Writings, meditation yoga workshops, music events and chanting, meditation courses. In Among Everything is about ways to discover what we have, who we are, and what connects us.
A shift happens as we become aware of awareness. We see that individual awareness is connected to a shared presence in all things. We notice that in behind things is a profound peace and beauty. We begin to heal, which enables us to be more open and enjoy a richer engagement with our lives.
That kind of change is the result of a cultivated practice of awareness. Along the way we will experience single instances of having an expanded view of “reality” which informs, on a feeling level and on a cognitive level, our unfolding.
A spontaneous joy moment will happen here and there for all of us -meditators or not. For example, becoming deeply immersed in a wholesome activity, seeing a sunrise, looking into the eyes of an infant. For a meditator who has trained in subtle awareness, being “in” this kind of moment can be especially powerful and life-changing. One becomes more conscious throughout the whole day. Even so, we come in and out of that full awareness. Over time we begin to connect the dots.
The sense of a realm beyond the physical was of great concern to both master yogi’s and commoners of ancient times. It seems there was much motivation to explore this, through ritual, prayer and it was woven into everyday tasks. The earth for example was seen more as a “being” and treated with respect, even revered. Science and industry developed and felt it was smarter to focus on the various chemical/mechanical functions in order to serve our ambitious consuming needs. She ceased being “Mother Earth” and we lost a sense of relationship.
Whether we believe they were “sent from heaven” or developed themselves over one or more lifetimes, there were individuals whose awareness of relationship and consciousness was vast and profound . Some of these great teachers were able to demonstrate their truth without many words. The common thread among the many great Realized Ones is that a richer, more inspired and harmonious experience is available to us.
This is the message of Jesus’ communication, Moses’ realization, Mohammed, Buddha Shakyamuni, the many Mahaguru’s from India , and so on. A personally experienced harmony of Oneness is the basis of all great spiritual leaders’ teachings.
In this sense, the situation is not different today. Many enlightened individuals have been trying to communicate that a richer, more shining perspective g is available to us than that which is our habit. Einstein, Leonard Cohen, Amma the hugging Guru, H.H. The Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Mother Meera, David Suzuki any many others have gone to great lengths to tune us in to the potential of expanding our habitual way of thinking.
Besides Saints Gurus or famous scientists and politicians, there are many “ordinary” people aware of this connection. They have a shining light in their eyes regardless of their circumstances. They see/feel something beyond the everyday, whether or not they can articulate it. However – even though we say we value happiness – as a society we seem unaware of the importance of this. It’s value is tertiary ,our mind is on other things. Our thinking is deeply influenced by powerful forces whose awareness is closer to an animal level of consumption and competition.
Although things are opening up, it has become “alternative” to be interested in human spiritual purpose, greater good, and cultivating humility. It is not a significant part of our schooling, it’s rare to find in our hospitals, our governance sectors, in our basic service providers, nor is it the subject of our advertising billboards.
In order to end the suffering of so many and stop destroying the planet, it will be necessary to arouse our feeling and inquisitiveness about all of nature, including the Divine, that was present in earlier times. Adopting a purely ” modern science” view doesn’t seem to have helped us protect ourselves or our environment. Science, when used in the context of a wider view that approaches both the “unknown” and respects past knowledge with humility and feeling, is a helpful discipline. A huge obstacle to sustainable success is that our culture and our power structure hinders this healthy balance.
Since “Conscious” thinking is not built in to the mainstream , a person interested in wholistic cultivation that includes a spiritual perspective is put in the position of seeking out small special interest groups or join major religions and spiritual societies. These groups, like any groups are frought with trouble and may inhibit moving forward positively and openly. A strong individual able to listen to their intuition might benefit from these communities, but moving forward spiritually is not automatic just by joining and adopting the practices.
A major issue is these organizations is “missing the forest for the trees”.. The forest is our higher nature and the personal development required to uncover it. Most of the Masters whom such groups are informed by indeed have their eye on the ball and have provided means for others to rey. But the way it manifests into systems runs off course, so it takes a strong individual to sort out the relevant and irrelevant and to actually unfold their whole heart.
Whether we join a group or make a solo path, Masters advise us to undertake regular personal spiritual practice to try connect better with one’s life and with others more genuinely.
In this sense “practice” means something extra you do, some time set aside to take stock of what needs shining, and with this time, “practicing” for all the other parts of your life. We undertake simple exercises designed to help us let go of neurotic drives and distractions from what is most important. This is what master’s refer to as uncovering our “True Nature” which is said to be “luminescent” – that is – shining, brilliant and wonderful! It has been called God (by many names), also Buddha Nature, Paramatman/Parambrahma, Superconsciousness, Higher Nature, etc. All these are attempts to convey a formless yet rich Presence that we are all connected by and can be experienced better than described. So why are we talking about it so much and practicing towards feeling it so little?.
Meditation can be a direct way to move towards this awareness. It can ground us, inspire us, soften us, strengthen us, inform us and reveal paths on which to move towards freedom and joy.
This web site will develop as a source for events and practices to help us connect with this unfolding process, by way of writings, video/audio, hosted events and listings for like-minded hosted events. Then we can all form a religion – just joking!. Maybe we could all look beyond our religion or atheism and do some fundamental practices together and to learn to think for ourselves, with our hearts, bodies, mind and intuition. Thn our religion or atheism may take its full colour and meaning.
We can start to replace the conditioned response of shopping eating drinking and talking with something more connected and more original – at least sometimes! By learning about meditation and some of the ancient practices, maybe we can find modern, genuine ways to truly celebrate a friend’s birthday or marriage, new baby or opening a new business.
We can remain an individual and also become aware of how we are supported by having an awareness of Oneness, Consciousness, Joy, Peace. It is not something abstract or intellectualized, but something primordial and fundamental.
For the most part, those positioned as “leaders” today in government, business, science and academics have not been able to lead us in a larger vision. We can explore among the artists and those genuinely concerned with spirituality and this may help, but ultimately we wish to connect personally with an experience of this primordial flow.
This needn’t require studying complicated philosophies or doctrines. Most direct is the method of developing sincerity, humility and being still enough to listen to the wordless world and open our hearts.
Personally, I have been very moved by music practice, Zen Buddhism, India’s Yoga Dharma streams, and Tibetan Buddhism. Somehow they are fitting together for me and I feel confident sharing them in a Western context.
It is possible to assimilate and resolve seemingly divergent paths by focusing on a few simple practices and teachings rather than trying to become a walking encyclopedia. Learning few things deeply reveals Dharma that applies to all things. For me it was a conscious choice to work with wide-view teachers who see beyond fanatical dogma or a fixed rigid path. They were from different paths than each other, but they all knew that with practice, much is revealed internally.
All paths lead to a level of truth that is beyond lineages and culture. This has been the recommended route from many of the more shining teachers I have encountered – to practice and find your own access to “Truth” through the heart.
I am Gary Justice, was given the name “Empty Book” when I took Buddhist precepts in 2003. I would like to share some of what I have uncovered through the practice of music, Meditation, Yoga, and Movement – from various ancient and modern lineages. These were learned by study, practice and community involvement led by masters and Turned On beings.
Practicing together, even without much speaking we can learn each others’ stories and the stories of all things. We can learn to look in, look out, look up and listen deeply – to better see, better hear and better feel the light, the sound and the silence of our experience within the universe and beyond. Then we can enjoy the dance we are doing here in our everyday lives, and enjoy the real party that is bubbling inside all day and all night long!