The Way of the Phoenix

by David Karchere –

Upon the death of the monarch in many European nations, this statement is often made: The king is dead. Long live the king. If the monarchs involved are female, the statement is modified to this: The queen is dead. Long live the queen.
These declarations address the physical death of a monarch who is head of state. But the same statement might be made related to all the little deaths that occur in the life of any individual—all the times in a person’s life when who they have known themselves to be dies in favor of the new person they are destined to become.
The king is dead. Long live the king. 
The queen is dead. Long live the queen.

This is the Way of the Phoenix that rises from the ashes of what has been. 
This is the way offered by Emissaries of Divine Light. This program is offered by people that have gone past the death and the dying of the old in their lives. Together we are part of a cycle of experience that has gone past our own collective death to rise from those ashes and fly in the air of awake consciousness.
It is a rare person who has the experience of having their old world and their old identity challenged by life to the point that who they have been dies and who is then not obsessed with the drama and the tragedy of what has passed away. It seems so easy for most to lament what is no more, to become nostalgic about it and to resent what seems to have been taken from them.

The life of the Phoenix is never about the ashes. 
This is the story of the risen Christ—not just Jesus, but the Cosmic Christ within all people. It is the story of the spiritual reality that carries on after the death of what has been. Yes, there is an old reality that disintegrates. But awareness can ascend and there is a state of consciousness past the veil that keeps most people earthbound, without the spiritual awareness that is natural to the Phoenix.
Under the veil, there are all the aspects of common human behavior and experience. 
There is human trying and, along with that, there is human spiritual practice and human goodness. A person ascends through that veil when that experience breaks. Who they were as a person who is trying to become something that, in their heart, they believe they are not, dies. Ascending through the veil, they are entering the joy of the reborn king or queen who embodies the reality of the Cosmic Christ in life. 
I understand that, to many, it is not obvious what is happening for Emissaries of Divine Light. They cannot see the Phoenix flying above the veil, high in the air of spirit. But that is exactly what is happening and it is miraculous.
I think of all the remnants of the spiritual teachings that went before us, whether you call it religion or spirituality or even our own spiritual teachings from out of the past. Some of those teachings are useful as a point of reference for the Way of the Phoenix.  The excitement is being in the fresh teaching now. And when I say teaching, I do not just mean what someone might say in a classroom.

I am speaking about participation in the evolving consciousness of Being and then having the opportunity to bring that experience to other people and invite them into it. 
The thrill is to be in that and to let the creativity, the intelligence, the inspiration of Being flow through. That is the real teaching. There are remnants of that teaching left as we go along, and there are remnants left from enlightened teachers who went before us. Those remnants can be useful in various ways, depending upon the clarity of them and the relevance to the situation we are in. But we are here for the fresh teaching now.
I am filled with the wonder of what we have the opportunity to do and what we are bringing to the world. By its nature it uses form, but it is not a form, so it is not a religion. It is not even spirituality. It is just Being.

It becomes a spiritual teaching, or it could become a religion, but in its essence it is not all the forms it becomes. Yet we create forms that give a context for people to be in, so that they can experience something deeper and higher themselves. But within the form, the magic is the inner thread of unfolding meaning that is within us and within all creation.

There is the wonder of Being that knows no end. 

And yet there is a veil in human consciousness. That veil includes limited religious beliefs and spiritual practices that are substitutes for the flight of the Phoenix. They may be from the East or the West. Some of those beliefs and practices are clearer windows for the truth of Being than others.

Yet none of them are an adequate substitute for primal spirituality, which is the Way of the Phoenix.

Primal spirituality is when you die in your life and you keep going; when everything you thought your life was about dies and you keep moving and find that life did not die and you are alive and love is alive. You are just moving into something else and it is not even about the death; it is about the continuance.

It is about the eternality of life as you are knowing it and as you are living it and the beauty and the wonder of that. And then the fact that all that you thought was so essential could die and you did not.

I am not a negative person by nature, so I am not advising anyone to go into negative experiences for the sake of doing it. I am just saying that in life there is spiritual teaching but the ultimate teacher is life itself.

