A Juice With A Buddhist Monk Revealed The Root Cause Of All Suffering

I had the pleasure of meeting a young monk recently who spent six months a year meditating in the mountains of France in a Buddhist monastery. We caught for a juice at Bondi Beach to discuss Buddhism and enlightenment.

I was going through a time of personal discovery and I was curious to hear his perspective on the cause of suffering. His response was remarkably simple and it completely changed my perspective on things. I recently had a family pet pass away, a family member that was sick, I had to move house, I had been in a minor car accident and I was grappling with constant challenges in a project that I was working on. It felt like there was a weight of burden fall over me.

The Buddhist monk put things very simply by saying that there are really only two causes of suffering:

1. We have this deluded idea that things will be permanent when in actually fact ALL forms and phenomenon are impermanent. Everything will pass and attachment to things staying the same will cause suffering.

2. We perceive ourselves and the world around us through our limited awareness as separate entities. The notion of duality, i.e. two things, is also the root cause of suffering.

I sat with this for the rest of the day in deep contemplation. I observed all forms and phenomenon and saw them for what they were…transitory things that will come and go. Family, pets, friends, cars, money, trees, my body, even the sun will all come and go. Nothing is permanent. My existence is like a blink of an eye lid in the history of the Universe. I come, then I go. Here and gone.

The next one was much deeper. It’s one thing to intellectualise that all things are One, and nothing is separate, but to experience this is altogether different. But at the subtlest level of existence this is true…the Unified Field of Oneness is the subtlest level of reality, a Uni-verse. One thing. And when there is one thing, there is no-thing that I am not. Then if I am all things there is no-thing lacking and no holes to fill in. We pass through life with a constant ache, trying to fill in perceived big black holes in our life. As we continue to fill all of these holes, like college degree, paying off the mortgage, getting married, making money, we find that there are simply more holes that keep opening up! It’s a never ending yearning that is never fully satiated. The ache continues to eat away inside me. Get more, need more.

Is the answer to continue to explore Oneness and realise there are no holes to fill? Yes there’s action, but what if the action was born out of completeness and an expression of fulfilment not for fulfilment?

This a simplistic perspective into the complexity of life. It doesn’t answer the dilemmas of plastic in the oceans, prejudice and racism, hunger and homelessness, domestic violence or the gazillion other issues facing humanity and the planet. But it sure got me thinking….

 

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How A Young Rich Kid Reminded Me Of A Valuable Lesson

There’s probably a good chance that you don’t quite feel you are where you want to be or that you ‘have enough’? Do you feel there is more that you could do or more that you could have? What does it actually feel like to have ‘more than enough’? It’s almost impossible to imagine right?

This is one of the most powerful forces that drives us into action and that also leaves us with a gnawing feeling of not ever truly being satisfied. The other day I was sitting at the front of the cafe having my standard cashew nut milk chai latte as you do in Bondi, when a very young man in a $500,000 McLaren sports car pulled up right out the front of the cafe. The door of his car swished open up to the sky like a spaceship, he got out of the car and walked into the cafe to order his takeaway coffee. As he stood there at the front of the cafe waiting for his coffee, I couldn’t help myself and I went up to him and asked about his car. I was curious as to how this very young man had accumulated such wealth to drive a car like this. He briefly told me that he acquired his wealth through property development and then finished the sentence with “but I wish I started when I was younger”.

His coffee was ready; he grabbed it, got back in the car and sped off down the road. I sat there thinking about his predicament…it still wasn’t enough for him. It’s not that he was a greedy human being, it’s that he suffers from the same ailment that we all do. We exist with an ego that simply is never truly content. It’s not possible for our ego to ever fully be satisfied. No matter where we are and how much we have, the ego is never truly satisfied. It always wants more and it will never have enough. Period.

