Notes from “The Secret of Life” (2017) by Eckhart Tolle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atCYBU7_YsIeckharttolle5.jpg

I am a fan of Eckhart Tolle and have read many of his books, including The Power of NOW, so here are a few notes from this video titled “The Secret of LIFE”. I found that he elaborates on Presence and the concept of being present better here than in other videos I’ve seen from him. The actual YouTube version is listed above if you are interested:

“…There are two dimensions to you—to who you are—one that you are very familiar with—the person—the personal entity with a past and a future, ….including the physical body—the entity of ME—its life situation. That is usually the limit to people’s perceptions of themselves, not realizing that there is a deeper dimension in them that is…the Light of Consciousness—so that any moment you are both a person and you are the Light of lightofconsciousness6.jpgConsciousness that has nothing to do with your person or personal history….when the Light of Consciousness predominates over the personal sense of self, I call that being Present. There is a presence which you cannot touch or see or make into an object of consciousness. ….Because the Presence is an eternal subject not an object to your consciousness. …

“So in any situation—in the NOW—when you can sense the Presence rather than the personal, ….who are you really? Are you the Light of Consciousness seeing others around you without judgment, …or can you only operate as the Person of YOU with your psychological makeup—your sense of limited perception?  How do you feel, ….how do you sense, …the deeper Consciousness itself (of which you are only a minute part)?… At preeentmomentallthis moment (when you are in Presence) your problems have NO reality… you have only Presence. Therefore, you have no problem. …(Only when you start thinking about things do you perceive ‘problems’.  Problems do not exist in Presence. There may be situations and interactions occurring, ..but that is only what they are…situations and interactions occurring around you, …you can observe them in Presence. When you judge them and designate them as deleterious to you, then you make them ‘problems.’)

“The transcendent dimension can be experienced at any time as the simple powerful fact of the Light of Consciousness that you are.  …before the Light of Consciousness turns into a thought.  ..So you transcend your life situation and see your life situation as a timeless self immersed in the Light of Consciousness.  ..So then you can either be present or you can be immersed in your own stuff (that you judge and perceive as problems).

“…You carry the world inside your head with you,…so you cannot escape it. So you must bring the Presence into your daily existence so you can see thru the gaps in your daily life and simply be the Light of Consciousness… simply BE the Presence (without judgment or emotion).   When you are lost in your thoughts, you are lost in an illusory state of existence …unaware of who you really are.  livein now ekWhen you are Present, you can sense the peace of who you are in essence …you are not totally trapped in the personal sense of self.  A simple sense perception can take you out of your (thinking) mind and into your sense of just being.  This is when you can occupy two dimensions simultaneously: the formed and the formless—the personal and the Light of Consciousness itself.

“The fact that you are conscious at this moment is beyond doubt, but anything else could be a dream. …When you can know yourself as that Light of Consciousness (recognizing the illusory matter you call LIFE for the illusion that it is), …it is called self-realizationdeath and die ek

“You are the LIGHT from the projector, ….NOT the projection on the screen,…you are just the light.

“Challenges may distract us from our Presence, ….but then we wake up again to who we really are, …the Light of Consciousness, ..(not the projected image on the screen, ….we are just the Light behind it).

evolution ofconsciousness.jpg“We may experience challenging situations, but we do NOT have to suffer because of them, …because suffering is a choice. Suffering is how we choose to view any situation. Things happen to us, yes, …but SUFFERING because of those situations, is optional.”

 

“It’s wonderful to see you liberated from your personality.  To simply be your Presence without your rigid thought patterns or beliefs, …that is to be liberated.  And as you awaken there is a freedom in that, even though you may have your own particular characteristics, ….there is a transcendent consciousness that persists through it. That is who you are.”

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“The Neurophysiology of Spiritual Guidance”

dr stephanie mines.jpgDr. Stephanie Mines in this TEDx Talk video says that “Clear (spiritual) guidance is an integrated, holistic neuro-chemical phenomenon that forever transforms the individual who experiences it, recalibrating the nervous system.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQOAxT8llto )

Mines is a psychologist who describes herself as “an advocate to clearing personal and collective trauma by unburdening the overwhelmed nervous system.”  She has a clinic and offers training in what is called The TARA Approach, which is an energy-releasing practice, such as releasing the trapped energies of shock or trauma for clients.