Life is teaching us all the time and in that teaching, life is breaking who we have thought ourselves to be so that the greater reality of who we are can come forth and we can know that we are not that persona that broke. 

There is an inner eternal reality that is perpetually and eternally strong and beautiful and wondrous, that never breaks and that never dies and that is who we are. 

We are the Phoenix.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
The queen is dead. Long live the queen.

emissaries.org

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Dark Night of the Soul

by Dillon Shelton and Ronya Banks –

Spiritual seekers, beware! 

 The path to enlightenment can be both rewarding and treacherous. Many great spiritual seekers throughout time described how their spiritual practices underwent a time period(s) laden with darkness, despair, fear, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness.

This concept was originally coined the “Dark Night of the Soul” by St John of the Cross, a Spanish poet and priest in the 1500’s. References to the Dark Night can also be found in Buddhist, Kundalini, Pagan/Occult, Christian, Jewish and Islamic literatures.

“In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

So, what is it? Will I experience it? Is there any way to avoid it? And, if I find myself in this stage, how can I traverse it with the least amount of suffering possible? 
 The answers to these questions follow…..
The Dark Night of the Soul alludes to a stage of one’s spiritual journey wherein all familiar spiritual feelings and concepts of God, and/or stable conceptual constructs drop away into obscurity, leaving the seeker in a state of profound emptiness and confusion. This is purported to be the true beginning of the path to union in love with the Divine, and/or relinquishing the ego’s grasp.

“Puts the sensory spiritual appetites to sleep, deadens them and deprives them of the ability to find pleasure in anything. It binds the imagination and impedes it from doing any good discursive work.   

It makes the memory cease, the intellect become dark and unable to understand anything, and hence it causes the will to become arid and constrained, and all the faculties empty and useless. 

And over this hangs a dense and burdensome cloud, which afflicts the sou, and keeps it withdrawn from the good.” –St. John of the Cross

If you have a daily meditation practice or other complementary contemplative practice, you need to educate yourself on the Dark Night stage.

In this case, ignorance is not bliss and can even be detrimental to your mental health. 

Britton, a researcher from Brown University’s Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, is presently studying the difficulties that frequently arise for practitioners of Buddhist meditation.

As she collects empirical evidence of many practitioners, she is appalled at how meditation practice is being marketed to the public in America: as little more than a stress-reduction or relaxation technique. But Britton argues that stress reduction and relaxation are more like side effects than what meditation actually was designed for:

“Meditation comes out of contemplative religious contexts where the goal is — however you want to call it — liberation, awakening, enlightenment; some kind of radical transformation of consciousness. 

So I don’t think that it would be surprising to hypothesize that if you practice meditation, it will actually produce some of the consequences that it was designed to produce: a radical transformation of consciousness. 

A lot of people are very surprised when their consciousness starts to change, because that’s not what they signed up for. They signed up for stress reduction“.

Many who have traversed the dark night of the soul stage will most likely tell you something like: “It really sucked. I thought I was severely depressed or losing my mind or needing anti-anxiety meds.

When I got through it, the fog lifted and I’ve had a clarity of mind and a deep presence of unshakeable peace and joy that have now become my birthright”.

Daniel Ingram, an outspoken Vipassana Meditation aficionado and Hardcore Dharma teacher has become vocal about equipping Insight Meditation practitioners with knowledge about The Dark Night of the Soul’s stages (also described in Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw’s description of the Progress of Insight).

These stages and their experiential descriptions follow:

