Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

I really liked this simple, eloquent explanation of what awareness is, why we would want to be aware and how to do it… a marvelous short video about a profound, life-changing practice of experiencing the world.

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It is said that you cannot progress spiritually unless you help others to do so, and through helping others you receive help in return. This post is about just that; helping others spiritually.

There was a girl whom I used to manage at my previous job, who I will refer to as ‘M’. She was a lovely girl, a very hard worker and a great employee. One day, M told me she wasn’t feeling well and needed to go lay down in the sick bay.

After a little while I stopped in to check on her. I found her sitting there, crying. So I sat next to her and asked her if she was okay. She wasn’t. She was going through some difficult personal circumstances, and she began to pour her heart out to me about the situation she was in. She was very sad.

This was the beginning of me becoming her confidant.

Over the next few weeks she would confide in me about her situation, and I felt enormous compassion for her. I would listen and try to offer her the best advice that I could; “Sometimes life presents situations that are very painful, but although they are difficult they offer an opportunity to learn. These situations my seem unfair, but if we can see the lessons they present, we can use them to grow and change to become better people”. At first she didn’t understand what I was trying to tell her, but that didn’t matter. I was someone whom she could talk to, and I didn’t judge her. I was just there for her, and it was comforting to her to have someone to talk to.

She felt very isolated from her friends; she said they judged her situation and their harsh comments made her feel even worse. But instead of judging her, I would try to offer techniques on how to deal with the feelings she was experiencing. I taught her about awareness of the present moment, and practices like ‘awareness walks’ which I personally found very helpful.

I shared with her some difficult past experiences that I had endured, and the techniques I used to overcome them. I had learned the techniques at the Gnostic classes I was taking, and encouraged her to come with me. She never came to the classes, but she listened to what I told her.

Eventually I gave her a book, called “The Peace of the Spirit Within’, which explained these techniques in much greater detail. She didn’t read the book at first, but she continued to confide in me, and I continued to tell her about the techniques that had helped me so much in my own life.

Not long after I left that job, and I moved away to America. But M and I remained good friends and kept in contact. She continued to confide in me, and I continued to confide in her.

I shared with her some of the more esoteric experiences I had as a result of the practices I was doing (such as astral travel), and she also read about them on this blog. She became more and more interested as time went on.

One day I sent her another book by the same author called “When I go to Sleep – A Course in Astral Travel & Dreams”, which is essentially a guide to have out-of-body experiences (otherwise referred to as ‘astral travel’).

By this stage she was keenly interested, so she read the book and practiced the techniques with great enthusiasm. Within a couple of weeks she had her own first out-of-body experience! And I was SO happy for her.

She was so excited! After that she began having numerous out-of body experiences. She reminded me of how I was when I first discovered these techniques and began to have my own experiences. And her out-look on life began to dramatically change, just as it had for me!

She began taking the classes I had told her about, and her life took on a new meaning. It was refreshing to have a friend that had experienced some of what I had experienced; you can talk about these concepts with people, but it is not the same as sharing actual experiences with someone. We both understood. And it was profound.

But ironically as her inner work grew in strength, my own had taken a serious decline. I had fallen into entropy, and my inner work had lost its luster. The enthusiasm I once had for the practices seemed so distant to me, and I had become despondent in my spiritual work. I didn’t have the strength to practice, and despite of all the marvelous experiences I had received (many of which are described in this blog), I actually felt like giving up the work; it felt like it was all too hard.

This is how it has been for me until recently in fact.

Not long ago M sent me a message that she saw me in the astral and we flew together. But I couldn’t remember it. In fact I wan’t even remembering most of my dreams at this point, let alone having conscious astral experiences. But she did, and she knew that I was not aware during the experience.

Just at the point that I was about to give up, she became a wind beneath my sails. She made me realize what I was missing, and she became an amazing source of strength and inspiration to me.

We had a phone conversation, following which she sent me this text:

M:Light some incense and do a practice!! Hope it all goes well and am so happy we caught up! Love you! Hope to see you in the astral tonight!”

