Mindfulness in Plain English

Mindfulness in Plain English by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana

Mindfulness is the English translation of the Pali word ‘Sati.’ Sati is an activity. What exactly is that? Well, this is one of those questions without a precise answer, at least not in words. Words are devised by the symbolic levels of the mind and they describe those realities with which symbolic thinking deals. Mindfulness (Sati) is pre-symbolic. It is not shackled to logic. Nevertheless, Mindfulness can be experienced – rather easily – and it can be described, as long as you keep in mind that the words are only fingers pointing at the moon. They are not the thing itself. The actual experience lies beyond the words and above the symbols. Mindfulness could be described in completely different terms than will be used here and each description could still be correct.

Mindfulness (Sati) is a subtle process that you are using at this very moment. The fact that this process lies above and beyond words does not make it unreal – quite the reverse. Mindfulness is the reality which gives rise to words – the words that follow are simply pale shadows of reality. So, it is important to understand that everything that follows here is an analogy. It is not going to make perfect sense. Please don’t sit around scratching your head and trying to figure it all out. In fact, the meditational technique called Vipassana (insight) that was introduced by the Buddha about twenty-five centuries ago is a set of mental activities specifically aimed at experiencing a state of uninterrupted Mindfulness or Sati.

When you first become aware of something there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness just before you conceptualize he thing, before you identify it. That is a stage of Mindfulness (Sati). Ordinarily, this stage is very short. It is that flashing split second just before you focus your eyes on the thing, just before you focus your mind on the thing, just before you objectify it, clamp down on it mentally and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes place just before ,you start thinking about it – before that little ‘yak, yak’ machine inside your skull says, “Oh, it’s a dog.” That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is Mindfulness (Sati). In that brief flashing mind- moment you experience a thing as an un-thing. You experience a softly flowing moment of pure experience that is interlocked with the rest of reality, not separate from it. Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. Yet this moment of soft, unfocused, awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary perception, the Mindfulness (Sati) step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the perception, cognizing the perception, labeling it, and most od all, getting involved in a long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness just gets lost in the shuffle. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to train us to prolong that moment of awareness.

When this Mindfulness (Sati) is prolonged by using proper techniques, you find that this experience is profound and it changes your whole view of the universe. This state of perception has to be learned, however, and it takes regular practice. Once you learn the technique, you will find that Mindfulness has a number of interesting characteristics.


Mindfulness (Sati) is mirror-thought. It reflects only what is presently happening and in exactly the way it is happening. There are no biases.
Mindfulness (Sati) is non-judgmental observation. It is that ability of the mind to observe without criticism. With this ability, one sees things without condemnation or judgment. One is surprised by nothing. One simply takes a balanced interest in things exactly as they are in their natural states. One does not decide and does not judge. One just observes.

It is psychologically impossible for us to objectively observe what is going on within us if we do not at the same time accept the occurrence of our various states of mind. This is especially true with unpleasant states of mind. In order to observe our own fear, we must accept the fact that we are afraid. We can’t examine our own depression without accepting i fully. The same is true for irritation and agitation, frustration and all those other uncomfortable emotional states. You can’t examine something fully if you are busy rejecting the existence of it. Whatever experience we may be having, Mindfulness just accepts it. It is simply another of life’s occurrences, just another thing to be aware of. No pride, no shame, nothing personal at stake – what is there, is there.

Mindfulness (Sati) is an impartial watchfulness. It does not take sides. It does not get hung up in what is perceived. It just perceives. Mindfulness does not get infatuated with the good stuff. It does not try to sidestep the bad stuff. There is no clinging to the pleasant, no fleeing from the unpleasant. Mindfulness sees all experiences as equal, all thoughts as equal, all feelings as equal. Nothing is suppressed. Nothing is repressed. Mindfulness does not play favorites.

Mindfulness (Sati) is nonconceptual awareness. Another English term for Sati is ‘bare attention.’ It is not thinking. It does not get involved with thought or concepts. It does not get hung up on ideas or opinions or memories. It just looks. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It just observes everything as if they were occurring for the first time. It is not analysis which is based on reflection and memory. It is, rather, the direct and immediate experience of whatever is happening, without the medium of thought. It comes BEFORE thought in the perceptual process.

