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WEEKEND READING: Your Liberation Is on the Line

I think we are finally at a place where we can accept the truth that no one escapes from oppression, not one of us. Everyone is deeply wounded.

It’s true, some people seem to be in a position of what we call privilege, but we have to rethink that word. We get stuck on this notion of white privilege, or dominant privilege, as if the marginalized people want what the people with privilege have.

But I want no part of it. I want no part of any illness that renders people unable to see the beauty of all of our differences.

I want no part of an illness that renders me unable to connect to love. That is not a privilege...

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Are You Stuck In Seeking?

Being stuck in seeking is the single biggest stumbling block to "enlightenment"/awareness.

It is often the most sincere, the most devout, the most dedicated who are the most stuck in seeking – in many cases almost as a badge of honour (and I say this respectfully and lovingly) – seeking truth, seeking God, seeking enlightenment, seeking nirvana, seeking deeper understanding and growth, seeking...

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Big Mind Experiences - Working With The Selves

We have many minds, and what we conventionally think of as the "self" is many selves...

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Relax And Trust In Your Higher Self

When things are tough and you are starting to think that no one else get this much hassle, when you have difficulty sleeping ‘cos your mind keeps going over things looking for an answer, when you know the answer’s there …but no matter how hard you try or how often you ask for help, you just can’t find it - then know this:

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"Night Vision" - How To Make Decisions Based On Intuition

How to make decisions based on intuition when you are experiencing testing times, when there is a conflict between your intuition and your conscious mind, and especially when this is because of adverse external circumstances?

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How to stop thinking?

At the most basic level, the state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your experience of life, and very specifically on your capacity for managing personal change. So how to stop thinking?

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Finding Your Zen on Public Transport: A Five-Minute Meditation

Ever take the train, tram or bus – or maybe a combination of all three – and you arrive at work more tense than when you rushed out the door? Follow these steps to see the beauty in banality, and ultimately find calm on the go:

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WEEKEND READING: Buddhism for Beginners

What do Buddhists believe?
Is Buddhism a religion?
Is it okay if I’m not religious?
Is there an eternal soul in Buddhism?
What is dharma?
How do you become a Buddhist?
How do I study without a teacher or community?
What Buddhist books should I read?
How can I get started with meditation?

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Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind - Part Two

Life beyond your thinking mind part two focuses on the limitations of time, foreground and background, duality and "stuckness".

Have you got the time?

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Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind - Part One

Our real problem is that we confuse the "world as-it-is" with the "world as-it-is-thought-about and described":

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The Filtering Mechanism in Why We Think The Way We Do

Here’s how the filtering mechanisms affect how your internal map of reality operates to generate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours:

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Why We Think The Way We Do

Why we think the way we do? Here’s the big picture of how your internal map of reality operates to generate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours:

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WEEKEND READING: The Mind Cure?

Three scholars on the mindfulness movement: what it gets right, what it gets wrong, and its surprising history.

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The Story Of The Ever Ready Knight

Spiritual teachers tell us that heaven is to be found right here, in this moment. “Be here now” is all we need to remember.

In my experience I've always found this to be difficult.

So what does it take for us to fully enjoy the life we have now? To bring ourselves so completely to this moment that it might contain everything we could want?

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The Zen Master And The Water Trough

So what do I do? How on earth do I learn to think and learn to stop thinking? Well firstly, you have got to want to! Reading this will not change you.

Doing as I have done, and spending years and $1000’s on books and course and materials won’t change you. Being informed ABOUT something is not the same as EXPERIENCING it.

Let's take a lesson from the zen master and the water trough:

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Fooled By The Illusion - "The Matrix" Today!

Like the characters in "The Matrix" most of the time most of us are fooled by the illusion, that what we see is how things really are.

We are fooled by our thoughts, we are trapped in our thoughts and we can’t think this one through - there really is no way out via the conventional functioning of the human mind.