ME: “It was great catching up with you too! You’ve given me so much inspiration to pick up my game… when you told me you had that astral experience with me flying, it was when I was at my lowest and I was so ‘asleep’. But you telling me about it has given me the strength to wake up. It’s time to wake up now, thank you so much!”

M: No worries!!! That’s an awesome thing eh!!! Yay, so glad to be of help (you’re the one who showed me/introduced me to all this) so it is my pleasure and I hope you start getting experiences again!! And start a dream journal starting tomorrow!!!”

It is said that you cannot progress spiritually unless you help others to do so, and through helping others you receive help in return. Now it’s my turn.

Thank you M. I love you.

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This photo is of the lake at the back of our house. Last night I projected there by visualizing it!

There are several different ways of getting into the astral and having a conscious out-of-body experience (if you are not familiar with OBEs or astral travel, read this).

With some techniques, you can project out of your body and directly into the room that you are in. Or you can learn how to wake up in a dream (and I don’t mean to have a lucid dream where you become aware of the fact you are dreaming, but to actually ‘wake up’ from a dream and find yourself consciously in the astral). Another way is to visualize a place, and if you can hold that visualization as you fall to sleep you can project directly to that place.

I rarely have any success with this technique of visualization, but last night I was actually able to visualize the lake at the back of my house and project directly there for the first time!

Earlier in the evening I had gone for an ‘awareness walk’ around the lake. I focused with all my might to be in awareness of the present moment; feeling the cool air on my skin, opening up my hearing to all the sounds of the evening, looking at the beautiful scenery before me, feeling each step and noticing the texture of the ground I was walking on – using all of my 5 senses to anchor myself in the present moment and escape the relentless thinking of the mind. If thoughts came and took me away, I would let them go and focus on the present moment again.

I really made a lot of effort to be conscious and aware, and it obviously paid off! Later that night in bed, after a couple of hours of sleep I woke up and turned over, when I caught myself thinking and the thoughts beginning to appear as dream images in my mind. Because I had been pushing for awareness earlier, my consciousness was active enough for me to gain awareness of the dream images before I had fallen into a full-on dream. So I seized the opportunity and started to purposely visualize my earlier walk around the lake. I tried to incorporate all my senses into my visualization and re-create in my mind the walk in as much vividness as I could, and to really put myself in the scene. Before long, I actually merged into the visualization, and I WAS in the scene – actually walking around the lake at the back of our place!

It was pretty cool. I took a little jump and started floating in the air, then came down and continued walking around the lake. It was just beautiful. I actually had planned to investigate some specific things the next time I got out-of-body, but I was so taken with how lovely it felt to just be in the astral that moment in that beautiful scene, I just walked around and took it all in!

Actually, I think I may go for another awareness walk right now….

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I love the sky. It is so beautiful, like a giant canvas; a stunning piece of art-work that is forever shifting and changing… the deep blues… the brilliant colors of the sunrises and sunsets… the soft clouds… the shimmering moon and sparkling stars on the backdrop of night… lightning bursts bringing the sky to life… the sky, always amazing, always changing.

I often look at the sky and contemplate. That piece of sky that I am looking at in that moment will never be the same again…in the next moment, the view as I saw it will be gone forever, something that can never be witnessed again as I had witnessed it. Sometimes that thought just seems kind of profound. It’s like receiving a priceless gift in return for simply paying attention.

I like to be still and just watch the sky; to watch the clouds slowly drift above me. If I really ground myself in the present moment, it feels like I step right out of time, and as I watch the clouds drift by it’s like I am witnessing time drift by. And the clouds never stop moving. Like time, it never stops. Slowly, constantly drifting by. To step out of it and whiteness this can feel surreal.

There is a lot to learn from the sky, I find anyway. How rarely do we even look up and notice it? Yet to do so at times can be profound. Try it. Look up, be aware, and pay attention, and take it in. It’s a feeling that I can’t really describe.   It’s just beautiful.

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Thanksgiving has just past – my very first one here in America!

