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Category Archives for "Inner Peace"

physical transformation
Jun 10

What Is Transformation?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever watched a caterpillar in its chrysalis morph into a butterfly?

Perhaps you wondered if there might be a similar process in your own life, much as you were once a helpless infant who became a powerful man or woman who can make a measurable impact on the world.

Maybe you are more a spiritual being having a human experience than a human being imagining a spiritual experience. Is it possible to shift our attention from appearances to the underlying reality?

A Total Shift In Consciousness

Spiritual transformation is a total shift from who You Pretend to Be to who You Really Are.

Transformation as a term has gained currency around the world only in the last several decades due to the pioneering work of a brilliant consciousness entrepreneur, Werner Erhard.

Before, people spoke of enlightenment, awakening, realization or being born again without any sense that these terms are interrelated, that they are essentially saying the same thing.

Werner created a profoundly experiential training that enabled nearly all the participants to “get it.” It initially spread like wildfire, until a couple of million people had gone through the rigorous workshops.

Soon it became apparent that Werner had created something fundamentally new to humanity, much the way Bill Gates and Steve Jobs gave the world the PC / MAC.

Werner came up with a very practical, no-nonsense definition independent of any religion, but which deeply resonated with all mystical traditions:​

"Transformation is a shift in the locus or identification of Self, from that which is NOT Self, to that which IS Self, from positionality, thing, story or even process, to the space or context in which positionality, thing, story or process occur. From content to context, that is all transformation is.​"

In other words, when we awaken to who we really are, we stop identifying with all the stuff in our life, and start identifying with the Source of the stuff in our life.

We stop defining ourselves in terms of our particular body, personality or mind, to something much larger.

We identify with ALL of it, rather than any one part of it, such that everyone we meet is a reflection of that deeper identity, and there is, in the end, only one of us.

transform yourself

We use to call that God. It is of the utmost significance that the ultimate name in the Hebraic tradition is I AM, which is also the term Jesus Christ uses of Himself in the Gospel of John. Could it be that That is who I am, you are, all of us are, as well as Jesus Christ?

As the late Wayne Dyer put it, “You bow to your own Sacred Self.” If you could really encounter your ultimate Self, you would fall on your knees and worship. That is the Self in which the galaxies spin.​

Why Does Spiritual Transformation Matter?

  • This can be the turning point of your life. You will eventually find that this is why you were born, as well as your job right here in the world. You are a uniquely precious expression of God here to awaken yourself, and everyone else, to our true identity. Much like a bodhisattva in embryo.
  • You can be truly empowered from within starting today. Why go through your life suffering “the outrageous arrows of fortune” much like a hapless victim? When you begin to see that nothing is here truly by accident, that you have something to do with everything you experience, you find a freedom that no one can take away from you.
  • The entire world before you is waiting to awaken. If you have read the headlines lately, you have almost certainly wondered if anything could be done to make this a better place for all. Yes, something can be done. As you awaken, everyone will start awakening with you. Transformation doesn’t end until the last sentient being joins you in the process. As per the ancient vow, “Though the flames of hell be infinite, I vow to extinguish every one of them!”

Related article: Inner Peace: Escaping The Squirrel Cage

How can I Experience Transformation?

  • Allow whatever comes up in your life to be the way that it is. Transformation starts with an open heart and mind. When you entertain the possibility that you know nothing, you will begin to see just how you know everything. Whatever happens happens. In a way, it is all perfect just as it is.
  • Choose things the way that they are. You can begin to accept people, places and things different from you. They are just the way they are. You can go beyond tolerance to acceptance. Better yet, you can go from acceptance to appreciation. Every one of us is here for something much bigger, maybe even a divine love story (if you are the romantic type).
  • Own your whole world as your very own. You will finally come to the point of realizing that this is your world. Our Creator creates through you, such that everything you experience is your co-creation. We ARE the world. When we awaken to this truth, we awaken to our own divinity.

As the great mythologist, Joseph Campbell, suggested, we are not here so much to find meaning in life, as to have an experience of being fully alive.

Once we know that we are the Creator in disguise, we can live outrageously. This is our playground, and we have been sent here to make divine whoopee! Why not begin today?​

contemplate
Jun 03

The Magic of Contemplation

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever been totally caught up with something, the sheer beauty of a young lady’s smile, the grandeur of a snowcapped mountain or the glory of a rainbow over a serene mountain lake?  

At such moments, we feel fully at peace and alive. Everything has its place. It is all perfect… just as it is. That is the magic of contemplation.

What Is Contemplation?

Contemplation is a relaxed concentration, an intense gaze at something or someone, or even a thought or idea. It entails a delightful, even rapturous absorption where, at that particular moment, there is only that which you behold or that to which you listen.

As the Nobel Prize-winning poet, T.S. Eliot, put it in his incomparable Four Quartets:​

Music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while the music lasts.

Father Richard Rohr suggests contemplation provides direct access to the very Source of Creation:

Through contemplation we plug into a consciousness that is larger than the brain. It comes through a wholehearted surrender to what is, a surrender that encompasses all and eliminates none of the present moment. Only then will we know that we’re seeing reality through eyes larger than our own, which is why it is always a very humble and receptive knowing.  Read more...

Life Is Quite Empty Without Reflection

We find ourselves today in a frantically paced consumer society where we are only rewarded for doing, never for being. Every event has a time limit, and everything you can see has a price tag.

For example, if you go into a supermarket and pick up a fruit or vegetable, you will often find a sticker attached. Biotech companies have even gone so far as to patent genes.

We see virtually everything through a utilitarian lens, in terms of subject / object relationships. Even people are sized-up in terms of how they fit our agenda.

While this type of efficiency may be good for business, it is hardly every good for relationships (you + others and you + nature). As a consequence, we readily sacrifice love, joy and peace.

Read more on the topic... Inner Peace: Escaping The Squirrel Cage​

contemplative meditation

We might own a house full of luxury items, but how often can we really enjoy them? Where is the leisurely walk in the park or bike ride in the mountains? Everyone in life is defined in terms of his or her role; we hardly see anyone for whom she or he is.

Surely, there must be a better way. As Father Rohr maintains:​

The level of knowing that we experience from connection with consciousness or nous is entirely different than the argumentative, dualistic world that we live in. It’s a kind of quiet, compassionate, non-opinionated certitude, unlike the arrogant certitude our culture celebrates. Even though we may not be able to verbalize it, we know things calmly and deeply, as truth.  Original post here...

Re-enchant Your Life

You need only make time to live, as well as survive. Survival without life is scarcely worth the effort. You can schedule quiet time for yourself, if only five minutes a day. Anything less makes you a slave.

