We come into this world with a psyche that is split into separation from our true divine nature, and the blueprint for ego becomes instituted. The story of Adam and Eve describes this spilt as our fall from grace. But it never really happened! It’s all maya – illusion – and becomes our inner journey toward awakening to the truth of who we are. Beyond ego and the lower mind lies our true spiritual nature as limitless and timeless beings. But because the ego is defined by the electro-magnetic charges of negative and positive, duality, and specifically loss and gain, are born in the mental and emotional bodies. So loss and gain are programmed into our consciousness from the get go becoming an unconscious lens through which we view the world.

In fact, if I could distill into a single egoic construct all of the processes that people come to me wanting to clear, it would be loss and gain. This is true because the relative mind will interpret any negativity in one’s life as a loss, whether it’s a material “loss” of some kind, some heavy state in the emotional body, or simply a loss of happiness. Sure, losses and gains are part of life – they seem very real in this world. But this is only the mind’s superficial reading of what’s going on; it is the dual mind’s interpretation of the natural ebb and flow of life. In truth, our natural state of wholeness and oneness is complete in itself: paraphrasing my teacher, nothing can ever be added to or taken away from that which we are!

What if we could stand “outside” of the natural rhythms of life and just watch? Rather than getting pulled into and identifying with a story around loss and gain, we watch and witness the movement of energy in our emotional body. This neutral witness is grounded in being. It’s identity is as spiritual presence. When we know ourselves to be that still presence – unchanging and eternal – then the ups and downs of life occur, but they don’t shake the ground of being that we are. Our deepest knowing from the place is that the invisible realms always support us and that the Universe is the source of unlimited supply! Loss and gain are real for you only when you believe them to be true. Granted this is a paradigm shift in the way we see the world, and so it becomes a process of undoing and reprogramming the limited mind.

The witness, or neutral observer is our ally here. By pro-actively witnessing or catching the contracting energy in the mind or emotional body, and then consciously choosing not to buy into it we create an little expansion and an ascension. We are detaching from ego and opening to what is true beyond it, which is our divine nature waiting to be unveiled! It is also helpful at this point to remind our lower selves of our unlimited spiritual nature with an affirmation, such as I am Spirit, I am divine and I am always supported.

So, practically, this is how it might play out in your life: You seem to incur a material loss of some kind – the IRS notifies you that you are in errs and wants you to pay more taxes, perhaps. You can consciously choose from your neutral witnessing presence not to take it as a loss. Rather, you can choose to step out of an egoic response and see it as a temporary ebb in the flow, reminding yourself that the Universe has your back, always. You have faith because you know that the tide will turn eventually, and, especially, if you are able to remain open and centered and not contract emotionally, it will happen sooner rather than later!

Negative emotions will also feel like a loss to the ego.The entire structure of our emotional body is based on negative and positive, loss and gain. So even the slightest drop of our awareness into negativity, say self-doubt, perhaps, will register as a loss. Unless we are able to witness it! If we can catch self-doubt as it slips into our awareness and detach from the story we are telling ourselves about it, we won’t make it real and unconsciously feed energy in to it. We can, instead, align with our center and allow all feelings, however negative (or positive), to pass through the still Presence that we are – never diminished or increased, but always full, complete and content in itself!

In this world a message we get all the time is be positive, stay positive, or focus on the positive etc. Well of course! Makes sense. Foolish would it be to focus on the negative, although the ego will fall into this trap from time to time and, unfortunately, even get lost in it. We have two choices then, or so it seems. We can go negative or we can go positive. But what happens, eventually? Experience shows us that life is transitory and we won’t remain on the positive side of life forever; at some point negativity will creep in and even take over! And then the tide will once again turn and fate will hand us a positive experience, which, if the negative experience was particularly painful, we will cling to for dear life! So we will inevitably flip from one side to the other in an endless cycle of positive and negative, happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. Is this what life is about – always grasping for the positive and pushing away the negative, the wheel of karma endlessly turning? What can we  do? Is there another way?

