Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Spiritual & Inspirational Community Page on Facebook

Visit the New Spiritual & Inspirational Community on Facebook for spiritual and inspirational articles, quotes, books, images and videos that are uplifting, spiritual, inspiring, motivational and enlightening.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Life Teachers & Conscious Awareness

By Pamela J. Wells

Your life teachers are everywhere and come in different manifestations. When you are open to learning from everyone—everyone that you see and hear is potentially your teacher—a child, someone who is homeless or is limited physically in what they can do, someone who looks and dresses differently than you, someone from a different culture or who has different beliefs than you, someone who is living in poverty. You can learn from All of Life—All Sentient Beings—All People and Animals—All of Nature—Bugs, Plants, Trees, and Flowers. Life becomes your teacher, instead of limiting your life learning experience to conditioned notions and beliefs, you live your life from its fullest potential. Your eyes are wide open. They are not squinting, allowing only what you think should be allowed into your consciousness. 
You are also your teacher—you can learn more about yourself by becoming consciously aware of your thoughts, what you think and say to others and the actions that you take and do not take—and if you are unsure about what thoughts and beliefs are destructive to you and those who are around you—how you feel will not lie. When your negative emotions manifest themselves, they are waving a red flag at you, but you cannot see the flag, because you are swept away by your emotions. Instead of being on the shore and seeing the ocean of emotions, you are drowning in it.

You can start paying attention to how you feel on a regular basis. If you can lay your head down peacefully at night, all is well, but if you cannot, or if you find yourself getting upset, agitated, angry, anxious, or depressed—your thoughts drove you there and need to be examined. Figure out what it is, exactly, that is causing these negative feelings and emotions. What were you thinking prior to that emotion coming on? Sometimes you know immediately what it is and others times you will have to dig deeper.

Our tendency is to believe what we think and believe those thoughts to be real, when in reality, most of what we think is not based on reality. If you place a high value on what others think of you, if you have a picture in your mind of who you think you are, you place a high value on your identity, and are constantly comparing yourself to others—physically, materially, and socially—if you feel your value as a person is dependent upon some social “status,” if you place expectations on others, such as expecting them to change, to live up to your “standards,” if you have a need to control or manipulate others to do or behave the way that you want them to—you are actively contributing to your own unnecessary misery, pain and suffering—and you are projecting that pain and suffering onto others. The great thing is that—once you realize what you are doing, you can stop doing it. 

Some negative and destructive thought patterns and beliefs take time to break, especially when they are deeply ingrained and in our subconscious, like the roots of a tree, so it takes time and practice to release the hold those thought patterns have on you. It helps to put little notes in different places as reminders to be consciously aware, or mindful, of your thoughts and feelings. 

Meditation is wonderful. I highly recommend it. When you meditate and quiet your mind, you are able to feel your natural peace and joy that is within you. Meditation, such as sitting meditation, is great, but it is not enough—by itself, because when you are not meditating, when you are going about your daily affairs, you also have to be consciously aware of your thoughts and feelings as often as you can and are able to remember to. While most of our thoughts are unconscious, we can bring the light of awareness to them. The more frequently you are able to do this, the more natural it becomes, and the quicker you are able to catch yourself thinking negative thoughts before they turn into negative emotions. 

One thing that you can do is—when you catch yourself thinking something negative, say, “That’s not reality.” Or “I am not my thoughts.” When you do that, you begin to see how silly your habitual negative and self-sabotaging thoughts are and how they run on auto-pilot most of the time. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, has many wonderful books on mindfulness and meditation; for example, when you are walking, you can practice walking meditation—each step that you take, you are present in that step. Your mind is not off somewhere else. You are in the present moment, in the here and now. The unconscious chattering mind is a stress creator, so that is why you need to become mindful of each moment, each action, and the quiet and still peaceful presence.

Everyone can become mindful. You do not have to be a Buddhist monk or Buddhist to practice mindfulness. By being mindful, you are developing a life skill that does not interfere with whatever religious beliefs you might hold or non-beliefs. It is a way of life—a way of living. When you are mindful, you are not driven by your unconscious mind that is set on auto-pilot.

When you become mindful of everything that you do, in each moment, from moment-to-moment, and you are not off somewhere else in your mind, in the past—reliving it—filled with guilt or regret—or in the future—worrying about things you need to take care of or worrying about how your future is going to turn out—that mindfulness brings you to the present moment. When you are in the present moment, your mind is not unconsciously running its pre-recorded messages of the past and projecting them into the future. You are no longer living two lives—one, where your body is present and breathing in the here and now—while your other, imaginary life and egoic self, is being lived in your mind—where a movie is being played, filled with painful memories from the past and worries over the future, along with faulty and false ideas, notions, and beliefs—taking you away from the present moment. This is not to say you shouldn’t have any goals and that you should never plan for your future. You set your goals and take action now, but you don’t sit around dwelling on your goals or future. 