Here is an interesting thought by Father John, who explains the difference between meditation and contemplation:​

You need only remember that you are a citizen of the Planet and a child of the Universe. Every single moment offers the possibility of joy. If our eyes and ears are fully attuned, we will see beauty everywhere, under all circumstances. Consider that life is a precious gift, a miracle. Now is our time to celebrate.

T.S. Eliot urged us to find that point of utter stillness:​

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.​

Life is a dance of joyful participation in pure being. While we each have our assigned role, we are far more than the part we play. In reality, we are all of it.

Father Rohr concludes:​

In the big consciousness, we know things by participation with them, which is love…Mature spirituality teaches us how to enter into the reality of that which we are encountering… Eventually you get the courage to say, I am a little part of that which I am seeking. In this moment, the idea of God as transcendent shifts to the realization that God is immanent.

That’s why the mystics can shout with total conviction and excitement: My deepest me is God! God is no longer just out there, but equally in here. Until that transference takes place and you know that it is God in me loving God—God in me worshiping God, resting in God, enjoying God—the whole point of the incarnation has not been achieved… See full post here

To come fully alive, you can plunge into the present moment until you, as you, disappear. You can also step back from the canvas and see the grand panorama, relishing how magnificently it all comes together.

Contemplative Meditation

Start simple! There is no reason to overcomplicate your practice at first. Tune in to your awareness… and begin with innocent observation and appreciation.

Step out of an empty, hollow existence and step into an enchanted life where you both hear and dance to the music by doing something as simple as picking up a rose.​

conscious observation
  • Stop and take a moment to deeply gaze at this rose, whether red, white, pink, yellow or violet.
  • Smell deeply the rose’s mesmerizing fragrance.
  • Give thanks to Creation for coming up with a flower of such incomparable beauty.
awareness
May 27

What is Awareness?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever wondered if there is a real difference between being conscious and being aware? 

We are taught that we have a body, soul and spirit, but the distinction between soul and spirit is rather nebulous. Are we talking about the mind, or something different? At least we know that we are conscious.

How Do We Understand Consciousness?

When we look at our consciousness, we begin to realize that we are usually conscious of something outside ourselves, something we can point to and name.

We learn to verbalize early in life. Soon all of our experience is mediated through language, and it becomes problematic as to which is the symbol, and which is the reality behind it. We begin to associate ourselves, not only with body and mind, but with our nametag.

You might say that we human beings, above all creation, are conscious of being conscious, which we usually associate with the neocortex, and operate out of the frontal lobe of our brain.

We label this self-awareness, and recognize that we each have an ego, or focal point of our individuality. We also often link this to the left side of the brain, which is highly analytical, experiencing time in a linear fashion.​

​We can also look at it as left brain versus right brain. The left hemisphere is associated with our analytic capabilities, and the right brain with our creative and artistic capabilities. You can actually graduate from college with your right brain removed, but not your left brain, as words and numbers are so vital to higher education.

I think you get the idea. If you are self-aware of your brain and its capabilities… well… we can say that you pass the test of being conscious.

However, this type of consciousness OR self-awareness is primarily sitting on the “surface.” There is something beyond consciousness. The type of consciousness that even our conscious mind can’t comprehend.​

Our Deeper Self

When we look deeper, we notice that we have a basic awareness, which is sometimes called primordial. We are aware, not only of various sensations and perceptions, but of pure being itself. Things just are.

consciousness

When yogis carefully monitor their brain states over hundreds of hours of meditation, they begin to recognize pure awareness behind, not only waking and dreaming states, but also deep sleep. They realize that while they sleep, they are somehow still aware.

This is much like lucid dreaming, where you find yourself mid-point between a dream and the waking state. You notice that you are dreaming, yet have editorial control of the dream. The scene and characters are vivid, maybe even more so than in daily life.​

Awareness Prior to Consciousness

Nisargadatta Maharaj was the greatest nondual teacher of the 20th Century. From his tiny attic in a rundown part of the city, Maharaj would give daily talks and answer questions to hundreds of people who keep coming in from all over the world. In later years, he kept asking his students, “What is prior to consciousness?”

This was much like the Zen roshis asking their monks, “What was your original face before you were born?”

Maharaj pressed his disciples to realize that pure awareness is who they really are, that it is “prior to consciousness.”

The Vedic tradition in India maintains that the ultimate is Sat, Chit and Ananda, or Being, Consciousness and Bliss. Their ultimate word for God is Brahman, which refers to infinite expansion. They then referred to Parabrahman, the Absolute, beyond even Brahman.

Simply being conscious of your actions and thoughts is good enough, but this whole notion can be explored further. Just know that awareness is a state of being beyond consciousness.

You may also read >>>  Inner Peace: Escaping The Squirrel Cage​

These States Are Different and We Need Them Both

Our ultimate Self, just like that of the Creator of the Universe, is beyond any names or qualities that we can assign to Him or Her. He is both personal and impersonal…and neither personal nor impersonal. The Supreme Identity, which we all are, is the Transcendent Mystery.

When we get in touch with our divine Self, we realize that Who and What we truly are is the very Source of the Universe. That very same awareness at the core of our psyche is the awareness beyond any name that we can give to God. We find it easier and easier to open up and love other sentient beings as individualized expressions of the Absolute.

In a nutshell, we need both consciousness and awareness. Consciousness is our ticket to the play of life. It helps us navigate through all the twists and the turns of the plot, making us very human. Yet in our fundamental awareness lies eternal life.​

detaching from pain
May 25

How To Detach from Pain and Pleasure

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Do you often find yourself looking through a continual kaleidoscope of pleasure and pain, where you can never hold on long enough to the momentary satisfaction, or move through the temporary distress fast enough?

Perhaps you feel stuck on an endless merry-go-round of good days, followed by bad days, and you can’t figure out how to jump off.

Or worse yet, do you feel strapped to a rollercoaster with extreme highs and extreme lows where the thrill has long gone out, but you can’t grab the attention of the operator in time to get off?

Attachment - The Wheel of Illusion

The Hindus call this samsara, the endless wheel of illusion, where you go from one state to the next without ever discovering who you are or what this is all about. For the West, it is heaven or hell. For the East, it is an interminable cycle of rebirths, where each birth leads relentlessly to death, which leads again to another birth, which leads yet again to death.

Samsara explained in a bit more detail…​

Heaven in the East, called nirvana (or blowing out), is the cessation of passion, where you break through the cycle into infinite bliss. Heaven in the West is the growing presence of an overpowering divine love that transforms everyone and everything in its path.

The Buddha prescribed a remedy from this plight through detachment. As he saw it, all pleasure is temporary, and all suffering is a consequence of attachment, or refusing to accept a sudden change in conditions.