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The Middle Way, or the path between the opposites of the world is what the Buddha teaches. It reconciles the tension inherent in polarity and becomes the path of no resistance. It’s the one that gets my vote! This choice transcends positive and negative and the dual nature of the limited mind, and new more stable states of being become our default in the world – acceptance, compassion, equality, faith, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, humility, joy, selflessness, tolerance, and trust, among others, for example. Feel into them for a moment. Do you notice how your attention comes to rest at the level of the chest at the heart chakra? These states of being are heart states and have the unique qualities of transcendence and eternality: our capacity for compassion, generosity, or joy, for instance, is unlimited! It is these heart states that unify the opposites of the world, bringing about inner peace and, yes, on-going happiness. It is through making the choice to choose the heart, rather than simply the positive, that puts the brakes on the wheel of karma and our identity with the endless ups and downs of life.

When we choose the heart we identify with our true, essential nature as timeless beings. Negative and positive experiences will always occur in a world of form that is dualistic by nature, but we will no longer find our identity in them. Instead, life’s experiences will pass through us, through the still center of awareness that we know ourselves to be. Without the extreme teeter-tottering of emotions creating instability and fear in our lives, life smooths out greatly. We embody more and more transcendental light and shine that light out into the world. Our lives change. We begin to draw to us all that we need for our well-being and happiness.

Too good to be true? What I’m describing here is our birthright to live happy and content lives beyond the limitations of egoic consciousness. When we choose the path between the opposites of the world we surrender the denser aspects of ego that are driven by individual will. We come to know and to trust in Divine Will to guide our lives, which, in truth, is all there ever is… if we could only get out of the way! Through processing and practice we learn to surrender our limited egoic consciousness for what may yet be unknown, but for what is always absolute truth.

Do you feel ready to take on this inner work? If so, allow me to be your guide. I promise you a gentle ride through the roller coaster of egoic life. And I promise, at its end, the ride will even out and you will feel not only relief, but more and more moments of absolute joy! Please click the Spiritual Guidance page at the top of this blog, schedule a session, and let’s go!

Photo credit: Penelope Dullaghan

Several people I mentor have come to me needing to process their despair over the current state of the country/world. “We were just beginning to make a little progress towards making this country a more equitable place for women and minorities, addressing the problem of global warming and environmental destruction, and speaking truthfully about the disparity between the haves and the have nots etc., and now we seem to be taking several steps backwards”,  has been the overarching sentiment. What I am asking them to do, as tough as it sounds at the moment, is to keep the faith. Remain vigilant and informed and follow your inner guidance towards heart-centered action, but keep the faith. There are larger forces at play here, and divine intelligence is, as she always has been, competely in charge!

The larger movement of evolutionary energy is toward the expansion of consciousness – toward unity and oneness. The contraction and separation that is appearing in the world at this time has its purpose, for there are lessons to be learned, but in the big picture they are temporary. Growth for the individual and for the collective requires what has been hidden to be exposed. The perennial wisdom teachings tell us that we create our reality by the level of consciousness that we hold; what we are seeing in the world at this moment is our unconscious shadow we have projected out being mirrored back to us. If the actions of those “outside” of you enrage or anger you and trigger you into blame and hate, the you must ask yourself “What part of what I am seeing outside of me is me? How am I, even a little bit, misogynist, xenophobic, greedy or entitled?”

“How can one person make a difference?”, you may ask. We are each a voice, a significant voice, and part of a greater whole. We are a power of one mind, one heart and one intention. When enough of us rise up in our heart-centered power we can create a tipping point for the world, opening the door to the extraordinary and the miraculous. By owning the outside as us and committing to neutrality (and sacred action as necessary), we can successfully navigate what may be some treacherous terrain; we can shift consciousness, birthing a new more spiritually aligned form for our lives and for the world. 

In short, the answer to your question is through love!

In this full day seminar you will learn three unique, simple and effective techniques for clearing negativity in your life. Having trouble with a boss or co-worker? How about a spouse or a friend? Are you feeling stuck in a self destructive pattern and unable to move your life forward? Is anger or fear keeping you emotionally contract and unhappy?