There is an alternative...

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WEEKEND READING: Congressman Tim Ryan Wants to Heal America’s Trauma with Mindfulness

The Democratic primary contender is the leading proponent of mindfulness in American politics.

In this interview, he talks about how to address the trauma in the heart of America.

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Personal Change - The 4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck

Getting stuck in our attempts at personal change is a common experience.

We get stuck for at least 4 reasons:

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Dealing With Tough Times - It's ALL About These 2 Simple Things

I know it does sound dramatic to say this but... "it's ALL about these 2 simple things..."

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I Did It MY Way!

It's my choice, my life. I did it MY way.

We are all constantly impacted by change. Things manifest, are created and appear and then they decay, dissipate and disappear. Nothing lasts forever.

There are only three possible responses to imposed change:

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How Things Are…

This is the nature of things. This is how things are. Nobody has the perfect life.

We have two powerful options:

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Living the Mess - Life is messy - Embrace it all.

For more than half my life, I was on ever-increasing amounts of psychiatric medication for intractable anxiety and depression.

In 2010, I tapered off meds and began searching for ways to rewire my brain for inner peace. Today, I’m one of the most content people I know (well, most of the time).

I write about the practices that have helped me.

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These Flames are Cool and Refreshing

What do a 16th-century Zen master and a contemporary cartoon dog have in common? Both of them maintained equanimity as their worlds burned, says Cristina Moon. And this is why we train as Buddhists.

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Lessons from a Wildfire

When his community’s beloved retreat center burned to the ground, Anam Thubten took it as a teaching on impermanence. Instead of futilely fighting loss, he says, let it be our invitation to freedom and spaciousness.

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Love Is the Answer to the Climate Crisis

As the climate crisis worsens, and the window to solve it is quickly closing, we have a choice to make: we can shut down in fear or lean in and open our hearts even more.

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WEEKEND READING: The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong

A longstanding problem in physics, known as the measurement problem, indicates that an observer is needed in order to produce the basic outcomes that create particles.

In other words, physical reality has a psychological component that is inseparable from it we live in a participatory universe.

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How To Find Your Centre - 15 Powerful Centering Methods to Reduce Stress, Increase Focus, and Make Better Decisions

Learning how to center yourself is perhaps the most important skill most people never learn.

This guide explains what the Center actually means and offers effective methods to help you find it:

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New Neuroscience Reveals 5 Secrets That Will Make You Emotionally Intelligent

Marc Brackett is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His book "Permission to Feel" has a simple system we can use to build real Emotional Intelligence skills.

Marc lays out a 5-step process here:

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Loving-Kindness: Healing Your Inner Child

Many of us find it difficult to direct love toward ourselves. We quickly become aware of negative feelings like shame, guilt, and self-criticism that make it hard to love and care for ourselves. Unfortunately, this is all too common.

Peggy Rowe Ward and Larry Ward share how to give yourself the love and compassion you deserve. And send some of that love to the wounded child inside you.

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Make Friends With Your Body

On or off the meditation cushion, we can be friends with our body—just the way it is. Yoga teacher Cyndi Lee shows us how to sit with relaxation and ease.

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A Practice for Developing Kindness Toward Yourself

Valerie Mason-John, author of Detox Your Heart: Meditations for Emotional Healing, shares a meditation for cultivating a positive relationship with yourself, and, by extension, the world.

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Say Yes to an Open Heart

Diana Winston reflects on the intertwining of mindfulness and compassion, as practiced with an open heart.

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WEEKEND READING: Do We Actually Experience the Flow of Time?

The experience of temporal flow is an illusion. All we ever actually experience is the present snapshot, which entails a timescape of memories and imaginings analogous to the landscape of valley and mountains. Everything else is a story.

To advance our understanding of reality we must thus revise cherished assumptions about our experience of time.

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The Luck Factor - Random Fate or Result Of Inner Beliefs & Outer Actions?