Even if we win the Super Lotto and find ourselves loaded with cash, we will soon fear that someone will steal it, or the tax collector will take away a huge chunk of it. The implication is that life will rarely be just the way we like it, and if we focus on outer success alone, we will be severely disappointed.​

Detachment - Jumping Off the Wheel

Enlightenment is seen as awakening from the illusion that all this stuff is real. It is like jumping off as a character on the movie screen, only to find yourself in the audience grinning at your make-believe self. Seldom do we realize that this is all entertainment for Someone else.

Anything you can point to is not ultimately real. If you can see it, touch it, smell it, taste it…it is a dream, at times wonderful, at times horrible. You find yourself in a hall of mirrors and feel God has set you up for futility. It is like a practical joke played on you where you forgot that you had implicitly agreed on the whole setup.

What then, is the way out?

Transformation. It is the dawning realization that who you really are is not some hapless piece in the game, but rather, you are the entire game. The Universe is playing itself through you; only you are not the YOU that you habitually think is you.​

Why Pleasure and Pain?

Hardly any of us consciously pursues pain, and few of us in our right mind and heart would genuinely wish it on anyone else. Likewise, we don’t pursue pleasure, even the cheap thrills of a carnival, in order to intentionally hurt ourselves. We simply drink, overeat, take drugs, or indulge in sex to feel better.

Is it all good, or all bad? No, it is what it is. We couldn’t know pleasure as pleasure without knowing pain as pain.

Just as we couldn’t appreciate the dazzling display of fireworks on a Fourth of July without the dark night as a background. When we come to accept that things are the way they are, we experience perfection. We are immersed in infinite possibilities and life ever renews itself.​

Pain Is Not The Same as Suffering

We come to realize that there are deeper pleasures that are not based on outward conditions. When we are totally in present time, or we step aside and gaze at the grand panorama of our lives, we find that we are in bliss.

Pain is an acute sensation of discomfort. It is simply a warning sign that our body is in danger. I don’t wish pain on anybody. However, suffering goes well beyond pain to mental anguish.

This can come through fear, anger and greed. We wonder what will happen to us, or we suddenly lose someone we deeply love, and we blame it all on someone else. This form of discomfort can be far worse than physical torment.​

emotional pain

The greatest pain can be an ultimate spiritual emptiness where life has lost all meaning, the state of the world is hopeless, and there is nothing that you can do. You are nothing, and will amount to nothing.

This whole thing is a gigantic fluke. You arrived here by accident and will exit here by accident. Why continue going through the motions?

How To Cultivate Detachment?

At first, it might sound very conventional to you… but this time… I invite you to look deeper (beyond words) and begin feeling it from within.

The answer, of course, is love… or divine love, a type of love that opens up and keeps giving and giving. You are surprised by the joy of knowing that you are loved absolutely. Someone sometime somewhere gave their all that you might live, and now their life surges within you, much like a massive blood infusion.

Out of that experience of being loved, you discover that you are infinitely precious in Someone’s eyes, that you are, in fact, divine. Not only that, you discover that this Love is the most powerful force in the entire universe and moves the stars.

Thus, whatever pleasure and pain comes your way, whatever your Maker is pleased to offer you in the moment, no one and nothing can stop this love, which is within you. You are now empowered to make a difference. You have a voice in transforming, not only YOUR WORLD, but also THE WORLD.

Do you experience emotional pain? Focus on love! Don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself (“oh, poor me”). Instead, get out and begin cultivating love around you, so you can experience and grow it within you. Put yourself out there, share your gifts with others, volunteer or contribute in some way… and you’ll notice things shift for you.​

Give your mind a new outlet and give it permission to focus on something worthwhile…

The problem is that most of us all too often fail to realize that we ARE divine, and can do even greater things than our Master. And sadly we often hear our minds whisper: “Maybe someone else was meant for something great. Definitely not me.”

When we put Krishna, Buddha and Christ together, we arrive at the glorious news: we are ALL divine and share eternal life. They all were saying the same thing; only in very different ways.

We needn’t stay stuck in samsara. We can blow out the candle and enter nirvana at any time. We can surf through the waves of pain and pleasure consciously. We can confront the pain of the world and recognize that we are part of a greater plan to redeem, enlighten and transform.

Don’t look for love, but share it with others and it will find its way home. Love yourself, love everything and everyone around you (since they are your reflection anyway) and you’ll experience inner peace. Don’t even resist your emotional pain – love it for what it is… allow it to express itself and give it permission to move on.​

**Share your thoughts... in the comments area below.

experiencing God
May 23

How To Experience God For Yourself

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever wondered if God really exists, or if religion is all just a bunch of fables and myths? If you can’t really see God, or point to Him, does He even matter? In fact, why would God have to be a HE, rather than a SHE?

How can God be an old man with fluffy white whiskers in the sky on a rocking chair smoking a corn cob pipe and looking down upon the planet? What ideas or images can fit our advanced post-modern society?

What We Mean When We Say “God”

When most of us think of God, we don’t often realize that the word “God” is simply a place holder for what may be called the Supreme Identity or the Transcendent Mystery. When we think of Him as Creator of the Universe, we too often think of Him as an architect or engineer. Given the English language, it is awkward to speak of God without reference to gender.

If God is simply an electric plug in the wall, what is there to get excited about? Surely, we think of God as, in some way, personal, meaning He cares for us, but that He is more than another person with a name. Theologians would rather say that God is TRANSPERSONAL. God includes the personal, but goes way beyond it.

Several decades back, the pop singer, John Denver, starred in Oh, God! with George Burns playing the role of God. John finds himself chatting it up with God in the supermarket, who appears to him as George Burns.

When John looks up at an overhead mirror, he sees a black lady. When he looks down, George is gone. George is emphatic throughout that “I am not gas.” The point of the film was that when God appears to us, He may do so in a very meaningful way. However, it is so that we can make a difference on the planet, not indulge our fantasies.​

A More Promising Way of Conceiving God

When we clarify our thinking, we are really asking, “Does the Universe have a Source?” and, “Do I have a Source?” The answer is definitely “Yes.” The New Physics has demolished simplistic notions of materialism, that things are really “out there” totally independent of an observer.

Albert Einstein, with his Theory of Relativity, established that time and space comprise a single fabric, and ultimately, they are conceptual, not actual. There is no Universe without some kind of observer. God, of course, is that observer.

If we integrate Eastern and Western religious traditions, we will soon discover that God is pure subjectivity. God is not any kind of object. Technically, God is “nothing” in the sense of being NO THING.

Thus, everything we know and experience is a living expression of God. We could say that we are all thoughts in the Mind of God. Better yet, God is that Consciousness that pervades the Universe, in which the Universe dances.​

Light from the West

If we want to experience God directly, any person or thing we might look upon is but a pointer or medium to God. The ancient Hebrews associated God with the Word. When Moses came across the living God for the first time, he stumbled upon a burning bush in the wilderness and marveled why it was not immediately consumed.