  • Dissolution:
Meditating gets harder; concentration wanes; easy to get lost in stories and fantasies; posture can worsen; physical pain during sitting can be prevalent; Ingram calls this the ‘couch potato stage’ due to a general lack of motivation.
  • Fear:
Clarity and intensity begin to return; physical distortions can be experienced on the cushion – characterized by general feelings of unease, paranoia, fear, anxiety, etc.; may experience unsettling visions.
  • Misery:
Unshakable sadness and loss; the ultimate truth of the Three Characteristics (un-satisfactoriness, impermanence and no-self) is tearing down our preconceived notions of self and world; this can cause intense grief; attention continually grows more panoramic;
  • Disgust:
Seemingly impossible to focus attention; easier and easier to get caught up in our ‘stories’; general feeling of disappointment, torment, and frustration with our repetitive minds and an unsatisfactory, impermanent world.
  • Desire for Deliverance:
Longing for release; tendency to look for solutions in our ordinary lives to no avail; experience of hypersensitivity to an incessantly noisy mind; even more intense frustration with it all; powerful urges to renounce or go on a spiritual quest; through it all, determination to move along the path arises.
  • Re-Observation:
“The Wall”; all previous stages manifest together; intense aversion to sitting; high levels of restlessness and confusion; feelings that progress is impossible; non-stop chatter in the mind; disenchantment with life, sex, money, relationships, morality, etc.; more subtle levels of emotion are experienced and can be overwhelming; rare but possible-this stage can manifest in ways very similar to mental illness; ie. Psychotic breakdowns, delusions of grandeur, clinical depression, etc….

The lessons we have to learn during the Dark Night are crucially intertwined with directly experiencing and embodying the three characteristics of existence: un-satisfactoriness, impermanence and no-self.

The grief and sadness one may feel during the Dark Night is directly correlated to the death of the ego.

 Even though Ego-death is part of what we are trying to achieve through investigative meditation, when it begins, it isn’t that easy. And as the characteristic of no-self becomes clearer, we often mourn the loss of the “Self”.

Fortunately, not everyone has a hard time with the Dark Night. Some go through it without any troubles at all. No matter the difficulty of the territory, the Dark Night stage must simply be experienced.

“Underlying great doubt there is great satori, where there is thorough questioning there will be a thorough-going experience of awakening.” –Hakuin

Given that I, Ronya, was stuck in this Dark Night Territory for nearly two years after a Vipassana Meditation retreat, here are some tips I learned that greatly supported me and continue to help others get through this difficult period:

  • Realize that you are NOT losing your mind.
  • Do not run and go on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds unless you are dangerous to yourself or others…. try to meditate your way through this stage.
  • Do NOT stop meditating!!!!!! No matter how hard it gets (rolling up of the mat period)!! In fact, practice more.
  • Go on an intensive meditation retreat.
  • Open yourself to each stage and experience everything as fully as possible.
  • Mentally name & note each state/sensation…note, note, note!
  • Don’t take it personally.
  • Remember, everything – including this stage is impermanent and will not last forever.
  • Get the support of your sangha, or spiritual group.
  • Get the guidance and support from a skilled teacher in your lineage who can help you navigate the dark night.

Oftentimes in life, the greatest rewards follow our most difficult challenges. There is a beautiful light to be experienced at the end of this tunnel.  Do not fear or expect this stage. But, if you do find yourself in it, rejoice!

Entering the Dark Night is a sign that you are making progress in your spiritual practice.

Plus, as soon as you come through it, you will most likely be rewarded with a positive personal transformation, as well as the skills to deal with life’s future difficulties with much more ease and grace.

Resources: 

“The Progress of Insight” (Visuddhiñana-katha) by The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw
accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html 

Daniel Ingram’s website; a ton of useful info here on the territory and skillfull ways to traverse it:
interactivebuddha.com/index.shtml 

Ingram’s book “Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha”, an invaluable resource for anyone on the path:
interactivebuddha.com/mctb.shtml 

Two wonderful interviews conducted by Vince Horn for the ‘Buddhist Geeks’ podcast:
buddhistgeeks.com/2011/09/bg-231-the-dark-side-of-dharma/buddhistgeeks.com/2011/09/bg-232-the-dark-night-project/ 

‘The Dark Night of the Soul’ by St John of the Cross:
catholictreasury.info/books/dark_night/index.phpccel.org/ccel/john_cross/dark_night.html 

An interesting article on one man’s interpretation of the DNoS:
beyond-karma.com/awakening/dark-night-of-the-soul/ 

A very touching account of Mother Teresa’s DN:
firstthings.com/article/2007/08/the-dark-night-of-mother-teresa-42

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Becoming One with the Oneness


by Julie Redstone – 

We do not have to ask ourselves whether we are breathing because breathing is not a concept. It is a perceived sensation and automatic action within the body.