Mindfulness (Sati) is present-time awareness. It takes place in the here and now. It is the observance of what is happening right now, in the present moment. It stays forever in the present, surging perpetually on the crest of the ongoing wave of passing time. If you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is memory. When you then become aware that you are remembering your second-grade teacher, that is Mindfulness. If you then conceptualize the process and say to yourself, “Oh, I am remembering”, that is thinking.

Mindfulness (Sati) is non-egoistic alertness. It takes place without reference to self. With Mindfulness one sees all phenomena without references to concepts like “me”, “my” or “mine”. For example, suppose there is a pain in your left leg. Ordinary consciousness would say, “I have a pain.” Using Mindfulness, one would simply note the sensation as a sensation. One would not tack on that extra concept “I”. Mindfulness stops one from adding anything to perception, or subtracting anything from it. One does not enhance anything. One does not emphasize anything. One just observes what is there – without distortion.

Mindfulness (Sati) is goal-less awareness. In Mindfulness, one does not strain for results. One does not try to accomplish anything. When one is mindful, one experiences reality in the present moment in whatever form it takes. There is nothing to be achieved. There is only observation.

Mindfulness (Sati) is awareness of change. It is observing the passing flow of experience. It is watching things as they are changing. It is seeing the birth, growth, and maturity of all phenomena. It is watching phenomena decay and die. Mindfulness is watching things moment by moment, continuously. It is observing all phenomena – physical, mental or emotional – whatever is presently taking place in the mind. One just sits back and watches the show. Mindfulness is the observance of the basic nature of each passing phenomena. It is watching the thing arising and passing away. It is seeing how the thing makes us feel and how we react to it. It is observing how it affects others. In Mindfulness, one is an unbiased observer whose sole job is to keep track of the constantly passing show of the universe within. Please note that last point. In Mindfulness, one watches the universe within. The meditator who is developing Mindfulness (Sati) is not concerned with the external universe. It is there, but in meditation, one’s field of study is one’s own experience, one’s thoughts, one’s feelings, and one’s perceptions. In meditation, one is one’s own laboratory. The universe within has an enormous fund of information containing the reflection of the external world and much more. An examination of this material leads to total freedom.

Mindfulness (Sati) is participatory observation. The meditator is both participant and observer at one and the same time. If one watches one’s emotions or physical sensations, one is feeling them at that very same moment. Mindfulness is not an intellectual awareness. It is just awareness. The Mirror- thought metaphor breaks down here. Mindfulness is objective, but it is not cold or unfeeling. It is the wakeful experience of life, an alert participation in the ongoing process of living.

Mindfulness is an extremely difficult concept to define in words – not because it is complex, but because it is too simple and open. The same problem crops up in every area of human experience. The most basic concept is always the most difficult to pin down. Look at a dictionary and you will see a clear example. Long words generally have concise definitions, but for short basic words like “the”, “is” or “but”, definitions can be a page long. And in physics, the most difficult functions to describe are the most basic – those that deal with the most fundamental realities of quantum mechanics. Mindfulness is a pre- symbolic function. You can play with word symbols all day long and you will never pin it down completely. We can never fully express what it is. However, we can say what it does.


There are three fundamental activities of Mindfulness (Sati). We can use these activities as functional definitions of the term: (1) Mindfulness reminds us what we are supposed to be doing; (2) it sees things as they really are; and (3) it sees the deep nature of all phenomena. Let’s examine these definitions in greater detail.
Mindfulness (Sati) reminds you what you are supposed to be doing. In meditation, you put your attention on one item. When your mind wanders from this focus, it is Mindfulness that reminds you that your mind is wandering and what you are supposed to be doing. It is Mindfulness that brings your mind back to the object of meditation. All of this occurs instantaneously and without internal dialogue. Meditation is not thinking. Repeated practice in meditation establishes this function as a mental habit which then carries over into the rest of your life. You should be paying bare attention to occurrences all the time, day in, day out, whether formally sitting in meditation or not. This is a very lofty ideal towards which those who meditate may be working for a period of years or even decades. Our habit of getting stuck in thought is years old, and that habit will hang on in the most tenacious manner. The only way out is to be equally persistent in the cultivation of constant Mindfulness (Sati). When Mindfulness is present, you will notice when you become stuck in your thought patterns. It is that very noticing which allows you to back out of the thought process and free yourself from it. Mindfulness then returns your attention to its proper focus. If you are meditating at that moment, then your focus will be the formal object of meditation. If you are not in formal meditation, it will be just a pure application of bare attention itself, just a pure noticing of whatever comes up without getting involved – “Ah, this comes up… and now this, and now this… and now this.”

