Spirituality

The Pleiadian House of Initiation by Mary T. Beben

pleidian-bookThe Pleiadian House of Initiation

by Mary T. Beben

Excerpt from Chapter Eleven

Grandmother Spider

 

Ten years passed between the day I met Grandmother Spider in the hallway on the third floor of the Pleiadian mansion (when I thought I was about to discover more of the marvelous fourth level but instead was catapulted into the deepest dive of my life) and the time I began to recover and re-enter my life. At that point I felt as though I could go on and live a productive life again, but it seemed to me as if I had been permanently broken in some unrecoverable way. I felt my age more than ever before–I was seventy-four and did not believe there was much of life left to me. Still, I could smile again and enjoy family and friends. And then . . .

. . . I died.

In January of 2012 I contracted a sudden and very pernicious pneumonia in both lungs. I was hospitalized for seven full days in a state of weakness and illness that frightened my family and worried the doctors. I was not as aware of the seriousness of my state as they were, although I knew I was very sick. During the first hours after being placed into bed in the hospital room I went through the death experience that I will attempt to describe. I must truthfully say that none of the attending staff were aware I had actually passed over the line. It must have been very brief in linear time, but what I experienced was rather long and terrifying.

I did not see any lights or tunnels or friendly beings, as is so often the report of those who have had NDEs. Instead I was taken to hell while still alive. This part of the journey was real beyond tolerance and unendurable. Other than the illness I felt no physical pain, but I was immersed in scenes of unbearable cruelty of one human being or more to other humans. I was unable to turn away or shut my eyes, even though I’m sure my physical eyes were closed in the hospital bed. No matter how I prayed and pleaded not to have to see, I was exposed to up-close scenes of the most bestial horrors. Over and over again I retched as the brutality could not be endured. What made the events so terrible was the fact that I knew beyond question that these were not imaginary scenes from a movie or from some distant memories but were actual happenings on Earth right then–happening in the moment right before my eyes. I cannot prove this statement, of course, but there was no doubt or thought of any kind except that I was witnessing a reality, not a dream.

After what seemed a full day and a half, this mercifully ended. I was then taken by what felt like two winged beings to a place that at first I did not recognize. Although I had never read a real description of this place, I soon understood that it was the River Styx and I was about to have my life entirely extinguished. The winged beings were holding me by my head and feet and were lowering me toward the repulsive swamp. I could see immediately that there was no coming back from this place of decay. It was a sluggish, yellow mud, not a river as I would have pictured from mythology books. It was just liquid enough to gurgle slightly as it barely moved, and the stench of sulfur was overwhelming. It looked like nothing so much as putrefied matter that would be toxic even to breathe. I was inches away from it and about to be dropped in.

Some observing function in me was still operating and this part was totally mystified by the situation and by my own behavior. For I was not struggling or fighting it in any way. The observer was thinking: “This is not how God would have me die, surely!” It made no sense that I would die and lose everything I had worked for in my whole life. I could see that there was no resurrection of any kind possible after this. Yet the other part of me just yielded to the choice and said, “Oh well, if this is how it is . . .” right before I was totally blotted out.

As I began to recover from the pneumonia and eventually left the hospital, I distinctly remembered this extremely real episode but did not understand what it was. It took weeks and then more weeks as I began to understand the momentous thing that had happened. I did not tell the doctors about it because I was very puzzled about it myself. Little by little, the facts sorted themselves out as I realized it was another spiritual experience of transformation. This seems to have been, for me, the definitive experience of leaving behind all broken-ness, all past history, all sense of a former life, and beginning life in the Eternal Now. I have come back from death itself to bring my message of what one knows after passing over. And that leads us right back into the marvelous mansion.

Since my dip into the River Styx, a new life has taken over my entire being. It has been sixteen months since then, and shortly after this experience I was finally admitted farther into the fourth level of the mansion in the Pleiades. There is where I discovered trunks overflowing with the fabric of creation. I have received almost constant guidance about the way we shall build the Earth together, using our own chaos to weave the future. It only needs sorting and dedicated weaving to create anew from what the Earth has provided.

I have learned that fear is absolutely useless and that everything can be worked out from this higher level.

 

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The Pleiadian House of Initiation by Mary T. Beben © 2014 Bear & Company. 
Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Parenting With Authenticity by Dr. Marta Adelsman

authentic-parentingParenting With Authenticity

By Dr. Marta Adelsman

I grew up with parents who played roles.  My father wore the commander-in-chief mask, using orders and threats to try to control my sister and me.  My mother played the consoler.  Rarely did they reveal the real person behind the roles.
You probably saw your parents play roles, too, and those roles became the model for what a parent “ought” to be.  Later, if you had children, you slipped easily into the mold of that “ought.”

As perceptive little people, your children know when you play a role. They see right through your inauthenticity.  Since they don’t know how to talk about their perceptions and their feelings, they let you know you’re being inauthentic by misbehaving.  You, their teachers or your friends may label them as “sassy,” “trouble-makers,” or “disobedient.”  They push your buttons and, just when you want them to behave and make you look good, they embarrass you in front of your friends.  Can you tell I’ve been there?

A wise parent will learn from the feedback provided by their children’s misbehavior.  When you can see their acting out as a mirror for your own lack of authenticity, you have taken a big step toward becoming more authentic.
How do you drop the roles you play with your children?  You relate from your humanness.  You let them know your real feelings, thoughts, doubts, joys and insecurities.  You become an authentic teacher, modeling for your children how to tell the truth.

One day my oldest son, Aaron (then 12), became irate that I had allowed his youngest brother, Paul, to get away with something.  “Mom!” he protested, shaking with anger and red in the face. “If that were me, I would have gotten into deep trouble!”

I recalled how, before I transformed my parenting, I had sometimes treated him harshly.  I responded authentically: “You’re right,” I confessed.  “You’re our firstborn, which means we’ve never done this parenting thing before, and we’re learning on you.  I know I don’t always get it right.  I’m sorry you got caught in my lack of experience, and I’m really sorry I treated you harshly before I knew better.”