Yet this is not who we are in our entire entirety. Can we feel fulfilled? Yes, we already are fulfilled. At our deepest level, in the depth of Being, we are all that there is. We are complete, whole, and there is no lack. Imagine the Divine or the Universe saying, “I need more!” It’s laughable right? Our sense of lack is a function of our disconnection to our unbounded Divine essence. When this connection becomes established and stabilised, those pangs of not having enough start to fade away and a deep sense of awe, wonder, gratitude and love flow through us. We simply Be.

Transcendence of the boundaries of individuation and separateness is key to making this connection. This is done through the art of meditation. Our unlimited Self is subtle and not found in the relative field. Cars, money, houses, partners, children, these are all very worldly tangible things. The divine, well this is very very subtle and not as obvious and easy to access than a car or a chai latte. So we seek the obvious and the most dense first. But if we ignore the subtle, then we will always be plagued with a sense of lack and wanting to fill in another hole.

Seeking is a function of the ego. Being is always there. Being is Love. Being is Stillness. Be.

How To Get Through A Dark Night Of The Soul

LightHave you recently been through a difficult time in your life, or may even be going through one right now? I have come across many friends and colleagues of late who have been experiencing something like this, myself included. 2017 was a challenging year and 2018 will be even more so it seems as we move through rapidly changing times. These dark days of suffering can be incredibly confronting, and they are experiences that all humans at some point face. The good news they will pass, and there are some things that you can do to move through them and that will help while you’re in it.
In the 16th century, a Spanish mystic called St John of The Cross wrote a book called The Dark Night of The Soul while he was in solitary confinement during the Spanish Inquisition. This was a revealing insight into his passage from the bind of his ego to the divine union (or as he calls it his “soul’s return to God”). During this process, he ventures through an emptiness beyond measure, a state of loss, desolation and darkness like never before. This emptiness is the no man’s land between the release of the bind of his egoic identity and the yet to be made union with the Divine or God. At some point, the union will be made, however it cannot be made while there is simultaneously the bond with the ego. So one must be surrendered before the other is discovered. He is neither John, the egoic identity, having already let that go, or at One with the Unbounded. Welcome to The Dark Night Of The Soul.

This is a process that we can pass through many times in our evolutionary path as we peel back layer upon layer of our false identity. Adyashanti, a revered Buddhist teacher says, “Enlightenment is a destructive process. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” As each conditioned action, thought, or emotional pattern is dissolved and removed from your being, you can experience an identity crisis, a sense of loss from what you have become so accustomed to.

It’s a lonely, dark, hollow feeling, a feeling of being lost and empty. It’s a time where you question everything and have no idea who you are any more. Do you recall ever going through this?

Hey, well it’s ok…there is a way through this and beyond that is immense light and love. This is a transition point from one level to the next. You are levelling up, and as you leave one floor, know that soon you will arrive on another floor with more expansive views that is brighter and more appealing. As St John of the Cross says: “The endurance of darkness is the preparation for great light.”

Here are some tips to support you through a dark night of the soul:

