Emotional Healing with Tara Brach

In his seminal book, “Sacred Economics,” Charles Eisenstein describes the present era as “The Age of Separation.”  Very cogently, he shows how our current form of capitalism/consumerism has alienated us from each other and from the biosphere .  As an antidote, he prescribes the healing alternative of a new “gifting economy.”

Freedom from the Burden of Existence Through Meditation

According to the teachings of The Buddha, the greatest happiness is attained through awakening fully through meditation to our timeless essence, the Unborn, which is completely unstained and uncorrupted by the “burden of existence.”

In the following short video, Andrew Cohen presents this  as also being the ultimate form of psychotherapy.  I strongly recommend that you watch

A Comprehensive Index of Posts on This Blog

The following is a complete listing, ordered by date, of all posts to this blog.  Just click on each one to access the blog entry.

Craig Hamilton–An Introduction to Integral Enlightenment

Michael Dowd–Evolutionizing Your Life

Evolutionary Spirituality–Knowing the Whole World as Holy

Alan  Watts–A

Loving-Awareness Meditation – A Hybrid of Mindfulness and Metta

For the past couple of years, I have been actively experimenting with an effective way to integrate Vipassana (mindfulness) and Lovingkindness (Metta) meditation.  I have created a video to introduce what I regard as a “skillfull means” to this end.  I call it “Loving-Awareness Meditation.” I invite you to check

Mindfulness Training for Children—A Key Missing Ingredient in Our Schools

In the summer of 1993, I had the great good fortune of participating in a 5-day professional training workshop with Drs. Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at Omega Institute in New York State.  This watershed experience occurred after I had personally been practicing mindfulness meditation for about 16 years.  Among its

Spiritual Awakening Outside The Box–”The Mystery Experience”

Tim Freke

A Review by George Shears

“The Mystery Experience” by Tim Freke is a brilliant, integrating breakthrough in evolutionary spirituality.  Even after nearly 40 years of immersing myself deeply in many of the world’s great wisdom traditions and pursuing an ardent practice of vipassana meditation for most of this time, I

Can You Get Smarter through Meditation?

My personal experience in practicing mindfulness meditation for over 35 years has long since convinced me that this practice tends to improve one’s level of performance in a wide variety of settings.  Also–almost by definition–the skills entailed by mindfulness practice clearly enhance the various components of emotional intelligence, such as patience, empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, equanimity and the like.  There is now also

Your Happiness–What Does It Really Depend On?

What does it take to make you happy?  How happy are you whenever “it” occurs?  How long does “it” last?  How attached are you to “it”–that is, how UNHAPPY are you when “it” isn’t occurring?  Can you imagine yourself being happy even if “it” were never to occur again?

In his article in the Irish Times, Padraig O’Morain addresses these questions

Ten Mindful Minutes with Goldie Hawn

Parents and teachers, listen up.  Goldie Hawn is on a mission to recruit you in helping children become the leaders of tomorrow through the practice of mindfulness and yoga.  To this end, she has authored a best-selling book, entitled “10 Mindful Minutes.”  You can learn more by reading this article in the NZ Herald.

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IMPORTANT

Mindfulness in Coping with Pain

Over thirty years ago, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn ingeniously  recognized that Buddhist mindfulness meditation could be of major benefit to people in coping with chronic pain.  This led him to develop a standardized eight-week program in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that has enjoyed immense success for over two decades.  Variations of this program are now offered in both medical and non-medical settings in most large cities in North America

A Free Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Course

As a result of the amazing generosity of Jay Uhdinger, I’m very happy to share with you a basic video course in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  I became aware of this impressive, high quality resource via an email from Mr. Uhdinger with this introduction:

Together with a friend who is an illustrator, I have created a 100% free (no catch, no email subscription or whatever) mindfulness based

Mindful Eating As Food for Thought

As I have posited repeatedly on this blog, mindfulness can be understood as a “master skill” in that it potentially enhances the performance of nearly all other human skills.  Moreover, it also serves as a powerful corrective for a wide variety of unskillful human propensities–especially those that are compulsive or addictive in nature.