I saw Aaron’s anger drain out of him. My confession of imperfection made me more human in his eyes, and he could identify.  Other authentic confessions might sound like:  “I feel terrible when I yell at you.”  “I don’t know the answer to your question.” “Sometimes the choices you make scare me.”

“If I talk like that, my child will never respect me!” you say.  On the contrary, if you express your emotions and tell on your insecurities, you give your child permission to do the same and he will respect you more.  Be willing to look deeply at yourself to become authentic with you.  As you shine that authenticity onto your children, you will reap huge benefits of mutual respect.

Dr. Marta practices in the Verde Valley of Arizona as a Life Coach in Communication & Spiritual Consciousness. She earned a doctorate in Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and received her Life Coach training from The Institute for Global Listening and Communication.  She is the author of Why Wallow When You Can Soar?  drmartacoach@gmail.com Phone: 928-451-9482.

The Greatest Kan and Li Formulas By Mantak Chia

Greatest-Kan-LiThe Greatest Kan and Li Formulas

Chapter 5

By Mantak Chia

 

All methods end in quietness. This marvelous magic cannot be fathomed. But when the practice is started, one must press on from the obvious to the profound, from the coarse to the fine . . .and the end of the practice must be “one.”
–Lu Dong-Pin

 

Below find a list of the methods passed down from Master Yi Eng. While it has been important to keep the integrity of these meditations in terms of their order, components, and goals, there is a degree of flexibility for the adept. This applies more so to the experienced practitioner practicing solo. Here one cannot only vary the order but can either skip formulas or only partially complete one before moving on to another. The continual theme of this text is to initially learn the formulas as originally taught but then to be flexible with them and allow one’s meditation to be fluid and spontaneous. All the formulas start with the gross or a fragment and take us to the fine and the whole. Each method will ultimately blend in with the others according to your unique personality and history.

 

Formulas
Connecting to the Two Poles Stars
Coupling in the Heart
Steaming
Alignment of the Three Triangles
Connection with the Cranium and Parts of the Brain
Connecting with the Stems and Branches
Pulsate Heart with Aorta (Sun) and Vena Cava (Moon)
Moment of Emptiness
Macrocosmic Constellation Meditation
Gathering the Lesser Medicine
Birth of the Spiritual Infant
Turning the Wheel

 

Connecting to the Two Poles Stars
(Activating the Cranial and Sacral Pumps)

This technique helps to open the crown by vibrating the bones at the sutures with micropressure and to project the pearl/soul/spirit. It has been found that when one holds the breath, the skull vibrates, thus loosening the bones, making it possible to open the crown for the egress of the spirit. Basically, the procedure assists in activating the Cranial and Sacral Pumps.

This principle is similar to Greater Kan and Li, when we connect beyond self by spiraling through the crown and the feet (perineum) and setting up vertical and earthly flight. However this time we extend beyond the earth and the imagined solar system to connect to the Pole Stars, both the North Star, Polaris, above the Crown for those in the Northern Hemisphere and Polaris Australis for Southern Hemisphere practitioners.

 

Connecting to the Pole Star above the Crown

1. Form another pearl and settle it in the perineum.
2. Move the pearl in the Microcosmic Orbit and let it gather momentum.
3. Slow it down and let it rest in the crown.
4. Activate the cranial pump (look up, clench the teeth and jaw, sink chin and sternum, clench the fists, tighten the buttocks, and pull up the sexual organ).
5. Exhale and shoot the pearl through the crown, extending the pearl many body lengths above you.
6. Swallow saliva upward as you feel the earth force come up to you.
7. Exhale and completely relax any muscles you have tensed. You must be able to totally release all body tension so that the chi can flow easily through the pumps and throughout the body. Work toward activating these pumps through structural alignment and mental focus only.
8. Draw the yang energy from the Pole Star into the Crystal Room and other tan tiens. Merge this experience with that of the third eye.

 

Connecting to the Pole Star beneath the Earth

1. Shoot the pearl down the legs, many body lengths into the ground and then beyond the earth to the Pole Star beneath. Connect with its more yin nature.
2. Create a pakua around the pearl.
3. Extend the thrusting routes and belt routes to the bodies in and beneath the earth.
4. Gather in the middle of the toes and the tan tiens and gather to the mid-eyebrow. One may then merge the third eye with the earth plane experience.

Goals for connecting to the Pole Stars: The first goal for this practice is to extend consciousness beyond self. This is in keeping with our broad concept of the “Wu Wei experience” whereby to perceive “nothing” one must first embrace “entirety.”

The second goal is to assist in alignment of the body whereby all the forces are in unison and working together. This can be seen from a perspective of the earth force in alignment with the heavenly force and the body’s internal energies. An alternative framework is that the resident spirits within the body are in harmony. The spirit that exists above the crown (Highest Soul) along with the Dragon spirit can work to reach the Pole Star above. The Earth Soul beneath the feet along with the Tiger spirit extends consciousness to the opposite Pole Star. The spirits in the head, heart, abdomen, and behind the knees all serve to align the body with these vertical forces.

The third goal is to receive pure energies from the Pole Star. As early as the Han era they believed the Pole Star encompassed the “unitive” experience. Ge Hong says, “The One resides at the North Pole . . .Dragons and Tigers are lined up on guard.” In the Universal Healing Tao the Pole Star not only is the “gateway” to an experience of the “one” but also emits a violet healing light that has a remarkable healing effect and a specific resonance with the bones of the body. The Pole Star beneath is usually felt as more yin.

 

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Greatest Kan and Li by Mantak Chia and Andrew Jan. © 2014 Destiny Books. 
Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

 

 
Author bios:
 
Mantak Chia, world-famous Inner Alchemy and Chi Kung master, founded the Universal Healing Tao System in 1979. He has taught and certified tens of thousands of students and instructors from all over the world and is the author of more than 50 books, including The Taoist Soul Body and Chi Self-Massage. Andrew Jan is a senior instructor for the Universal Healing Tao and former Australian National Tai Chi Champion. The coauthor with Master Chia of Tai Chi Fa Jin, Tai Chi Wu Style, and The Practice of Greater Kan and Li, he lives near Perth, Australia.