1. Withdraw. Recluse. Pull back. Your dark night is there for a reason, it is part of your growth and it’s time for inquiry. Most of our lives we spend in enquiry, that is, looking at the world outside of us. We are distracted daily by the glamour and glitz of life. But now, it’s time to look within. It’s time to INQUIRE. So try to avoid social commitments, get off your phone, look within and as much as possible, be gentle, kind and quiet with yourself.
2. Part of this solitude is to sit in stillness and meditate. It is in these deep states of consciousness that we connect to a deeper Truth. It’s where we find the wisdom and solutions. It’s where we find our Being, beyond the conditioned identity, beyond thoughts. St John says: “It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still.” In these times I increase my meditations from 2 a day to 3 a day to move through the process more quickly and come out the other side.
3. Sleep. Never underestimate the power of sleep. Sleep plays in integral role in the stress releasing process that is part of the dark night. Staying up late distracting yourself on the internet, drinking, watching TV or partying is exactly that, a distraction from the purpose of the dark night, to discover more of your Truth. Sleep is a period of time for the body and mind to have reprieve, restore balance and purify. Go to bed early, have naps, sleep in.
4. Ground yourself in Nature. Go barefoot into the forest. Let your feet connect to the skin of Mother Earth. Lie on the grass and feel yourself being pulled in to her. Henry David Thoreau wrote in 1853, “As for the complex ways of living, I love them not, however much I practice them. In as many places as possible, I will get my feet down to the earth.” There is nothing as simple and yet powerful than this.
5. Nourish your body and brain with wholesome food. Often in our dark states, when we don’t feel great, we are drawn to having low-grade food and drinks. Sugary food, alcohol, fatty foods and drugs can all be used as poor forms to feeling elevated. These will be temporary and not beneficial to the process that you must and will pass through. Now more than ever your body and brain needs good quality minerals, vitamins and nutrients that will be the building blocks to your development. Your body is part of this upgrade that you are going through so look after it well.
6. Seek knowledge. I find its times like this that I devour books. Predominantly spiritual texts that are choc full of wisdom. Some of my favourites are the Yoga Vasistha, Baghavad Gita, Dark Night of the Soul, Play of Consciousness and The Science of Being and the Art Of Living. There is a Sanskrit phrase yad bhavam tat bhavati which mean ‘what we think we become’. So the nature of our mind transforms our reality and putting our mind on these profound insights and words in these books will help you through one of these dark nights.
7. Seek Counsel. There are many who have walked this path before us. They know the road and can support you as you take your turn to navigate it. Find someone that you can openly talk to. Not a friend, not a family member, someone who will non-judgementally support you through this challenging time. Be it a coach, mentor, counsellor, guru or guide. As the saying goes, “when the student is ready, the teacher will come.”
8. Know this will pass. One thing that you can absolutely be assured of, that time will pass everything. The dark night is not your punishment, it is not some random accident, it is not your life sentence… it is part of your journey to a better more enlightened experience in life. To move through it, be aware of what lies beyond. Have faith and a deep knowingness that on the other side you will feel clearer, more connected, more love, and lighter. When you know this and hold this vision, guess what? You will arrive there soon after. This is evolution and there is ONLY evolution.

You might have more tools and techniques that help you pass though these passages of darkness. Please, share them with us, we would love to hear about them. And if you feel challenged, lost or are struggling with things, there is a pathway forward and be sure to reach out to someone that will support you through it.

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Simple Routes to Spiritual Transformation

We tend to talk about spirituality a lot, but what do we actually mean? In some cases, it’s a reference to your soul or your own inner being. It’s that part of you that is independent of your physical existence: the essence of your you-ness and the guiding light that motivates you to be better. If you find yourself on the wrong path – like so many of us do from time to time – spiritual transformation is your route back to happiness, contentment, and fulfillment in life.
 
In the modern era, people are taking their spirituality into their own hands. Today, we’re more likely to search for our own answers to spiritual questions than to try to use religion to explain those things that trouble us. The best part is that there are so many ways to actually explore your own spirituality; you can try as many methods as you like in order to find the one that works the best for you. So long as you are devoting time to developing yourself as a person, you’re sure to feel the inspired as you lead your purposeful life.

What are some of the most common spiritual practises? The following activities can help you to get in touch with your own spirituality:
• Prayer. The act of prayer is common to many of the major religions around the world, which can be done communally or individually. When you pray, you are trying to converse to some greater power or deity, and your words may remain silent in your head, they may be spoken out loud, or they may be sung or chanted. Prayers can take the form of requests for guidance, praise and worship, confession of sinful acts, or expressions of gratitude.

• Yoga. Yoga was originally sourced from Hinduism, but since its ancient origins it hasbeen incorporated into Eastern religions including Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It has also spread throughout the west as a tenet of new age spirituality. Yoga connects the body, mind, and spirit through specific postures.