Moses then hears a voice telling him to unlatch his sandals, because he is standing on Holy Ground. When Moses questions the voice as to Who He is, the voice replies, “I AM THAT I AM.” In other words, God is none other than I AM, the supreme Self of the Universe. This name became so sacred to the Hebrews that it was hardly ever pronounced in public.​

Light from the East

Today, we most often have to look East to realize that to find “I AM,” we have to look within. I AM is actually our only True and Ultimate self.

We are not our nametags, not our bodies, not even our minds.

In order to grasp this I AM, we have to give up every attachment and dissociate ourselves from everything we think about ourselves. If we totally let go of our human identity, then we will find that we are inherently divine. To look upon each other is to look upon God.

That is why the South Indians greet one another with folded hands and the word, “Namaste” (I salute the divinity within you).​

Experiencing God for Ourselves

How then do we experience God for ourselves as a practice? The East basically offers us four different directions: Devotion, Service, Self-Knowledge and Meditation.

These correspond to the basic types of people. Devotion is for emotional people; Service is for practical types; Self-Knowledge is for intellectuals; Meditation is for inner-directed people highly in touch with their bodies, such as yogis.​

knowing God

The incomparable Sri Ramakrishna of Calcutta, who brought all religions together in a common unity, discouraged Hindus from being too wrapped up in ancient practices. He felt that, in the modern era, everyday people didn’t have time to go through elaborate ceremonies on a daily basis.

Besides, he felt that, too often, these practices distracted from the primary objective, which is direct experience of God. Instead, this great master urged people to turn to love and devotion as the ultimate way to experience God. Since God is in our heart of hearts, why look anywhere else?​

The Secret to Christianity’s Global Appeal

This dovetails perfectly with the Gospel, which we come to recognize is a hugely popular form of Bhakti Yoga, expressed as supreme devotion to the Avatar of Avatars, the Messiah, Christ Jesus.

When we cut through all the institutional baggage, the doctrines and theology, Christianity is nothing more or less than a divine love affair with God, in the person of Christ as the incarnation of Absolute Love.

The premise is that, if we know Christ in His essence, we will come to know what God is like. We fall totally in love with Jesus, only to fall totally in love with the world, and with one another.

You may question some forms of Christianity as being incredibly naïve. Yet, there are enough sincere practitioners that you will be reluctant to throw out the baby with the bathwater. One need only consider the current Pope Francis I. Some people are experiencing God in a way that transforms their lives and makes a difference in the world. Why can’t that be YOU?​

Immediate Steps to Knowing God

How, then, can you personally experience God? You simply need to open up your heart and mind. While you might go out and find a personal guru, you will ultimately be directed to what the Hindus call the Sat Guru (the true guru), the inner witness. God was within us all the time; yet we didn’t even bother to look.

explore God within

Practically speaking, you need to be conscious of your own consciousness. Realize that there is a Presence within always listening and watching. That Sacred Presence is in no way out to judge you. It is leading you through the process of divinization, or Becoming God. Incidentally, this process has long been recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church as totally legitimate, what it is all about.

You may want to broadly review all the great faith and spiritual traditions. It is highly recommended that you look closely at BOTH a Western AND an Eastern faith. When we seek to gaze upon the face of God, we are really looking at pieces of a magnificent puzzle scattered around each continent. When you put all the pieces together, then only do you see the full Face of God.

You may come to the point where you commit to awaken in this lifetime, no matter what. Believe it or not, that very decision is divinely inspired. Nobody comes to God without inner hunger and thirst. That very craving is God speaking through you.

To cut to the chase, just invoke the living presence of God. Ask Him / Her / It to occupy you. You may be delightfully surprised at the results.​

Is It Worth It All?

Does it matter if God exists?

You might as well ask, “Does it matter if the Universe exists or I exist?”

Of course it does.

Knowing God, experiencing God gives you direct access to the gifts for which the early Christians in the coliseum gave their all: joy unspeakable and full of glory, unquenchable love that no one and nothing can stop, and total peace transcending any and all circumstances.

For me, God is pure love… and when I got in touch with the deepest layer of that love, I begin to experience consistent inner peace, joy (independent of outer circumstances) and appreciation for everything around me. It gave me freedom to be who I AM and to experience all there IS.​

Share your experience in the comments area below...

trouble sleeping
May 18

How To Go To Sleep When You Can’t

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

How often do you travel, or go on vacation, only to find that, when it comes to sleeping arrangements, things rarely go as planned? Perhaps you take a cross-country flight, or even an intercontinental trip, arriving at a remote destination in the middle of the night, when you want it to be daytime, or vice versa.

You may stay in the best hotel, yet find unwanted traffic pushes its way right through the windows and wallpaper. Perhaps you need a special type of pillow to go to sleep and you couldn’t travel with it. You feel embarrassed to go downstairs to reception and ask for help.​

Some Basic Steps To A Better Sleep

Treat Your Body with Loving Care

You may be keenly aware of all the basics:

  • Avoid bright lights and loud noises from the TV and laptop.
  • Don’t tank up on caffeine just before going to bed, even if you feel draggy.
  • Don’t get loaded up with booze, which throws off your sleep patterns.
  • Don’t work out in the gym before retiring to avoid an adrenaline rush.
  • Don’t spend all your time in conferences without taking a decent stroll.
  • Don’t stuff yourself with food just before going to sleep.
  • Don’t even overdo the water, as it can increase your frequency to the bathroom.

Make the Situation Work for You

You may also tamper with the environmental factors in your room:

  • Turn up the air conditioning if it is hot.
  • Turn on the heat if it is getting too chilly (cooler air is always better for sleep).
  • Shut the windows if it is noisy outside.
  • Call reception if the people in the next room are arguing late at night.
  • Keep the alarm clock and your smart phone out of the line of sight when reclining.
  • Turn on soft music a few minutes before disrobing.
  • Take a warm shower or soak your feet.
  • Sleep naked!  Free yourself from pajamas and their elastic band pressing on your waist or belly. Also, sleeping naked helps you regulate your body temperature.
  • Read reflective, inspirational books rather than watching action flicks.
  • Do not read or use your electronic devices (computers, tablets, smartphones etc.) at least 20 minutes before bedtime. It’s been scientifically proven that this type of blue light contributes towards sleep disorders. Otherwise, get special glasses that cut the blue light and provide a layer of protection.
  • Get a sleep sound therapy system. We list some key Pros and Cons of two different, and very affordable, white noise sleep machines'.
  • If you are jet-lagged, take melatonin. It is not a drug! Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body. It is a natural sleep aid and available over-the-counter. When I travel overseas, I usually like to take one tablet of melatonin (the first night) to help me switch to a new time zone quickly.