An Openness To Life and
Learning From All of Life’s Teachers,
Being Consciously Aware of Your Thoughts
and Mindful of the Present Moment,
Living in the Present Moment,
Allows Space For You To Feel
Your Peaceful Presence and Joy,
Radiating Outward From Within,
Touching Everyone You Meet.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Feel free to add a comment, if there is anything that you would like to add or any experiences that you would care to share.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wayne Dyer - Wishes Fulfilled (Video)

Best-selling author, beloved spiritual teacher, and internationally renowned lecturer Dr. Wayne Dyer returns to PBS for his ninth public broadcasting presentation, WISHES FULFILLED. In this special, taped in Escondido, California on October 21, 2011, he once again offers an inspiring and motivational message to viewers. Based on his book Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting (Hay House, March, 2012) WISHES FULFILLED presents Dr. Dyer’s main message: It is possible for every person to live an extraordinary life. What’s more, it is possible for every person to manifest their deepest desires — if they honor their inner divinity, consciously choose to live from their “Highest Self,” and practice the steps outlined in his presentation. DR. WAYNE DYER: WISHES FULFILLED is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning March 3, 2012 (Check local listings at http://www.pbs.org/tvschedules/  ).

Using his trademark humor, Dr. Dyer introduces The Five Wishes Fulfilled Foundations, outlining a program for mastering the tools necessary for living a profoundly satisfying life. Viewers will learn how to use Imagination, Living from the End, Assuming the Feeling of the Wish Fulfilled, Attention, and the Last Five Minutes of Each Day to create new and astonishing thought patterns, while defeating unproductive and recurring habits.

Read More About Wishes Fulfilled and Wayne Dyer

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Universal Love

By Pamela J. Wells

True love is universal and not personal. Becoming attached and dependent upon the personal idea or notion of love, what it is and what it looks like, which is formulated in the head, perpetuates the pain and suffering of the individual and the collective consciousness. 

To love all life and love your Self, the essence of life, is the ultimate love. 

True love is indiscriminate. There is no compartmentalization in the mind of who to love and who to hate. Love is like the ocean, pure and uncontaminated. Life flourishes in the ocean. Hate is like oil, it contaminates the ocean of love. It contaminates life. It contaminates all, including the hater and those they love. 

When You Free Your Mind, You Free Your Heart.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Feel free to add a comment, if there is anything that you would like to add or any experiences that you would care to share.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mindfulness as a Foundation for Health: Thich Nhat Hanh and Health@Google (Video)

Mindfulness as a Foundation for Health: Thich Nhat Hanh and Health@Google

To Skip Music Intro go to: 0:16:20 of the video.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay in his circles) made a rare visit to the Googleplex to lead a half-day Health@Google workshop in the fundamentals of mindfulness. The exercises and rituals of mindfulness lay the path to optimal health and happiness.

Thay may be the second most famous Buddhist monk in the world, right after the Dalai Lama. He is certainly one of the best known and most respected Zen Masters in the world. Thay is a best-selling author, poet, and peace activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. He is a key pioneer in actively applying insights from meditation to solving real-world social, political and environmental problems. Thay most recently published Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, with Harvard School of Public Health nutritionist Dr. Lilian Cheung. At 85, he's touring North America before retiring to his monastery in France.

Life at Google is fast, furious and fun, yet it can take a toll on ourselves and our loved ones. Through Thay's specially crafted workshop, you'll learn how to reduce stress, eat for health, sleep better, find emotional stability, improve concentration and sustain optimal performance.

--Chade-Meng Tan

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

~ by Thich Nhat Hanh

In The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh introduces us to the core teachings of Buddhism and shows us that the Buddha's teachings are accessible and applicable to our daily lives. With poetry and clarity, Nhat Hanh imparts comforting wisdom about the nature of suffering and its role in creating compassion, love, and joy--all qualities of enlightenment. Covering such significant teachings as the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Three Doors of Liberation, the Three Dharma Seals, and the Seven Factors of Awakening, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching is a radiant beacon on Buddhist thought for the initiated and uninitiated alike.

Excerpt from Book:

Buddhist meditation has two aspects—shamatha and vipashyana. We tend to stress the importance of vipashyana ("looking deeply") because it can bring us insight and liberate us from suffering and afflictions. But the practice of shamatha ("stopping") is fundamental. If we cannot stop, we cannot have insight.

There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man, standing alongside the road, shouts, "Where are you going?" and the first man replies, "I don't know! Ask the horse!" This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don't know where we are going , and we can't stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We are always running, and it has become a habit. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war within ourselves, and we can easily start a war with others.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

We need the energy of mindfulness to recognize and be present with our habit energy in order to stop this course of destruction.

~Thich Nhat Hanh