This very informative article in the 2/7/12 edition of the New York

Shortcuts To Inner Peace By Ashley Davis Bush

 

Due to the prevailing “time poverty” of the modern world, many people are unlikely to free up the requisite time to engage in a formal practice of mindfulness meditation.  As the following review by Bodhipaksa of Ashley Davis Bush’s book, Shortcuts to Inner Peace,  emphasizes, however,  nearly anyone can implement the

Being Happy as a Profound Form of Altruism

The following article by Bodhipaksa shows that we offer a great service to others and to humanity in general by cultivating the art of happiness:

” Saddhamala wrote the other dayabout how we “catch” emotions from others. As she points out, this happens when you’re hanging around someone who is negative, and it brings you down, and that it even happens when

Bodhipaksa Offers Five Ways to Increase Your Joy

In the following article, Bodhipaksa offers an impressive array of skillful ways to increase our levels of joy and happiness:

“Joy (sukha in Pali) should be our natural state of being. Unfortunately, though, we’ve been brought up in a society that emphasizes wanting things and having things. Wanting things actually destroys joy, while having things brings only a short-term burst of pleasure that fades quickly.”
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Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn Publishes a New Book on Mindfulness for Beginners

Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT-trained molecular biologist, began meditating in 1966, when the practice was primarily the province of hippies and gurus, not scientists. Now, thanks in large part to his efforts, it has become mainstream medicine. Dozens of studies have since shown the benefits of what he termed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in treating cardiovascular disease, depression, addictions, chronic pain and many other conditions.

Kabat-Zinn

New Facebook Page

This is an invitation to my new Facebook page. Its title is “We’re All One” and its main aim is to promote full awakening from the pervasive illusion of separateness, which I regard as the single most important cause of suffering on Planet Earth.

Please check it out and “Like” it at:
http://www.facebook.com/WereAllOne?sk=app_351957104934

Do You Suffer From Tinnitus? Mindfulness May Help

The list of potential benefits of mindfulness meditation is getting progressively longer as people with various physical, mental, or emotional afflictions experiment with it.  Here’s a recent report of its effectiveness in helping people who are subject to chronic tinnitus: 

“Silence is a beautiful thing. But Robert DeMong has accepted that he’ll likely never experience it again.

“He’s got a condition called tinnitus, which means a

Craig Hamilton’s Reflections on Independence Day

I just received the following message from Craig Hamilton.  I resonate with it strongly and thus decided to share it here:

“It’s Independence Day here in the U.S., and I’ve been reflecting
all day on both the beauty and the limitations of the fierce
independence so deeply rooted in our culture.

The call to independence is, in its

Spiritual Development as an Evolutionary Imperative

Much of the essence of Mahayana Buddhism is summed up in the noble “Bodhisattva Ideal” of achieving enlightenment for the welfare of all sentient beings.  Those who have followed this noble path down through the centuries have been centrally motivated by bodhicitta–i.e., the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all beings.

The following short essay, which I received as an email message from Craig

In My Face–An Amazing True Tale of a Close Encounter of the Frog Kind

I would like to share here an amazing personal story that I think you will agree is stranger than fiction.  In my lifetime repertoire of memorable experiences with the world of Nature, it holds undisputed first place.

When I retired on May 28, 1999 from my 34-year career as a psychologist

Mindfulness Meditation–Its Potential Emotional Uncovering Effects

In less than four decades from its introduction into the U.S. and other Western countries, mindfulness meditation has been embraced enthusiastically by millions of people as it becomes increasingly mainstream.  Originally introduced by the Buddha over 2500 years ago, it has been referred to during most of its history as Vipassana (in Pali) or Vipashyana (Sanskrit) Meditation, which is usually translated literally

Mindfulness Meditation–Does it Reverse Aging?