Mindfulness (Sati) is at one and the same time both bare attention itself and the function of reminding us to pay bare attention if we have ceased to do so. Bare attention is noticing. It re-establishes itself simply by noticing that it has not been present. As soon as you are noticing that you have not been noticing, then by definition you are noticing and then again you are back to paying bare attention. Well, that all sounds very involved, but there is nothing complex about it. It is just the words. It is just a thing you will learn to do by feel, the way you play baseball. Mindfulness creates its own distinct feeling in consciousness. It has a flavor – a light, clear, energetic flavor. Conscious thought is heavy by comparison, ponderous and picky. But here again, these are just words. Your own practice will show you the difference. Then you will probably come up with your own words and the words used here will become superfluous. Remember, practice is the thing.

Mindfulness (Sati) sees things as they really are. It adds nothing to perception and it subtracts nothing. It distorts nothing. It is bare attention and just looks at whatever comes up. Conscious thought loves to paste things over our experience, to load us down with concepts and ideas, to immerse us in a churning vortex of plans and worries, fears and fantasies. When mindful, you don’t play that game. You just notice exactly what arises in the mind, then you notice the next thing. “Ah, this… and this… and now this.” It is really very simple.

Mindfulness (Sati) sees the true nature of all phenomena. Mindfulness and only Mindfulness can perceive the three prime characteristics that Buddhism teaches are the deepest truth of existence. In Pali these three are called Annica (impermanence), Dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), and Anatta (selflessness – the absence of a permanent, unchanging, entity that we call soul or self). These truths, by the way, are not presented in Buddhist teaching as dogmas subject to blind faith. The Buddhists feel that these truths are universal and self-evident to anyone who cares to investigate in a proper way. Mindfulness is that method of investigation. Mindfulness alone has the power to reveal the deepest level of reality available to human observation. At this level of inspection, one sees the following: (a) All conditioned things are inherently transitory; (b) every worldly thing is, in the end, unsatisfying; and (c) there are really no entities that are unchanging or permanent, only processes.

Mindfulness works like an electron microscope. That is, it operates on so fine a level that one can actually see directly those realities which are at best theoretical constructs to the conscious thought process. Mindfulness actually sees the impermanent character of every perception. It sees the transitory and passing nature of everything that is perceived. It also sees the inherently unsatisfactory nature of all conditioned things. It sees that there is no sense grabbing onto any of these passing shows. Peace and happiness just cannot be found that way. And finally, Mindfulness sees the inherent selflessness of all phenomena. It sees the way we have arbitrarily selected a certain bundle of perceptions, chopped them off from the rest of the surging flow of experience and then conceptualized them as separate, enduring, entities. Mindfulness actually sees these things. It does not think about them, it sees them directly.

When it is fully developed, Mindfulness sees these three attributes of existence directly, instantaneously, and without the intervening medium of conscious thought. In fact, even the attributes which we just covered are inherently arbitrary. They don’t really exist as separate items. They are purely the result of our struggle to take this fundamentally simple process called Mindfulness and express it in the cumbersome and inherently unsuitable thought symbols of the conscious level. Mindfulness is a PROCESS, but it does not take place in steps. It is a wholistic process that occurs as a unit: you notice your own lack of Mindfulness; and that noticing itself is a result of Mindfulness; and Mindfulness is bare attention; and bare attention is noticing things exactly as they are without distortion; and the way they are is Anicca, Dukkha, and Anatta (impermananent, unsatisfactory, and self-less). It all takes place in a flash-bang. This does not mean, however, that you will instantly attain liberation (freedom from all human weaknesses) as a result of your first moment of Mindfulness. Learning to integrate this material into your conscious life is another whole process. And learning to prolong this state of Mindfulness is still another. They are joyous processes, however, and they are well worth the effort.