 

 

5 Ways to Give off a Positive Vibe at Home, Work and Play By Sherry Blair

think-positive5 Ways to Give off a Positive Vibe at Home, Work and Play

By Sherry Blair

Have you ever been around someone that gives off a negative vibe? Oftentimes being around someone who is negative can make us feel negative as well. Our demeanor, attitude and mood affect not only us, but others around us. Those who give off a positive vibe often times are happier, more connected with others, and have a brighter outlook on life. A general rule of thumb for being happy in life is to surround yourself with positive people. Positive people make you feel more positive! Sherry Blair, CEO of ISIS Innovative Specialists Inspirational Services, shares her thoughts on bringing positivity to your life.

“Surrounding yourself with negative people is only going to make you negative. I truly believe that happy people are friends with other happy people! Think about what would happen if you got a promotion; it wouldn’t be fun to share your success with a negative friend. They would end up taking away your happy! Positive people will always cheer for your successes,” says Sherry Blair.

If you feel like you can sometimes give off a negative vibe, it’s time to turn that frown upside down! Here are five ways to give off a positive vibe at home, work and play:

 

1) Smile

If you aren’t smiling right now, start.  Too often people are not smiling. The more you smile, the happier you will feel. Why? Because! Everyone wants to be around the girl or guy who is always smiling and happy; it’s infectious. Starting today, smile at the cashier that rings you out, smile when meeting someone new, and smile just because!

 

2) Laugh

Smiling and laughing go hand and hand. The more you laugh, even if forced, the happier you will feel. If you laugh enough, eventually it stops feeling forced and starts being genuine. If you find something even remotely funny, laugh. You’ll find that laughing feels good!

 

3) Choose Positivity

If you have a clear intention to increase your positivity, then tweaking just a few minor communications each day can have a major impact with your friends, co-workers and family members.

 

4) Celebrate others

Have you ever had a friend that loves to tell you about all the great things going on in her life, but never wants to listen to all the things in yours? These kinds of friends are not positive ones to be around! Since you don’t like when someone does that to you, don’t do it to others! When a friend shares an accomplishment, celebrate it! Your friends will start to notice that you are always so positive about the ups and downs in their lives and will appreciate you for it.

 

5) Say more positive words

What we say plays a big role in how we are perceived. If you are always saying “no” or, “that doesn’t work”, you aren’t going to come off as being a warm, positive person. Work on saying more positive words in your day-to-day life. Phrases like “thank you”, “I love you”, and “I agree” are all positive ways to communicate.

Note to the media: Sherry Blair is a popular media expert and can speak on any topics related to positive living and mental health. To schedule an interview with Sherry Blair, contact Tasha Mayberry, Director Public Relations at pr@isisnj.us or call 207.317.6099.

 

About Sherry Blair
 
Sherry Blair is the CEO of ISIS Innovative Specialists Inspirational Services, where she inspires and motivates others by applying and encouraging Positive Psychology. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Board Certified Professional Counselor and Diplomate Professional Coach, Sherry teaches at University of California’s Graduate School of Social Work and is the author of several books. The positivity coach teaches others to speak from their hearts in synergy with their minds to achieve results and resolve conflict. Visit Sherry online at www.isisnj.us.
 

Angels Exist by Joanne Brocas

power-angelsAngels Exist

By Joanne Brocas

Angels are celestial beings that radiate divine light and work on behalf of their creator God for the greater good of mankind. Angelic beings also assist in managing and maintaining order within the universe, and this involves the intervention of different ranks of angels who are attributed divine knowledge and wisdom, divine power, and who have specific divine roles and tasks given to them by God. It is because of the differing knowledge and power awarded to the angels that we have what is known as the angelic or celestial hierarchy. It is said that there are nine choirs of angels, which are also divided into three distinct orders or spheres. The angels closest to God will have more divine knowledge, wisdom, and power bestowed on them than the orders directly ranked below them, thus the hierarchy is formed. Each distinct order and each individual choir have specific tasks and divine roles and all choirs carry out the will of God.

How to Communicate with Angels
As angels are spiritual beings you interact with them in subtle intuitive ways, which are non-physical. Everyone is intuitive and the more self-aware you become, then the stronger your natural intuition becomes. It is much easier than you may think to sense, hear, and see the angels around you. However, if you are waiting for physical evidence of the angels around you as proof of their existence, then you may be waiting a very long time and you will miss out on the loving guidance of the angelic realm because you will naturally block all other avenues of communication. The angels are able to and are happy to bring you certain signs as “tangible evidence” that they are around you; such as a white feather, a butterfly or a reference to angels by others etc. but they “will not” appear in physical form, or speak to you in a direct physical sounding voice just to satisfy your desire for proof of their existence. To be able to spiritually sense, see, and hear the angels through your intuitive nature you simply need to relax your body and energy field and ignite your faith and belief that your guardian angel is by your side.
So how do you know if you are sensing, hearing, and seeing angels if they are typically unseen? Sensing the angels is very subtle but it will evoke a calm feeling within your nervous system, you can also have the sensation of feeling safe and secure, and you may have a physical sensation of body warmth when the angels are near. You can also feel overly joyous or instantly uplifted when you sense the angels around you. Simply ask your guardian angel to surround you with their loving energy so that you can “feel/sense them.” The touch of angelic energy on your own vibration is very uplifting and healing. Seeing the angels will also be very subtle and will work through your intuitive mind and imagination. You may have a mental picture and quick glimpse within your mind of what your guardian angel looks like, or you may even see your guardian angel within your dream state. You can also use the art of meditation to intuitively see what your guardian angel looks like. You may see sparkles of light, different colors of light, or a human looking angel with white wings. Let your imagination roam free and your creative mind will activate your desire to see what the angels look like as they will impress their image within your imagination.
Hearing the angels will again be very subtle and so much so that you can often feel like you are making it all up. The angels will work through your mental energy by filtering angelic guidance through your own thought process. The thoughts will always be positive, uplifting, healing, and inspiring when they are angelic in nature. Angels love to whisper their helpful guidance to us in the hope that we will listen. We have free will to pay attention and choose our own paths, but when you ask for help from a higher power, then the angels will work in co-creation with you and God, and you will be aligned with a power that is far greater than yourself alone. Faith and belief in a higher power are the key ingredients to help you activate powerful spiritual assistance within your life. God’s holy angels can and will help you in all your ways, and all you need to do is to remember to Ask!

