I have lived with chronic pain since 2004. At 45 years old, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The cancer had spread to lymph nodes in the right side of my neck.  Fortunately, surgery was successful. I have been cancer free ever since, going on 15 years. But the invasive surgery left me with nerve pain from just below my right ear, down the right side of my neck, across the top of my right shoulder, and down the… Read more

Local awareness is like a radio tuner or TV remote that can intentionally shift us to different bandwidths of consciousness. Local awareness can tune away from the narrow, mental, ego-identified station that is the everyday mind and tune in to the station of the body’s senses. Local awareness can also tune in to spacious awareness, the expression of awake awareness that is unconditioned, boundless, pure awareness. Your mind is like a TV or radio with lots of stations playing all… Read more

  Everyone has a Self and everyone is essentially Self whether we know it or not. Knowing and living from Self is what is called Self-realization, awakening or being Self led. Self is the “I am” prior to and beyond “I am this or I am that.” Self is equally available to everyone as both who we have always been and the loving presence we have been looking for. Discovering the fullness of Self is described by many people as… Read more

  Emotional intelligence requires the capacity to feel our emotions, the ability to express them effectively, and the ability to distinguish between emotions related to the present and the past as well as those created by the cravings and fears of ego-identification. This level of awareness requires discernment between needs that are genuine and require satisfaction, in addition to awareness of desires based on ego-identification’s cravings that cannot be satisfied. We wake up from the mind by disidentifying with our… Read more

The mini-me responds to exaggerated or imaginary situations that frighten it with physical survival strategies, including fight, flight, freeze, or please. When we fight imaginary enemies, we end up feeling frustrated, confused, or anxious. When we run away from them, we end up in denial, dissociation, or fantasy. If we freeze, we get depressed or shut down. If we please, we often end up feeling minimized, oppressed, or victimized. The more we try to think our way out of situations… Read more

Awake awareness itself never develops or grows up. At its essence, awake awareness is always the same. It’s inherent within all changing dimensions of our experience, just the way space exists within atoms. Awake awareness is similar to physical space in that it is within us, invisible and pervasive, but different from physical space because it is a knowing space. When this unconditioned awake awareness becomes primary and includes our human conditioning, then there is the potential for a new,… Read more

The main obstacle to relief from suffering is our current identity, what Einstein called our “optical delusion of consciousness.” Paradoxically, this same identity is trying to solve the problem of our suffering. This identity seems very real, as if it is a separate self that feels located in our heads, like a “mini-me.” Both ancient wisdom and modern neuroscience now agree that there is no physical location of a separate self that can be found in the brain. Living as… Read more

  Ramana Maharshi wrote regarding awakening: “Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means.” He said that inquiry was simple and direct. “If one inquires ‘who am I,’ the mind will go back to the Source . . . Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart . . . ” In the first part of inquiry, the mind returns to its source and then, in order to live, a new location of mind gets established… Read more

Open-hearted awareness begins with awareness of awareness. It is an essence approach, also called the direct approach. The open-hearted awareness approach focuses on uncovering or discovering our essential nature and then shifting our level of mind to live from open-hearted awareness. Because awake awareness is already here, there is no need to strive to earn it, create it, or develop it; nor is it effective to adopt the passive attitude of waiting for it to find us. Awake awareness, the… Read more

One of the most important developments in human evolution is the ability to think. However, an even more important development is the ability to grow beyond thinking. To do this, we need to discover the intelligence that’s inherent in awareness itself. It is important to note that growing beyond thinking is not a regressive, dumb, or irrational state. When we are identified with our thinking, then that believing creates our perceiving. It is through our five senses that we receive… Read more

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