Mindfulness is the center of Vipassana meditation and the key to the whole process. It is both the goal of this meditation and the means to that end. You reach Mindfulness by being ever more mindful. One other Pali word that is translated into English as Mindfulness is Appamada, which means non- negligence or an absence of madness. One who attends constantly to what is really going on in one;s mind achieves the state of ultimate sanity.
The Pali term ‘Sati’ also bears the connotation of remembering. It is not memory in the sense of ideas and pictures from the past, but rather clear, direct, wordless knowing of what is and what is not, of what is correct and what is incorrect, of what we are doing and how we should go about it. Mindfulness (Sati) reminds the meditator to apply his attention to the proper object at the proper time and to exert precisely the amount of energy needed to do that job. When this energy is properly applied, the meditator stays constantly in a state of calmness and alertness. As long as this condition is maintained, those mind-states called ‘hindrances’ or ‘psychic irritants’ cannot arise – there is no greed, no hatred, no lust or laziness. But we are all human and we all goof. Most of us are very human and we goof repeatedly. Despite honest effort, the meditator lets his Mindfulness slip now and then and he finds himself stuck in some nasty, but normal, human failure. It is Mindfulness that notices that change. And it is Mindfulness that reminds him to apply the energy required to pull himself out of the soup. These slips happen over and over, but their frequency decreases with practice. Once Mindfulness has pushed these mental defilements aside, more wholesome states of mind can take their place. Hatred makes way for loving kindness, lust is replaced by detachment. It is Mindfulness which notices this change, too, and which reminds the Vipassana meditator to maintain that extra little mental sharpness needed to keep these more desirable states of mind. Mindfulness makes possible the growth of wisdom and compassion. Without Mindfulness they cannot develop to full maturity.

Deeply buried in the mind, there lies a mental mechanism which accepts what the mind perceives as beautiful and pleasant experiences and rejects those experiences which are perceived as ugly and painful. This mechanism gives rise to those states of mind which we are training ourselves to avoid – things like greed, lust, hatred, aversion, and jealousy. We choose to avoid these hindrances, not because they are evil in the normal sense of the word, but because they are compulsive; because they take the mind over and capture the attention completely; because they keep going round and round in tight little circles of thought; and because they seal us off from living reality.

These hamperings cannot arise when Mindfulness is present. Mindfulness is attention to present time reality, and therefore, directly antithetical to the dazed state of mind which characterizes the impediments. As meditators, it is only when we let our Mindfulness slip that the deep mechanisms of our minds take over – grasping, clinging and rejecting. Then resistance emerges and obscures our awareness. We do not notice that the change is taking place – we are too busy with a thought of revenge, or greed, whatever it may be. While an untrained person will continue inn this state indefinitely, a trained meditator will soon realize what is happening. It is Mindfulness that notices the change. It is Mindfulness that remembers the training received ad that focuses our attention so that the confusion fades away. And it is Mindfulness that then attempts to maintain itself indefinitely so that the resistance cannot arise again. Thus, Mindfulness is the specific antidote for hindrances. It is both the cure and the preventive measure.

Fully developed Mindfulness (Sati) is a state of total non-attachment and utter absence of clinging to anything in the world. If we can maintain this state, no other means or device is needed to keep ourselves free of obstructions, to achieve liberation from our human weaknesses. Mindfulness is non-superficial awareness. It sees things deeply, down below the level of concepts and opinions. This sort of deep observation leads to total certainty, a complete absence of confusion. It manifests itself primarily as a constant and unwavering attention which never flags an which never turns away.

This pure and unstained investigative awareness not only holds the fetters at bay, it lays bare their very mechanism and destroys them. Mindfulness neutralizes defilements in the mind. The result is a mind which remains unstained and invulnerable, completely unaffected by the ups and downs of life.

[California Buddhist Vihara Society, 4797 Myrtle Drive, Concord CA 94521]

4 Inspiring Quotes

These simple quotes are great pointers of the deeper Truths of life and enlightened living and can inspire one to live at a higher level.  So, below are 4 such sayings which I thought would be worth sharing with you on the blog as well.  I am sure you will find them uplifting as have others.