©2014 Joanne Brocas, author of The Power of Angels: Discover How to Connect, Communicate and Heal with the Angels published by New Page Books a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. ISBN-13: 978-1601633194 List Price: US $14.99

 

 

Double Crystallization and Entrainment Fields in Spiritual Guides, Teachers and Communities by Maureen Addington

teachersDouble Crystallization and Entrainment Fields

in Spiritual Guides, Teachers and Communities

By Maureen Addington

Isn’t it curious how particular people, groups, places or experiences draw us while others don’t. Often for reasons that are indiscernible.  According to the world of physics everything whether inert or animate, large or small, fast or slow vibrationally, has an energetic field surrounding it. And as a result of various factors, which many a dedicated physicist will tell you about, all things and their accompanying fields are naturally attracted and repelled at different times and in different ways.

One classical physics definitions of entrainment is: ‘The process whereby two interacting oscillating systems assume the same period.’  A few simpler definitions include ‘To be brought aboard’ or ‘To pull or draw along after itself.’

Specific to spiritual guides and teachers the term entrainment sometimes refers to the theory that if you spend time in the physical presence of an individual who has achieved a certain level of clarity or enlightenment, it may in some ways raise your own vibrational field.  As spiritual paths go this is a fairly popular one as opposed to say the dawning of a hair shirt for example.

The actual science versus psychology and suggestibility of the phenomenon of entrainment is secondary, for the purposes here, to the simple fact that it exists as a major dimension of human experience.

In the east the term for an individual who has achieved a certain degree of enlightenment and at the same time continues to be ruled by ego and personality is ‘Double Crystallization.’ A partial list of egoic and personality traits includes duplicity, greed, vanity, self centeredness, exploitation, sexual misconduct, materialism, disproportional tendency for self preservation, addictive behavior, bullying and gossip.

Entrainment fields are often brought about through a large capacity for focused attention. This phenomenon can occur in any type of person for example: politicians, sports figures, actors, musicians, etc.   In the spiritual realms the focused attention usually centers around various physical, religious, yogic, psychological or meditative practices, substance experimentation and or depriving the body of sleep or food for extended periods of time.

How does the crystallization actually work? Attention controls matter in a molecular state. In essence the high level of focused attention acts like a kind of crucible that cooks and crystalizes the person’s being into a semi-permanent state. If the person, for whatever reason, has this capacity for focus and yet has not attracted sufficiently high influences and guidance to render their ego and personality passive they end up as a double crystalized being.  Which means they become a semi permanent, super charged version of both their hard won spiritual gifts and capacities along with the old patterns, habits and addictions of their still intact ego and personality. In some cases what this creates is a spiritual sociopath.

Humans are often indiscriminately drawn to prominent entrainment fields in others. Adolf Hitler had a large entrainment field. He attracted thousands of ordinary people and influenced them into doing things that would never have otherwise occurred to them under more supportive and loving circumstances.

On the level of physical existence, from the standpoint of the body, a large entrainment field represents power, authority, sexual charisma and in some cases actual physical survival, in both the animal and the human kingdoms. In spiritual and religious settings people are often led to believe consciously or unconsciously that the health and survival of their soul is dependent upon a particular teacher, dogma or practice.  This is also a distorted byproduct of entrainment.  Ultimately this makes it easy to understand from both sides why so often leaders are seduced by the power and the ‘high’ of double crystallization and followers subjugate themselves and engage in beliefs, behaviors and activities that they would not have normally.

“When you fall from favor with the Gods the first thing
they remove from you is your understanding, making
the worse judgment seem the better,
so you never know in which you error.”

This is the plight of Double Crystallization.

Most spiritual seekers are in the same boat as what is being described here with the distinct advantage of nothing having been made permanent yet.  IE, strong and earnest spiritual intent and in many cases gifts, side by side with ego and personality, taking turns at whose in charge.

Double crystallization is very difficult to undo primarily because of the nearly permanent alchemical change and consequent advantages of this state.  These individuals are often unphased by ordinary life circumstances. They are ostensibly ‘free’ of the mechanical and moralistic constraints associated with typical states of being combined with tremendous self love irrespective of actions or behaviors; a being capable of justifying any behavior and possessing an easy ability to move on from whatever mayhem is caused without remorse or self reflection.

Unfortunately due to the now super charged ego and personality this person also lacks genuine conscience. This term is not used in the ordinary sense of subjective morality. In this context the definition would be the highest objective ability to see circumstances, consequences and responsibilities from all angles.

The advantage one has over a spiritual leader or individual who has double crystalized is the possibility of clearing the tendencies that cause suffering.  Being open and willing to admit, on the deepest level, your own shortcomings combined with the purist and most sincere appeal to whoever or whatever God is to you for the necessary support to reduce egoic manifestations to a permanent state of inconsequence.  If you succeed in this instead of a double it is a singular crystallization of the highest form of unconditional love resulting in a fully awakened person free from the laws of ordinary existence and the karmic consequences of desire.  A true servant of God.

Signs of double crystallization in a spiritual leader include:  compartmentalizing, lying, actively practicing various addictions, using their energy to manipulate others, sexual or monetary exploitation of others, favoritism, controlling how they are seen by others, bullying, gossiping, creating spiritual communities that disallow the natural tendency to care for and be genuinely supportive of each other’s lives and well being, an unwillingness to make amends to others and admit personal tendencies or mistakes.  The un-doing of double crystallization sometimes only occurs in death if at all.  Basically circumstances must occur in which the being is ‘re-melted’ through great suffering and contrition.

On the flip side what is the spiritual seeker’s experience and responsibility in the above scenario?  If I find myself drawn to a teacher who is double crystallized am I willing to admit to myself that this may mean that both aspects of that person’s being are appealing to me the light and the dark?   In other words the incongruence of the teacher appeals to my own incongruence.  And this is what I know.  It is impossible to be closely connected to a spiritual leader of this nature and not share these same discrepancies, particularly the capacity for self-deception.