In this particular TED talk she elaborates on how to become more intuitive and Neuro+Resiliency.pngspiritually guided in your life: “Let your body become the tuning fork for harmonious efforts…(to make this a better world). …  (Spiritual) Guidance will tell you YOUR role …. Let guidance come to you. Accept it without regret. …Track your sensations carefully. … In that space between assumptions and conclusions, something new is waiting—that is guidance.  Guidance will cause you to give up the life you had planned and replace it with the life you are meant to live. …And you will accept that without regret.  And that will surprise you. ..It is in that very surprise that you know that guidance has found you. ”

Guidance is an expansive softening, whereas compulsion is tight and compressive.  True guidance always allows free will and brings a felt sense of spaciousness.  It feels good. …There is joy in the experience of guidanceGuidance is an organic, utterly human phenomenon. It thrives in the presence of creativity and honesty. …”

“Our task is to find it (TRUE Spiritual Guidance) and surrender to it.”

She is also a very vocal ecology advocate: “We all have the capacity to attune to the spiritual forces that are convening now at the crossroads of time. A call has already gone out from the Guardians of the Earth. Can you hear it? Please, don’t let anything interfere with the reclamation of your personal guidance. This is your whole priority.”

taraapproach3While this specific TED Talk video was focused on developing the ability to listen to your higher guidance and act from that direct knowing, I guess I’m more amazed at the multitude of folks working on their own in the world—folks that I was so unaware even existed, just doing their own versions of trying to help others in some way. Evidently Dr. Mines with her TARA Approach, mixes psychology with energy work to help clients get in tune with their own bodies to first recognize and then eliminate the energetic trauma packets still affecting the client’s energy field (and physical body).

As a REIKI teacher and practitioner, I can easily relate to this approach because during REIKI sessions when I am working on someone who tells me of a particularly sore or painful area on their body and I put my hands over that area (and I don’t even have to touch them), I can sometimes feel the flavor of the emotional sensation trapped in that area (like sadness, or fear, or anger, etc.).

I can kinesthetically FEEL them because they are energetic vibrations that my emotional body recognizes, plus I may get visual images in my mind of a scene in which the client and others participated. When I ask the client what this image that I’m seeing means to them, along with explaining the accompanying emotion that I’m feeling with the scene, they suddenly know what that body pain is and who it was directed at.

Then when we work through releasing the stuck energy in that part of the client’s body/energy field, the original pain washes away like magic. It’s amazing. I’ve actually seen it happen.vortex knots

So I understand what Dr. Mines is doing even if I don’t know exactly how she’s approaching it. Trauma and shock are disharmonious energies that are tangled in the client’s energy field that disrupt the natural energy flow through the body. If that energy flow is disrupted long enough, then health problems arise.

The point of the therapy, whether with REIKI or whatever Dr. Mines is doing, is to find the problem area, acknowledge what the client’s association and connections are to that problem, and then to clear them from the client’s energy field and body. Then the body can reestablish a more harmonious energy flow which leads to better physical/emotional health.

taraclimatechangeThe other main thing Dr. Mines seems to be focused on is the ecological crisis at present and to bringing increased awareness to resolving that. To that effort I wish her the best of luck and hope that this renewed publicity of critical ecological situations can get people activated to become climate advocates themselves.

Lots of folks are doing lots of positive things in the world. Why not join them?

 

The Beautiful Mystery

This title could be referring to LIFE itself, but here it refers to a book I just finished by Louise Penny called The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.beautiful mystery.jpg

Why I mention it is because it describes a fictional, secluded Canadian monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups (Saint Gilbert Among the Wolves) where an ancient order of Gilbertine monks reside and produce the most transcendent Gregorian chants imaginable in the modern world.

The book was okay—no literary masterpiece, but it did inspire me to look for my old CD of Gregorian Chants just to recall hearing the actual sounds of harmonious devotion sung in lower keys.

No luck.  Not even in Billy Joel’s hidden location. So I went online to Amazon to hear a few samples just to remember the vibrational feel of the monk’s chanting. Back when I first purchased my set of Gregorian Chants, I remembered them as interesting, but not awe-inspiring or ephemerally transcendent—or trance inducing as the book had claimed. I’m sure if they had been, I’d still be listening to them.

But I was at least inspired to keep playing Amazon samples of various Gregorian chants and other choral music until I heard some that did feel more ascendant and heavenly. ericwhitacher gold.jpgHowever, they weren’t Gregorian. They were in Eric Whitacher’s hauntingly-beautiful choral album called Light and Gold.

Check that out on Amazon if you get a chance. The very first song sample sold me. It was called “Lux Aurumque” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs) .  This Virtual Choir has to be the most amazing thing in the world. The sound on the album Light and Gold is beyond ethereal, but the YouTube version is pretty close to it as well.

Just wanted to share that little discovery I made today with anyone if interested.

