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Showing posts from 2011

axis mundi

The axis mundi, also known as the cosmic axis, world axis, or the center of the world, is a symbol representing the center of the world - a place where the heaven touches the earth.

In different cultures axis mundi was represented by various naturally occurring landscape features such as mountains, trees, stalks, columns of smoke. Man-made objects such as staffs, towers, ladders, staircases, maypoles, crosses, totem poles, pillars, or spires also functioned as a symbolic axis mundi.
The axis mundi takes a prominent place in shamanic cultures and in animist belief systems, but it also appears in the most technologically advanced cultures whenever there is an impulse to link an architectural structure with the idea of the center of the world.
Throughout the history, most cultures regarded their own territory as the center of the entire world. Within this territory a spot symbolizing the axis mundi was designated as a place of worship and veneration. Typically, high mountains were co…

le petit bonheur

There are times when it is hard to believe in the future, when we are temporarily just not brave enough. When this happens, concentrate on the present. Cultivate le petit bonheur - the little happiness - until courage returns. Look forward to the beauty of the next moment, the next hour, the promise of a good meal, sleep, a book, a movie, the likelihood that tonight the stars will shine and tomorrow the sun will rise. Sink roots into the present until the strength grows to think about tomorrow. - Ardis Whitman, American Author

abiding awareness

To abide in awareness without asserting our need to control what is arising suggests a complete restructuring of our view and intention. The eighth-century Indian Buddhist scholar Shantideva said, “We are not here to change the world; the world is here to change us.” This is the level of reorganization necessary for moving a self-based paradigm into abiding awareness. When we attempt to force or influence reality, we are refusing to be affected by it. We have opted out of changing ourselves, investing our energy in the course of our desire. The sense of self remains fully empowered when it decides how the world must change to fit its needs, and nothing can get through to modify the mind, because it is externally focused. Suddenly the paradigm shifts when the mind starts accommodating reality and is modified by the facts. - Rodeny Smith

from "thought to stillness" by Rodney Smith article source here
image source here

from the book of life

What is age? Is it the number of years you have lived? That is part of age; you were born in such and such a year, and now you are fifteen, forty or sixty years old. Your body grows old and so does your mind when it is burdened with all the experiences, miseries and weariness of life; and such a mind can never discover what is truth. The mind can discover only when it is young, fresh, innocent; but innocence is not a matter of age. It is not only the child that is innocent - he may not be - but the mind that is capable of experiencing without accumulating the residue of experience.

The mind must experience, that is inevitable. It must respond to everything - to the river, to the diseased animal, to the dead body being carried away to be burnt, to the poor villagers carrying their burdens along the road, to the tortures and miseries of life - otherwise it is already dead; but it must be capable of responding without being held by the experience. It is tradition, the accum…

the biggest mystery of all

How did something come from nothing? Isn't that the biggest mystery of all! But it did. Absolute zero is the foundation of everything that is. The evolving universe and all of manifestation emerged and continues to arise from infinite emptiness. That is a mystery that I believe we will never fully be able to grasp with the mind. - Andrew Cohen

nothing exists in isolation

All things are interrelated and interdependent; nothing exists in isolation. The entire universe is one ecosystem, similar to a spider web - if one part is touched, the entire net shimmers. As a result of interrelatedness and interdependency, every expression of energy, including our thoughts and intentions, ultimately touches and affects everything else. - Matthew Flickstein, A Journey to the Center

Image source here

the path

You must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. Each path is only one of a million paths. If you feel that you must now follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping a path if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on a path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I caution you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone this one question. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush of the Universe. The only question is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then it is a good path. If it doesn’t, then it is of no use. - Carlos Castaneda, Anthropologist and Author (1925 - 1998)

Important reading

the next level

The final destiny of the self is the next higher self. Before that, the destiny of the self is the destiny of its various personalities (incarnations), the path the self wanders from causalization to essentialization. The self determines its destiny by itself in accordance with its individual character, department, and self-acquisitions. With each new developmental level, the self lays out its path of development by its own work at self-realization, by the general and particular trend and direction of its individual character. The number of incarnations is determined by the self through its indolence or intensity of purpose. No effort is ever wholly wasted. The greatest qualities have been developed from hopeless first attempts.