If you have quotes that you find specially uplifting and insightful please do share them with us in the comments section below.  Also, feel free to leave your thoughts and feedback, we would love to hear what you think of these sayings.

Be The Lion

Spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. Spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology.   Religiousness keeps you a sheep, and spirituality is a lion’s roar. – OSHO –


Jesus said: the mote that is in thy brother’s eye thou seest, but the beam that is in thine eye thou seest not.

The Down Ward Dog Pose :))

The True Person is detached and humble and to the world appears confusing. The people all strain their eyes and ears,yet the True Person remains childlike. – LAU TZU –

Sleep – Samadhi

Patanjali says sleep is just next to samadhi. A good sleep, a deep sleep, and samadhi, are different only in one sense: samadhi has awareness, sleep has no awareness. – OSHO

Using Yoga as a Motivation to Better Life


Article by Kayla Tang

The majority of people believe that yoga concerns experiencing pure ecstasy through the union of the mind, the soul, and the group. But, many yoga practitioners and teachers would agree that other than providing relaxation and peace, yoga can serve as a motivation for people to have an improved life because it provides limitless opportunities for an individual to be in control and unite with him or her inner self.

Today, many yoga practitioners believe that in one way or another, the ancient discipline may serve as a motivation for people to relax and concentrate on what they wish to achieve because it paves the way for the breath, the mind, and the senses to unite, thus, the creating balance needed.

The expression “yoga” denotes a Sanskrit term meaning that “union or joining.” Many people see it as an ambiguous term because it encompasses a wide range of purely physical disciplines to purely spiritual. When people talk of yoga, the phrase “asana” is always there. Asana is called one of the eight types of yoga wherein mental and spiritual health than are prioritized compared to physical endurance. Nowadays, the pair words have turned almost synonymous to modern-day yogis because they embody the same concept: relaxation though meditation.

Using yoga as a motivator

Motivator denotes factors that may influence an individual getting motivated. If you intend to practice yoga as a type of motivation, it ought not to be as confusing as it seems because you don’t must learn all the beliefs and philosophies behind it.

Although many individuals practice yoga for so many reasons, this can serve as a motivation for people especially those who see stress easily. Through yoga, one can explore the almost limitless possibilities to self-discovery. Since its depths pertain to a meditative practice or for pure spiritual discipline, yoga can indeed be an origin of motivation for people who want order and the experience of peacefulness.

For those who are planning to get into yoga to use i t as a motivation to great life, the as they open that you must bear in mind before you totally indulge in practicing yoga is setting and determining your goals. The most general benefits that one could be provided from yoga are its health and fitness benefits. Since is the situation, many yoga practitioners agree that yoga might be an impressive tool for motivation since it increases the person’s strength and flexibility, creates balance in addition to the improvement of breathing and overall posture, soothes the nerves, calms the mind while increases the person’s focal and concentration skills.

You may also need to undergo a general check-up. Since yoga involves physical endurance, you could in addition want to visit an orthopedic before you undergo a class to avoid possible injuries. A check-up is important for you do discuss with your physician the advantages and disadvantages of yoga in your total health and happiness.

Aside from the items mentioned, he’re some of the things you may wish to think about before you commence practicing yoga as an origin of motivation:

– know your physical and emotional limitations.

– make sure that you commence with the easy yoga poses before slowly advancing to the difficult positions.

– know when is the most appropriate time worthy of you to practice yoga.

– make sure that you need a good yoga instructor who can attend to your needs and with advice you comprehend how you can make it as a motivation for great living.

About the Author

Kayla specializes in diet, fitness and weight loss

Strengthen Your Core: Yoga Journal To Go

The Yoga Journal podcast is a free, online yoga class by Kathryn Budig that provides intelligent, accessible, and effective yoga videos for students of all levels. In these yoga videos, Kathryn Budig provides students with knowledgeable instructions, playful sequences, and the detailed demonstrations of her student and model Rowena King. Each episode features different poses and themes in order to provide you with a wide-range of practices to keep your routine fun and challenging. The Strengthen Your Core Podcast provides you with deep focused abdominal work that will strengthen all aspects of your practice. The practice focuses on floor work including traditional boat (navasana) pose, pick-ups and learning how to jump through with straight legs on blocks. The practice reviews mula-banda and the small details of engaging the stomach though out your entire practice and concludes with counter-stretches to release the core. Visit www.yogajournal.com for more videos.

