Spiritual

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Fall Equinox Newsletter
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Spiritual Bypassing
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The 3 Stages of Life
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Flow
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How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners
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Meditation 102 – Meditation Is Not About Getting Rid of Thoughts
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Meditation

Fall Equinox Newsletter

 

Celebrate the Cycle of Life,

 

The Fall Equinox is the second of the three major harvest festivals. The Celtic name for it is Mabon: the season of storing food and preserving nature’s bounty for the coming winter months. This year it will be on September 22nd at 6:04 pm PDT just as the sun enters Libra, the sign of the balancing scales. The term Equinox refers to this balance of day and night. Fall is the time of plants shedding their seeds, going underground until new plants rise up in the Spring 

 

In ancient Greek and Roman traditions, during the Fall Equinox the Grain Goddess Demeter was honored. Originally, she was a triad: the Maiden (Kore or Persephone), Mother (Demeter), and Crone (Hecate) in the Pantheon that predated the Olympian myths. 

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Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual Bypassing

 

 

We tend to associate spirituality with transcendental, heightened states of being that are invariably related to the emotions of joy, happiness, contentment, and deep inner peace.

 

Spiritual growth and its journey can be life-changing.  It can make you happier, healthier, more connected to Source (God, Spirit, Zero-Point, whatever term works for you), feel safe and well taken care of, and finally give you the tools you need to live an authentic, fulfilling life.

 

The term ‘spiritual bypassing’ was originally coined by psychologist John Welwood in 1984.  As he explained in an interview, “Spiritual bypassing is a term I coined to describe a process I saw happening in the Buddhist community I was in, and also in myself. 

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The 3 Stages of Life

There are 3 stages of life:

1. Survival
2. Personal Development
3. Student of Spiritual Truth

Stage 1: Survival

You begin Stage One and you’re experiencing life anew as a child. Because of the impact of certain things and events, you draw a map of reality. You decide who you are; you decide what the world is; and you decide what you need to do, or be, or stop doing, in order to survive, to be loved, et cetera. Now you have a world concept, a self-concept, and a belief of what it’s going to take to become the version of you that’s necessary to survive or even to thrive, within that world concept.

Most people spend many lifetimes in stage 1.

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Flow

One of the big misunderstandings of spiritual growth and personal development is the statement “go with the flow.” It is really a big bad myth. When most people just go with their flow, they are going to get pulled over a cliff and crash into the rocks below, or flow right into an eddy, get caught in a tree or rock, and get flipped upside down and drown. Or they will just drift aimlessly, wherever life takes them.

The idea of “go with the flow” is that you are in alignment with the Universe and things are easy. Sometimes this is true, and often it is not. Most of your life is the journey, not the destination. A lot of the journey is going to be challenging and growth producing.

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How to meditate: Simple meditation for beginners

Each meditation practice typically requires a different mental skill. It is often extremely difficult for a beginner to sit for hours and think of nothing or to have an “empty mind.” In general, the easiest way to begin meditating is by focusing on the breath (see concentration meditation above).

The following meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.

  • Sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Do not attempt to control your breath in any way. Just breathe naturally.
  • Focus your attention on the breath. Observe how your body moves with each breath. Pay attention to the movement of your body as you breathe, especially your chest, rib cage, shoulders, and belly, as you inhale and exhale. Whenever your mind wanders, gently return your attention back to your breath.
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Meditation 102 – Meditation Is Not About Getting Rid of Thoughts

Probably the number one misunderstanding about meditation is that it means getting rid of all of your thoughts. Many beginning meditators feel that thoughts are bad, and that a good meditation is all about eliminating one’s thoughts. They imagine meditation as a blank state of mind, devoid of thought or emotion. In over twenty years as a meditation instructor, this is the single greatest source of frustration and discouragement. Common examples of things beginners say include: “I am a horrible meditator, I just cannot stop thinking.” “If only I could stop my thoughts, then I would be able to meditate.” “I knew I couldn’t meditate, I cannot control my mind.” We then try to spank our thoughts out of existence and end up spanking ourselves.

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Meditation

The word “meditation” is typically used to designate broadly similar practices, or sets of practices, that are found across many cultures and traditions. A general consensus is that meditation is a mental technique that the meditator practices repetitively in order to attain a subjective experience that is usually described as silent, very restful and of heightened awareness, and is often accompanied by a state of bliss. What is considered to be meditation can include almost any practice that trains the attention, which seems to be the only invariant of all the usual definitions.

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in many varied religious and secular traditions and beliefs. Since the nineteenth century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures where it is now commonly practiced in private and business life.

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