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Consciousness

Why I Meditate                       

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I have been searching for “answers” most of my life and have written about an epiphany in 2007 when I watched a TED video in which geneticist Juan Enriquez spoke of DNA not as “like” software, but as encoded instructions.

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At that time I was struck by the reality (as opposed to the abstract notion) that there must be or have been some “higher intelligence” in Nature (“Who was the programmer?”).

I was fine with leaving the question open but it made me much less interested in “normal” life and I decided that connection with such higher intelligence, if it still exists (and really where did it go?), should take priority in my life.

I remembered trying Transcendental Meditation after college and receiving a mantra that had no intrinsic “meaning” but simply pointed me back inside to silence. Recalling the mantra, I decided to try using it for a few months.

I knew that the premise of TM was that one would begin to notice changes in one’s life over time but that they might not be obvious or make any sense; and indeed my life went through some tremendous gyrations and I emerged from the rabbit hole through some intense therapy, and then working with Michael Jeffreys and in his Eckhart Tolle group (now a weekly satsang) in L.A.

I needed a lot of naps and quiet time and continued to meditate regularly every morning, deciding that this was the one way to manifest my commitment to a connection to whatever IS as opposed to what “I” thought should or might be…

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Starting to see myself more and more in terms of “software,” I said in the group that my naps were a way to “reboot” and flush the “cache” from my brain.

And being left brained I wanted to also do it “right,” so I remembered the work of Jon Kabat-Zin who had been interviewed by Bill Moyers decades earlier and who still was regarded as a premier spokesman for mindfulness.

What I discovered was an entirely different way to look at life and the practice of meditation.

In our group Michael always stressed, and I picked up on, the need to actually perform inner inquiry on “who” is really thinking or thinks they are “in control,” and this inquiry had made me question everything.  It opened up the entire vista of dropping out all that was “conceptual.”

And then what I took from Kabat-Zin’s videos — which were “instructional” — was an amazing idea: YOU CAN’T DO IT WRONG?

How is that possible, my formative mind recoiled?

Kabat-Zin’s view of mindfulness was just that — watching the mind go through its shenanigans and remaining in stillness.  There was nothing to “get” either in terms of receiving or understanding — merely a connection to a deeper level of mind would unfold.

What about proof?

Proof was exposed as another “concept” of the Egoic mind (now I was reading quite a bit of Eckhart Tolle).

Eckhart also talks about mindfulness and suggests that during meditation we also try to find exactly “who” is thinking or seeming to make decisions.  At each level of discernment of a “who” it becomes clear that that’s not “it” because this level is exposed as another thought — and yet another faculty is still noticing…

So you go deeper.  As neuroscientist Douglas Hofstadter describes in his book I Am A Strange Loop.

When I did this inquiry I could only find sensation — which as Michael Jeffreys points out is merely a “feeling” and can’t be “you” because if one is honest one must then ask, “who” notices this?

So deeper you go – with more discoveries…

But the other salient “thing” I found was seeking energy and the “Planner.”

I discovered that my mind had a task which it reveled in — trying to control life by making plans — and I began to notice this as an activity in the same way that one uses any tool — reminiscent of the great saying that the mind is a wonderful tool but a terrible master.

Now its mastery was becoming abated and it felt quite calming and in fact circumstances in my life improved.

In addition to the planner I noticed much physical discomfort at time, and one other trait:  Impatience.

I found my “self” negotiating how long I had to sit. Is ten minutes enough?  Must it be 20?  How was I doing?

But going back to Kabat-Zin I remembered the overview — you can’t do it wrong.  I decided that sitting quietly and watching my inner world for fifteen plus minutes would be a reasonable commitment daily and I have kept it “religiously.”

I also take to heart Eckhart Tolle’s suggestion that it’s not about how long you can “sit with your eyes closed” just as it’s not about “the next retreat, workshop or seminar.”

What it’s about is minimizing the interference of the “should” mind and relaxing into spaciousness — and allowing one’s inner world to be what it is — and one’s outer world to unfold with minimum interference.

I saw Kabat-Zin “live” at Wisdom 2.0 several years ago and since then it is amazing how mindfulness has become a buzzword in business and education — all for the good in my view.

But science continues to make significant connections between findings in neuroscience and the practice (as opposed to the study) of meditation.

Dr. Joe Dispenza writes in his blog:

“When you can completely relax your body and remain conscious, this is the realm where the unknown and the mystical happens.”

Here is what’s happening according to Fast Company:  “Your Brain Has A “Delete” Button—Here’s How To Use It.”

“Glial cells” are the gardeners of your brain — they act to speed up signals between certain neurons. But other glial cells are the waste removers, pulling up weeds, killing pests, raking up dead leaves. Your brain’s pruning gardeners are called “microglial cells.” They prune your synaptic connections. The question is, how do they know which ones to prune?