• Meditation. Meditation is the cultivation of the mind and it is also a main tenet of many Eastern religions. However, meditation is now being practised all over the world by people who are looking to put an end to their mental unrest, feel real happiness, and find inner Stillness. The incredible popularity of meditation is probably due to the fact that it’s a flexible practise that can be practised pretty much anywhere. The individual need only be committed to the goal of achieving spiritual transformation.

Other spiritual practises include vegetarianism, spending time outdoors, fasting, pilgrimages, and attending religious ceremonies. But how do these practises actually change you for the better?

How Spiritual Practises Can Change You
Perhaps you’ve tried praying, practising yoga, or meditating, with little or no success. Don’t be afraid to admit it if you’ve been intrigued by one or more of the above-mentioned spiritual practises, but never really saw results you expected. Well, the truth about nourishing your spirituality through these activities is that the changes you see in yourself won’t happen overnight. It takes repeated effort in the long-term to really see yourself being spiritually transformed. Once you are committed to your goal of making a change in your life, it can’t hurt to access the resources that are available to you.

Stillness is a meditation-based practice that helps people to cultivate and nourish their own sense of spirituality. It’s based on a practical approach to spiritual transformation in the twenty-first century; one that accepts that we live in a fast-paced world where it’s hard to slow down, even for a moment. Stillness can help you to find that sense of inner peace through access to your very own personalized Stillness Sound. When you use a Stillness Sound to help you meditate, pray, or relax, you will be instantly transported to a state of being that is an expression of your own inner essence – and there it is entirely possible to attain bliss. To find out more about how to bring more stillness to your life below with these 3 free videos:

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My Son asked me: “Dad, What does it mean to be spiritual?”

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It’s not every day that your 14-year-old son asks you “Dad, What does it mean to be a spiritual person?”
He had my attention! Not quite what I expected for a breakfast conversation.

I paused for a moment thinking about how to respond in a way that would be digestible for a 14 year old.

And so it went…

There are 4 dimensions or planes that you exist through.
1. Physical
2. Emotional
3. Mental
4. Spiritual

Number 1, the physical, or our body, is the most obvious and densest. You can touch it, feel it, and see it. Two, is how we feel, so things like happiness, sadness, anger and fear. Number three is our range of thoughts inside our head. This is like our software that continually gets programmed and reprogrammed from the day we are born. Then four, spiritual, being the lightest and subtlest, which is our unseen, unheard and immeasurable part of us. It’s a part of us that never changes, and can be called the Divine, Spirit or Self with a capital ’S’. Another way to think of this is by using water. It can be ice, water, steam and vapour. And yet it is all the same …H2O

Naturally, most people relate to their physical body as a large part of their identity because it is so tangible and obvious. Yet interestingly it is the one that has the most limitations.

Because our spiritual dimension is so subtle and lacking in density, many people often ignore it. Our attention is easily diverted to the glossiness and glamour of the physical world and then also to the next dense, the world of feeling. However when we allocate our attention to the vast aspect of our spiritual dimension, we discover how unlimited we are.

A spiritual person is someone that is devoting a lot of their time to explore the least tangible and yet unlimited aspect of them. In effect we are all spiritual beings, only some are enthusiastic about discovering more of this realm. Some people are very interested in the intellectual aspect of life, by devouring lots of philosophical books and engaging in stimulating intellectual conversations. Descartes the French philosophy said, “I think therefore I am” so one may assume that he relished exploring his mental plane. Someone like a monk who wants to sit in meditation all day and transcend body, mind and emotions would be considered to be a ‘spiritual person’. However this doesn’t mean we have to be a monk to connect to our spiritual plane.

We all have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual planes. We get to choose how much time and attention we allocate to each part of us. A balanced life would be to attend to all four planes evenly and daily. Here are some examples:
– Physical: Watch what you eat, exercise regularly, rest well and stretch.
– Emotional: Allow your feelings to be expressed without stifling them, however be aware if you are indulging in negative feelings as a way of choice. Be proactive with your feeling level and shift your feeling to lightness and joy.
– Mental: Daily upgrade your software. Many of our thoughts are conditioned into us from our parents, peers, religions, media and colleagues. You can upgrade your thoughts with positive books, lectures, courses and contemplation.
– Spiritual: Transcending in meditation is the portal to our spiritual plane. The spiritual plane is so subtle and intangible, that de-excitation of the mind and body daily in meditation will give you access to this unlimited vastness it.

Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins once said, “I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there.”  Spirituality is the exploration of that. And this concluded our breakfast conversation and off he went to school.

 

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Why Your Spiritual Practice Could Be Holding You Back

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If you have a daily practice, be it meditation, prayer, yoga, or a religion of some sort, there is every chance that it is holding you back from realising the entire grandness of who you are.

Think of your spiritual practice like a cast on a broken leg or arm. (Please bear with me while I labor on this metaphor). You have a bone that is damaged and needs stability to allow it’s natural healing process to repair it. Remembering here that it’s not the cast that is repairing the bone, all the cast is doing is creating a stable environment so that the bone will do what it is capable of doing, healing itself.

But you get excited by this cool looking cast. It’s your point of difference to everyone else. You show it to people and even get people to draw on it and write on it. It grabs a lot of attention wherever you go, with many people starting up conversations about this new thing in your life. You openly tell everyone about how you had this damaged bone; you go into the intricate details of how you broke it, and how this amazing cast is healing your bone.

Over time though, the bone heals, and it’s time to take the cast off and let go of all the attachment to the cast. Its task is complete and it’s not longer needed. But you love this cast. You have people’s names on it and you become so attached to this incredible thing that healed your bone. You don’t want to let go of it, and you want to keep it on. After all, it saved your arm or leg right?!

So you keep it on, and overtime it becomes infected. You get sores and wounds appear beneath the cast. You still refuse to let it go, after all, the cast saved you! Now it leads to a major infection that turns to gangrene. But this cast saved my arm, and now my arm is infected!? How can this be so? Isn’t my cast the saviour? How could this be??

I’m not here to tell you that I am God, I’m here to tell you that you are God.”
– Swami Nithyananda

Many of us require stability and guidance while we heal and find our essence. These structures, like our spiritual disciplines or sadhanas, our gurus and sages, are there for precisely that reason- to help us go within, to help us repair physically, emotionally and mentally (I don’t say spiritually because spirit is never damaged or broken). They help us reconnect to our Divine Grace. Sounds woo woo perhaps, so let me rephrase that. Within you is the essence of love, the same essence of love that is in your gurus, religious leaders, yoga teachers or idols. They may have the ability to remind you, guide you and help you feel secure and stable while you reconnect to this inner fire. But nonetheless, it’s ALWAYS within you.

I need to add here, I’m not advocating walking away from daily meditation, yoga, prayer or religion. I have my daily practice of stillness, stretching and contemplation and always will. But if we continue to always put ourselves below our practice or gurus, then we will never fully Self-Realise the magnificence of who we are as a Soul. Your tradition or religion is a structure. It maybe a very relevant structure that supported you and carried you through a difficult time. But whatever greatness and love you found in that structure, it is within you also. At some point, (is that now?) we have to realise that we are ALL OF IT too.

Just as it is inscribed on the wall at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, ‘Know Thyself’

Divinity is Divinity. Grace is Grace. Love is Love. It’s all within you.

To explore spirituality and the soul more please feel free to check out my book Spirit & Soul. In this book you will explore the seven states of consciousness. After reading this you will feel elevated and light. Click below to find out more. Spirit & Soul 3D

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If You Are Looking For Inspiration, Check Out These 6 People!

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Firstly I need to clarify, I’m not a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist and neither am I an atheist. I’m just a guy walking a path seeking answers to life. I’m a guy trying to find Truth, a Truth beyond the layers of dogma and conditioning. I’m a guy trying to break free of suffering, desires and neediness. It’s a tough journey at times and often I fail miserably at this and other times I soar like an eagle.