The personality (the envelopes of incarnation) is a product of the self. Every being shapes its future lives through its consciousness expressions. Every personality and its destiny are the work of the self in its previous personalities.
Destiny is the c…

why consciousness matters

There are several ways we can know the world around us. Science focuses on external observation and is grounded in objective evaluation, measurement, and experimentation.
This is useful in increasing objectivity and reducing bias and inaccuracy as we interpret what we observe. But another way of knowing is subjective or internal, including gut feelings, intuition, and hunches - the way you know you love your children, for example, or experiences you have that cannot be explained or proven - rationally, but feel absolutely real. This way of knowing is what we call noetic.

From a purely materialist, mechanistic perspective, all subjective - noetic - experience arises from physical matter, and consciousness is simply a byproduct of brain and body processes. But there is another perspective, suggesting a far more complex relationship between the physical and the nonphysical. The noetic sciences apply a scientific lens to the study of subjective experience and to ways that consciousness…

healing properties of malachite

Malachite is a hydrous copper carbonate that is responsible for the greenish hue of a tarnished copper and bronze. It is often results from weathering copper ores and is often found with azurite and calcite. It has a vibrant color that can vary from bright to dark green.

Malachite crystallizes in form of monoclinic crystal system and most often forms botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses. Individual crystals are rather rare but do occur as slender to acicular prisms.
The name malachite most probably originates from the Greek  word malachos which means soft, but it was also called molochitis lithos - mallow-green stone because it resembles the leaves of the mallow plant.
Large quantities of malachite are mined in Israel, Russia, Congo, Namibia, Zambia, and in Mexico. In the United States it mostly occurs in the South West, especially in Arizona.
Malachite was known in Egypt as early as ca 4000 BC. Ancient Greeks made malachite amulets for the protection of their children. Durin…

rejecting uncommon beliefs

how worldview shapes our experience
by Marylin Schlitz
As the legendary philosopher John Locke once said: “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

What limits our desire and capacity to take in new ideas – even when we hold an intention to transform and grow? How can we shift a paradigm that we see as flawed and incomplete without understanding the barriers to changing our minds and behaviors? And how can we develop habits that allow us to explore and reveal our own biases and intolerance of ideas that refute our prevailing beliefs and opinions? These are tricky questions, but ones that are lighting up many science labs around the world.
New discoveries and new thinking in neuroscience, social psychology, and anthropology offer provocative insights into the barriers to transformation. They show us that our views of reality are embedded largely in our unconscious mind. Operating below the threshold o…

is everything really connected?

We've all glimpsed the elusive mysteries of consciousness - sometimes through premonition, perhaps in a lucid dream, an awakening in meditation or prayer. Scientists have often dismissed these experiences as coincidence, placebo, or even superstition. These phenomena, however are worth exploring as they give an insight into the mind's unexplored potential.

Can we sense what's happening to loved ones thousands of miles away? Why are we sometimes certain of a caller's identity the instant the phone rings? Do intuitive hunches contain information about future events? Is it possible to perceive without the use of the ordinary senses?
Many people believe that such "psychic phenomena" are rare talents or divine gifts. Others don't believe they exist at all. But the latest scientific research shows that these phenomena are both real and widespread, and are an unavoidable consequence of the interconnected, entangled physical reality we live in.
Albert Einste…

schrödinger's cat-aclysm

by Shunyamurti

Schrödinger's cat has today emerged from its box, and is dead-and-alive and well and smiling uncannily at us, like another cat from Cheshire, from every point of our macro-reality. We are clearly now passing through an extraordinary moment of the revelation of quantum superposition in our phenomenal plane. 
In 1935, the physicist Erwin Schrödinger proposed a thought experiment in which a live cat was placed in a sealed box together with a mechanism that could be triggered by a quantum event - the decay of a subatomic particle that had a certain probability of happening - that would kill the cat when it occurred. According to quantum theory, subatomic particles can be in a condition of superposition - in other words, the particle can be in two states at once, until observed. Thus, the killing mechanism in the box could be both triggered and not triggered. So, Schrödinger wondered: Could the cat be both alive and dead at the same time?
For some thinkers, including …