This time of year with our political situation in the states, we need all the ethereal assistance we can muster to shift our energies higher and beyond the level of these far lesser beings controlling our world.

Metacognition with Dr. Dispenza on Ted Talk

Joe tedtalk.jpgThis morning I saw Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Ted Talk presentation on neuroplasticity and rewiring our brains (cortical remapping) to change our behaviors. I think it was called “Thinking to Doing to Being.” (The location is: https://www.facebook.com/DrJoeDispenzaOfficialNewsFanPage/videos/2122965437728839/  )

Because I have previously commented on this aspect of “Whatever you think, IS—so change your thinking to reflect what you want” I’ll include the link if anyone wants to see it, and I’ll make a few more comments per Dr. Dispenza’s TT advice.

He began by explaining the functions of the 3 main parts of the brain: the neocortex3 parts of brain.jpg (the thinking brain), the limbic (mammalian/emotions/feeling) brain, and the cerebellum (the subconscious/reptilian) brain.  When all parts are functioning optimally and are in coordination with each other, we are in optimal mental health and can direct the course of our lives as we wish.

However, when what we think and what we feel are out of line with each other—like when a disturbing memory association and corresponding body reaction because of it counters our intentions to better control our present-day actions, then we feel we have no control over our lives—we automatically react to everything around us. We become stressed, we lose our temper, we act fearful for no visible reason, etc., and then we tend to blame others for our inability to control ourselves.

brain neuropla.jpgBut humans have an amazing ability to actually observe our thinking/acting processes. It is called metacognition—we can become consciously aware of ourselves and our reactions to life through observation—by pulling back to watch how our mind and our body are trying to take us in a direction we really don’t want to go, and then tracing the behavior back to the trigger point that created the reaction.  When we go into observation mode we can simply watch ourselves being WHO we are being—watch how we are reacting to the stimuli before us—even observe our thoughts at the moment to see what we are automatically thinking when a trigger subject arises. It is self-observation and reassessment before automatic reaction.

The importance of this is that in the ability to simply observe ourselves through metacognition, we then have the opportunity to change our previously-patterned behavior.

Dr. Dispenza went into depth on when you maintain the observer of how you are reacting stance rather than automatically react, you change the neuron-firing patterns of your brain’s neocortex enough so that you actually disrupt the limbic brain’s emotion-charged, chemical reactions to the same subject matter. By doing this you are diffusing the chemical effect that it would normally have on your endocrine system which controls the specific chemicals released into your blood stream like the hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands that triggers our natural fight-or-flight response.create your future.jpg

Auto-reactions are carefully created neuropathways in the brain established by patterns of reaction and behavior. “Circuits that fire together, wire together,” he says. “So change your thinking, and you can change your body’s reaction to your environment.”

When you can shift to observer/non-reactive mode and choose how you wish to respond to a situation, you begin to biologically breakdown the old circuits earlier created in your brain that were connected to your old way of reacting to life stressors.  This makes your brain neurons start firing in new sequences and new patterns so that what once might have sparked a stress reactor in you, now is recognized as a trigger that you no longer will allow to affect you in the same way. You’ve taken control of how you think about the situation.

I’ll paraphrase him a bit here: “Nerve cells that fire together—wire together. Think new thoughts and you change your brain’s wiring patterns. This is how you change patterns of behavior—you start by thinking new thoughts and recognizing automatic stress triggers that previously might have adversely affected your body. By thinking about the situation in a less-reactive way—less emotional attachment to the situation, you can establish a new pattern of thought and a new pattern of behavior.”

“Knowledge is for the mind, but experience is for the body.  When you change a pattern of thought over time, you change the pattern of your body’s reaction to those thoughts.  The mind is primarily the neocortex of the brain, where as the emotions and body reactions are feelwhatyouthink.jpggoverned by the limbic (mammalian) brain which sends out the signals for the endocrine’s reaction and corresponding chemical release into the bloodstream to provide the body with additional reaction abilities. To change your body’s behavior, you neuro-chemically condition the body to accept the new behavior or new reaction.  With repetition, new circuits are created and the brain creates new pathways for more calmly dealing with a once-stressful situation.”

The third brain, the cerebellum or the reptilian brain, is the automatic reaction for protection and preservation of the body.  When you establish solid connections between the neocortex and the limbic brains, and develop new patterns of established behavior and reactability, then the cerebellum (the seat of your subconscious mind) can adopt it as the natural reactive pattern—it becomes the new habit, the new second-nature, the new go-to skill.  This becomes innate—it becomes your new way of being.”