Here is a video on how melatonin works and how to take it…

When Your Body Refuses to Sleep

All of these are prudent policies, but what if they just don’t do the job? You may find it very hard to catch even a wink, or you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, utterly disinclined to fall back to sleep. You can’t see a reason why your body is fighting with you, not giving you a chance to recover from the previous day.

Why not see the temporary insomnia as a precious gift, an opportunity to awaken to another dimension and experience inner peace? What is the whole point of sleep apart from recharging our bodies? Is it not a chance to open up and let go, to restructure our thoughts and perspective on the world, on who we really are and what this is all about?

Going to sleep, awakening and rising is a little like death and resurrection. We keep rehearsing the ultimate experience, which throws our whole life in question, absorbing the implications in bite-sized chunks every morning and evening. Jesus Christ saw the people in His life that had just died as having simply falling asleep. Although they were no longer moving about, they were still present in a fundamental way.

Sleep researchers inform us that we actually drift off, going from dream state to deep sleep, and then back out several times a night. Very few people sleep like a baby every time. Especially in our 24x7, always-on society, sleep must be seen as a continual ebb and flow, bathing us in renewed energy.​

The Hidden Benefits of Insomnia

In addition, if we are open to the inner dimension in our lives, we often get our best guidance, inspiration, and even divine messages in the early hours of the night. People who are comfortable with the Bible, or other Sacred Scripture, such as the Quran or Gita, can combine this with prayer and meditation to actually commune with the transcendent. Some people receive major revelations this way, as did Neale Donald Walsch before writing his best-selling Conversations with God.

can’t sleep

Some people keep journals where they list all the things to be thankful for, or learnings from events of the day, or even record their dreams for further analysis. They find they can always turn within day or night to receive empowerment.

Very often Higher Power is prompting us to let go of our attachment to things turning out a certain way, or even trying to do everything ourselves without letting other people in.

Perhaps the greatest blessing that can come is to open up to the possibility that God is Love, and is present for you in every situation. By opening up to the sacred presence, you will discover your own peace within, divinity, and your potential to take it out to the “real world” the next day.​

Observe Your Sleep and Examine It Deeper

Observe your sleep as if you are a third-party. You will often find that when you go with the sleeplessness and stop trying to resist it, sleep will finally overcome you.

Observe and go with the flow. Do not resist or try to force your body to go to sleep. Surrender. Surrender to the moment… without getting frustrated and trapping yourself inside this carousel of negative energy and thought pattern. In a way, don’t stoke (feed) the fire.

Create inner peace, and you will find yourself dreaming, and even going into deep sleep. Be open to the fact that you will not sleep much.

Upon getting up in the morning, even if you really slept only an hour or two, you may find that with a hearty cup of coffee and a brisk walk, the day’s events carry you through. A 20-minute nap can do wonders.

Also, keep in mind that nothing happens by accident. There is a hidden purpose to everything we experience, no matter how inconvenient it might seem at the time. Your body might be letting you know that there are some other… deeper issues you need to examine, like your stress, exhaustion or even depression.

Pay close attention, dig deeper to find the main cause and help your body to heal itself.​

define consciousness
May 16

What Is Consciousness?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Are you puzzled about the subject of consciousness? Do friends and family keep telling you to be more conscious without giving you a clue how to begin, or even explaining what it means? You are not alone. Most of us are extremely challenged to put it all in words.

Even philosophers and scientists fail to come to agreement on it year after year. They have endless debates, although the universities offer an entire curriculum of Consciousness Studies. We all have a sense of what it means, but can’t quite get our hands on it.​

Simplified Consciousness Definition

Consciousness is the very air we breathe. Like fish, we are immersed in an ocean of consciousness. It is everywhere to such an extent that we can’t even see it, touch it or taste it. All we see or feel is what is contained in it. We feel the wind, but don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is the very medium or context of our life. We are made of it, and what appears to us, both “in here” and “out there,” is simply consciousness.

When gurus talk about enlightenment, they are referring to being conscious of consciousness, of having pure awareness, of becoming aware that we are aware. We are so accustomed to the ceaseless chatter in our heads that we rarely experience life without it.

When we actually do experience pure awareness, we begin to transcend, to merge with the Supreme Being, with the Self of the Universe. We are an individualized expression of that consciousness.

The Anglo-American philosopher, Alan Watts, referred to us as “an aperture (or hole) in the Universe” through which the Universe experiences itself as Universe. It is as though God needs each of us to be human, so that He can play through us in the playground of our world.

Take a look at this short video where Alan Watts describes consciousness in such a masterful way…​

You may also want to read:  Can The Human Brain Create Consciousness?

Why Consciousness Matters

To be conscious is be truly alive. As Jesus Christ put it, “I have come that you might have Life, and that more abundantly.” We are here to play all out, to ride the waves, to go up and down, to continue to grow and glow.

He blew people’s minds by opening their hearts to the transformative power of love. He taught them to go make a difference, to change the world. He pointed them to a peace and joy completely independent of circumstances. The Hindu rishis showed us that God is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” or Being, Consciousness and Bliss. The secret of life lies within this formula.​

Formula for Ultimate Fulfillment

To BE is to simply let whatever comes up simply be without messing with it. You need do nothing but be grateful for your birth and your life as a precious, divine gift. When you accept your animal and your human nature, you will discover that your divine nature is ineradicable, or as Dr. Deepak Chopra put it, “hardwired in brain.”

To be conscious is to experience thoughts as only thoughts, feelings as only feelings, sensations as only sensations, to let everything flow in an active meditation. You notice the words streaming through your mind, but you needn’t believe, merely be entertained, by them. As the mystics through the ages have continually reminded us, the truth cannot be told. When you eat, just eat. When you work, just work. When you play, just play. When you sleep, just sleep. Do everything with your whole being.

To feel Bliss is to relish the pleasure and joy in each moment quite apart from whatever material objects we accumulate, from whatever cash reserves and equity we may hold, from whatever social status we may have built up.