Video Rating: 5 / 5

Making The Most Out Of Life In 2012

Dharma Publishing Announces 4 Online Tibetan Buddhism Courses For Making The Most Out Of Life In 2012.

“When we are aware of the possibilities for developing inner freedom, we can begin to open to the pleasure, health, and satisfaction that are all around us. Knowing ourselves better will prompt deeper insight, more understanding, and a sense of peace. We will grow healthy in body and mind; our work, family, and relationships will become more meaningful.”

• Tarthang Tulku, Skillful Means

Cultivate greater appreciation, create the conditions that allow deep connection with each moment, and take full advantage of life with Dharma Publishing’s online programs in human development. Each program is comprised of a series of lessons sent via e-mail. Offering courses in meditation, yoga, Buddhist teachings, and developing satisfaction in work and life, these online courses, based on the teachings of Tibetan lama Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche.

e-Skillful Means: The online program in skillful means takes a unique look at how to use work as a path of inner realization. A perfect arena for exploring potential, work provides the possibility of refining inner resources and uncovering the strength of our natural abilities. While working, the Skillful Means practices will elicit hidden talents and the promise of the situation. This program can help to give a sense of what it means to have a “good time” at work: joy, satisfaction, meaning, creativity and positive accomplishments.

e-Meditation: The inner quiet which arises from meditation relieves the stress of these times of rapid change, when it is so easy to lose sense of stability and balance. In trying to do too much in too little time, we can become agitated and upset. When our minds are relaxed and quiet, however, life becomes simple and balanced, free from disruptive extremes. The e-Meditation program explores meditation by refining the breath and developing the mind’s ability to practice visualization.

e-Dharma: Dharma Publishing’s newest online program, Doors to the Dharma, connects life and teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. Offering a thematic approach to study the teachings of the Buddha beginning with Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, this program includes readings, practice suggestions, and instruction in visualization, mantra, and sacred art. Inspired by the Buddha’s teachings, access to inner knowledge becomes more readily available.

e-Kum Nye – Tibetan Yoga: Offering a practical guide to the pleasure of a healthy and balanced life, rich in beauty and enjoyment, Dharma Publishing’s e-Kum Nye program brings together 9 levels of theory and practice to transforming from the inside outE-Kum Nye postures generate a relaxing process of body and mind that opens a path of spiritual development in the midst of daily life, laying a foundation for meditative practices.

Based on the books Kum Nye – Tibetan Yoga and The Joy of Being, this course provides instruction on how to integrate the energies of body and mind allowing them to function calmly and smoothly, relieving stress, transforming negative patterns, and opening your heart and senses.

Whether looking to begin or deepen a meditation or yoga practice, get more satisfaction from work, or interested in the Buddha’s teachings, with Dharma Publishing’s online programs, the timeless wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism and Tarthang Tulku is made available to a growing global community, positive and lasting change is possible here and now.

For more information about Dharma Publishing’s online programs, visit www.dharmapublishing.com.

Introduced by Tarthang Tulku in the early 1970’s, Kum Nye is an ancient Tibetan Yoga practice based on traditional Tibetan medicine. The physical postures and breathing exercises, combined with inner awareness and concentration, align and integrate the physical body and senses with the mind and intellect. In calm and relaxed states of well-being your inner world—the world of the mind, heart, energy and senses—is transformed. As described by a long time Kum Nye practitioner:

“One of the most beautiful things about Kum Nye is just how inspiring it can be, how it wakes up something in you, that part of you that wants to be joyful, it wakes it up and lets it run free like a little kid again.” Begin exploration of Kum Nye – Tibetan Yoga with the following exercise:

This posture calms the restless flow of thoughts and generates feeling in the heart center.
1. Stand well balanced with your feet about 4 inches apart, your back straight and your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly lift your arms away from your sides until they are directly overhead with the backs of the hands facing each other and the fingers straight. Close your eyes and feel the sensations of energy in your body. Relax your thighs and minimize any backward arching in your spine.
2. Slowly open your arms, increasing the distance between them in a balanced and equal way. Take 1 full minute to bring them all the way down to your sides.

