The Freedom of Consciousness

by John Gregor -
“When the path of truth is clear of all obstacles then the seeing of truth, the hearing of truth and the feeling of truth becomes clear. Purification leads the way to experiencing freedom of consciousness. 
The objective of purification is to clear the way for the experience of Enlightenment. So what is Enlightenment? Enlightenment is the true essence of all sentient beings. It is what is left when all illusion has been stripped away.” --Hieu Doan
This is how Hieu Doan explained it to me when I first began to ask these questions. My main concern at the time was that I needed to take on the external and internal appearance of a spiritual man, to say the right things and to think the right things and so on. 

I slowly started to ‘click’ that it was impossible to find my true self if I kept hiding from the doors that led me to it. 

These doors so to speak had been popping up my entire life but because I was so attached to them showing up in a certain way I had rejected them for what they actually were.

It was the same with Enlightenment. 

I had heard so many stories about it that I was bent on making myself into a carbon copy of all these teachers and gurus at the expense of who I actually was. 

I lived in a monastery for over a decade, meditating and believing that this was what I needed to be and what I needed to do in order to achieve Enlightenment and awakening.

So why had it never come?

In all those years I felt no closer to Enlightenment than the day I asked the question. All I had was more questions. 

When I first talked to Hieu I can honestly say I wanted to hit him when he said that I was rejecting the very answers I sought as quickly as I could ask the questions! 

I was angry because I knew that this was the truth and he seemed to see right through me. That night I cried in meditation for the first time in years – because I’d come back to that initial truth. 

All these years I’d rejected my self in search of a “higher” truth and in doing so I’d rejected that very truth that I’d been seeking from the start. 

I’d fooled myself into thinking that I’d somehow surpassed the need to heal those fears and hurts at the core of my being.

Over the next few days I practiced in a new and humble way. 

My whole body would shake at times as deep emotions were released and often I would cry for hours on end as deep pain and sorrow would arise from what seemed to be my very soul. Then on about the 3rd day I entered a deep stillness. I felt my entire body resonate with this stillness down to the smallest cell. 

Something shattered then and I felt the entire world around me shift into this stillness that I was enveloped in. I opened my eyes and it seemed like time had stopped. I saw a leaf hovering in mid fall as it was caught in this stillness.

A pinpoint of light appeared directly in front of my eyes and began to open up into a larger vortex which eventually encompassed me. This spread into a deeper stillness and with it the most profound peace and I could say happiness that I’ve ever had the pleasure to feel. 

It was then that I realized that I’d experienced this state because my consciousness had become free. In time I was to know that this was only the beginning of understanding the true state of Enlightenment.

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The Abundance of Our Oneness

by Carolyn Field -

Everybody knows that lots of little things can make a big thing. One tree can become part of forest; one pebble, a beach; one blade of grass, a park land; one voice, a chorus.
“All differences in this world are of degree and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” ―Swami Vivekananda
Everything gravitates towards each other. 

We are coming together if not in physical proximity then in virtual proximity and in growing awareness of each other and of our connection. 

Just noticing that we are linked will create the wave of awareness that will blazon the Earth.

There is something strangely vulnerable about one small tree standing alone or one pebble laying on a path or one blade of grass growing in a crack on the ground or one human creature sleeping in a doorway. 

Something strangely vulnerable, yet also hopeful because there is always hope.

We are not meant to be alone. 

So if one tree can make a forest, what can one forest make? If one pebble can make a beach, what can one beach make? 

A forest, a beach, a park land, a chorus, all of these and many more collectives create awareness of the abundance that surrounds us. 

Where there is abundance, there is positive energy sparking and fizzing and where there is an abundance of sparking, fizzing positive energy there is the probability of divine transformation. 

Like an interaction between chemicals that creates something staggering.

So too, our awareness of Oneness. 
Just as we notice that we are linked to one another, we will come to realize that we are linked to everything and that everything is linked to us. What a breathtaking awareness that is. 

You and I are One with each other, with the Universe and with Divinity. 
The awareness of our Oneness shall bring opportunities for a new higher nature to be possible which will in turn activate a powerful metamorphosis bringing peace, joy, satisfaction and all encompassing love.


Each moment is the breeze
on a rippling green sea.
Absent are expectations,
I have no illusion of need.
When you see, without you,
nothing can be perceived,
your true abundance is clear.
You are love. You are loved.

--Michele Harvey

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Energizing Self and Others

by Eileen McDargh -

Tips for Relighting After Burnout:

The current environment brings additional stress to our homes and offices. You all probably know some of the symptoms.

Here are but a few. Check them off and then consider some actions. 

Some Burnout Symptoms: 
  • Work leaves you physically and emotionally drained. 
  • You feel like you are accomplishing less and doing more. 
  • You put your work first but no one appreciates your efforts. 
  • You’ve lost your sense of humor and playfulness. 
  • You find yourself short-tempered and angry. 
  • You go on vacation but the feeling of overwhelm comes back immediately upon return. 

What can you do to gain a sense of control? 

Consider just some of these options: 
  • Hold certain times sacred. Mark off a period of time for yourself on your calendar and treat it with gold. 
  • Learn to say “no” by creating realistic boundaries. Speak up when you are overwhelmed. Remember, no one but YOU knows what you really do in the course of a day. Establish limits that honor the needs of the people around you while preserving the integrity of what you can honestly do. 
  • Create a workspace that nurtures your soul. Whether it’s filled with pictures of the grandkids or flowers from your garden, this space must speak of you. 
  • Exercise to burn off stress. 
  • Allow 15 minutes in the morning just for you. This is quiet time for centering, breathing, preparing for the day. You’ll be glad you did. 

You are the captain of your ship. Pay attention to the wind and waves.

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