May 03

VIDEO

Pink Panther Teaches timeless wisdom.

A while back, a friend was sitting in a waiting room listening to an Alan Watts lecture on his iPod.

Distracted, he glanced up at the TV screen fixed to the wall above him. It was showing the classic Pink Panther episode “The Pink Phink”.

At that moment, something amazing happened; Watts’ words became perfectly juxtaposed with the visual. The storyline of the cartoon was flawlessly in sync with Watt’s wisdom.

So, here it is for your viewing pleasure: Pink Panther and his little friend playing a hilarious game of duality and pointing, with Alan Watts, to nondual awareness.

If you can’t see the video above, Click Here.

The Watts extracts are from ‘You’re It!: On Hiding, Seeking, and Being Found’ ©2009 Sounds True. The Pink Panther episode is ©2006 MGM.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/05/03/video-10/

May 03

What Calls the Eye to See?

It isn’t that appearance is spread before and the seer watches remaining behind. It’s his ‘pulsation’ when he sees himself! ~ Jnanadeva

What you are now stands before me immortal and true. I see it in the ground underfoot, and in the clouds in the sky, and in the mist gathering among the canyons, and in the face of the old man walking his grandchild down the sidewalk.

In the robes of monks I see it, and in the rags worn by the women begging for change outside the supermarket. I see it in the sympathetic eyes of the mother greeting her young son as he returns home from the war, and in the father trying to comfort his baby daughter as he stands in line at the grocery store. I see it in the curve of my face in the mirror, and in the multitudes of stars in the sky.

I not only see it but I hear it as well. I hear it in the cries of the newborn baby hungry for its mother’s breast, and in the laughter of the old men sitting in the donut store together, and in the quiet sobs of the man placing flowers at his wife’s grave. I hear it in the ancient chants echoing through the open window of the old church, and in the ladies sitting on benches in the garden laughing with delight, and in the man working at the butcher shop asking his customers “Who’s next?”

What calls the ear to listen or the eye to see more than the surface façade that shrouds the essential spirit? Parting the strata and dross, what is essential picks its way through the manicured narrative of endless lives. In each moment of every day, Truth is not lacking or held in abeyance for some later date; it is given in full measure, and abundantly so.

Don’t be afraid of what appears to be chaos or dissolution — embrace the full measure of your life at any cost. Bare your heart to the Unknown and never look back. What you are stands content, invisible, and everlasting. All means have been provided for our endless folly to split open into eternal delight.

Awakening is all about perspective. From a narrow focus on personal identity, we awaken into an infinitely vast yet intimate view, where we see everything as it really is: eternal and sacred.

~ Also, you can see/hear Renate McNay’s interview with Adya for Conscious TV. (56 mins)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/05/03/what-calls-the-eye-to-see/

May 03

Seeing is Freeing

From, Perth, Western Australia, Clearsight offers a transpersonal counselling service in-person or by phone. ‘Transpersonal’ comes from: trans persona, which means, going beyond or behind the mask or mind-made sense of “me”.

You can see/hear Dr Lukoff gives brief introduction to Transpersonal Psychology >>>HERE. We also speak more about it on our Web site. If you’d like to find out more, contact Pearl.

We also recommend: Undivided: the Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology which was launched last October by editor-in-chief, John Prendergast, Ph.D. It’s free, peer-reviewed, multimedia and interactive.

The journal focuses on the confluence of nondual awareness and psychology and includes sections on contemplative essays, articles by nondual teachers and about nondual teachings, clinical practice, video and audio talks, book reviews, poetry and doctoral dissertations.

The Spring 2012 issue will be online this May. Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/05/03/seeing-is-freeing/

May 02

What’s Jnana Yoga?

Julia Tindall outlines the three main approaches to Jnana Yoga (pronounced, yana yoga) — the path of intuitive knowing.

Have you ever felt that there must be something more to life, something beyond our mundane experience of the everyday world? From our childhood on we are programmed to conform to the reality we perceive around us, the reality that our family and friends perceive.

We are conditioned to believe that we are only our personality, our thoughts. Yet, this is not so. The conditioned mind and structured personality are just a set of energies that overlay the original Self. Then how do we discover the nature of this original Self?