Take another minute to move your arms up again. When your arms are overhead, stretch up slightly, keeping your legs relaxed. This stretch clears and settles the mind. Do the movement 9 times.

As you move your arms pay attention to the feeling tones and the flow of energy through your body. As your arms descend let energy flow into your heart center; as you raise your arms, direct energy outward through your fingers. You may feel heat and energy surrounding your arms and hands.

To complete the exercise sit in a sitting posture for five minutes or more, continuing to sense the flow of energy, with breath, body, and mind as one. As a variation try slowing the movement down, taking two minutes in each direction.

For more information, visit www.dharmapublishing.com.





The Reality of Truth — a New Documentary

There is an expanding shift in consciousness taking place right now, and people are looking for a new understanding of life, according to Mike “Zappy” Zapolin and spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, creators of the upcoming documentary “The Reality of Truth.” The film, set for release this summer, not only identifies the perception problem plaguing society today, but also analyzes specific techniques to break though to a new reality—one that is more peaceful, tolerant and, when looked at properly, amusing.

“Transcendence is the key to taking off the filters that separate and blind us, so that we can see things as they actually exist,” said Zapolin. “There are many techniques people use to transcend—meditation, prayer, dance, music, even psychedelics—and for this film we set out to explore the effectiveness of these different techniques.”

Highly controversial in nature, “The Reality of Truth” introduces audiences to the modalities people have used throughout history to transcend into an alternate reality, and suggests these techniques may be the breakthrough humankind needs to move into the future. The film features top religious gurus, thought leaders and scientists, who discuss the prevailing understanding of reality and the methods they invoke to transcend into an alternate reality.

These conversations include a panel discussion with Dr. John Hagelin, PhD and Fred Travis, faculty members of the Maharishi University of Management, and Dr. Norman Rosenthal, author of New York Times Bestseller “Transcendence.” The panel was held in Fairfield, Iowa, where thousands of people in the transcendental meditation community meditate together each day. The team also traveled to Maui to speak with legendary spiritual leader Ram Dass, who was with Timothy Leary during his infamous Harvard experiments.

“The Judeo-Christian religions, Vedic traditions, and Shamanistic rituals all incorporate techniques for transcending,” said Zapolin. “In the history of mankind, we have tenaciously sought out gateways to spirituality and found them in meditation, prayer and the consumption of natural substances.”

Some of the plants that have documented transcending capabilities, according to the film, are: ayahuasca, a giant vine native to South America, noted for its psychotropic properties; ibogaine, a hallucinogenic compound derived from the roots of a West African shrub, sometimes used as a treatment for heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine addiction; the psychoactive compounds psilocybin and psilocin found in certain mushrooms, especially liberty caps (aka magic mushrooms); and marijuana.

“When we ingest these naturally occurring substances, we taking in their energy, and it combines with our own,” said Zapolin. “When we observe things at the energy level, we realize there is no separation between us and nature. It can help to show us that we are all the same, and that realization is completely liberating.

“In sum, we are all living in a ‘fake’ reality, but we have the tools to break through and see an alternate reality. This film is aimed at increasing worldwide awareness of transcendence, so that audiences can break through the ‘illusion of reality’ and move forward toward a more meaningful and peaceful future.” Zapolin noted, “One of the more provocative scenes of the film documents me with actress Michelle Rodriguez and MacMillan Publishing’s Dan MacMillan participating in a life-changing ayahuasca ceremony with a shaman. It was a mind-blowing experience that I think audiences will truly appreciate.”

“The Reality of Truth” is being produced by Kurt Engfehr, who co-produced “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 911.” The film includes interviews with Marianne Williamson; Ram Dass; John Hagelin, PhD; Bruce H Lipton, PhD; Foster Gamble (who recently released the documentary “Thrive”); Charles Grob, MD; Peter Coyote; Lior Suchard; and Ravi Zacharai. Executive producer is Wall Street icon and just capitalist Peter Janssen.

For more information about The Reality of Truth, visit http://therealityoftruth.com/.

Releasing karma with forgiveness and gratitude – Phone Meditation

A talk and meditation by Joe Weaver of thedivinebalance.com.
Video Rating: 5 / 5