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Beyond our desires and fears, our anger and our pain a place of peace, equanimity and love awaits us in our hearts. The Polarities, Squares, and Triangles techniques developed by spiritual teacher Leslie Temple- Thurston and introduced in her book The Marriage of Spirit, Enlightened Living in Today’s World, show us how to get there. Based in the ancient teachings of the reconciliation of opposites, the techniques bring remarkable results with the basic tools of notebook and pencil and the willingness to surrender our confusion and contracted emotional states. In addition to a presentation of the key principles of Polarities, Squares, and Triangles, we’ll have lots of time for experiential practice; you will also have useful handouts to take home.

The seminar will be held in San Francisco at a quiet Outer Richmond district location. Suggested donation: $75. Please bring a lunch. For questions or to reserve your space you may send an e-mail to garyb@fastmail.com

A common theme with people I mentor concerns the challenges that they’re having with a boss, co-worker, or landlord etc. There is a blaming of the other for causing their unrest and unhappiness. The simple truth that I share with them is this: There is no “other”. There is no one outside of you doing something to you. It’s all you!

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As you might imagine this information is met with incredulity and, more often, out right denial. “How could this possible be?”, they say. “They’re standing there in the flesh and blood expressing an opposing point of view and arguing with me!”

Life is a play of consciousness. We create our own reality by the level of consciousness that we hold. When our consciousness is balanced and in integrity, or undivided, the world reflects that back us. Life is smooth and easy, and a faith is born in us that we are always supported. When consciousness is divided, that division is mirrored to us by the people who show up in our lives. The appearance of someone “outside” of you doing something to you is just that – an appearance. Yes, they have body and an objective life of their own, but what you are seeing and objecting to in their behavior is what has been denied and unowned in you. We unconsciously manifest the difficult people in our lives through our own divided and polarized consciousness in a process called projection.

We have both a conscious and an unconscious mind. The unconscious holds all that we cannot see about ourselves, and it has both negative and positive aspects. Because we have not owned these energies by making them conscious we unwittingly project them out of ourselves. These projections are energy flows that hold an electromagnetic charge (because of their inherently polarized nature) that lives in our aura and which someone with a similar pattern will pick up (unconsciously, of course!) and mirror back to us.

Truly, there is never anyone to blame for our problems because they originate with us, in our own unconscious mind. Nor must we blame ourselves for being unconscious in the first place. It is this journey through unconsciousness that each soul has taken on this lifetime, and if we can meet it courageously with love and compassion, we can change our world. In fact, we can change the world! For what we see in the world at large is, yet, a greater, collective manifestation of our inner energetic configuration and level of consciousness.

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How do we do this? How do we own what is seemingly outside of us as us? When someone shows up in your life who is controlling and dominating, for instance, you must ask yourself how you use this same energy: How do I use control and domination with others? Because we are unconscious to it, our first reaction is “no way, that’s not me; I don’t do that!” But you must look more deeply by accepting the spiritual principle that everything outside of us is a mirror of our own unconscious self and ask yourself: In what way, even little bit, do I control and dominate? Take look at family members or other close friends. Do you ever recall using this same energy, however subtly? If you can, by making what was unconscious conscious and choosing to change you are on your way to clearing this hidden pattern. And by doing so your life, the people in it as well as your circumstances, will begin to reflect that integration. The people who show up in your life will be more balanced, flexible and heart-centered because you have found that same place inside of you.

If you would like some help making the unconscious conscious in your life, please let me know. A new, lighter  – and light-filled – version of yourself is waiting on the other side!

I received an e-mail from someone who was feeling frustrated when she tried to talk to her friends. She was sharing with them that she is seeing a world in a state of chaos and potential collapse with climate change, the melting of the polar ice caps, species extinction etc. and that they had better wake up and take notice. Yet, her message was falling on deaf ears. No one seemed to want to hear about it, let alone talk about it. She feels passionate about the urgency of the state of the planet but, at the same time, doesn’t want to risk losing her friendships. She asked me what I think she should do, and we set up a Skype call.

I shared with her that there can be a fine line to walk when sharing one’s truth about an issue with friends which has the potential to shake up their comfortable reality. What I’ve learned about truth speaking is that in order for one’s truth to be received by another we must get out of the way! That is to say, our words must be free of any taint of ego. If others sense we are coming from an egoic place, even a little bit, they will likely shut down. This is where discernment can be our closest ally.