Jnana yoga is a system of Self-inquiry whereby we gradually let go of our identification with the personality until the true Self is revealed. Just as hatha yoga stretches and opens the body, jnana yoga stretches and opens the mind.

As we dissolve our description of reality, we realize the world is different to what we had imagined before. Life becomes new, fresh. We become more discerning, more peaceful inside. Insights and clarity arise more readily and our lives become balanced and filled with Grace.

There are three main methods used in this Self-inquiry. The first is called “activating the witness consciousness”. Our witness is our unbiased, neutral, eternal Self. It is who we really are. In order to cultivate our witness we consciously and deliberately examine how we feel, think, and behave.

With this, we gradually strip away our layers of social conditioning and identification with the ego. We discover that the mind and awareness are not the same and that there is an intelligent part of us that can observe our mind dispassionately.

The second method is to ask the question “Who am I?’ The approach used here is normally a stripping away of who we are not, which leads us to a place beyond the mind where nothing remains to describe the individual being but the true, essential nature of the Self.

The third technique involves bringing what has been unconscious into consciousness. It’s important to uncover and dissolve the hidden patterns wedged in our unconscious in order to be free of them, as the newness and freshness constantly coming to us from Source is blocked by these patterns.

Here we look at aspects of ourselves such as our unconscious behaviors, habits and addictions. We bring what has been in the dark into the light. It’s as though we have to understand the functioning of this human system fully before we can move beyond

it. We own all of our parts, and then we let them go.

As we progress in our practice of jnana yoga, we take a step back and observe ourselves on the stage of life, playing our role, like watching a movie on a screen. We are the actor, yet we also get to write our own script. Our witness is really our Divine Self watching the ego living life in this way.

The more we strengthen our identification with our witness and the less with our egoic personality, the more we grow spiritually. As this process continues, we experience an emptying out, a letting go of our attachments, desires, fears, and stories.

The more we empty, the greater our Presence and our love; the less we attach, the greater our delight and joy in the mystery of life; and the more we cultivate acceptance, the greater our contentment. We experience a “lightening up”. Indeed, this is the process of achieving “en-lighten-ment”.

~ by Julia Tindall (coming to Perth to give a weekend Jnana Yoga workshop, Oct. 2012.)

~ For more on the techniques and practices of jnana yoga, see Julia’s two books, 20 Questions for Enlightened Living and Your Presence is Enough and Website.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/05/02/whats-jnana-yoga/

May 02

Man’s Best Friend

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
~ Robert Heinlein

All little boys should have a cat so that they’re not so stunned and unprepared when they grow up and meet a real woman.
~ Murphy Malloy Kall

There’s a lot of difference between a dog and a woman. When you come home at night, a dog don’t care where you been.
~ Lewis Grizzard

It’s obvious who is man’s best friend … if you locked your wife and your dog together in the broom cupboard for a couple of hours … when you finally open the door to let them out, which one of them is going to be pleased to see you?!
~ Anon.

~ To see/hear Eckhart Tolle and ‘dog-whisperer’, Cesar Millan, discuss living with dogs, Click Here.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/05/02/mans-best-friend/

Apr 29

Secular Vs Religious Spirituality

Q: I heard the Dalai Lama say that secular spirituality is more important than religious spirituality. Do you think your teaching belongs to this category?

A: It’s a good distinction. Religious spirituality is usually associated with a long tradition and certain stories. Secular spirituality is basically this: It doesn’t deny God or the transcendent, but it doesn’t mix God or the transcendent with stories that one needs to believe.

Of course, you can have spirituality within a religion. You can have religion with spirituality, and you can have religion without spirituality — which also happens quite often. Religion without spirituality is just ideology, such as certain belief structures in the collective mind that one identifies with, and that’s not helpful.

And then at other times, religion may still have its stories and rituals, and even beliefs, but they are no longer so dense that the light of consciousness cannot shine through. Religion can be an open door into the realm of the transcendent, or religion can be a closed door, depending on how it’s used. Then comes something relatively new, which I suppose is secular spirituality. We can call it that.