“The way we transform the world, is to transform ourselves.”joe destiny

And there you have it.

I liked the last statement best, paraphrased as: “If you want a more compassionate world, then train yourself to react with compassion rather than anger to a situation not of your liking.”

He’s worth hearing.

Manifestation of LOVE

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish this morning, including some tiger kit.jpgcomputer-related stuff, so I plopped down in front of the screen and began to type. Max, the 4-month old tiger kitten from the jungles of Sumatra (or perhaps the neighbor’s barn)—the tiny, orange baby that adopted us 3 months ago, was tearing around my room trying to engage me in play and mutual rough-housing.

I was having none of it. I wanted to write. I wanted to check the news site, Facebook, etc.

He was having none of my “none-of-it,” and began climbing up on everything in sight, including me. When he’d jump up onto my chest for nap-time, I’d put him back down tiger 4again because it’s hard to type one-handed and he’s getting heavier by the day. He must already weigh what our last adult female cat weighed before she died. He’s going to be a monster—a genuine mini-tiger!

He’s at the “look-at-me-I can-jump-as-high-as-the-counter” stage now, so after repeatedly yelling at him for his numerous incursions onto everything I did not want him disrupting, damaging, or pilfering, I finally just gave in to his last jump-to-my-chest assault and held him to me. He immediately quieted and began purring, then nestled gently into my arms and promptly went to sleep.

That’s all he wanted.

He just wanted to be held and loved. All the acting out—the naughtiness—the terrorizing—it was all because he wanted to be held in my arms and I had refused to allow it. So he made me regret my decision in any way that he could.

tiger face.jpgAs I listened to his deep-throated purr that vibrated against my body with a soothing reassurance that this little creature truly loved me in return, I realized that this fuzzy bundle of condensed, kinetic energy was exactly what I wanted, wasn’t it? Spirit gave me the very thing that I needed to fill that void from our last feline housemates passing away. S/he gave me LOVE.

We cuddled for as long as my arm could hold him; and he was ready to move on anyway as evidenced by the little nip to my other arm when I disrupted him. (We’re still working on that no-biting thing.)  Then he was content to sit on his own and watch out the window.

LOVE is not to be ignored. LOVE is not to be taken for granted.4 month old max.jpg

LOVE is to be gratefully enjoyed whenever it manifests.

If you doubt it, …I have LOVE’s Sumatran enforcer I can loan you.

The Last Hundred Pieces

pokey jig.jpgSomewhere in a blog, either this one or a previous, I’ve mentioned that I am a jig-saw puzzle fanatic.

Give me a thousand or fifteen-hundred tiny knobbed-bits that insert into other tiny knobbed-bits, and I am good for a few days of studying, comparing, assessing, and inserting them into some semblance of intended unity.

(Bare with me please, there is a philosophical point I will eventually make here.)

Once the straight-edged pieces which represent the framework of the intended picture, are separated from the mass and put into one pile, the re-joining process begins.  framework.jpg

With a framework soon established, the rest of the prospective pieces rely on color, tint, and hue for possible frame connection.

So with that basic info in mind, today I am now down to the last unattached, hundred pieces of a particularly difficult puzzle that has taken me well over a week of serious concentration.  And whenever I reach this point in a puzzle completion, it is usually a piece of cake to wrap it in an hour or two.

Jaguar puzzle.jpgBut as I was automatically sorting the last pieces into separate piles per their knob locations and particular shapes for easy selection and insertion attempt, I realized that I had changed my initial puzzle focus and strategy. I was simply filling open holes now in the puzzle and was making remaining-piece determination more so by the negative spaces left to fill rather than color similarities of the pictured image.

When I recognized my focus shift into the-last-hundred-pieces-strategy that I tend to resort to for completing any puzzle image, it dawned on me that there was something deeper to consider here than pitting positive images against negative spaces.

As we move throughout our lives from childhood onwards, we focus on building an early life framework for ourselves to help us determine who we are as individual beings, and to ferret out what we truly want from our lives. We often paint pictures in our minds to use as blueprints for creating those future realities from our fantasies; and then we go about amassing and inserting the assorted puzzle pieces necessary to get us to that completed ideal-life image we hold so dear.

For those of us who have been around quite a few decades, we may have tried to fit many random pieces into our life-puzzle depending on the positive image we always maintained of how we wanted our life to look at completion.face.jpg

Sometimes those knobby pieces fit into proper place just like we wanted them to do. And sometimes they didn’t. But that didn’t deter us, because we just kept working on our incomplete “life puzzle” trying to make something cohesive and beautiful from our unification attempts at life’s seemingly random events.