I suggested some questions for self-inquiry:

Am I attached to my point of view? Are you able to have an open discussion about the issues, and if your ideas are rejected, will you take it personally? Are you willing to cede and/or modify one of your positions if a convincing opposing argument is made?

Am I being self-righteous in my tone, however subtle? Are you consciously or unconsciously assuming a morally superior attitude?

Is there some part of me seeking validation? Do you need to be “right” because your sense of self-worth would be otherwise threatened?

Am I playing a savior? Do you feel like it’s up to you to save your friends and the planet from some certain demise?

 

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When we are free of ego we come from a place of neutrality and naturally express our truth from a balanced place in the heart. This makes all the difference. Our passion about an issue remains in place, but there is no attachment to an outcome, and we maintain our inner peace whether our words are accepted or rejected. When we speak our truth from the heart our words will be infused with spiritual power and will create an opening in the energetic field between ourselves and the “other”, which invites receptivity. We trust that our words will be heard and received by those who are ready to hear and receive them. It is these souls with whom we can collaborate.

… and for those who are choosing to remain unconscious? We trust that we have planted a seed in their consciousness that has the potential to sprout and grow. Then, after a time, we may check in to see how our seedling is doing by opening up a new conversation, again, always holding to the non egoic place as the place of our true power. After all, it’s the human ego that got us into this predicament, and transmuting it through the open heart is our only way out. This is the realm of wisdom, intuition, inspiration, and even the miraculous. Nothing else will ever do.

As I write this, I can feel one of the The Hopi Elders tapping me on the shoulder, and I am reminded of their message to us from a few years back. With deep respect for their infinite wisdom, I give them the last word:

We Are the Ones
We’ve Been Waiting For
You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour.
And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.

Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally. Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

–The Elders Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

In this five part series we will learn how our limiting beliefs block the energy flows in the body and prevent us from functioning at our full potential. We’ll learn a unique set of keys to open the doorways between the chakra levels and awaken the movement of life force energy through the entire body. When used as a regular practice the seven keys become powerful tools for clearing negativity, fear, anger, and victimhood, fostering mental clarity, emotional balance, and the luminous presence within. The guide for our journey will be the handbook Returning to Oneness – The Seven Keys of Ascension by Leslie Temple-Thurston (available on http://www.amazon.com – paperback or kindle – and at https://www.corelight.org.)

Returning to Oneness

“A river of light, pure intelligence and love flows within each of us. When the river flows fully from head to toes, we feel happy, fulfilled and awake to our true nature as eternal, timeless beings.” Leslie Temple-Thurston

The teleconference will be held on five consecutive Saturdays from 10:00am -12:00pm PST beginning March 5 and ending April 2, 2016.  An optional sixth class will be offered on Saturday, April 9 for those who would like the opportunity to integrate the teachings more fully. In the spirit of service the series is offered by donation. Suggested value for the five classes: $100. Please register by email at garyb@fastmail.com and leave your contact information.

*{The calls are conducted and recorded via StartMeeting- a free and easy to use audio conferencing platform connecting by phone or integrated VoIP. International phone numbers are available. Details are provided upon registration for the conference.}

“Thank you for providing the Seven Keys journey for us. It was very powerful, meaningful, and instructive. I felt that you were very in tune with each of us and were able to wisely and gently guide our thoughts, emotions, and questions.” Amy Tirion, Founder of Delight for the Soul

In a discussion group the other day someone asked “Is there any one thing we can do on a daily basis, besides meditation, that will help us grow spiritually?” I felt into the question for a moment and the answer quickly floated into my awareness from my core: neutrality. “Yes. Practice neutrality,” I answered.

In truth, all wisdom, all inner knowing that we seek, emerges from our alignment with our spiritual core. And it is the practice of neutrality that takes us there. Neutrality naturally and effortlessly aligns our awareness/consciousness with a column of golden-white light that exists in our subtle body, or energy body. In Sanskrit it is called the shushumna, and it sits just in front of the physical spine and parallel to it, extending from head to toe and beyond – to the center of the galaxy above, as well as to the earth below. It is the gateway to higher consciousness and to the wisdom that exists outside of ego and our egoic limitations.