In the communities that I have participated in, or heard about, in which the leader was double crystallized, almost everyone involved knew about at least some aspects of the leader’s behavior that were dishonest, manipulative, secretive, or harmful and yet in almost every case, until it got to a certain scale, it was dismissed or justified somehow.  As though, in those dynamics the basic human traits of honesty, accountability and doing unto others simply did not apply.

Is it really so surprising that any of us would pick teachers and communities that defy various traditional behaviors?  Consciously or unconsciously being drawn to short cuts, lying for a higher purpose, justifying behaviors in the name of consciousness, skipping over or avoiding ordinary consequences or trying to get away with something.  People in general, and spiritual people in particular, get their asses kicked here either in childhood, adulthood or both. Isn’t it natural to want to pull one over on God for once?  Ironically, in many ways the internal consequences that propel people towards life long spiritual pursuits are the same ones that can mislead them.

I recently attended a silent weekend retreat.  Even though I wasn’t interested in the teacher or the doctrine it afforded me the opportunity for  long, silent periods of meditation in the beautiful natural setting in which it was being held. There were about 150 people attending.  One night when I was walking back to my cabin several yards behind me I heard someone fall.  I turned to see a young woman struggling to stand back up as four of the silent retreatants walked right past her.  No one asked how she was or whether she needed help.  They just kept walking and maintaining the prescribed state of silence.  I turned around and walked back up the hill to help her.  I had to ask her twice if she needed assistance before she said, “I think it’s pretty serious.”  I helped her back to her cabin. It turned out she had recently had a total knee replacement.  The knee that she had fallen on had two screws pressing out of the skin.  The surrounding area was quickly turning multiple shades of black and blue.  Shortly after the retreat manager arrived and took over her care.

The next day I saw the young woman, continuing to participate in the retreat, using crutches.  I asked her if she was planning to leave, or had help to leave, and seek medical attention.  She said even though she suspected that the injury was bone on bone she hoped to tough it out.  I  recommended that she abandon that idea and get herself back home to some medical attention as soon as possible.

There were so many things about this situation that were reflective to me personally beyond coincidence.  It was all right there in front of me, blind devotion, black and white thinking, disregarding ordinary kindness, common sense and the welfare of others, white knuckling through because you think your soul depends on it, wagering more than you have the ability to pay, spiritual naiveté and magical thinking to name a few.

Also, just to be clear, whether one is oriented towards spiritual pursuits or not everyone gives themselves away, indiscriminately, to one thing or another.  We all have egos, personalities and a longing for happiness.  And in our confusion here we chase after externals thinking our fulfillment exits out there somewhere in a job, a house, physical appearance, health, family, a mate, addictions, power etc.

In this quiet moment, based on my own experience and what others have shared, I have to ask myself, would I ever be drawn to individuals and relationships, including those of any leader, who are not subject to simple honesty, transparency and the admission of ordinary human behaviors and foibles? In a world where two thirds of the planet doesn’t have enough food to eat would I ever wish to be associated with a teacher who has a cadre of students exclusively assigned to what she wears each day?  Would I want to commit large amounts of my time and resources to growing an organization in which the teacher leads a double life, fraught with scandal and addictive behaviors, and yet completely insulated due to the blind devotion of his followers?  Would I ever wish to be in a community again where men or women quietly leave, without explanation or goodbyes, because they have been devastated by the leader’s behavior towards them whether that be sexual, financial, or some other form of abuse or exploitation. And where the community that surrounds them, even after years of friendship, accepts this unquestioningly. And finally, most importantly, would I ever again want anyone one else to tell me who I am or what I am doing here?

The answer to all of this is no I wouldn’t. And without a shadow of a doubt, just like a vampire slayer, I can now identify this type of incongruence, in myself and others, from a mile away.

Regarding all of this right or wrong can only be answered by the individual and only in association with their own aims.  For me at this time, I’m on my own inner journey subject, as always, to all that each of us is heir to here.  I’m free of all desire to be connected to any form of spiritual authority or doctrine.  I am turning inward now for guidance with the knowing that whatever is needed has been waiting for me there all my life.

 

Bio:  Maureen has spent approximately 30 years in spiritual communities and in roles of promoting various teachers and teachings.  She is now officially healed from those pursuits and is redirecting that energy to promoting internal guidance.  She currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she does free lance contract work launching projects and organizations that help out in some way or another. maureen.addington@yahoo.com
 
 

The Five Dharma Types: Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose and Destiny by Simon Chokoisky

dharma-typesBook Excerpt

The Five Dharma Types:

Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose and Destiny

by Simon Chokoisky

 

Introduction and Self-Tests

DISCOVER YOUR DHARMA TYPE!

Dharma types are individual archetypal myths–the “I AM” identity  that guides each of us in subtle but definitive patterns. Today we associate  the word myth with something unreal or untrue, but to our ancestors  myths spoke to an enduring truth that lay beyond the ken of the  senses. Our everyday world is in perpetual flux–coming into being,  changing form, and dying. But myth is eternal, driven by the intelligent  blueprint that underlies the mundane world of name and form.

Use the test below to discover your dharma dype. Take your whole  life into consideration when choosing your answers–life cycles can  make it difficult to access your essential dharma look, so look at your  self from childhood to now to get a complete portrait. This should  help you determine your type, or at least narrow it down sufficiently  to make a determination when you read the descriptions in part 1 of  this book. Enjoy!

 

SELF-TEST I

Circle the answers that best apply to you. You may choose more than one  answer for each question if applicable. Try to think of qualities that are  permanent in you–how you have always been–rather than how you are at  times or during recent changes in your life. Tally them at the end to determine  your dharma type.

1. Circle the word that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. Freedom
b. Loyalty
c. Wisdom
d. Honor
e. Prosperity

2. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. Independence and Bliss
b. Love and Devotion
c. Worldliness and Knowledge
d. Discipline and Perfection
e. Entertainment and Fun

3. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. I love being alone. Sometimes I hate people, sometimes I like them, but they usually don’t understand me.
b. I don’t mind being alone as long as I have something constructive and productive to do.
c. I love being alone. I like people, but I need time to spend by myself for quiet contemplation and rejuvenation.
d. I don’t mind being alone, as long as I have a goal to accomplish.
e. I hate being alone. I prefer the company of people, even if I don’t know them.