In the same way, Oneness will become felt within the body not as an idea but as a sensation – a perception of the same degree of reality as breathing brings to our physical senses.

The doorway is open.

The passage has begun. Each consciousness that is willing can become more attuned to the underlying reality that is growing within human awareness.

Let love extend further beyond the limits of the smaller self and its particular likes and dislikes and you will open the door further. Forgive everyone and you will take another step.

This is the time of awakening. Blessings.

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To Be In the Body But Not of the Body

Picture
by Jeanette Amlie –

We will never be free of our identification with the body as long as we are afraid of the body. We must learn how to be in the body but not of the body in order to fully awaken during our incarnation.
Early life conditions that generate developmental and complex trauma tend to encourage the child to disassociate from the body because of distressing sensations that are not being attended to by our caregivers, for whatever reason. This causes the conscious Soul to not fully embody and identify with the body totally. 
Over the years the pressure from this internal conflict of not feeling comfortable in our own skin compels many people to pursue spiritual practices that achieve altered, expanded and disembodied states of consciousness. Trauma therapy sees this state as dissociation and seeks to help the individual become re-identified and grounded within the body in order to live a “normal” life. 
Spiritual practices seek to help the conscious Soul to realize that it is not a body and to regain the natural state of oneness with All That Is. 
Yet spiritual practices often fail to understand that as long as a being is afraid of their body they will never be able to totally dis-identify with it and will likely experience extreme vacillations between expanded and collapsed states.
Through directed self awareness I have been able to witness that a similar state of expansion happens with both dissociation and awakening, the difference being whether it is prompted by fear or relaxation. So the goal then is not to eliminate the expanded state but rather to uncouple it from the fear that was the early catalyst for it arising in the first place.

So what if the very experience of early life trauma primes the incarnated Soul for potential awakening? 
What if we have a greater proclivity for conscious awakening IF we are able to uncouple the experience from the survival fear that initiated it in the first place. In some instances it is facing the fear of imminent death that finally and potentially permanently breaks the link between consciousness and the survival/fear response.
So then, our ability to learn to calmly witness our somatic sensations, including dissociation, without judging them or getting lost in them is the doorway to uncoupling them from the fear that fuels the egoic cycles of expansion and collapse, thereby facilitating our conscious awakening. Then we truly can be in the body but not of the body.
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Reality of Awakened Presence

by John Smallman –

Awaken into the Reality that awaits your awakened presence.
It is important for humanity, especially you Light bearers and wayshowers, to come to the awareness that there is no order of preference in the spiritual realms, there is no hierarchy because all are the perfectly created and beloved offspring of God. We may well have different interests, different creative ideas, different areas of responsibility, but in God’s eyes we are all equally perfect divine beings, because that is how He created us as part of Him, and He is eternally unchanging, infinitely complete just as He is.
In the spiritual realms we meet in harmonious cooperation to address issues that interest us or require our attention but the overarching and all enveloping energy field in which we exist and operate is God’s field of infinite divine Love.

Intelligence, wisdom, compassion, healing, acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation are all inseparable aspects of Love that often seem to be separate when experienced by souls undergoing the human drama. 

However, many of you have discovered (and many more of you soon will), that when you surrender to Love, when you let go of reasoning and attempting to understand others and instead just allow yourselves to love them unconditionally, you become aware that in truth there is only Love, as we never tire of reminding you.

The vast majority of problems in human relationships, from individuals to nations, are as a direct result of egoic self-interested agendas that can only lead to mistrust and eventual betrayal. As long as one wants to do better than another problems arise.

 There is nothing wrong with wanting to do better, to improve yourself, but when it becomes competitive it always leads to conflict. And as all are in truth One, conflict of any kind is obviously insane.

So, the Tsunami of Love continues to flow around you, through you, to totally envelop you, waiting patiently and compassionately for you to accept It, as eventually everyone will. But there is no pressure being applied,

It is infinitely gentle and infinitely patient because It knows that you will accept it and enter into a state of total joy when you do so. It just continues to intensify, and will continue to do so until all awaken. Is that not a most liberating and uplifting thought?