Of course, a better question might be, “who is doing the pruning?”

This brings me back to the Michael Jeffreys group and he would quote another teacher (Paul Hedderman) who would say, “The party doesn’t start until you leave.”

What I think is happening during meditation from a scientific perspective is that the brain is reworking its neural networks and eliminating extraneous trash; particularly that related to a fixed self or any deeply held conceptual truths and allowing for an openness to be created for anything NEW.

If the universe is in fact conscious and expanding this puts one in alignment with this conscious expansion — it is intelligent evolution and perhaps responsible for the encoded instructions that express the immense intelligence that runs our physical bodies without “our” participation (as Eckhart says).

The “explanation” is really antithetical to the PRACTICE — which is the essence of the nondual teaching of Michael Jeffreys and others like Paul Hedderman that reduces identification with a “self” and affirms an acceptance of what IS.

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Consciousness

Supermoon In Libra: Relationship Adjustments

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We are having a Full Moon in Libra on March 20th-21st depending on where you are located in the world. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began on March 6 with a New Moon in Pisces. It will also be the last of three back to back Supermoons happening in 2019, which is when the Moon appears larger and brighter due to its closer proximity to the Earth. The previous one in February was the brightest of the three.

This Full Moon coincides with the Equinox, which is the beginning of Aries season (via the Tropical Zodiac) and is the first of 12 signs. Traditionally, some cultures observe this period as the beginning of a New Year, which makes much more cosmological sense than the calendar New Year. Even this transition from dreamy and floaty Pisces to active and direct Aries tends to be the most obvious and noticeable transition between signs.

During this Full Moon, we can experience either a push-pull or collaboration between the Sun in Aries and Moon in Libra. The energies of it gradually build up and become more noticeable on the day of and days surrounding it. It is also part of the backdrop of the other astrological influences/reflections over the following two weeks.

Aries and Libra are two out of the four Cardinal signs which are the first signs of each quarter of the zodiac. They all have an initiating quality in their own way. Aries is a fire sign ruled by Mars. It is about action, moving forward, pioneering, independence, self-identity, self-orientation, and leadership. It is bold, courageous, and instinctual, yet it can also be aggressive, impulsive, impatient, selfish, and hot tempered.

Libra is an Air sign ruled by Venus. It is about relating, relationships, partnerships, codependency, consideration, harmony, balance, fairness, art, creativity, and beauty. It is sociable, diplomatic, and intellectual, yet it can also be indecisive, passive aggressive, vain, and even judgemental. Although Aries is much more of an initiating sign in comparison to Libra due to the qualities mentioned above, Libra still expresses its Cardinal energy socially and towards consideration.

An interesting thing to mention is that this Full Moon happens right at the beginning of Libra at 0 degrees due to it occurring  on the Equinox. This degree tends to be more potent and sometimes can reflect exploring new experiences or actions connected to that sign.

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Full Moon Opposite Sun/Chiron Conjunction, Quincunx Uranus

The Sun is aligned with Chiron, which brings its themes into the opposition of this Full Moon. This could trigger wounds, blockages, and patterns connected to self-identity, independence, willpower, ego, or other Aries themes mentioned in the section above. It can also reflect potential healing, bridging or uniting two parts of something, holistic awareness, and combined with the current Mercury Retrograde in Pisces it could also have a spiritual tone. This can be a source of either potential challenges and/or growth around relationships at this time.

The Full Moon is in a quincunx with Uranus in Taurus, which could reflect changes, surprises, disruptions, new experiences, rebellion, or other curve balls being thrown at us that may require some adjustments. In many cases it will be connected to the themes of the Aries-Libra opposition mentioned and can play out in our relationship dynamics, but it can also manifest in other ways. In Taurus it could have something to do with money, possessions, or values.

Venus Square Mars and Sextile Jupiter, Mars Trine Pluto

Venus, the ruler of Libra, is in Aquarius while in a tight square with Mars in Taurus, which is the ruler of Aries. This aspect emphasizes the potential challenges of this Full Moon. The way we or others assert our personal wants, values, or resources can be at odds with social or romantic aspects of our lives. However, this aspect can also be supportive creatively or sexually, especially considering that Venus is also in a harmonious aspect with Jupiter.

Venus in a sextile with Jupiter in Sagittarius can reflect growth, learning, and overall expansiveness in different types of relationships. In some cases it can be connected to travel/foreign countries, social media, education, and beliefs. However, the developments that could occur might require adjustments in how we assert ourselves.

Mars is in a trine with Pluto, which can be good for actions that are focused, deep, and powerful. It can also be good for applying ourselves in a confident or empowering way and towards making positive changes.