4. Circle the phrase that means the most to you or describes you best.
a. I like strange, dark, or wild places, remote places no one has ever thought of or been to.
b. I like the plains and wide expanses of earth. I like living close to the ground, on ground floors rather than high-rise apartments.
c. I like high and remote places. I like upper floors, high-rise buildings, and living above others looking down.
d. I like challenging places. Places that are high, but not so high as to be remote. I like fortified and strong places.
e. From the Beverly Hills to gently rolling slopes, I like places where the action is; places that are easy to get to but also exclusive. I like living in the middle ground, not too high, not too low, where there is activity and access to the world.

5. Circle the sentence that describes you best.
a. I am the rebel or black sheep of my family. As a parent, I give freedom to my kids and let them individualize themselves from others.
b. I am deeply bonded with my family. As a parent, I nurture my kids by making sure they are well fed, healthy, and content.
c. I tend to teach my family and urge them to improve themselves. As a parent, I make certain my kids learn how to think for themselves, get a good education, and understand the world.
d. I am the strong one in my family. As a parent, I lead by example and earn my kids’ respect with discipline and order.
e. I actively support my family with shelter and resources. As a parent, I provide for my kids and make sure they understand the value of money, self-effort, and making your way in the world.

6. In religion I most value the following:
a. Going my own way
b. Faith and Devotion
c. Study and Scripture
d. Penance and Discipline
e. Rituals and Observances

7. In marriage I most value the following:
a. An unconventional spouse, one who understands my particular quirks and desires.
b. A dutiful spouse who is loyal and provides for me: a woman who cooks and cleans/a man who brings home the bacon.
c. A sensitive, intelligent spouse.
d. A challenging spouse with whom I can do activities.
e. A beautiful spouse.

8. I mainly watch TV for:
a. Horror, alternative political and spiritual viewpoints, science fiction . . .the Sci-Fi, FX, Indie, and Alternative channels.
b. Family, Drama, History, and Community programs like soap operas, Reality TV, daytime shows, cartoons, entertainment gossip, and re-runs.
c. Educational, thought-provoking, human-interest stories, and entertainment . . . National Geographic, PBS, Sci-Fi, and Documentary channels.
d. Sports, Action, News & Politics, Adventure stories, and entertainment . . . ESPN, CNN.
e. Fun programs, drama, music, comedy, game shows, financial and motivational stories, and entertainment . . . HBO, Comedy Channel, Spike.

9. Under stress I tend to:
a. bend the rules or lie to get my way, feel invisible, and self-deprecate
b. become lazy, close down in my own space, and worry a lot
c. be scatterbrained, feckless, and wishy-washy
d. become anger-prone, inattentive, and reckless
e. be moody/depressed, loud, and restless

10. At my best I am:
a. A Revolutionary, an Inventor, a Genius
b. A Devoted Friend, a Hard Worker, a Caregiver
c. A Counselor, a Teacher, a Diplomat
d. A Leader, a Hero, a Risk-Taker
e. An Optimist, a Self-Starter, a Promoter, an Adventurer

 

ANSWER KEY:
Tally your answers now; the most selected letter likely reflects your Dharma Type. For confirmation you should now move on to SELF TEST 2.

A. Outsider
B. Laborer
C. Educator
D. Warrior
E. Merchant

 

Bio: Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., is the chief scientific officer of the Premier Micronutrient Corporation, the former director of the Center for Vitamins and Cancer Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the former president of the International Society of Nutrition and Cancer. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days
 
Price: $19.95
 
To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore. The Five Dharma Types Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose and Destiny by  Simon Chokoisky © 2014 Destiny Books. 
Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Shamanic Awakening by Sandra Corcoran

Shamanic Awakening photoShamanic Awakening by Sandra Corcoran

Book Excerpt

Chapter 4: Reflections in the Mirror

I joined Tlakaelel in the hall where he was sitting with a meditative calm. He appeared to be in a state I can only describe as “the self-awareness of totally knowing himself “–perfectly engaged with both himself and everything around him in equal degrees. I wondered if I would ever be able to achieve that level of personal alignment.

He extended his hand, motioning for me to sit in the chair opposite him. Cradled in his lap was an obsidian bowl, as large as a dinner plate and gracefully concave. It was highly polished, black with flecks of green and gold. It was as smooth and reflective as the glassy surface of a calm pond. I knew it was a scrying mirror, as obsidian is used for that in his, the Toltec, tradition. Scrying uses an object to induce a trance, from which you can then access information from the past, present, and future.

With few words, in a hushed tone, he told me to gaze into the bowl and let the outer world go, to soften my gaze and allow images to arise. I knew exactly what he was asking of me, because I had performed similar scrying techniques with Oh Shinnah, the first of my teachers of traditional practices, using spheres. I took a few deep, centering breaths then leaned over the mirror. I looked beyond the reflection of my face, deep into the blackness of the obsidian. Within moments I heard a buzzing sound, like a swarm of bees, inside my head. I felt dizzy.

I am running, running for my life. The thick jungle vines ensnare me, scratching my legs and tearing at my hair. My chest muscles strain from running so desperately. I have to get to the well. It is my only hope of survival. I can feel hot breath behind me as the distance shortens between me and the dark black fur that can claim me at any second.

As fast as I had fallen into the vision, I was pulled out of it. I returned to this reality, disoriented, breathing heavily, my heart still pounding. Tlakaelel was holding me by the scruff of my neck. He started rubbing my sternum, and soon I began to breathe easier. “What was that?” I stammered. He only smiled. It was the first time I had seen him smile, and it was a solemn one. He finally spoke, and his words revealed he knew what I had experienced although I had not told him. “You have been claimed. I hadn’t anticipated this.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, still shaken.

