surroundings.
45. I keep my promises. I'm careful about what I promise.
44. I am worthy of the best in life and I now lovingly allow myself to accept it.
43. I am willing to move out of my comfort zone.
42. I am a magnet for love and abundance.
41. Today is the most important day of my life.
40. I can listen to and learn from my anger without fear of losing control.
39. If I no longer use an item, I release it so that someone else may benefit from it.
38. I no longer feel the need to prove that I am right.
37. I trust myself to take the right action.
36. I choose happiness and abundance and I give thanks that these are now appearing in my life.
35. As I let go of old ways, new and powerful ways quickly manifest in my life.
34. I am willing to change the pattern within me that is causing this condition.
33. I now keep my work area neat, organized, and clean.
32. I now bless and release from my life all worn out and broken things.
31. I have let go of the need to be second best. I give myself permission to excel.
30. Deep inside, I DO know what to do.
29. My life is brilliant.
28. I gracefully deal with the events of my day for I know that everything is part of a divine plan.
27. I am a person of great faith.
26. Nothing is too wonderful to happen! Nothing is too good to be true!
25. My radiant inner beauty shines through to enrich and enhance my outer beauty.
24. I am truthful and authentic.
23. I move through my fears and allow new experiences into my life.
22. I live in harmony and balance with the world and the people in my life.
21. I love myself fully and totally.
20. I look at others with thoughts of love, blessings, and total acceptance.
19. Riches of every sort are drawn to me.
18. My work is meaningful and I perform each task with love.
17. This moment, right now, is full, alive, and resounding with joy.
16. I welcome financial abundance. I am capable of wisely handling financial success.
15. I am willing to release the need to be criticized.
14. In Divine grace, I release the past, all pain, and all resentments. With Divine grace, I now allow peace and forgiveness.
13. The infinite wisdom of the Universe guides me and prospers me and I am successful in everything I undertake.
12. I am willing to change and I flow peacefully with the changes as they appear in my life.
11. I easily, efficiently, and lovingly complete all my priorities and tasks.
10. My environment is glowing with radiant beauty, radiant riches, and radiant good.
9. I am creative and energetic.
8. I am at peace. Divine peace is at my center.
7. I have quiet, strong confidence. I can face anything.
6. There are good days ahead. There are rich days ahead.
5. I expect lavish abundance every day in every way in my life and relationships.
4. Every day in every way, I am getting better and better.
3. I have let go of all fear. Fear has no power over me now.
2. I love the highest and best in all people. I now draw the highest and best people to me.
1. New opportunities appear to me every day.
A mala is a great tool to help enhance your meditations. The use of a mala can help focus your meditation while adding the unique properties of the mala to improve the power of your meditation.
Anatomy of a Mala:
Malas are made on the principle of the sacred number 108, so they will have either 108 beads or a divisible of that number: 54 or 27 beads. They also have a Guru bead with a tassel hanging from it. The tassel is considered the symbol of a thousand lotus petals.
Using a Mala in Meditation:
To use a mala, you hold it in either hand. Starting just after the Guru bead, you recite a mantra while holding each bead between the thumb and one of the fingers, moving from one bead to the next with each recitation. This makes the bead pass over the intended meridian point. After you have completed a full circle of your mala, you will feel the Guru bead. You can make a special prayer with the Guru bead, and then begin again until you have completed all 108.
The different fingers used in mala meditation:
There are accupressure points on each of the fingers that work on different parts of the psyche and the brain. When the beads press the meridian points in the finger, you can work on a specific result. The meridian point you are trying to activate is located on the side of each finger, in the center point between the tip of the finger and the upper knuckle.
The properties of the meridian points for each finger are as follows:
– Index Finger (Jupiter Finger): Wisdom. Knowledge. Prosperity
– Middle Finger (Saturn Finger): Patience.
– Ring Finger (Sun Finger): Health. Vitality. Strengthen the Nervous System.
– Little Finger (Mercury Finger): Communication. Intelligence.
Mantras and Malas:
You recite the entire mantra on each bead (not one bead per word). You can also use affirmations with your mala.