There is now abundant evidence that the practice of mindfulness
meditation has many significant benefits. Some of these highly diverse
positive effects have been highlighted earlier on this blog. They
include: stress reduction; overcoming addictions; enhancing creativity;
increasing happiness; reducing suffering; rehabilitating hard-core
criminals
; and

David Korten’s Agenda for a New Economy

Since this blog is dedicated to promoting wise ways to happiness, I would like to raise a crucially important question here:  To what degree (if any) does the way of Wall Street contribute to true happiness?

I’m afraid that the prevailing answer that is most deeply engraved in our

How Hard Core Prisoners are Transforming Themselves Through Vipassana Meditation

In 1973, Bo Lozoff and Ram Dass hit upon the highly innovative realization that people in prison were ideally positioned to utilize their prison time as an opportunity to transform themselves spiritually through intensive meditation.  This novel idea gave rise to the highly successful Prison Ashram Project that Bo has subsequently coordinated.

In his well known book

Self-Compassion—A Key Factor in Overcoming Dysfunctional Habits

During my long career as a psychotherapist, I became somewhat notorious for repeatedly saying “of course” to my clients.  I came to regard these two magic healing words, in fact, as by far the most powerful form of therapy I had to offer.  Let me spell out specifically why I say this.

As I strongly believe is true of

Spontaneous Evolution–A Powerful New Prescription for Healing Humanity’s Degenerative Illness


By co-authoring their highly innovative and inspiring book, Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future (And a Way to Get There from Here),  Dr. Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman have impressively demonstrated the remarkable synergistic and creative power of individual human minds (and bodies) working together cooperatively

Sharon Salzberg–A Wise Wellspring of Happiness

Along with her compatriots, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg was instrumental in planting the fertile seed of Vipassana Meditation into the U.S. starting in the mid-1970′s and in fostering the deep roots that it has subsequently developed through the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA.

Perhaps more than any other Western teacher of Insight Meditation,
she

Duane Elgin’s Inspiring Vision of ‘The Living Universe’

For over three decades, Duane Elgin has been a highly successful author, speaker, educator, consultant, and media activist.  Through his work, he has also become respected as a leading futurist.

He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in economic history from the University of Pennsylvania.  He has also received an

Entering The Mystery–A Key Step in Spiritual Awakening

In order to wake up from our “life-dreams” and the illusory sense of separateness they entail into what Tim Freke calls  “Lucid Living,” we must take the necessary first step of “entering The Mystery.”

Very simply, this consists in becoming consciously aware of the mind-boggling awesomeness of the universe with which we are seamlessly one.

To fully know and embrace this basic, incontrovertible fact is a huge first step

Jack Kornfield’s View on Enlightenments

My first exposure to Vipassana (Mindfulness) meditation was in 1975.  It came through listening to a series of audio recordings of Dharma talks presented by Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein at Naropa Institute in the previous year.  They, along with a number of other wonderful teachers at the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, California have continued to guide and inspire me up to the present.

Jack

Lucid Living in a Winter Wonderland

In the following two videos, I invite you to join me in taking a first essential step into Lucid Living, as defined by Tim Freke.  More specifically, I invite you to “enter the mystery,” as Tim refers to it, by joining me in a brisk walk in a beautiful winter wonderland.

If you would like to get a quick, in-depth overview of Lucid Living

Peter Russell–A Consciousness Copernicus For The Post-Modern Age

For the past 35 years, Peter Russell has been a highly respected spiritual leader and a revolutionary futurist.  In 1965, he began a course of study in mathematics and theoretical physics under Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University (UK).