He said simply, “You will be working with the indigenous people of the South, at some point, when the time is right.” He offered the opinion that I had had a few past lives in Central and South America, and those parts of my being that remembered would begin to inform me as they awakened. He told me he could see the jaguar was my tonal, a spiritual link between a person and, in this case, an animal. The tonal is the structured energy of the waking state that takes on form and can be perceived when you learn to negotiate the nagual, or sleeping state. The nagual is the world of unstructured energy, not bound by time and space, from which the tonal arises. The nagual helps us develop the energies of both the physical and subtle realms. When you cleanse and strengthen your energy body and raise your frequencies, you can use the tonal as a bridge to the nagual for clear perception in this and other dimensions.

Tlakaelel’s tonal, he confided, was the tiger. He told me to embody the jaguar, act out its movements, and see through its eyes. He said he saw I was born with a warrior’s heart, and the warrior’s path could be hard and lonely sometimes, especially for a woman. He counseled that I might find myself in struggles with men, especially life partners. They might misinterpret my strengths as challenges to their manhood. He said, “Your path will bring you to a threshold that, once crossed, will lead you to a place of balance and strength, where you can allow others to feel strong without the need to diminish or deny your own gifts. Others will not see you as you would like until you accept the strength of all you are.”

He went on to say I had a propensity for making myself small so others wouldn’t feel threatened. Once I saw that making myself small was in fact my own self-judgment and something I did to the detriment of living my personal power, then I could accept without discomfort that I had all of the tools needed to be a balanced warrioress. The battle, he counseled, was not with others, but solely within me. He explained he did not wish to say more, as he would not be the teacher who would help me awaken to this knowing. However, if I had specific questions about my tonal, he would come through the dreamtime to answer them. He instructed me to leave a glass of water next to my bed at night, for in his tradition the glass of water would serve as a channel through the ethers by which he could access my dreambody and impart information. In the morning, if I tapped the glass, I would be able to recall the information of the dream. With that guidance the session was over. As I got up to leave, I looked back to thank him. This Toltec elder, whose name is actually a title that means Counselor to the Council, had given me much to think about. He smiled in a way that made me think he might be about to reveal a secret, but all he did was to turn over the obsidian mirror. There, on its underside, was carved the face of a jaguar.

Bio: Sandra Corcoran, M.Ed., is a shamanistic counselor trained for thirty years in traditional and esoteric healing techniques throughout the Americas and Europe. She is cofounder of the STAR Process soul retrieval method and offers workshops and sacred journeys nationally and internationally. She has a private practice in Natick, Massachusetts.

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days

Price: $18.00

To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore.

Shamanic Awakening by Sandra Corcoran, M.Ed., © 2014 Bear & Company. 
Reprinted with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com

Toxic world, toxic people by Anna Victoria Rodgers

toxic worldToxic world, toxic people

by Anna Victoria Rodgers

Book Excerpt

 

What IS Your Purpose?

I’m sure you have already asked yourself, ‘What is the meaning of life?‘ or ‘Why am I here?‘ I know I certainly asked myself these questions time and time again for many years, and, as I was never able to answer them properly, I was left feeling very confused and deeply unhappy. I just didn’t understand what my life was supposed to be about. It was depressing to feel useless and not able to do anything of benefit.

Finding your spirit also means connecting with what is called your ‘intuition’ – you know, when you have to make a decision and you can sense the right answer? But for many, they get the wrong answer because they haven’t learnt to really listen to their inner selves. Finding your spirit also means getting in touch with your soul.

One way of connecting to your spirit is through meditation. Meditation has become a very accepted form of stress relief these days with many doctors now recommending it. Through the act of sitting, being still and deep breathing, within seconds the body and mind is able to achieve a very relaxed state. Hypnotherapists also use this technique to get into our subconscious minds where they can help us to overcome fears and anxieties, unlock past memories, and actually ‘reprogram’ the mind. It’s interesting to know that the word ‘inspiration’ is not only used to define breathing, but that we use it to describe what drives and motivates us.

So to become inspired, we must perform inspiration through deep breathing. Yoga and getting close to Nature, are forms of meditation too. Try to sit still for at least 10 minutes every day; don’t try and shut your thoughts off, but instead pay attention to them and see what keeps coming up. The more you do this, the more you will find yourself less stressed and will often also be able to deal with tough situations much better. Meditation allows you to be still with your inner thoughts and can bring a profound sense of peace. By practicing meditation, you can really get to know yourself, through seeing how you ‘talk’ to yourself, what memories come up and what you feel you need to improve.

If you have trouble meditating, like so many do, myself included, the following tips, inspired by the book Falling into Easy by Dee Willock may help.

Sitting in the right position

This is usually cross-legged or sitting on a chair. Lying down may mean that you fall asleep, so sometimes being a bit uncomfortable will help you to meditate. When I try, I find myself getting super-itchy and cannot sit still! This is common too and only goes away the more you practice.

Making a space just for meditating

If you want to get serious about your practice, then it may be a good idea to create a little area just for this. You can get comfy cushions, or a nice chair, and surround it with incense (the non-toxic kind of course!), aromatherapy, music, candles and crystals. Buddhists will have status of Buddha to look at and may also use beads to hold. You can make it whatever way you like, but just be sure that it’s an area that relaxes you.

Finding the time

Like most things, the more regular we are, the better and easier it becomes. Meditating is exactly the type of thing that responds to regular sessions. Some say it’s best first thing in the morning and those that are serious may get up before the crack of dawn to meditate as the sun goes up. If you can’t manage sessions every day, try to do it a few times a week, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

Breathing correctly

Breathing is so powerful. It can relieve us of tension and pain and get us quickly relaxed in no time at all. Women who do hypnobirthing say that they had a pain-free birth purely down to the way that they breathed, as well as visualizing and practicing the technique. I didn’t exactly have a pain-free birth but I did manage to have it without drugs and I do credit the deep breathing with this. When meditating, breathing deeply is very important. There are many types of ways to breathe during meditation; some prefer breathing slowly, while others will do more vigorous types of breath work such as pranayama. If you want to find an example, YouTube have plenty of videos on this subject.