Along the way I turned to people for inspiration. People that represent wisdom, love and light. I’ve found many that have carried me through difficult times by their actions and words. They have guided me to live more from the heart and to love unconditionally.

There was Sri Anandamayi Ma, the beautiful divine incarnation of feminine form. She once said:
“My consciousness has never associated itself with this temporary body. Before I came on this earth ‘I was the same’. As a little girl ‘I was the same’. ………. Ever afterward, though the dance of creation changed around me, in the hall of eternity ‘I shall be the same’”

Then I came across Ramana Maharshi, a swami saint in India from the early 1900’s who said:
“Our own self-realization is the greatest service we can render the world.”

I can’t forget St John of the Cross, the Spanish mystic and Catholic Saint, who carried me through a dark time with his book Dark Night Of The Soul. In this he said:
“In the twilight of life, God will not judge us on our earthly possessions and human successes, but on how well we have loved.”

There was Buddha, the prince to a kingdom, husband to Yashodra and father to a child, who walked away from it all to find enlightenment. He said:
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

And I would say this man is the number one reason I am meditating today- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This Swami played a key role in bringing Vedic Meditation to the western world. It’s because of him that I am able to sit in blissful meditation twice a day. He once said:  “There is no need to suffer in life- the ocean of bliss is in everyone.”

There were many many more, but there was one guy that I would say inspired me the most. Interestingly this guy had a huge PR machine behind him with 4 guys documenting their time with him. Now it wasn’t like they had an iPhone recording every word he said. No, they remembered things he said and did and then wrote it down decades later in a book. So you’ll have to forgive them if they used a little poetic licence.

Now this guy, we don’t really know much about him even though the book about him is the highest selling book in the world! This book left out 18 years of his life from the age of 12 till 30, and most of this book only captured 3 years of his life when he hung out chatting with 12 guys most of the day. He also had an ‘interesting relationship’ with a woman called Mary Magdalene which we don’t know much about either.

This guy loved to challenge the establishment. He became furious one day in a temple throwing the tables of the gamblers over. He became disillusioned and confronted by his shadow-side when he ventured into the desert on his own for 40 days. He also like challenged the political establishment and ruffled a few feathers there with quotes like:
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Now back in the time this would be bold statement to make yeh?

But what really inspired me was the way this man loved. He loved unconditionally. He loved the sick, the poor, the downtrodden, women and men all equally. Here he said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

I’m not into idolatry. But I do seek inspiration at times and these are some of the people along my path that have given me so much knowledge and have reminded me of who I am. How about you? Who has inspired you on your path? I’d love to hear below.

 

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4 Steps On How To Live More Spiritually

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Many people have a goal of becoming spiritual, but how does one actually go about doing it? We are all able to grow without exerting any specific efforts, because as humans we have been given the drive and motivation to evolve, overcome, survive, and ultimately thrive as we move through life. Spiritual and personal growth often happen naturally.

So, should you be concerned about who you are spiritually? Or where you’re at in your life when it comes to what kind of person you want to be?

Actually, there are a lot of reasons why you should take an active approach to your own spiritual practice:
• Developing your spirituality helps you to expand your awareness as a person and ultimately contributes to personal growth
• Spiritual growth in particular is your way of getting in tune with the larger universe and seeing life from a broader perspective – this can help you to achieve peace and contentment
• Learning about spiritual practices can help you to uncover new aspects of your personality and can challenge you to understand different ways of life other than your own

When you decide to improve upon or develop your spirituality, you are making a commitment to understanding your own inner nature. However, simply saying that you want to be more spiritual will not get you anywhere. Just like you need to exercise and eat a balanced diet in order to lose weight or maintain your health, you also have to ‘practise’ your spirituality in order to become spiritual.

Meditation and Spirituality
Meditation is becoming more and more popular as a means of helping people to nurture their spirituality. People who meditate practise getting in tune with their own inner self on a regular basis, and a spiritual presence or a feeling of being connected to the divine follows naturally.