Then, due to his increasing fascination by the mysteries of the human mind

Lucid Living with Tim Freke

In a previous post, I’ve enthusiastically  introduced Tim Freke, a highly successful and prolific author, as well as a very engaging and entertaining “stand-up philosopher.”  Although he is adamant in saying that he does not want to be regarded as a “spiritual teacher,” I don’t know of anyone who more effectively imparts the perennial wisdom that

Tim Freke’s Rapid and Direct Path to Awakening from Separateness

Introduction:

In my view, an absolutely necessary condition for experiencing extraordinary happiness entails awakening from the pervasive, illusory sense of separateness that humans experience almost universally.

Most commonly, the miniscule minority of humankind who successfully attain liberation from this prison of limited ego-hood do so only through highly dedicated and intense spiritual practice for many years or

Paul Hawken on the New Great Transformation

Paul Hawken, described by Fortune magazine in 2002 as “the original hippie entrepreneur,” has carved out a unique and highly successful position in American business.  He has achieved impressive credibility not only among environmentalists and social critics, but with mainstream corporate audiences as well.

On the one hand, he has written, “there is no polite way to say that

A Wealth of Wisdom from the Dalai Lama, Richard Gere, and Alice Walker

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama returned to Emory University on October 17-19, 2010 in his capacity as Presidential Distinguished Professor, the first university appointment accepted by the 1989 Nobel Peace Laureate and leader of the Tibetan people. During this short period, he participated in several public presentations, all of which were videotaped.

Each of them embodies a treasure

Roger Walsh’s Wise Tips on Essential Spirituality and Human Survival

I’ve long regarded Dr. Roger Walsh as one of the most dedicated and highly developed spiritual leaders in the Western world today.  Originally trained as a psychiatrist, his wide-ranging interests and areas of expertise include anthropology, psychoactive drugs, religious/spiritual  experiences, altered states of consciousness, and meditation. In recent years, he has also become recognized

The Empathic Civilization–How to Increase our Happiness through Relationships

In his ground-breaking book, “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis,” Jeremy Rifkin offers some strong, scientifically-based hope for a much brighter future for humanity.   More specifically, it’s based on the recent discovery of “mirror neurons” in the brains of humans and apes.

These neurons are powerful

Alan Watts–A Pioneering Prophet of Evolutionary Spirituality

Introduction:

This blog is dedicated to promoting ordinary and extraordinary happiness.  In my view, by far the most effective means to the former end is to develop the skill set of Basic Mindfulness–that is to learn how to live as fully as possible in the Eternal Now and to utilize the power of awareness in

Evolutionary Spirituality–Knowing the Whole World as Holy

I have created another personal video that provides a brief introduction and overview of Michael Dowd’s magnificent book, “Thank God for Evolution.” It features at the end a lovely song, “Holy Now,” written and performed by Peter Mayer.  This song artistically captures a key part of  the essence of Evolutionary Spirituality.

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

By clicking on the

Michael Dowd–”Evolutionizing Your Life”

In his revolutionary book, “Thank God for Evolution,” Michael Dowd elegantly elucidates what I regard as “the mother of all paradigm shifts.”  Building on the previous work of other evolutionary philosophers, especially Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, and Brian Swimme, he eloquently presents the overwhelming scientific evidence that we humans–along with all the rest of the

Craig Hamilton–An Introduction to Integral Enlightenment

After devoting several decades in intensive spiritual development work, Craig Hamilton has become a prominent pioneering leader in Evolutionary Spirituality and Integral Enlightenment.  In a video introduction on his main website,  he delineates the important distinction between this and traditional enlightenment.  Most importantly, whereas the main motivation for the latter has generally been personal liberation or transformation, the main motivational impetus for Integral Enlightenment is societal transformation.

I

Craig Hamilton offers the Key to Evolving Beyond Ego

A central defining characteristic of the human ego is its deeply conditioned sense of separateness from the rest of the world.  Under the control of this pervasive illusion, we tend to fall into self-cherishing and become strongly attached to whatever we define as “I, me or mine.”    We also develop a wide array of defenses aimed at protecting ourselves from everything we perceive as not-I–namely, the rest of the universe.