Open-Hearted Awareness and Emotions

When we don’t shift into open-hearted awareness, our hearts can be painfully closed, or they can be too open so that we’re frequently overwhelmed. Then we end up looking to our thoughts to create a sense of self. The result is a small, mental sense of self that makes us fearful and unworthy. Sadly, a thought-based identity cuts us off from our greatest resources for connection, loving-kindness, and wellbeing. While identified solely with a mental self, we may not be able to hear the call of ope … [Read more...]

Spiritual Teachers in Contemporary Times

The main role of a teacher is to point you toward your own inner teacher. It was when I learned to look within that awake awareness showed me its own capacities, clarity, and love. It is important to have mentors and teachers who have traveled farther along the path to offer guidance. From psychotherapy studies, we know that transference, idealization, and projection are normal parts of our psychological relationship to a mentor. However, failing to recognize transference or over-reliance on a … [Read more...]

Vulnerability without Being Overwhelmed

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung called neurosis the avoidance of legitimate suffering. We avoid suffering related to loss, disappointment, or growing pains because we don’t have the capacity to bear it if we’re operating from ego-identification. Our sense of self is just too small to deal with more powerful emotions.How do we remain vulnerable, sensitive, and intimate with life without being overwhelmed? Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says, “Everyone is overcome by disturbing emotions unless they are sta … [Read more...]

Conscious Participation in Your Evolution

Humanity has made rapid progress during recent years in areas such as technology, medicine, and communications. Yet parts of our brain and consciousness still operate as if we’re living in primitive times. If we’re going to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century, we must consciously participate in evolving and upgrading our own operating system. Effective tools of awareness are very much needed now, if we want to preserve our planet and create a sustainable quality of life for all peo … [Read more...]

Effortless Action: Doing from Being

There is a Chinese term called wu wei, which can be translated as “spontaneity” or “effortless action.” Wu wei does not mean passively waiting around, but actively recognizing that spontaneous action is already occurring, without being conducted by an ego-identified “doer.” Being is always already naturally here, but we aren’t yet wired to function from Being. Functioning from Being means interacting, responding, and creating from a panoramic flow state where we feel free of self-centeredness and … [Read more...]

Methods for Recognizing our True Nature

The two most common methods for directly recognizing our true nature are the looking method and the resting method. The Christian mystical tradition calls these two approaches Via Positiva (the looking method) and Via Negativa (the resting method). Via Positiva suggests: “Seek and you will find.” Via Negativa suggests: “Give up seeking, and you will find.” Most meditation paths include aspects of both these styles. In addition, both Via Positiva and Via Negativa agree that ego-identification is t … [Read more...]

The Living Truth Within You

My book, Shift Into Freedom, is a user’s manual for your awakening that can be adapted to yourindividual learning style. I give you the map, show you the direction to travel, and offer descriptions of the territory you may find. The pointers are to help you find your own inner GPS so you can navigate your own way. But you won’t know what it’s really like until you’ve been there yourself. Don’t take my words, pointers, or impressionistic map too literally. Read initially to get the gist of the app … [Read more...]

Effortless Heart Mindfulness on the Subway

On a crisp autumn day in New York City, I headed downtown for a meeting. Arriving at the entrance of my neighborhood subway station on 116th Street and Broadway, I heard the train pull in below. I reached for my MetroCard, passed through the turnstile, and hurried downstairs, reaching the platform just in time to see the subway doors slide shut and the train pull away.I stood there, looking at my watch, feeling frustrated because I’d probably be late for my meeting. The subway station was c … [Read more...]

How to Find Peace in 4 Minutes – Animated Meditation

You may have done a meditation where you think positive thoughts or focus on your breath or a word to calm your mind. In this short animated meditation you will be invited to go to the next level, effortless mindfulness, to find peace in the space between the thoughts in your mind. This can lead you to discover your awareness-based mind that is already awake, creative, compassionate and in a joyful flow. While doing this practice, you may have noticed that there are two kinds of space. One is … [Read more...]

Video from Matthieu Ricard: Wisdom for the New Year!

Here are some words of wisdom and compassion to contemplate from Matthieu Ricard as we move closer to this New Year:"Our control of the outer world is limited, temporary, and often illusory. Isn't it the mind that translates the outer conditions into happiness and suffering? Isn't that stronger? We know from our experience, we can be in some outer paradise, but still be completely unhappy within. On the contrary, we know a lot of people in very difficult circumstances who manage to keep … [Read more...]