Four Steps Towards Greater Spiritual Growth
You can use these four simple steps to get on the right track when it comes to inspiring personal growth.

1.Read spiritual texts.
Even if you’re not religious, texts like the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, Yoga Vashishta or the Qur’an contain valuable messages that can help you to learn more about your own existence, your inner self, and the divine presence. Remember that underneath every religion is a desire to improve mankind, and although certain religious groups have strayed from that path at one point or another, you can still use religious works to nurture your spirituality.

2. Attend public celebrations of spirituality.
Once again, even if you’re not religious, religious ceremonies, group meditations and public celebrations can help you to see the bigger picture. As humans, we all have an innate desire to connect to a higher power and to find that source within our lives. When you go to a temple or attend mass with your family on a regular basis, you will feel like you are a part of something much larger than yourself. Choose a form of public worship that works for you.

3. Practise social justice.
There is nothing like spending your time helping others to make you feel more whole. When you volunteer or take some time out of your day to do something for someone other than yourself, you will stop seeing the world in terms of your own selfish needs and wants. You are able to open yourself up to new possibilities and give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Your contribution to the world doesn’t have to be gigantic, so long as at least one person is affected by your kindness and compassion.

4. Pray and meditate.
Meditation and prayer are two routes to the same goal of spiritual and personal growth. When you meditate you connect your inner self with a higher power and when you pray you speak directly to the same presumed higher power. Both of these practises can help you to focus your attention on your relationship with God and try to find contentment in your life. Practising Stillness will help you to focus on this goal through meditation.

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What is New Age Spirituality?

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New age spirituality refers to a non-unified set of beliefs and practices that emerged towards the end of the twentieth century in the western world. The foundations of new age spirituality are built upon both eastern and western religious traditions, and the belief system is inclusive to ideas from self-help books such as The Secret and the Law of Attraction, a holistic approach to health, motivational and positive psychology research, studies in both consciousness and awareness, and scientific principles such as those explained in quantum physics. “New agers,” as they are called, don’t limit their belief system to one particular doctrine.

A Sign of the Times: History of the New Age Spirituality Movement
New age spirituality started to appear in the early nineteen-sixties as people began to reject formalized institutions and question the cultural values of their parents’ generation. As the masses spoke out in favor of racial equality, gender equality, sexual freedom, and peace, there was a movement towards pluralistic religious beliefs. A number of people began to reject religious institutions in favor a personalized belief system encompassing a wide range of metaphysical ideas.

The shift represented a change in the way that people view their own spirituality. Instead of confirming to inflexible, restrictive, and outdated religious dogmas, people realized that they could take their spirituality into their own hands in order to get closer to the divine creator. Moreover, due to the inclusive nature of new age spirituality, there was a sense of acceptance and liberalism towards other belief systems and values.

New Age Spirituality Today
Today, the new age spirituality movement is still thriving. Many people choose to reject organized religions or to pick and choose the beliefs that they identify with. This method of developing one’s spirituality draws from the idea that spirituality is innate and one must find his or her own path towards spiritual nourishment.
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Meditation has become one of the core tenets of new age spirituality. With recent research touting the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of meditation, a lot of people have opted to access this technique in order to promote their own total well-being. Even those who still identify with an organized religion such as Christianity can benefit from meditation, because it promotes relaxation and is non-intrusive to one’s pre-existing beliefs. Meditation is a way of cultivating inner Stillness and bringing oneself closer to the divine.

New Age Spirituality and You
New agers have no specified spiritual leader and no rigid belief system. As such, if you are looking to further understand your spirituality, you can adopt this worldview. Within the realm of new age spirituality you are free to believe what it is that you want to believe and engage in the religious traditions that help you to connect with God. Regardless of what you believe or what you may have been taught growing up, you’re given the freedom to understand the world from a viewpoint that makes sense to you. Instead of conforming, you choose your own set of spiritual guidelines.