The French refer to this as the Joi de Vivre, the joy of just being alive. No matter how busy and stressful our lives have become, we can always take a moment to smell the roses, breathe the delicious aroma of the bakery down the street, to enjoy the bright colors of the ladies’ dresses. As Jesus also put it, “Life consists not in the abundance of what a man has.”​

expand consciousness

How to Expand Your Consciousness

We can take simple steps in our daily lives to expand our consciousness:

  • Take a moment just to breathe. Try four deep breaths in and out, through your nostrils into your lungs and all the way down to your belly.
  • Just sit in your chair for five minutes and do nothing. Don’t talk, read, watch TV or play with a computer. Just let your thoughts come and go.
  • Take a leisurely walk in your neighborhood, or in the woods or on the beach. Just stroll along without any great hurry to get anywhere. Open up to the sights, scents and sounds. Hear the music. Just observe and appreciate every little aspect. Eventually, you’ll experience inner peace and unexplainable satisfaction.
  • Do gentle stretches, as in yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong. Do a gentle routine without making it a serious exercise. Play at it. Have fun! Transform the energy within your body by inhaling supportive calmness and exhaling stress. Visualize the process while doing it.
  • Listen to quiet music (or any type of music that will help you open up to that deeper awareness… at that moment in time) and let it have its way with you. If you are a musician, go play an instrument and improvise.
  • Try prayer or meditation as a form of communion with our Source, without trying to get anything out it. Open up to new possibilities. You might surprise yourself with an advanced realization or revelation right out of the blue.

Whatever you experience is your experience. Nothing to be ashamed of. You are on the path of transcendence and already make a difference. By being more and more conscious, you will see how everything is orchestrated by the Infinite, and nothing really happens by chance.

Simply observe yourself.  Especially, when things don’t go your way. Then, switch your mind to a different awareness and approach your situation from there. You’ll notice a big difference in solving any challenges or puzzles of life. Claim your birthright of empowerment and enlightenment.​

brain creates consciousness
May 13

Can The Human Brain Create Consciousness?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Most likely, you are very much like me, wondering what role my brain plays in creating the reality right in front of me. Whether I am wealthy or broke, is my financial status entirely shaped by it? Whether I am feeling healthy or sick, is this condition strictly caused by that same brain? Did I unwittingly guide my brain to create a specific outcome?

Does the notion that it all comes out of my brain even hold water? What about the mind? Is my mind the same as my brain? Could my mind interact with my brain, and my brain with my mind? What about my body and my world? Don’t they interact with my brain, and even my mind? Could it be that the brain is a projector creating my sense of reality? Could there be a level of consciousness that is neither my brain, nor my mind? It is certain that we cannot avoid philosophic questions.

This is why it would be best to look from a very high level at three well-developed positions on this question, so that we can form our own perspective.

Scientists and mystics currently argue with each other over three distinct possibilities:

1. The mind is but an electrical storm of neurons in the brain.

2. The brain is not the mind, and plays a very secondary role to consciousness, itself.

3. The brain is a tuning mechanism for universal consciousness to individualize.​

The Mind Is an Electrical Storm of the Brain

The brain, alone, is a vast matrix of 10 billion cells arranged in precise patterns with a virtually infinite number of combinations exceeding the stars in the known universe. The notion here is that they can fire in such a way as to create all the experiences we are having, such that we think we have a separate mind, or soul.

While we have come to the point after a hundred years of being able to localize specific functions within the brain, the frontal lobe for decision making and the occipital lobe for vision, we are still at a very elementary level of understanding.

If we were in nursery school before, perhaps we are at third-grade now, a long, long way from graduate school. It is tempting, due to the stunning progress of computing over the last generation, to imagine computers becoming smarter than humans in a couple of decades, what is referred to as the singularity.

However, neurologists researching on the cellular level find that each cell is vastly more complex than a computer switch, having an intelligence of its own. It is also tempting to imagine an electrical storm explaining everything because of the impressive gains of neuroscience over the last decade or two.​

The Mind Controls the Brain in Every Way

Metaphysicians, or philosophic idealists, recognize only one reality, the mind, or consciousness. They are against dualism and see only thought as real, nothing else. Our whole reality is based on thought or ideas. Therefore, the brain, along with both the body and the world, is strictly an illusion, and should be discounted.

consciousness through brain

If you want to change your reality, simply switch your thoughts. Support for this idea can come from quantum physics, which postulates vast regions of empty space between the atoms in our body, and everything we see. We are essentially a void, just as the Buddhists have suggested all along.

It is clear from prayer, meditation and positive thinking that certain types of thought can have a very definite impact on our experience of reality, including inner turbulence or inner peace. However, this reasoning gets a bit hollow when you suffer a lobotomy, or undergo a brain operation that interferes with various mental functions. If the brain isn’t real, what difference should an operation on it make?​

The Brain is Only a Tuning Mechanism

Many years ago, Napoleon Hill in his classic, Think and Grow Rich, suggested that the brain is a filter for thoughts, ideas and information from intangible sources, including God, which he referred to as Infinite Intelligence.

Napoleon had closely followed early psychic research and came to the conclusion that people received inspiration and accurate information through non-material means. This was picked up by people experiencing psychedellics in the 1960’s who had a radically different experience of the world upon taking such chemicals as LSD. It seems this hallucinogen relaxes certain inhibiting mechanisms that give our everyday world such clear boundaries.

More recently, Dr. Deepak Chopra, a veteran physician who has done significant research on the brain, as well as being a pioneer of mind / body medicine, has suggested that the body and brain provide an individualized experience for Universal Consciousness.

In a sense, God creates both the player and the playground, being the world, and even gets to play, Himself, being the Source of the player’s consciousness.

This is certainly an attractive view, given that it fits in with quantum theory and progressive notions of God. Deepak suggests that when you download a file from iTunes and play it on your loud speakers, the band or orchestra is not inside the speakers, but rather comes from somewhere else. The musician is non-local.

If you have 90 minutes on your hands, you can watch Dr. Bruce Greyson’s thoughts on this topic, that consciousness does not need a physical brain nor a physical body.​

You and Your Brain’s Consciousness

The materialist explanation provided by such researchers as Dr. Daniel Dennett, or such futurists as Ray Kurtzweil, begs the deeper questions asked by physicists, such as Peter Russell, or medical doctors like Deepak Chopra.

What accounts for our experience of color, like bright red or orange? What accounts for our experience of enchanting music, not neural impulses, but the actual experience, itself? What accounts for our best ideas, or our passionate feelings of romantic love or even spiritual ecstasy?

Those experiences cannot be found in the neurons, nor are they in the computer chip. The mind must be distinct from the brain, even though the two may be closely correlated.

Correlation, by the way, is not causality. A cat’s tail is correlated with its head, but its head most certainly doesn’t cause its tail. Also, we don’t yet know enough to be definitive about the role the brain plays.

When we get to the level of a sophomore in college, we might speak with some confidence, but it would seem that we are generations away from that. The tuning mechanism idea shows a lot of possibility, and should be further developed. In the end, you are left with YOU, like Renee Descartes, the thinker. “You think; therefore, you are.”

You can hardly walk away from that!​

bad karma
May 11

Do You Believe in Karma or Revenge?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Have you ever felt so deeply wounded by someone that you wanted to wreak vengeance, or at the very least clobber him?  Have you ever felt someone was out to get you, or that she has severely damaged your reputation to the point where you want nothing more than to totally ruin her?  Have you ever been so completely obsessed by someone who brought you down that you plotted day and night how to totally remove him from your life?

