EVOLVE – Judge Not

Artwork by Cameron Gray.

Artwork by Cameron Gray.

All this talk of purity and impurity –
These are just opinions. Beyond them are the astonishing energies of creation.
Rays of light from a trillion suns you illumine the alter of your sky.
Rolling blue-green oceans sanctify the air you breathe.
In this moment, you are inhaling their blessing.
Who are you to call any of this pure or impure?
Find the center around which everything revolves– stand here and be flooded with joy.
- The Radiance Sutras

Are we separate, or are we part of the great oneness of the universe?

We stand at the alter of the night sky, Often feeling small, insignificant, and separate from all that is. But isn’t the opposite the truth? Are we not also part of, and connected it to that which the Greeks called the Universe? - the One Song.

Is the flowering plant separate from the ground in which it grows? Uproot any plant and you will have the answer. The seed provides the idea and the earth takes on a new form. What we see, label, and categorize as separate, are in reality, part of the same. The seed asks the earth to express itself as the flower. Everything that grows up from the earth IS the earth in a unique expression of celebration.

“I am not a tree!” You say. “I don’t have roots stuck into the earth. I’m an individual. I’m not dependent on the earth like a flower.” When we believe that we are something separate from the source of our being, we turn towards a path of suffering, of feelings of separateness, of insignificance, and powerlessness.

When we admit to ourselves that we are, in fact, part of the Universe, part of the Earth, and nurtured by the same creative Spirit that sways the oceans and illuminates the night sky, then we turn ourselves towards the path of limitless love, feelings of strength, and connectedness.

Rumi once wrote:

“These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean of living consciousness. They fill in sink without leaving an ark of bubbles or a goodbye spray. What we are, is the ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it and drink it in. Don’t be a cup with the dry rim, or someone who rides all night and never knows the horse beneath his thighs, the surging that carries him along.”

 Have you ever paused to observe the divine power of creation that flows with in your own body?

What a miracle it is, the Gift of Life–to be animated, expressive, a self-aware expression of the Earth!

Take time to sit and be still enough to experience the sensation of being. Feel the hum of universal energy inside your body. This energy came from a star, traveling millions of miles, nourishing plants and all the creatures of the oceans and the land. You are blessed with life!

Spend time each day in appreciation and gratitude for this life experience. This is your time. Know that you are a unique expression of the earth, nurtured by the same force that drives a tree to grow and flowers to bloom.

Let go–and allow the One Song to be witnessed through the earthly expression you call your life. Your heart is the heart of the universe.

Jesus said, “Judge not, least ye be judged.” The ego judges while the heart loves. The mind tries to solve puzzles, while the soul dances freely. The body experiences sensations. It is up to you, the Observer, to create your life from the inside out. You are everything you need.

Your practice for today and beyond: See yourself and others as unique expressions of the earth, different notes in the same melody of the One Song.

 

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EVOLVE – Life Is Now

Splash12

Immerse yourself in the rapture of music, you know what you love. Go there. Tend to each note, each cord, rising up from silence and dissolving again.

Vibrating strings draw us into this spacious resonance of the heart.

The body becomes light as the sky and you, one with the great musician, who is even now singing us into existence. – Radiance Sutras

This reading, from the radiance sutras, asks us to live in the present moment more deeply by using our senses and allowing ourselves to be enraptured by the continuous stream of input we receive from moment to moment.

As humans, we are conditioned to identify with thoughts. We are predisposed to believing that we can think our world into existence. But with thousands of years of history behind us, many struggle with simple questions, such as, “What is the meaning of life?”

Wisdom suggests that we bring meaning into our lives as a conscious practice, driven by our in-the-moment experiences. Our thoughts and beliefs about the world, however fascinating or perplexing, exist solely within the confines of our own minds. What is real, is waiting to be experienced–and can only be experienced through the senses. Life doesn’t happen in the past. It doesn’t happen later. It happens now.

Life is Now.

We are conditioned from childhood to identify with our minds. Soon after we acquire enough skills for basic communication, we are given problems to solve, riddles to answer, and we receive praise for our performance. We learn to identify our self-worth, in part, by the grades we receive in school and through praise from our and parents and peers. Our ability to solve problems, to identify, remember, and figure things out, becomes not simply a means to achieving quality of life, but a way for each of us to quantify our own value, and the value of others.

When the ego becomes associated with problem-solving, the status and importance of thinking can easily move from that of helper to that of ruler. Instead of using our minds to bring us more satisfaction, we allow ourselves to become slaves to the very questions that were created by our minds–or the minds of others. Does the fact that a question exists mean that there is an answer, or is the question itself flawed?

Consider for a moment, that humans are the only animals that create puzzles to be solved. So highly regarded is the human ability for thinking, that we create books of problems, and even television programs, to prove our mental abilities, to ourselves and each other. We not only seek out problems to solve, we take pride in having solved them. What does this tell us about the need for the mind and ego to consume problems? Does solving problems lead to greater life satisfaction – or is there a simpler way–a more direct path to joy.