But similar to the nearly completed puzzle on my card-table at present, when we get down to the last hundred pieces left to complete the pretty picture of our lives—it is similar to the latter decades of our lives, where we are basically shifting strategy to fill in the negative spaces left for us rather than building an expansive future image centered between the framework of four established sides.

And to fill in that remaining negative space in our lives, we look for shapes that fit the boy.jpgholes that are left to fill. In effect, we likely change our life focus. We now focus on the details of filling in holes still left to complete our life picture that we had originally envisioned.

I also notice that with my puzzle completion so near, I tend to slow down and savor the remaining piece possibilities, because once that puzzle is done, it is DONE!  Nothing more will need my attention there.  At that point there is simply acceptance of the puzzle’s ending, my appreciation of the actual effort in that process, and allowing a day or two for simply admiring the completed image that had been so carefully reconstructed from all those random “life” pieces.

Then after the admiration stage, I just crumple the completed puzzle into random pieces once again, put it in the bag/box with the pretty picture on the front, and stash it away until next year.  (I actually have about 25 puzzle boxes I work through every winter. I know—obsessive.)

But wait a minute, one might think that if you have already put a puzzle together once that the second or third attempt to do so again is so much easier—right?  Well,….not so much.multiframes

Just like with having lived so many previous lives in so many different contexts and conditions, every present-life puzzle is just as difficult to complete as the one before it had been to construct. Our only advantage to recognizing that we have had many attempts at defining our life’s framework and completing our desired future image is that at some point in our spiritual progress, we stop and assess where those negative spaces are left in our soul’s evolution. We do this so we can determine what is necessary to complete the total picture of reconstructing our Wholeness—perfecting our reunification with the ONE.

And guess what?

THAT is the very puzzle we ALL are working on right now.

River Rocks

rocks in riverSo many ways to look at this title…but only one to follow. Kind of like the subject matter contained here that I metaphorically likened to “River Rocks.”

I have a favorite online astrologer that I follow: Tom Lescher (Astrology for the Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OGanHCos14 ). I’ve mentioned him many times as someone I find extremely accurate in overall energy readings as associated to the planetary alignments of the time.Tom

Whenever I feel something strange or intense in the overall energies around us/affecting us, I listen to his weekly video and usually hear an astro-explanation from him that substantiates what I’ve been kinesthetically noticing. (In a sense, he reassures me that what I am sensing energetically is ‘right on.’)

And because I’ve listened to him so many times and he’s been so reliably accurate to what I had been noticing, I keep listening to him week after week.

But a few months ago, one of his protégés who I shall not mention, caught my ear and I also listened to his vlog for awhile until I began to notice something very different between the two astrologers: a difference in the accumulated wisdom from age and experience, and a lighter (higher frequency)-energy attitude used to deliver the information.

In other words, the younger protégé was a poor substitute for the original, because life does that ‘thing’ to us during the process of living: it ‘seasons us’ the way only time and experience can. It broadens our perspectives and grants us compassionate witnessing.

river rocksThat’s when my mind showed me the image of a rounded, palm-sized, white stone—a river rock that had been tumbled and pounded along the stream bed by torrential rains, flash flooding, and by all things violently affecting the flow and force of a river.

Or to put it more simply, the white rock’s original rough edges and sharp corners were now rounded off from time and river-bottom travel.

That once jagged-edged stone was now smooth to the touch and felt very comfortable in the palm of my hand. That’s the after-effect of being bounced along a rocky, river bottom—you lose all those sharp edges.

To me listening to Tom is like holding that river rock, and his reports are softer, more humorous and compassionate, yet still substantive and real. He keeps his energy light and flowing, and refrains from getting “preachy” with you because he’s been there himself where we all are, and he gets it. It’s more of a been-there, done-that, sharing-the-information-report with friends, than a proselytizing opportunity for an egoic neophyte trying to stand out in an over-populated, astrology-reporting community.

The river rock image I mountain streamsaw in my mind ALSO epitomizes that LIFE may not be as predictable and gentle to us as we often wish that it were, but you eventually learn to tumble along with the flow until those rough edges wear away. Then we can roll more easily during the water’s occasional turbulence instead of catching in every crevice that might snag at us.

Ultimately we learn to ride and tumble along with least resistance to the torrid current around us, until we reach a destination more to our liking; or we may eventually catch an inquisitive eye and find a kindred, fleshy palm to nestle into. Then we can employ a new mode of transportation for a time.wisdom

But wherever it goes, a river rock rolls on and on, because the journey never really ends. Only the terrain changes once in awhile.