Revenge is a crude survival mechanism coming out of our animal nature to kill or be killed, the Law of the Jungle. We can glorify it by seeking justice and have a third-party do the dirty work, but the objective is the same: To stop your rival in the tracks, if not liquidate him.

It is telling that the earliest law codes emphasized an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. This was done to ensure that any efforts at vengeance didn’t go too far or get carried away. Eventually, armies and police were organized such that you were required to go to the authorities rather than just take out a six-shooter and knock the person off.

Clever people have suggested it is far better to simply leave your offender to his own devices to suffer the consequences, that karma is a classier way to “punish” someone than by inflicting like damage. You can be equally committed to ruining the other person, but why not let God or society take care of him. As the Old Testament advises, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay.”​

I Don’t Believe in Karma nor Revenge!

I don’t believe in karma as any kind of answer. The word in Sanskrit simply means action. When someone says to you, “It is your karma,” that just means it was your own actions that resulted in this mess. This is held to simply be the Law of Cause and Effect.

If you do this, then that will happen. It reminds me of a clever poster I once saw in Berkeley, California: Ripping off messes up your karma. While this may actually be the case; it reveals that the apparent victim is not really all that enlightened. It also assumes that the victim absolutely had no part in the aggression, which is rarely so. Usually, we are complicit in whatever happens to us.

On top of it, when you hope that karma will “take care” of someone you ‘hate,’ it means that you are still clinging to a form of revenge (counting that some “third party” will take care of this issue for you). In this case scenario, you still walk around full of hate and carry the old baggage (all emotions related to that event) around, which does not do you any good, nor free you from moving on… or moving forward where you can begin creating fresh (from a clean slate and not from your past experience).

Watch this well explained 5 minute video on our beliefs in karma vs. reality.​

Adopting a life stance that what goes around comes around is not all that inspiring.

You are most clearly NOT out to make a difference in the world. As Jesus Christ put it, “If you love only those who love you, what merit have you?” Rather, Jesus set up a higher standard which, after nearly 2,000 years, still rocks the world.

First, He imparted the Golden Rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Your neighbor doesn’t merely mean your friends and family, but anyone in your community, anyone, no matter who they are, whoever crosses your path. Second, Jesus drives the point home in an unforgettable way: “Love your enemies…Turn the other cheek…Pray for those who despitefully use you…If your enemy compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Jesus went on to demonstrate this day after day by healing total strangers of all kinds of conditions and diseases, including deafness, blindness, lameness, hemorrhaging, even bringing people back to life. He further went on by calling His betrayer, Judas, “Friend,” when Judas gave Him the fatal kiss. Jesus would not defend himself before the Roman government, but simply maintained that His kingdom was not of this world. When crucified, He faced His hypocritical accusers by praying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”​

Revenge is Weakness

You might wonder just how practical this all is in our modern, or post-modern world?

You only need look at Mahatma Gandhi, who thoroughly studied the Gospel accounts, especially the Sermon on the Mount. Gandhi found a way to fight against institutionalized racism without resorting to violence.

He actually considered violence a form of weakness.

While Gandhi realized that it took great courage to turn the other cheek to the British, he knew them well enough to appreciate that they would be increasingly embarrassed by their own aggression.

Gandhi started out practicing nonviolence in South Africa, perfected it, and then went onto India to free a nation and change the world. It may be truthfully said that one man brought down the entire British Empire through love.

Say what...?

Instead of Karma… Focus on Love

Why love? Because Gandhi made it his policy NOT to inflict damage on the soldiers occupying his country, but rather show ultimate consideration. While he ended up in jail many times for his nonviolent resistance, his status throughout India, the British Empire and the entire world grew and grew to the point where he was simply referred to as “the Mahatma,” or the Great Soul.

If Gandhi could pull this off with an entire nation moving in unison within recent times, as did Martin Luther King, we can most certain put these principles to work in our own lives.

Let us take the case of a young wife whose husband consistently cheats on her, then falls in love with another lady, temporarily abandoning her and leaving her and the children to fend for themselves. This is the type of situation that is totally repugnant, yet imaginable, even in the best communities and neighborhoods.​

karma beliefs

 How does the aggrieved wife respond?

As a human being, she may feel deep feelings of anger that shake her to the very core, followed by shock and profound grief. 

 She may cry for days, weeks, even months.

She may wish to kill, not only the seductress who robbed her of her family, but her ex-husband, as well.

However, let us suppose that she was leading a life of meditation and prayer after having an enlightenment experience such that her life was about something bigger than herself. In this case, she would come from a different place. She would know that she does not own her husband (or any human being) and would understand that she is not in charge of his choices (even if they seem to be harsh), but still come from a place of love.

The wounded wife can get in touch with what is most important to her. She truly loves her ex-husband and wants what is best for him, no matter the cost to her. If he loves another woman more, she backs off from putting a ball and chain to him, but gives him complete freedom.

She prays for both her ex-husband and his mistress that they truly find happiness together. However, she need not be a doormat. Of course, she will confront her husband, work out alimony and deal with all the practical issues that such a choice presents. But she will not choose to grill him or browbeat him. She will simply encourage him to open up and share what has been going on with him.

This changes the entire outcome.

This may not sound like much of a victory, but this woman is now free to create a whole new life, unhampered by constant feelings of revenge and punishment... like karma.

Even this event may have caused her enough pain and tears initially… coming from a place of love will allow her to let go and move on much faster. It will help her connect with the deeper love (that Magnificent Intelligence, God) within her and experience inner peace.

She will find a renewed sense of self-worth and be free to create a fresh future with no remains of the past.

Next time you feel like getting even, find some options to the never-ending boomerang of Offense or Defense, or ad nauseum.​

life after death
May 09

What Happens When We Die?

By Conscious Owl | Inner Peace

Life is a precious gift, both from our parents, and from our Creator. It is a giant celebration of pure being. It is a story, a dance, a drama, and a movie. Ultimately, it is a dream, that of our very Creator, that of our only true and ultimate Self.

We find that every story intersects every other story, and every dream, every other dream. This story can only truly makes sense as a love story, a divine love story. In this story, God is not a tyrant, but our deepest love. As we awaken from this illusion of separation, we will realize that we are hopelessly in love with Him, and He with us, and that He is in each one of us. When we look into another with total presence, we gaze at God.​

I speak these words knowing all too well my own finite human nature. At best, I am a disgustingly average person who has been a pain in the butt much of the time and who has done little to deserve this life. It is futile to compare myself with any one else. So many great lights may be found all around us. My only greatness lies in recognizing the greatness of others. I have lost both my parents, and all their entire generation. I have been hospitalized twice where my very life was in jeopardy. I am past my prime and far from where I imagined I might be at my age.