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So it is through the practice of neutrality throughout our day, moment to moment, that silences the egoic mind with its desires and fears, its likes and dislikes, and allows our awareness to come to rest. Peace, balance, equanimity, trust, faith, and more are the states of being that we find there.

What does it mean to be neutral…practically? How do we do neutrality? As my teacher often says, to be neutral is to be neither attracted to or repulsed by anything. With our Observer as our viewing point we watch the inevitable dramas of life play out, noticing our reactivity, noticing if and how we are pushed and pulled by our thoughts and emotions. Can we hold the higher mind and simply watch what is unfolding without identifying with it? If emotion is present can we allow it to be there without being pulled into reactivity? This is neutrality and the doorway into the peace at our core in the shushumna. By resting here more and more our consciousness will ascend.

Awhile back I was on the phone and verbally assaulted by someone. I was belittled and shamed and essentially told (with many more hateful words!) that I was incompetent and worthless. When I reminded this person that their unhappiness came from the choices they have made in life and not from me, they hung up the phone! Throughout the call I was able to witness the barrage from the higher neutral mind and see that these accusations were projections coming for this person’s inner pain and disconnect. My immediate internal response was forgiveness. That said, my emotional body felt shattered, as you might guess, after such a violent assault. My reaction was to breath deeply to allow the charged energy to dissipate and to go for a brisk walk.

Do you see how I was able to remain neutral, even while my emotional body was activated? If my response had been to go into anger and blame and verbally retaliate in some way, I would have lost my neutral observer. I would have been identified with the story, and by taking a side or a position I would have created a relationship of polarity with “the other”. I would have been in egoic consciousness and had a personal issue to process and clear.

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NeutraltySo by making a commitment to neutrality, putting it into practice as best we can, and processing our shortcomings we strengthen our neutral observer overtime. We begin to spend more time in our core state and with the peace and balance that we find there. Our ascension in consciousness begins and grows from here.

imagesBeyond our desires and fears, our anger and our pain a place of peace, equanimity and love awaits us at the level of the heart and beyond. In this full day seminar you will learn about the beauty and power of living from the heart chakra, or the spiritual heart, and how it serves as the doorway into expanded awareness and higher consciousness.

Our minds are polarized in nature creating the familiar teeter-totter of emotions that we experience daily. We may feel good one moment or on one day, then bad the next in an endless cycle of pleasure and pain. Over the course of our day together we will learn how to walk the “razors edge” between the ups and downs of life and begin to live from the still center of our being and from the love that naturally resides there. Our time together will include guided meditations to ground our new awarenesses.

Topics we will explore include:

the chakra energy system and the shushumna (the core light within)
the Human Imprint and the upward and downward spirals
the Neutral Witness and the path of the Middle Way
practical techniques for clearing the blocks that keep us from our hearts

The seminar will be held in San Francisco at a quiet Outer Richmond district location. Suggested donation: $75. Please bring a lunch. For questions or to reserve your space you may e-mail Gary at: garysnote@bluebottle.com

I invite you to join me as we explore the beauty and power of meditation and how you can begin to incorporate a meditation practice into your daily life.

Regular meditation is a way to increase energy. It helps us to release the stress of the day and to calm the nervous system. And a morning meditation gives us energy and inspiration to take on the day!

On a deeper/metaphysical level meditation cultivates our Silent Awareness, which Einstein called the Unified Field, and our true nature beyond the physical.

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In the classes you will learn:

  • what meditation is and how it can enrich your life
  • a simple but powerful meditation technique for “transcending’, or detaching from the mind
  • the practical aspects of establishing a meditation practice and supportive practices

In addition, there will be plenty of time to practice the technique within the group over two afternoons and lots of time for questions and answers.

Classes will be held from 2pm – 4:30pm on Saturday May 16th and Sunday May17th at a quiet Outer Richmond district location in San Francisco. Instruction is offered by donation. Suggested donation for the weekend is $75

To register or if you have questions please send an email to garysnote@bluebottle.com

I hope to see you there!