Much of the good and bad fortune we encounter is a result of our thoughts and behavior.

"Lucky" people generate their own good fortune via these four basic principles:

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5 Questions That Help Us Wake Up

Trying to push away our emotional distress can throw us into “cognitive shock” that turns our mind into a muddle.

Ezra Bayda shares five simple questions to help us cut though confusion:

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New Year Resolutions - Why Are They So Hard to Stick To?

Personal change is inherently tricky. We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change.

Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change.

Here's why, and what to do about it:

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How To Motivate Yourself When Things Are Tough

We live in an age and a culture that is obsessed with instant fixes and unfortunately I can't offer you an instant fix.

What I can do is suggest the following thoughts and self motivation tips that are based entirely on my own hard experience of some very tough times, and that will bring you through into calmer waters - and may just change your life.

Some of this is counter-intuitive, so if you feel resistance rising - just watch it - cos in my experience resistance often points to a submerged truth.

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Holiday Blues

Zen teacher Karen Maezen Miller on enjoying the holiday you’re having, not the one you were hoping for.

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You Already Have What You’re Looking For

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche shares what he feels is the most helpful message Buddhism can offer in coming decades.

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What Is Enlightenment? It's Not What You Think But What You Know

There is something in human nature - a desire to glamourise, sanctify, objectify and idolise - that elevates people who have offered deep insights to the human race and create distance between them and the rest of us.

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Personal Development - The Filtering Mechanism in Why We Think The Way We Do

Here’s how the filtering mechanisms affect how our internal map of reality operates to generate our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.

Continue reading "Personal Development - The Filtering Mechanism in Why We Think The Way We Do"

Personal Development - Why We Think The Way We Do

Why we think the way we do?

Here’s the big picture of how our internal map of reality operates to generate our feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.

Continue reading "Personal Development - Why We Think The Way We Do"

Spiritual Awakening - There Can Be No UP Without DOWN, No ON Without OFF

The physical world that we see and live in - "the foreground" and mistake as reality – or all there is – is only 50% of the equation.

The other 50% is "the background" – also referred to as emptiness, the void, the field of possibilities, the "ground of all being", God, Allah etc.

Our senses are constructed in such a way that we notice and respond to "the foreground" but miss "the background", but that doesn't mean it isn't there, and that doesn't mean it isn't absolutely essential.

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Spiritual Awareness - How To Escape The Delusion Of Dogma

Dogmas – religious, political, scientific – arise out of the erroneous belief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth.

Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its dogmas.

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Personal Development - 4 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person

Why is it that whenever someone says, “face the facts” you know you’re about to hear something you don’t want to hear? Probably because of a second cliche: “The truth hurts.”

It’s much easier to face harsh truths when we know there’s a roadmap, and that we’ll come out the other side stronger. Here's how:

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Spiritual Awareness - The Life Beyond Our Thinking Mind

We confuse "the world as-it-is-thought-about" with "the world as-it-is".

We’re like a person eating the menu instead of the meal.

This confusion over who we are is why we feel chronically frustrated with life and keep seeking the "missing" piece.

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The Most Popular Model of Reality Is Wrong

It would be ideal if reality and our model of reality merged into the same thing. A model of reality explains how the universe was created and how it operates. You might think that this is a definition of reality itself, but it isn’t...

...we live in a participatory universe.

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How Many Thoughts Does Your Mind Think in One Hour?

Do you know how many thoughts your mind thinks each hour of the day? Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour.

If you pay attention to these thoughts, you would be amazed to discover that most of them are useless, unimportant thoughts that pass through the mind with a huge speed.

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Personal Development - Why Managing Personal Change Is Inherently Tricky

Managing personal change is inherently tricky. We usually make the flawed assumption that it is skills based, in other words that we can read about it, go to seminars, watch videos and be taught to change. Whilst it is true that we can be taught, generally we won't change...

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