Although he represents ancient religious traditions, the Dalai Lama seems to be moving in that direction. He once said: “I believe deeply that we must find, all of us together, a new spirituality. This new concept ought to be elaborated alongside the religions in such a way that all people of good will could adhere to it.”

There’s no need to give up your religion as a result of this teaching, but you can deepen it. As the Quaker writer, Ralph Heatherington, once put it …

“Spirituality seems to refer to something inherent in the individual rather than in the institution, developing from first-hand experience rather from a culturally loaded system of beliefs acquired from social training. It speaks of awareness, sensitivity, openness, and compassion. It’s a marker of personality development towards wholeness and realisation of our Potential. The term religious experience would, in this sense, mean spiritual experience in a religious context.”

Also, the wise words of Indian philosopher and statesman, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan seem relevant in closing …

“Religion” he wrote, “begins for us with an awareness that our life is not of ourselves alone. There is another, greater life, enfolding and sustaining us. Religion, as man’s search for this greater self … will not accept any creeds as final or any laws as perfect. It will be evolutionary, moving ever onward.

“The witness to this spiritual view is borne, not only by the great religious teachers and leaders of mankind, but by the ordinary man in the street, in whose inmost being the well of the spirit is set deep. In our normal experience events happen which imply the existence of a spiritual world.

“The fact of prayer or meditation, the impulse to seek and appeal to a power beyond our normal self, the moving sense of a revelation which the sudden impact of beauty brings, the way in which decisive contacts with certain individuals bring meaning and coherence into our scattered lives, suggest that we are essentially spiritual.

“To know oneself is to know all we can know and all we need to know. A spiritual as distinct from a dogmatic view of life remains unaffected by the advance of science and criticism of history. Religion generally refers to something maternal, a system of sanctions and consolations, while spirituality points to the need for knowing and living in the highest self and raising life in all its parts. Spirituality is the core of religion and its inward essence, and mysticism emphasises this side of religion.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/04/29/secular-vs-religious-spirituality/

Apr 29

Breaking Free of Belief

For awhile I lived a very comfortable religious life. I believed I had some sense of experiencing God. Experiencing God was that warm fuzzy feeling one felt during worship, or maybe praying with others or during a good sermon. That was the extent of what I felt experiencing God amounted to. I was perfectly comfortable living out taught beliefs.

There came a time after I had incorporated meditation into my spiritual disciplines and began to really encounter the presence of God within that I no longer found these taught beliefs and doctrines fitting in with my sense of what I was beginning to feel was true.

I struggled to find ways to incorporate them in the new paradigm I found myself merging into. I tried rationalizing and twisting them almost beyond recognition in order to conform. But it was to no avail. The pursuit amounted to being as futile as trying to jam the wrong puzzle piece into the wrong space. They just wouldn’t fit.

The struggle to believe in my presupposed ideas based on the doctrines I was ascribing to and their conflict with the truths I was receiving was becoming the source of my undoing. This process was suffocating me spiritually to the point where I was ceasing to find life, light and meaning in my beliefs at all. I could just see walls, like those of a prison, hindering the full view of which I had only caught glimpses of through moments of meditation. Walls, that had to come down.

I realized I wasn’t after hollow doctrine. I was after truth and thirsted to experience that truth first-hand. I wanted God, not man’s words about God, to reign in my heart. Contemplative prayer and other forms of meditation allowed me to realize that that was truly possible.

I would, however, have to let go of all that I once held dear in order to find the greatest treasure of all buried within my soul: God Himself. I would have to sell all of my land just for that one field where I knew the treasure to be buried and then spend the rest of my efforts in separating dirty ego from divine Self in discovering it.

Imagine God being like a powerful river swiftly flowing. It was as if I was relying on people’s interpretations of the river and merely viewing it from a portrait that they had painted of it. And then, still more, reviewing charts regarding the facts that defined it.

Memorizing the rules that determined its nature and the outlines of its topography and where one could swim, where one couldn’t and who was allowed to swim. The problem was, there was no swimming going on at all.