As you well know, having been told so often that it probably hurts, time is illusory, all is now but within the illusion it seems to have been around for a very long time! And as long as you resist Love, your natural and eternal state, and continue to compete with and judge one another so long will the illusion exist and seemingly contain you. The illusion is the only place in which that which is not Love can exist, and of course there is no such place. And this makes it extremely confusing for you as you go about your daily lives, coping with issues, problems, pain, suffering, conflict and betrayal that seem very real indeed.
Here in the spiritual realms we expect and anticipate your awakening with great joy because we know that it is inevitable, and that it is now! So while we have great compassion for the suffering you appear to be undergoing, and which seems so real and painful to you, we always see the big picture, the Divine Picture in which there is only total joy and total Love.
We assist you by being present for you, available to you in every moment to hug you, to give you a “love-squeeze,” and to constantly reassure you that all is truly well. You all know that when you relax into that quiet inner space, your holy sanctuary, and just allow the present moment to be, while inviting us (whoever you feel or intuit is your own personal contact person in the spiritual realms) to be with you and offer you guidance and comfort, you feel very much better almost instantly.

We can see and feel the upliftment of your spirit when you open to us, and that is most wonderful because it demonstrates Love in action to us again and again, the Oneness that we all share with our divine Father. Or, Father/Mother/God for those of you who have trouble with words that seem exclusionary or divisive.

 Just remember that all words are divisive, confusing, inadequate, because they are merely very poor symbols that are intended to point to God, Who is infinitely beyond words, beyond description, and can only be experienced. And that magnificent experience awaits you when you embrace and offer unconditional love in every relationship and thus allow the illusion to dissipate, as it will.

Your onward progress towards awakening is powering forwards creating great waves of Love in the ocean of Love that envelops you. You have an expression “Are fish aware of the water?” And of course the answer is “Not unless they are removed from it.” The illusion was built to allow you to remove yourselves from the ocean of Love, but of course it is impossible to remove yourselves from that which permanently and eternally contains you, as there is nowhere else. The illusion is illusory, but its purpose remains as long as you support it, and that purpose is for you to experience a state of existence without Love.
For many of you that state seems to have been achieved. In the restricted and limited state of consciousness provided by your human vehicle you frequently feel unloved and unlovable, and that is a very unsettling and disturbing experience.

 The awakening process has been ongoing since the moment of your apparent separation from God, and during those eons many reasons for the unsatisfactory nature of life on earth have been considered, and many attempts have been made to contact a god, a higher intelligence, a supreme being who, if suitably kowtowed to, might condescend to hear your prayers and your cries for help and then possibly intervene to mitigate your pain and suffering, even imposing that suffering on someone else, your enemies. Hence sacrifices to this unknown and terrifying entity.

Now you have psychology and psychotherapy to help you release yourselves from suffering and it does help, a little. It too uses reason to help you – who abused you, and why – and offers suggestions and support groups where you can go and tell your painful stories to sympathetic listeners who have had similar or worse experiences. Again, this is helpful, but the real issue is constantly avoided because most cannot see it and that is that Love is All. There is nothing else.

 When someone does become aware of this one truth and engages with it healing of a most magnificent kind occurs.
So, as always, the message from the spiritual realms, from Heaven, from God is “There is only Love.” Accept this divine truth, embrace, share and extend it and awaken into the Reality that awaits your awakened presence where you will find only eternal joy.
Saul, by John Smallman

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The Elixir of Oneness


by Anakha Coman and James Twyman – 

The elixir of Oneness is none other than the presence and power of unconditional love. 

It’s the sweetness of agape (tender, benevolent affection and compassion) and the fire of Divine Love. It’s the life force that animates and sustains all life. It stirs the consciousness of Oneness, allowing it to emerge, blossom, and bear fruit. It’s what causes the rose to bloom and release the scent of the sacred.

Just like sap in a tree, the elixir of Oneness lives in your body: it swims in your blood, oscillates in your nervous system and beats in your heart.

There are many words for it—including Kundalini, Holy Spirit, Chi, Ka, Prana, Mana, Gtumo, The Microcosmic Orbit, and Shakti—all referring to the experience of the vital energy of love rising and circulating throughout your body, heart, mind and consciousness. The elixir of Oneness awakens the evolutionary force within, growing in you as love.