This hardly matters, as I increasingly realize that my story is not about me, but us, all of us, and about Him. Everything that happens to us, every choice we make, is part of a massive divine tapestry, a glorious mural depicting that love story in a stunning way. Every thread is indispensable and uniquely precious in achieving the overall artistic effect. Everything that ever happened, HAD to happen to bring us to this point of infinite possibility, not only in moving forward with our lives and our world, but in transitioning to another world.​

Our Misconception of Life and Death

It seems that the prospect of losing our loved ones is far more devastating to us than anticipating our own demise. On the deathbed, the things people cherish most do not entail their status in the corporate world or their financial portfolio, but, rather, their relationships. What we are most afraid of in facing death is being separated from our loved ones, and everything we care about.

Indeed, we face the possibility of totally losing our identity, which we have carefully cultivated over decades.

While I have not yet transitioned, I have powerful convictions based upon a lifetime of experience. Beliefs, which are mere intellectual assent, backed up by chapter and verse, are of little value. They have no resurrecting power of their own. It is the Word within the word, the Voice within the voice, and the Vision within the vision that counts.

Revelation doesn’t matter until it is YOUR revelation, until it is YOUR realization. God has to directly speak to your heart of hearts before it will make a difference in your life, giving you faith to carry on.

Living faith with deep conviction is an entirely different thing. All the childhood verses, rhymes, songs and hymns will finally begin to speak to you, as you awaken to the truth behind them. For example, simplistic notions of heaven and hell don’t hold up under scrutiny. Sin and punishment reflect a very childish understanding of the divine, as well as the preoccupation with being rewarded for our deeds. These notions may be appropriate for children, but hardly for adults.

However, when you understand heaven is a state of mind and another dimension, and that hell is the mere absence of the beloved, you begin to open up to the still undiscovered possibility that God is Love, and that Love is God.​

Love Overshadows Death

The older I get, the more I discover the power of divine love, that it is more powerful than anything or anyone in the universe, that it even defies death. I used to think that I could make myself love certain people, or that I simply needed to work on myself more.

I used to think that I, as an individual, could somehow manufacture love. No more.

Love is a presence, a sacred presence that we call God. It is channeled through us whenever we open our hearts in a place of absolute surrender. As we open up, we discover that this love transforms our very being to the point that we recognize the possibility that we are also an Avatar, a Buddha, a Christ, or, as Christians put it, each one of us is a part of the Body of Christ, the new humanity, the new divinity.

We begin to realize that this Love, which is not our love, but that of the One we worship, our Higher Self, can transcend death.

While it is true that All is One and Everything Is as It Should Be, and we continuously face Infinite Possibility, we are not likely to even remotely grasp this until we encounter some form of love, first from our mother, later from our lover.​

afterlife

We have to have at least one experience in our lives where we are transported by love, where we transcend our mundane routine and mount up to the skies. At a certain point, we will discover that this love is unconditional and unlimited. It doesn’t play favorites with anyone; yet, like the sun, it burns equally bright day in and day out. This type of love (presence) re-ignites inner peace and makes you fearless… of death or what happens after.

While I haven’t yet had a direct, experiential realization of physical death, certain convictions within me have emerged which are solid. For example, I have an unshakable faith in the Person of Christ, regardless of all the doctrinal disputes that come up. Likewise, I am utterly convinced that the Hindus, along with the quantum physicists, are right about us all being divine, and there only being God. This isn’t simply a convenient belief system, but the very foundation of my life.​

Near-Death Experience and Shift in Consciousness

I am a Universalist, meaning I believe all faiths, spiritual traditions and philosophical orientations are valid, and offer light. When we put them all together, we finally see the full face of God for the very first time, as well as our own face.

When we look at the faith of people around the world, well over 80% of us are convinced of some sort of God and some type of after-life. We may dispute forever the nature of that God and the nature of that life, but we accept that they are.

This gets all the more interesting when we look at near-death experiences, where the majority of them testify to a Great White Light, of total peace, of bliss, of the presence of loved ones. Many of the people were not believers when they faced death, but are true believer afterwards.

Why is this?

Eben Alexander, M.D., offers us the most compelling recent case. Dr. Alexander was a neurosurgeon and pilot with a wife and children. Before contracting a very rare virus while visiting Jerusalem, he was completely secular in his orientation, even though his foster father had been a man of faith.​

This physician suddenly contracted a severe illness and was immediately driven to the emergency room. He entered a deep coma where his brain functions for nearly seven days were virtually flatlined. His family chose to keep him on life support with the dim hope that he might somehow survive. The best prognosis of the attending physicians was that Dr. Alexander would, at best, survive only a little while longer… as a vegetable.

In contrast, Dr. Alexander’s actual experience on the hospital bed was totally different. His consciousness shifted from hovering over the meat-like quality of his brain and soaring to glorious forests, vales, glades, waterfalls, everything you could imagine.

Then he heard the most exquisite music he had ever heard. It was like a concerto, a heavenly orchestra. He saw the most beautiful woman he had ever known (it turns out a half sister he had never met who had gone on long before).

However, the pivotal moment was encountering absolute love that he found utterly indescribable. He was perfect just as he was, totally accepted. God had never been keeping points on him. God loved Eben as if he was the only person in the whole wide world.

Dr. Alexander survived this experience when his little four-year old boy literally climbed the hospital bed and begged him to come back. He dimly heard his son’s voice until he was resuscitated.

Hear him state that in his own words during a conversation with Oprah…​

Dr. Alexander is now fully functioning, active and vibrantly alive. He has found his true calling as an evangelist of eternal life; only his message is without conditions or qualifications. This love is everyone’s destiny, and his job is to let us know. He is backed by dozens of recent cases with somewhat similar experiences, most notably, Anita Moorjani.

How We Can Prepare for Life After Life

How then should we respond to our own rendezvous with death?

  • We are the light, not the light bulb. We are not currently in the final term of our existence.
  • Love is the most real thing we will ever experience, and it has proven itself over and over in the face of every obstacle and every calamity.
  • We can choose to live consciously every moment we are here, knowing that we won’t be here a moment longer than our destiny, and we won’t leave a moment before.
  • We can get on with our true mission, which is to be a bodhisattva, an avatar, a Christ in our own daily lives. We have the power and the authority to bless everyone, and they will be blessed.
  • We can continuously express gratitude every hour of every day, and love people for who they are, knowing this love comes from God, and is, therefore, without limit.

There is nothing but love on “the other side.” And if you can experience and channel that love while being alive, the transition will be way more pleasant and smoother.

We look forward to your own thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share them in the comments area below.​