It’s as if I stood by the bank one day realizing the beauty and reality of the river and decided that rather than studying it from afar it’d be tons more fun to just jump in and let it carry me away, becoming one with it’s flow and rhythm. My experiences of meditation up to that point had gotten my feet wet. Now I wanted to saturate my soul as well.

I wanted no more barriers between myself and God and at last decided it was time to strip myself of the dogma that clothed my sense of what was real spiritually and take the plunge into the swift waters. Doing so has released in me the sense of merging into the great I Am and given me glimpses of what it’s like to live in the great We Are. Not fully, but enough to know it’s possible.

There are still rocks I reach out and cling to in desperation, as I feel truth sweeping me in its current and my own inner insecurities resisting it, trying to slow it down because it’s all so much to process in one experience.

There are a lot of analogies that use the illustration of the river to symbolize truth, reality and God. Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend regarding the truth and how it cannot be contained … only experienced. The book I’m currently reading, The Wisdom of Insecurity, by Alan Watts, illustrates this idea perfectly.

“You cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run. To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run. The same is true of life and of God.”

For so long I hadn’t just tried to “capture truth in a bucket” but I allowed it to be served to me on a platter. Served to me in the form of other men’s words and visions about God without experiencing my own. I had to learn to surrender myself to God and the process of understanding unhindered by labels and superficial rules.

I had to trust my own inner voice and not the voices of others. I felt my subconscious beckoning me to cease my struggling and to flow with the current and not resist it. For God is the current itself, the ever changing flow of what Is.

Alan Watts talks about ‘the law of reversed effort’ and how when we struggle against the water we sink but when we stop struggling we float. Finally, when I stopped struggling to cling to my preconceived notions of belief, trying to fit them in to interpret my experience, I rose to the surface of the water I had been submerged in and my spiritual lungs began to fill up with the air they so desperately needed.

~ To read the complete article, Click Here.

~ by Jessica M.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/04/29/breaking-free-of-belief/

Apr 28

VIDEO

Paul Hedderman gives a new slant on the Serenity Prayer.

The now famous Serenity Prayer is attributed to theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 -1971), goes …

God, grant me …
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

If you can’t see the video above, Click Here.

Filmed in Toronto in 2011 by Jurek Wyszynski. For more on Paul Hedderman, see his Web site.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/04/28/video-9/

Apr 28

Death & Resurrection: A Gnostic Perspective

At Easter, the thoughts of many Christians turn to the doctrine of inherent sinfulness and the need for a savior whose spilled blood could atone for humanity. The Bible leaves no room for another view, but another group of Jesus’ followers, now known as gnostic Christians, saw things in a completely different way.

They viewed ‘sin’ as ignorance. Instead of making up for Adam’s sin, Jesus restored the understanding of universal oneness that had been lost when we chose separation over unity with the Divine. The Gospel of Truth, (one of many early Christian documents not included in the New Testament) recognized Jesus as “a guide, a person of rest who was busy in places of instruction. He came forward and spoke the word as a teacher.” The Gospel of Truth also explains his mission:

“When all have received knowledge (the gnosis), they receive what is theirs and draw it to themselves…In time unity will make the heavenly places complete, and in unity all individually will come to themselves. By means of knowledge they will purify themselves from multiplicity into unity.”

Since it was understanding that was needed, not bloody sacrifice, Jesus’ gnostic followers realized that they needed to be their own savior. Since no one else can ‘wake up’ for us, the Dialogue of the Savior (another early document) advised:

“Enlighten your mind. Light the lamp within you. Walk upon yourself as on a straight road… knock on yourself as upon a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road… Open the door for yourself that you may know what is…Whatever you will open for yourself, you will open.”

Although Jesus and his gnostic followers knew that no sacrifice was necessary, when circumstances brought Jesus to suffering, he used the opportunity to show in an undeniable manner that all suffering is an illusion. For those followers who believed this earth is our reality, Jesus’ death was devastating. For gnostic followers who had learned through their own experience that the material world is a virtual reality, the death of Jesus’ material body meant very little.

In The Acts of John, Jesus said, “You heard that I suffered, but I suffered not…One pierced was I, yet I was not abused. One hanged was I, and yet not hanged. Blood flowed from me, yet did not flow.” Although a projected image of a material body suffered, the true Self that had been Jesus, felt nothing.