Exercise

Begin with tapping into the elixir of Oneness that’s already alive and well within you. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Become aware of your breath, finding a pace and rhythm that feels most pleasurable and satisfying to you. Breathe in and out. Inhale sacred love, circulate sacred love, and exhale sacred love. Continue your breathing, circulating Divine love to all of your cells throughout your body.

Allow your breath to tickle each limb and organ, every part of your being. Let it dance within you, nourishing you with its sweet ecstasy. Inhale sacred love, circulate sacred love, and exhale sacred love. Smile as you bathe and delight in your own life-force energy. Feel this course through your veins and vibrate in your cells, awakening this sleeping giant of life, love, and bliss.

Continue to allow the essential life-force energy to build and strengthen. Gently bring your attention to your heart chakra, the source of unconditional love and compassion. Allow the sacred energy to flood your heart with tender loving-kindness. Feel your heart soften and open, like the petals of a rose blossoming in the warmth of the sun. Inhale sacred love, circulate sacred love, and exhale sacred love. Allow the love in your heart to fan the Divine spark into a powerful flame.
Now turn your attention to your base chakras, which are the roots of your connection to the earth and the fountain of creativity and sexuality. Feel the potency of life force as it builds and activates within these centers. Inhale sacred love, circulate sacred love, and exhale sacred love. Acknowledge the beauty of your connection to nature and to all life. Experience the pleasure and ecstasy of your own creativity, sexuality, and sensuality as the elixir of Oneness brings you into aliveness, radiance, and presence. Let go and trust the presence of God, the universal life force, as it leads you into full resonance with the consciousness of Oneness. Inhale sacred love, circulate sacred love, and exhale sacred love.

Allow this life-force energy to move into your belly, into the navel and the solar plexus, stirring the fire within—strengthening your will to live, to create, to transform, and to be here now. Know that you have the ability to do anything you put your mind to. Permit the fire of unconditional love to fuse with the fire in your belly.

Breathe this energy through the heart, dedicating your connection, creativity, and personal will to serve your mission of love. Feel this vital energy expand and open your heart even more as it swirls and spirals throughout your entire being. Know that the sacred source of life force lives within you and that it can be activated through your conscious contact with it.
Continue to breathe this energy to your throat, the center of expression. Let it vibrate through your vocal cords and then shoot up into your third eye, the place of intuition and knowing. Let it vibrate in your head and up through your crown, shooting beyond to the heavens and then falling back down to bathe your entire being in the sweet elixir of Oneness.
Feel your whole body and being vibrate and resonate. Feel the hum of life force zoom through your cells. Feel alive and radiant; feel good; feel God. This is the experience of Love in the body. Bask in it, live in it, and create from it.
Make it your intention to live within the awareness of and in connection to this vital energy every day. Allow everything you experience to bring you alive. Imagine and know that everything is conspiring to love you and wake up your life-force energy. Use everything to feed, nourish, and strengthen you, from the water you drink and the food you eat, to the colors you see and the air you breathe. Vibrate, tremor, and dance. Come alive with the ecstasy of life, for this is the elixir of Oneness.
Affirmation
I AM opening to the greatest Mystery of all, becoming Love’s alchemy realized.
Quotes

Human beings and all living things are a coalescence of energy in a field of energy connected to every other thing in the world. This pulsating energy field is the central engine of our being and our consciousness, the alpha and the omega of our existence. ‘The field,’ as Einstein once succinctly put it, ‘is the only reality.

— Lynne McTaggart

“Indeed, God hath created everywhere around this Gate oceans of divine elixir, tinged crimson with the essence of existence and vitalized through the animating power of the desired fruit.”
— The Bāb
“By the elixir of divine love, the solar regions are strong; by the divine elixir, the earth is great; the divine elixir is stationed in the midst of all the constellations.”
— from the Atharvaveda
“This nectar, trickling from the palate, is the sweetest of all tastes. Each drop is worth more than millions. This elixir will expel all your diseases and fill you with gladness. Your anger will vanish. You will exude ambrosial sweetness. You will rejoice in your spouse and children. As you taste this nectar and become absorbed in it, you will be transported with inner delight.”
— Swami Muktananda

“How do you bring the ‘reality’ of the field into your everday moments?  By consciously BEing it, by imbuing this KNOWing into every moment that you are aware, by CHOOSING this superconnected level of aliveness in all of your interactions. Encounter and engage everything in your world from this level of reality and you will experience ‘no separation’, the elixir of oneness in presence that is your essence.”