In Australia we don’t celebrate this holiday, as this is traditionally an American holiday based on American Indian appreciation and to give thanks to God for the harvest and express gratitude to others for our many blessings.

This is an interesting and very worthwhile thing to do – to give thanks to God for our many blessings. But what does it mean to give thanks to God? How do we show we our gratitude and appreciation all that we have been given in life? Do we think about God? Do we pray?

For me, to really show gratitude for this life and everything in it is to live in the present moment, to really live. By this I mean to open up all of our five senses and really take in all that is life.

For example; when we eat our meals (Thanksgiving or otherwise), to be present and conscious as we do so; savoring the flavor, the taste, the texture, and being present for all of it. How often do we eat on the fly? Quickly scoffing something down so we can move onto the next task. Perhaps we consume our food in a total daydream, completely unaware and sometimes even surprised when we find our plate already empty before we even knew it – or we find ourselves so full that we could burst, because weren’t present enough to realize we should have stopped long ago. Maybe we eat while we are doing something else, like watching TV or being in front of the computer, and do so in an unconscious mechanical fashion. Where is the gratitude in that?

Or when we walk down the street – to be present and aware, taking in everything around us – to see the trees and hear the sound the leaves make as the wind moves through them – to feel the wind and the sun against our skin, to look into the eyes of passers by and smile, feeling love for humanity. To me this is gratitude. How often do we rush from place to place, lost in our thoughts and paying no attention to the reality around us? How often is the destination more important than the journey? How often do we really look? Listen? Feel? Smell? Because if we don’t, where is the gratitude in that? We often take for granted these simple things, but these simple things are SO valuable and should be savored. Just ask the blind man, or the man in a wheel-chair, or the man confined to prison.

When we take a shower which can be such a wonderful pleasure, how present are we? To feel the water running over our skin, to take in the scent of the soap and to really feel the texture of the lather over us, to really enjoy every moment of this luxury… or do we spend our time thinking about all we have on for the day, about what we are going to wear, replaying conversations we had the day before, fantasizing about conversations we should have had or are going to have, stuck in a daydream of thoughts.

We are given this amazing life, but just how present are we for it? How are we living it?

For me, showing gratitude is to live in awareness, to be present and conscious of everything around us and of every precious moment; making the effort to break free of the perpetual daydream that clouds us from reality and to really live this precious life we have been given.

Prayer is a wonderful thing, but if we just forget ourselves after we have given thanks to the Divine for what we have, and don’t pay attention to this precious moment we are in, then it seems to me we are not following through on our words, and our words are just empty.

I believe this is what giving thanks is all about – not just giving it, but living it too!

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Noticing Beauty.

violin22This article is making the rounds… it struck me as very profound and very sad. It’s amazing how we prioritize our lives in such a way that we miss the whole purpose of living – completely oblivious and unaware….

“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, tickets for Joshua Bell’s performance at a theater in Boston were sold out and the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing …??? “

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I recently found out that a dear friend of mine is dying of cancer. He has been given 6-12 months to live.

He said something to me today that was deeply profound…

This cancer has really opened my eyes. Life is now, not the future or past, but now. You can’t pick your future and you can’t change the past. I am doing all I can NOW so when I am on my death bed, I wont have ANY regrets. My point is, live in the now. It is really hard to do, but once you realize nothing else matters but now, it is a breeze”.

Why is it that it is so hard to live in the present moment? Why does it take something like cancer to really drive it home that nothing else matters outside of right now? If you don’t live in the present moment then you aren’t really living at all.

I’ve been studying Gnosis for 2 years now, trying to be aware of the present moment and continually forgetting myself, becoming fascinated and struggling to maintain that awareness. I’ve listened to Belsebuub say so many times how important it is to make use of every opportunity and not to waste the moment. But when my friend said this to me today, it held more truth than ever before.

Look at life from the perspective of my friend, imagine you only had 6-12 months to live. It’s a shame it takes cancer to truly understand the value of now and to make living in the present moment a breeze.

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