the magic of consciousness

It is as if, when you see and hear and touch and taste things, some of the magic of your phenomenal sensation is rubbing off onto the things as such. And this has the extraordinary result of making it seem to you as if the things themselves possess phenomenal qualities. As if things out there in the world have an extra dimension of subjective presence. Maybe even as if you have a private line to them, as if they are imbued with your subjectivity. - Nicholas Humphrey in  Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness

what is life?

by Tam Hunt
What is life? Is life something that, like obscenity, we know when we see it? This intuitive approach may be good enough for many people, but science seeks definitions in order to get a better handle on the phenomena being studied.

Unfortunately, every definition of life provided thus far runs into serious problems. “Grasping the nature of life is like catching a whirling eddy in a stream: the moment you have it in your hands it disappears and leaves you with the matter but not the form.” Aristotle perhaps said it best: “Nothing is true of that which is changing.” In other words, if all is in flux – as all things are – then static definitions of physical phenomena, including life, are literally impossible. This is a fundamental limitation that is too rarely acknowledged in modern science and philosophy. We may carve out generally workable definitions as rules of thumb (heuristics) for deeper study, but we must always acknowledge that any definition regarding …

profound meditation

by Devin Wilson
For thousands of years, humans have been creating new spiritual technologies. Their forms are numerous: music, dance, art, poetry, magic, ritual, systems of social and professional conduct, rigorous physical and mental disciplines. This endeavor may well be the most diverse and concerted effort in all of history. As the centuries pass, we slowly bring to light the endlessly mysterious process of opening, of waking up.

Today, we are excited to announce a new step in this epic journey: an audio meditation program that will deepen your practice dramatically.
In our modern times, it's easy to forget what is possible when we truly slow down. In a world pressing us constantly with "more" and "faster", it's easy to ask, why practice at all?
But when you meditate, you shift into a whole new frame. Distractions quiet down and recede. Layer upon layer of confusion falls away. Your clarity increases. You settle, and the locks around your …

love haiku

rose petals scattering the sound of my heart breaking into pieces
Teijo Nakamura

lifestyle and mental health

Restoring Sanity in the 21st Century
"You can never get enough of what you don't really need, but you can certainly ruin your life and health trying." - Dr. Roger Walsh  The 21st century is becoming an increasingly bizarre time, when a significant portion of humanity seems to be conducting a massive, unprecedented, world-wide lifestyle experiment. As Roger discusses in this video, people are spending more and more time indoors in artificial, nature free environments, with low-level artificial lighting. We are eating high calorie and nutrient-poor diets, and tend to get very little exercise compared to previous generations. We are completely and totally immersed in the online multimedia world, and exist as parts of huge, largely impersonal, often anonymous communities like Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter.

In other words, today's human beings are living very differently than their ancestors - and truth be told, we are only beginning to understand the impact …

who are we and why are we here?

by Anne Baring
Early in the twentieth century, French artist Odilon Redon painted a picture of the Cyclops. Its single eye gazes down on the flower-strewn expanse where a naked woman lies in a brilliantly luminous landscape. To me, the image of the Cyclops reflects the constriction as well as the inflation of the modern human mind: ignorant of the vast dimensions of planetary and cosmic life on which it rests and out of which it has evolved, it believes itself to be in control of nature, including its own. The painting evokes the much-quoted words of William Blake, “May God us keep from the single vision and Newton’s sleep.”

Yet the painting also communicates a tremendous sadness, the sadness of a one-eyed consciousness that is cut off from its ground, that has no relationship with soul or with nature – personified in Redon’s painting by the woman lying on a flower-strewn ground. The rational or literal secular eye stands lonely and supreme, alienated from the landscape o…