Mercury Retrograde Moving Towards Neptune Before Going Direct

Mercury has been retrograde in Pisces since March 5th, a day before this Lunar cycle started. This retrograde extends the strong Piscean energy into most of Aries season. The actual retrograde ends on March 28th; however, the following days can still feel retrograde-ish. The few weeks following are known as the ‘post shadow,’ which is when its themes conclude and things start to fall into place more smoothly and productively.

While Mercury is transitioning from retrograde to direct, it will be aligned with Neptune. Our intuition can be heightened and we can be divinely inspired. Our thoughts and communications can be revolved around spirituality, compassion, empathy, and sacrifice. This can be a period of magical experiences or interactions with others. However, this can be challenging for rational and linear thinking. We can overlook mundane details easily and can also be confused. You can read more about this retrograde here.

Things To Consider During This Period

What recurring themes have been coming up for you in recent weeks, and what directions are your circumstances pushing you towards? How can you balance your individual needs with your relationship’s needs? Do you or others in your life have any wounds or blockages getting in the way? If so, what can you do to resolve or address the situation?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime over the two weeks following, when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on the night of March 20th/21st at 1:43am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

I am extending my Sale on Astrology Readings until the end of March. 20% – 30% off! More information here.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

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A Simple Trick To Unlock Determination & Focus

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    In a world filled with distractions, the ability to lock in and focus has become harder and harder to master. But rather than looking outside of yourself for a solution, the key may just lie within.

  • Reflect On:

    How many notifications do you receive daily? Are there any Apps that rather than always receiving notifications from you could instead just check at certain times?

A recent study revealed that in the United States, the average smartphone user receives 45.9 push notifications per day, and many of us exceed that number. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter to WhatsApp to Gmail, everything is constantly vying for our attention.

As a result of this overload, we’re experiencing a collective inability to focus at our highest potential and a reality where the majority of us are consistently fighting off some sort of urge to do something else.

(Fun Fact: Even as I’ve just started to write this article I’ve already seen my phone light up twice with notifications. I’ve now followed my own rules and have turned it over to lock in on the task at hand–more on this later.)

Even if you are part of the dying breed of individuals who have sworn off social media, although you finding and reading this article suggests otherwise, we all seem to be having an incredibly difficult time staying focused.

And with every useless scroll through our Instagram news feed and with every endless YouTube video rabbit hole we fall into, we only further shrink our attention span and strengthen the programming that convinces us that this is normal behaviour.

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Assuming that part of why you clicked on this article is because you do have something that you ideally would like to focus on and ultimately accomplish, I’d like to share with you the best tactic I’ve personally found (and some bonus ones) to “lock in.” Believe it or not, this tactic is not a specific exercise, but is instead designed for you to realize that you still have an incredible ability to focus within you. It hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just been misguided.

In fact, it’s likely getting more use than you could ever imagine.

The best way to explain this further is by using an example. Think of the last time you either: A) lost your phone, or B) forgot to bring a charger and realized that your phone was about to die.

The moment that either of those realities kick in for most of us, we immediately enter a state where nothing else matters. In scenario A, we search everywhere possible, call it from any other device we can get our hands on, and seek out the assistance of everyone available. In scenario B, despite being an introvert on the daily, we suddenly find ourselves engaging in conversation with everyone by asking for a charger, and if one can’t be found we start planning our exit no matter how much fun we’re having pre-low battery.

We’ve all experienced and have seen this before. When assessed like this, it likely sounds like a form of insanity–and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is–but from a completely different perspective, it’s actually fully “locked in” determination.

You see, we all have the capacity to focus on one particular thing and give all of ourselves to it, it’s just that our auto-pilot has become the opposite because of the sheer number of distractions we are exposed to and have become addicted to.

So rather than looking outside of yourself for some practice or technique that’s going to help you focus and finish writing that book, completing the homework, or finally send out those wedding thank you cards, look within and realize that you are still a determination powerhouse just waiting to be re-guided.

Bonus Tips: 1) When working on something important, put your phone on silent and either put it in another room or face down on your desk. 2) Consider turning off notifications and instead just check certain apps at particular points in the day. I’ve personally turned off all notifications from Facebook, Instagram and all audible email pushes.


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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Consciousness

Indigenous Leaders Share the Prophecy of the Reunion of the Condor and Eagle (VIDEO)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Indigenous cultures from around the globe all share a prophecy about the time we are living in now. It states that the people of Earth will unite in some sort of spiritual awakening with the common goal of peace on Earth.

  • Reflect On:

    Think about how much human consciousness has changed within the past 10 years alone. We are starting to see through the lies and deception, we are starting to realize that it's really time to change things here on our planet. We are in the process.