When we're lost in thought, there's a disconnect in our being. We lose our clarity of purpose. This can become habitual and eventually it becomes our normal. We have an uneasy relationship with ourselves: knowing we don't feel whole but not knowing why.
This meditation only takes minutes but helps you understand you are not your thoughts. To begin, take three deep breaths, allowing your body to relax. Scan your body from the top of your head to your toes. Pay special attention to the muscles in the forehead and jaw (allowing your teeth to part slightly). Check if your shoulders are down and fingers soft. If you're feeling any tension in your chest, take an extra moment to visualize breathing in a relaxing color and breathing out the color of the tension. Imagine your chest filling with soothing, healing energy, releasing any tension or stress. Once you feel relaxed, turn your focus to your mind and wait to observe what your next thought will be. Continue to wait for your next thought. When it occurs, let it pass without judgement or additional thought. Take a deep breath and wait to see what your next thought will be. You need only do this for a few moments the first time, gradually increasing the intervals as you wish.
With time you will find yourself in a beautiful space of stillness and tranquility where you find the essence of your true self.
I look at the body and mind as magnificent and complex tools we use to shape our physical experience. It can be a joyful life experience, or it can be difficult. Despite circumstances, the choice is always ours. Having regressed to a life filled with pain and an early death, I experienced the joy of release and the realization that my life could have been very different had I not chosen to remain lost in bitterness and vengeance. I didn't see it because I was locked in a thought process that was self-destructive. I could see and feel how easy it could have been to change my thinking once I was unencumbered by the egoic thought process.
Here's the good news: the brain has the ability to restructure itself with training or practice. In Tibetan Buddhism, the concept of neuroplasticity has been around for far longer than Western science has recognized it: the term for it is le-su-rung-wa which means “pliability”. Your brain can change based on repeated experience. Studies have been performed on plasticity during meditation and have shown that the brain can change based purely on mental training. This has huge ramifications on overall well-being. You can think yourself into being more compassionate and peaceful, or more positive and resourceful, or more content and calmer. You can fundamentally change your brain. It’s no longer considered a theory in brain science: it’s fact. Which means you have no excuse when it comes to forming new habits. It’s possible, it’s proven, and now it’s up to you!
See more at: http://www.refocuser.com/2009/05/neuroplasticity-your-brains-amazing-ability-to-form-new-habits/#sthash.v4d16w9t.dpuf
Changing our thoughts and developing a ritual at bedtime is key to a good nights sleep. Science is becoming more and more aware of the neuronal plasticity of our brain ie, its changeability. We need to consciously change the story from "I can't sleep" to "I can sleep". The use of affirmations, hypnosis and meditation can have positive effects on the quality of sleep. For those whose story is deeply embedded in their psyche (listen to yourself when you talk about your sleep), you will need to be patient and kind to yourself while you train your mind to view sleep in a positive way.
"Each night as I drift off to sleep, I adamantly refuse to use this precious time to review anything that I do not want to be reinforced in the hours of being immersed in my subconscious mind. I choose to impress upon my subconscious mind, and therefore the mind of God to which I am eternally joined, my conception of myself as a Divine creator in alignment with one mind. I groggily reiterate my I ams, which I have placed in my imagination, and I remember that my slumber will be dominated by my last waking concept of myself. I am peaceful, I am content, I am love, I am writing, I am the governing power of the universe, and I attract only to myself those who are in alignment with my highest ideals of myself.
This is my nightly ritual, always resisting any temptation to go over any fear or unpleasantness that my ego might be asking me to review. I assume the feeling in my body of those I am statements already fulfilled." Wayne Dyer
As I sit on the patio and watch the wind howl, the trees bend, and the approaching lightning and rain, I can't help but think of life - the force of our words, thoughts and actions. The impact they have, not only on each other, but on the quality of life in general. And then - the storm passes, the sun is out, everything seems cleaner, and the air smells sweet and fresh. Life is rejuvenated, restored. It thrives in the aftermath.
One of my favorite meditations is one I received from Dr. Brian Weiss during my training with him at the Omega Institute in New York. It's not one he wrote, but one that he uses in his teaching. I've modified and recorded the meditation and provided a link below. Enjoy