The Apocalypse of Peter also contains a description of Jesus’ death that differs drastically from the New Testament gospels. When Peter sees Jesus being arrested he asks, “Who is the one smiling and laughing above the cross? Is it someone else whose feet and hands they are hammering?”

Jesus answered, “The one you see smiling and laughing above the cross is the living Jesus. The one into whose hands and feet they are driving nails is his fleshly part, the substitute for him. They are putting to shame the one who came into being in the likeness of the living Jesus. Look at him and look at me.”

The Second Treatise of the Great Seth reads, “It was another who drank the gall and the vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was another. It was another upon whom they placed a crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height over their error. And I was laughing at their ignorance.” Likewise, The Acts of John reports, “I have suffered none of the things which they will say of me.”

Some critics of gnostic writings claim that another person was substituted for Jesus and died in his place, but Jesus was talking about the difference between the little self that masqueraded as a body compared to the true, infinite, immortal Self that could never be harmed.

Considering that Jesus’ teaching was based in love, it’s impossible to even consider that he would cooperate with any plot to have someone else take his place. Instead, gnostic followers understood that Jesus was no longer experiencing through the false self or body and the Self was beyond all physical suffering.

Although Jesus’ gnostic followers would certainly have missed having their teacher with them in the flesh, they understood that their seeming separation was no more real than the illusion of the bodies they all projected. They knew only the immortal Self, unlike material illusion, was real and could never be harmed.

Jesus had won his freedom from duality and illusion and was liberated from the cycle of birth and death. He set an example every one of us can follow. In the Dialogue of the Savior, Jesus explained that our natural dwelling place is a “place of life” where “the true mind dwells” that is “only pure light.”

For most Christians, their belief system hangs on Jesus’ literal resurrection. Without that, they have no hope of salvation. But for Jesus’ gnostic followers, the resurrection had nothing to do with the reanimation of the body or a transformation from body into spirit.

Instead, The Treatise on Resurrection tells us, “The world is an illusion! The resurrection is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and transition into newness. Flee from the divisions and the fetters, and already you have the resurrection … Do not suppose that resurrection is an illusion. It is not an illusion, rather it is something real. Instead, one ought to maintain that the world is an illusion.”

Mainline Christians must continue to belief that Jesus was crucified, resurrected and carried his spilled blood to heaven to atone for their sins. There is no proof that happened. Jesus did not return to vanquish the Romans and set up God’s government in the 1st century, and he has not returned to earth since that time even though most Christians continue to feel certain that he will.

On the other hand, Jesus’ gnostic followers held no such hopes. They understood Jesus to be a human like them, who experienced the Divine and encouraged them to do the same thing.What if Jesus were no different than you or me? Would his parables and sayings lose their value if he was an obscure, rural wisdom teacher who was killed by fearful politicians? Even if he performed no miracles and his body was not resurrected, what real impact would that have on us?

We would lose a savior, but Jesus’ gnostic followers learned from him that we all must save ourselves, just as he did. We can cling to a version of Jesus that condemns us as sinners and imprisons us in fear, or we can follow Jesus’ example and come to our own rescue by waking up to our innate oneness with ‘the Father.’ The choice always has been, and always will be, ours.

~ by Lee & Steven Hager, April, 2012. See: TheBeginningofFearlessness.com

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/04/28/death-resurrection-a-gnostic-perspective/

Apr 27

That Which Sees

That which is aware of you right now, is God.
That which is your own innermost awareness, right now, is God.
That which sees but is never seen, is God.
That Witness in you right now, ever present as pure Presence, is God.
That vast Freedom, that great Emptiness, that primordial Purity, your own present state of awareness, right now, is God.
And thus, most fundamentally and forever, it is God who speaks with your tongue and listens with your ears, and sees with your eyes,
This God who is closer to you than you are to yourself,
This God who has never abandoned you and never could.
This God who is every breath you take, the very beat of your tender heart, who beholds the entire majesty before your eyes …
Yet is never, never seen.

~ by Ken Wilber

Permanent link to this article: http://www.clearsightblog.net/2012/04/27/that-which-sees/

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