Indigenous cultures today struggle to remember their teachings. It doesn’t help that the western world portrays them in a certain light, but the fact remains that indigenous cultures were extremely advanced. They understood how to live in harmony with the Earth, and their teachings were very profound, insightful and spiritual. You don’t need to look far to see how knowledgable they were, and their knowledge of our planet, the cosmos, science and mathematics still baffles experts today. How they were able to acquire certain knowledge and build various structures is still a mystery, as many of these things would be difficult to replicate even using modern technology. We see this with the pyramids built by various indigenous cultures throughout history, pieces of artwork, and several other anomalous artifacts that really don’t receive much media attention. These people were highly advanced, but unfortunately colonization and the arrival of the Europeans changed all of that. I still get upset when I hear people interpret these cultures as very ‘primitive,’ as if they just lived in forests. That interpretation is very far from the truth.

Scholars have estimated that, prior to the ‘discovery’ of the Americas by Europeans, the pre-contact era population could have been as high as 100 million people. American anthropologist and ethnohistorian Henry F. Dobyns, most known for his published research on American Indians and Hispanic peoples in Latin and North America, estimated that more than one hundred twelve million people inhabited the Americas prior to European arrival. (source)(source)(source)

When these cultures were wiped out, so were their teachings, knowledge and wisdom. It was replaced with religious indoctrination, and indigenous cultures throughout the world, especially in North America, have since struggled to regain and retain the knowledge and teachings that were lost.

But things are changing.

These cultures also had prophecies, and many of them speak of a time when all of this knowledge would be lost, but then would eventually return to Earth. Prophecies speak of indigenous cultures and bloodlines reuniting. We’re living in a special time right now because that ancient indigenous prophecy wasn’t just referring to the ‘spiritual awakening’ of their own people, but of the entire planet, and this is the process we’re going through today.

It gives me chills just thinking about it. The time has come where many desire a cleaner, greener, more cooperative human experience where everybody can thrive. Humanity has the potential to live in peace and meet the needs of everyone easily. We can live in harmony with nature and work with it, not against it.

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Here at Collective Evolution, we refer to this time as the shift in consciousness, and we are currently living through it. The ‘darkness’ is being exposed, and this ‘darkness’ has primarily relied on the manipulation of human consciousness. Our thoughts, feelings and perceptions about what is happening on our planet have been completely altered by the same forces that once sought to wipe out indigenous knowledge and implant their own ideals. Just as the surviving indigenous after European arrival were brainwashed and indoctrinated, we too have been brainwashed and indoctrinated.

Today, we live in a society that manipulates our consciousness in order to justify wars, wars based on false premises. We are made to believe that, even with all our technological advancements and potential to provide abundance for all, that this is not ‘economically feasible.’ We’ve been made to believe that our medicines are helping us, and that we can ‘out-do’ nature and rise above it. So many of humanity’s actions are not in harmony with the planet and all life on it.

Thankfully, this mass spiritual awakening is here. Not only is humanity becoming aware of the fact that we can change the human experience to one that resonates with all, but we are also realizing that we’ve been manipulated, that we have the power to change, and that a world beyond our physical material world exists. Non-material science is becoming stronger, and awareness of the metaphysical world is becoming the norm.

Many activist movements are growing, and truth movements and campaigns have been gaining attention and popularity for years. We are no longer sitting idle, we are raising our voice, we are acting, and we are bringing about a shift in consciousness and a spiritual awakening that was prophesied  long before we were even here. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, and the best way to bring about peace, love, unity and cooperation is to embody these qualities within ourselves.

Below is a video of indigenous leaders and elders sharing and explaining the current transitional time that we are living in.

There have been wounds of injustice, of oppression, of colonization, of greed, of superstition, all those things which injure the human heart. At the same time there’s been no way for this to be expressed, it’s been held inside. So this ancestral wound is this wound that’s been carried on from generation to generation to generation, this intergenerational trauma. But it was also prophesied  and promised that after a period of 500 years that a great, great spiritual spring time would emerge with such power and such intensity that all that had been covered in the cold bitter snow would be revealed and cleansed and purified. And that we would emerge galvanized, reunited as not only the reunion of the Condor and Eagle, but a reunion of the entire human family. This time is now. (This quote was taken from the video below.)

The Takeaway

We are truly living in an apocalypse. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, but rather a disclosure or revelation of knowledge. A lot of truths are being exposed today within several different subjects, be it food, politics, health, etc. We are being presented with knowledge that severely contrasts what we’ve been indoctrinated to believe. Having our collective belief systems questioned and challenged is not an easy process, and many are still fighting to hang on to old ways and belief systems. This is all part of the current spiritual transformation/shift in consciousness that the human race is experiencing as a collective. It’s all part of these ancient prophecies.

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