Meditation is one core practise of new age spirituality that you can truly benefit from. Not only can it provide a practical solution to a hectic, stress-filled lifestyle, but regular meditation also comes attached to health benefits such as increased longevity, reduced susceptibility to the common cold and flu, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. People that meditate have also been found to be happier overall and more likely to show compassion in their day-to-day interactions with others.

The concept of Stillness is so simple but so powerful. New age spirituality recognizes this important goal and enables followers to find it through their own means. When you join the Stillness Movement you open the door to experiencing a spiritual re-awakening. You gain the knowledge and the tools you need to take your spirituality into your own hands and start nourishing your connection with your creator. If you would like to find out how to start practising Stillness, take some time to learn more about this exciting spiritual undertaking with this simple Gentle Breath Meditation here…

Gentle Breath Meditation 1

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How My Religion Held Me Back And Why I Had To Let It Go

religionI was brought up in a large Irish Catholic family. Around Easter time we would attend Easter Thursday evening mass, Good Friday morning Stations of the Cross, Good Friday afternoon 2-hour mass service, then the late and very long Saturday evening Mass service. It was a church marathon, and me being the good altar boy that I was, would serve at everyone one of these wearing my red and white altar boy outfit.

Do you feel connected to a religion? I certainly did. I would pray each night before bed, say the rosary after dinner with the family, not eat any food an hour before communion, say an act of contrition if I felt did something naughty so didn’t go to hell, go to confession once a month, and carry a guilt with me for years about my fallibilities. But beyond all those rules and regulations, I also developed a deep connection to the man that the religion was built on. Jesus Christ.

As the years went by, I explored deeper into spirituality, meditation, consciousness and the soul. I came to an awakening that beyond all the man-made structures of this religion, there was something very simple and pure. Something that transcended all the imitations, the fear and the human conditioning that comes with a religion. I realised that there was a simple message, and that was all I needed to connect with. That message was to walk with gentleness, kindness and as the embodiment of love.

I discovered that I no longer needed a religion to inspire me to do that. Sure there are inspiring people that walked this planet that can help guide me, however I didn’t need to belong to a club to do that. It was something that I had to diligently apply each day. Hey, I’m not totally there yet. This is an ongoing journey, a journey we are all on. Our TRUTH at our deepest level is that we are love and everything love stands for, and our life is a process to re-discover this, or…. to RE-MEMBER our Oneness in love.

Am I suggesting you walk away from your religion now? No, certainly not. Think of a broken leg. To stabilise and heal the leg we place a cast around it. This cast is a firm structure to create stability while the leg grows. But after some time we need to release the structure of the cast and let it go. If not, it will go from being a source of healing to a source of damage as it causes things like gangrene or atrophy in the leg.

So rather walking away from your religion if you have one, and this goes for spiritual practice also, ask yourself some questions:

1. Does my religion or spiritual practice move me towards love or away from love towards fear?

2. Does my religion or spiritual practice promote gentleness and kindness?

3. Does my religion or spiritual practice help me feel more at peace with myself?

4. Does my religion or spiritual practice help me dissolve the boundaries of separation and enhance a feeling of Oneness?

5. Does my religion or spiritual practice inspire humility, generosity and wisdom?

How’d you go with those questions? Often we just continue to do the same thing over and over again without really questioning why we do the things we do. Religions can be like this. One of my favourite quotes is from the Dalai Lama:
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
Wise words from a wise man.

Please share with us your thoughts on this. It’s a prickly subject, so if this resonates with you or is something that you disagree with, either way, I’d love to hear from you below. Thanks.

And if you’d like to read more about spirituality and consciousness, you may like to explore my book Spirit & Soul. In this book I take you deep down the rabbit hole as we delve into the the 7 states of consciousness. Reading this book will elevate and enlighten you. As one reader by the name of Phil wrote: “Your Spirit and Soul book was astonishing in it’s clarity and simplicity. It is so revealing and inspiring.”

Click below to get your copy.

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