—Adela M. Rubio
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What the World Needs NOW in Order to Change

“Enlightenment means an end to the endless wandering through the dreamlike passageways of life and death. It means you have found your home.” – Buddha 

What is enlightenment?

For the simplest explanation, enlightenment is the realisation and getting to know your true inner self. It does not require you to do anything, it does not involve you to be anything and it does not involve any special course or techniques. It is understanding what your true inner self and nature has to offer. Buddha taught “I am enlightened because I have realised that enlightenment is knowing that there is nothing you have to do to be enlightened.”

What Does Enlightenment Feel Like?

“Completely comfortable at peace and at ease in every situation and every circumstance with a sense of true inner freedom, independent of both outer circumstances and internal emotions.” Lama Surya Das

Many associate enlightenment with having some out of body or heightened experience, an external circumstance that gives us some kind of ‘extra’ or special experience. In reality this could not be further from the truth.

To reach or attain enlightenment is to truly experience, discover and understand who we really are. To be aware of the great light that shines deep within, to be conscious of and delight in the present moment.

“Leave everything as it is in fundamental simplicity and clarity will arise by itself. Only by doing nothing will you do all there is to be done…” – Khyentse Rinpoche


The journey of enlightened

The hardest thing most of us struggle with is present moment awareness. By practising this and being ‘in the moment’ we can start to understand what the great philosophers and thinkers are talking about. Without being present and experiencing the stillness and tranquillity of the moment it is very hard for us to be able to achieve a higher level of awareness and enlightenment. The process of letting go is possibly one of the most difficult things that we have to learn on our journey towards enlightenment. If we realise that everything passes, comes and goes, then we are much better placed to experience life by not resisting all it has to offer. It is our resistance that limits us to lives of suffering and constant craving.

How do I know if I am enlightened?

Enlightenment and awareness may differ from person to person. Enlightenment may show itself when you care more about others than yourself. It may come when you no longer feel the need to justify thoughts in your mind. It may come when you have given up seeking and are comfortable with where you are.

It is in the understanding that you are compassionate, loving and unconditional in everything you do. By seeking to help others and encouraging them to find the way to enlightenment you too will benefit in your journey towards enlightenment.

Practice simply being in a calm, tranquil state. Meditation and yoga are both great ways to practice getting in touch with your inner self. We spend little time just being, we are too busy scurrying around looking for something to do. Just be, don’t do anything, look inside yourself and get to know who you really are.

Stephen Levine in his 1979 book ‘A Gradual Awakening’ writes: “By clinging to things that we think we know or don’t know we block out deeper knowing. By letting go of everything – not through force, not by slaying it, but simply seeing all the content as a passing show, as process and flow – we become the whole of our experience and open to our natural understanding.”

He continues by saying, “The process of enlightenment can occur in two distinct ways. Like the steady growth of a tree towards the forest canopy it pushes its ways up through the undergrowth until it reaches the light. We too can slowly and gradually grow and mature until we come to the realisation that one day we will see the light and attain absolute clarity. On the other hand we may be suddenly woken from a deep slumber by a traumatic event or something that awakens our awareness. 

By being completely in the present moment and detached from all things, you are not relying on any external stimuli to be happy. Happiness, peace and contentment are generated from within.”

For the most part we live in a state of separation, we create thoughts and scenarios in our minds that do not represent reality. We create these realities that go toward deluding ourselves. In this world of constant struggle, we suffer, causing ourselves pain, frustration and isolation. To live free and enlightened is to release ourselves from these self-inflicted negative states of mind. We are free to do this at any time we choose, it is merely a matter of choice.
–Andrew Martin;

Editor of onenesspublishing, author of  One: A Survival Guide for the Future

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