Is it rational to presume that we can think our way through problems of the mind? Is it reasonable to assume that we can use the same tool to fix a problem that we used to create it? Could asking a question such as, “What is the meaning of life?” be just another way to feed the mind a puzzle, one that has no absolute answer. Is there any evidence to demonstrate that thinking is a reliable way to enhance your life experience? Does spending great amounts of time thinking about life’s problems often result in joy? Consider those times when you feel most satisfied, joyful, or at peace. Are you thinking or are you experiencing? Are you planning or are you doing?

Spiritual teachers throughout the ages point us not in the direction of contemplation as much as towards our own life experience. Be here now. I am that I am. Attend to this moment. How should we find meaning in our lives? The answer is simple. Pay attention. Pay attention, not to the internal process of thinking, but to your surroundings. Listen to the sounds, Take in the sites, enjoy the smells, tastes, and textures of the universe at play.

People talk about mind and ego. Let’s just drop this whole conversation. Consider instead: There is no mind. There is no ego. There is only incandescent reality at play, beckoning. – Radiance Sutras

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EVOLVE – Calm in the Storm

Splash11Kalani discuss the idea of the Holographic Mind - the idea that all thoughts, feelings, and emotions are linked together through the mind's network of neuro-connections. Having a human mind os having a busy mind, but thoughts don't need to become runaway trains of thinking. Kalani provides some simple practices to help  you create a functional and productive relationship with your mind and actually enjoy the process.

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This podcast features music by Azam AliGreg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

 

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Sensations

In a moment between effort, pause to sense the stillness.

Notice the energy of life flowing upward.

Tune into all your senses and rejoice in the beauty of creation.

This moment is your life.

You are life, creating, unfolding.

Allow yourself to bask in the joy that is life.

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EVOLVE – Experience Being

Splash17When we suspend labeling, categorizing, associating, and judging, we open up the possibility for greater awareness of being. Being or "experiencing the now" is one of the goals of a medication or mindfulness practice. Wherever you are, you always have the potential for experiencing the world as it is and fastening feelings of wonderment and connectedness to all that is. In this episode, Kalani discusses ways to deepen your life experience by using your senses and managing thoughts that can distract you from reaching this simple and profound goal. Share this show with anyone you think could benefit.

 

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Music for this episode by Layne Redmond, Greg Ellis, and Azam Ali. Used with permission.

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EVOLVE – Liberating the Soul

Splash13Kalani discusses what causes us to add to our own suffering and provides ways to free us from the bonds of aversion. Based on "The Guest House," a work by spiritual poet, Rumi, this talk is about creating positive relationships with every thoughts and feeling, inviting them into "your home" so that they may fulfill their role in helping us navigate our lives. We each gain knowledge and guidance from these "uninvited guests,' but there's no need to suffer. The KEY is paying attention and compassion.

This podcast features music by Azam AliGreg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

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EVOLVE – The Nature of Thought

Splash14Kalani talks about the nature of thought as it relates to developing mindfulness and a healthy relationship with one's mind. The design and nature of the brain gives rise to an internal 'storm' of thoughts that are interconnected, dynamic, and have the ability to consume our awareness. Kalani describes ways to remain centered in the present moment, while allowing the mind to fulfill its nature. A healthy relationship with your mind is a KEY to developing a strong Thoughtfulness Practice and an Enlightened life.

This podcast features music by Azam AliGreg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

Visit Kalani on Twitter and Facebook.

SUBSCRIBE to this PODCAST on iTunes.

 

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EVOLVE – Peace of Mind

Splash9Kalani discusses the nature of the mind and outlines specific practices for creating a peaceful and powerful relationship with it. Learn more about how to use your mind to navigate the world without getting lost in a sea of thought. Learn to foster quality thoughts and actions that are in alignment with your interests, values, and goals.

This podcast features music by Azam AliGreg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

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SUBSCRIBE to this PODCAST on iTunes.

 

 

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EVOLVE – Seeing as New

Splash10Kalani discusses ways to increase one's sense of joy and contentment by raising his/her awareness and appreciation for his surroundings, attending to the many features and changes in the environment. When we connect with the physical world through all our sense, we root into the present and live life more deeply. This practice is called "Seeing as New," and can help anyone deepen his/her life experience and sense of spiritual connection to the world, to other people, and to his or herself.

This podcast features music by Azam AliGreg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

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EVOLVE – Spirituality

Splash17Kalani talks about developing a spiritual practice, which is a personal and unique approach to increasing one's own experience of oneness, contentment, and joy. This talk is about finding new ways to approach your spiritual practice while fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for the diverse range of practices that make up the global spiritual community.

This podcast features music by Azam Ali, Greg Ellis and Layne Redmond & Tommy Brunjes.

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