Letting your thoughts think

It used to be that we were told we must ‘empty our minds’ to meditate properly, but now so many are saying: No, that’s not always right. You can let your thoughts enter you mind; take notice of them and then let them go. You can learn a lot about yourself when certain words or memories pop up in your mind; some will be a bit silly or odd and others may be quite profound.

 

After leading a very unwell life, Anna Rodgers healed herself naturally after discovering she was very ill due to toxic exposure from a toxic chemical when young. She started her blog Miss Eco Glam in 2009 where she has gained a following for being ethical and glamourous at the same time, dispelling the myth that only hippies can be green.
 
Anna also contributes travel articles to Get Fresh and Yoga Magazine, as well as regularly writes articles for her website. Anna has also written the book, Simply The Best – 95 Living Food Recipes by 20 of The Worlds Most Talented Raw Chefs and is co-writing a recipe and health book with Karen Maidment, holistic nutritionist, later in the year. She is also bringing out a health and wellbeing book for teenagers in 2015. Anna is an ex-model and over the last few years was the face of St Erasmus Ethical Jewellery for 3 seasons. She lives in East Sussex, UK.
 
Toxic World, Toxic People is published by Soul Rocks Books June. ISBN: 978-1-78099-471-0 (Paperback) £21.99 $37.95

Plant Intelligence and Imaginal Realm by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Plant intelligencePlant Intelligence and Imaginal Realm

by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Book Excerpt:
 Prelude 
The Soft Flutter of Butterflies 

 

I never was a good student in school–though first grade was fun. We made handprints in wet plaster and walked in the woods looking for butterflies and learned the Spanish words for chocolate and hello.

That first summer after school was wonderful. I got bright new shoes and ran and played with my friends and we flew kites whose tails fluttered in the wind and the days were as long as forever. But next year, school was different.

Our teacher stood ramrod stiff at the head of the class and she was tall and thin and the mole on her chin quivered with indignation. Her face disapproved of itself and she wrinkled her nose when she talked as if she were smelling something polite people didn’t mention. . . .

I didn’t like her very much and I began to think that school was something I would rather not do.

But when I told my mother I was informed that I didn’t have a choice in the matter and that school was good for little children and that go I would. So, the years went by, as years do, and some teachers were better and some were not and I became as unconscious as unconscious could be.

I went to university and the teacher in my first class looked like Santa Claus. . . . He told us his name was Ben Sweet (Sweet by birth, sweet by disposition) and the name of his class was “On the challenge of being human.” My other teachers did not seem to care about the challenge of being human and instead they taught us to think about mathematics and analyze different chemicals, and as the months went by I felt farther from myself. And the only thing that seemed to make sense was Ben Sweet and the way he talked to us and urged something in the deeps of us to come out. . . .

And one day, I found myself thinking that I wanted all my teachers to be like that. . . . So, I made a list of every person I had heard of that had moved me in the way Ben Sweet did and I decided I wanted to meet and learn from every one of them. . . .

Buckminster Fuller, Robert Bly, Jacques Cousteau, Robert Heinlein, Joan Halifax, Stephanie Simonton, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, William Stafford, Jane Goodall, Gregory Bateson, Eric Fromm, Frank Herbert, Ashley Montagu, Margaret Mead.

I was so young then and the world was so new and my whole life was before me.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was plain and tall and thin. . . . Her eyes penetrated everything they touched and they were the deepest blue and looking into them was like peering into some deep mountain pool that’s so clear you can’t tell how deep it is. Down in those deeps were things I couldn’t quite make out, things I didn’t understand . . . I could feel whatever it was deep inside, touching parts of me that I did not know I possessed. And those parts of me . . . I could feel them begin to stir under its touch.

“How did you come to your work?” someone asked.

“I was a young doctor and it was just after the war. I had heard stories of the terrible things that had happened in the concentration camps and I wanted to see for myself. So, I went to Majdanek in Poland. . . .

“By the gates there was a table and a young woman with dark, raven hair. She had to ask me several times for my name. She carefully wrote it down in the book where they kept a list of all the visitors. Then she looked up and smiled a sad, quiet smile, and waved me in. . . .

“Soon, I found myself in front of a wooden barracks. . . . I walked down the long passageways that ran between the tiers of bunks, looking around me. Then I saw–on the walls, roughly scratched, sometimes carved, into the wooden planks–hundreds of initials, and names–the last desperate messages to the living. And among those messages–I couldn’t believe it–were hundreds and hundreds of butterflies. Butterflies, everywhere. In the midst of that horror, the children had scratched butterflies into the walls!”

. . . Elisabeth looked at all of us in the room. None of us were moving. We were still, hardly breathing, caught spellbound. “I had never experienced such cruelty,” Elisabeth said, “and my heart was being crushed. But the young woman seemed oddly unaffected by it, so I said to her, ‘But you look so peaceful. How can you be peaceful when your whole family was killed here?’

“Golda looked back at me–those peaceful eyes!–and said in the most penetrating voice I had ever heard, ‘Because the Nazis taught me this: There is a Hitler inside each of us and if we do not heal the Hitler inside of ourselves, then the violence, it will never stop.'”

. . . There was something in Elisabeth’s voice that day, some invisible thing that my younger self did not consciously understand but could only feel. And it went into the depths of me and there it remains still. . . .

There is a difference I learned, long ago, between schooling and education. Do you feel it now, in the room with you?

I was never able to find it in any of my schools. But sometimes I find it in the soft flutter of butterflies, in the wildness of plants growing undomesticated in a forest clearing, in the laughter and running of young children, their hair flowing in the wind, and sometimes, sometimes I find it in the words of teachers who come among us from time to time–out there, far outside these walls, in the wildness of the world.

 

Bio: Stephen Harrod Buhner is the senior researcher for the Foundation for Gaian Studies. Described as both an Earth Poet and a Bardic Naturalist, he is the award-winning author of 19 books, including The Lost Language of Plants, The Secret Teachings of Plants, and Sacred Plant Medicine. He has taught for more than 30 years throughout North America and Europe. He lives in Silver City, New Mexico.
Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days Price: $26.00 To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your local bookstore.Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond The Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner © 2014 Bear & Company.
 

 

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