being present…

“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
— Lao Tzu

 

An easy way to stay in the present and take control over the thousand little thoughts that bombard our brains on a daily basis is to adopt an effortless technique called breath focus.

Breath focus will enable you to make for yourself a state of calmness amidst turbulent times.   One can do it anywhere, in line in the supermarket, waiting for a plane, train or bus, in the quiet and amidst the bustle of a city street.

I particularly love doing my breath focus in the shower.  There is something magical about having a focused shower.  You already know where the soap goes;  you do not need to think about it.  A perfect time to practice breath focus, under the soothing flow of shower.

So, what is breath focus?  It merely is paying attention to the breath.  Being an observer to this most basic of all our functions that we take for granted.

Imagine if you will that you are in your shower, you absentmindedly reach for and start soaping yourself, your mind is wandering to a thousand different thoughts.   Now, while you are in the imaginary shower with the warm water cascading over you bring your attention to your breath is it in or out, continue to search for your breath.

Now you have located your breath consciously decide to work with it.  Start by taking a deep breath and as you do notice the feeling of your expanded chest.  Note how far you can stretch your ribcage.

Now exhale, this time put your mind to your stomach and as you exhale notice it deflating, notice it relaxing, notice it becoming soft.

Notice your breath as it passes your nose, is it warm?  Notice the speed, the pressure.  Now push the breath all the way out, out, out.

Now repeat, as you breathe in pay attention to every tiny part of your in breath all the in and all the way down.

Repeat, until no thought enters but those of you following the breath.

Congratulations you have just meditated.  Move on with your day in a calm and relaxed manner and when you remember it be present to the breath.

 

 

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COMMENTARY: BATTLE FOR THE MIND


 

Victor Zammit is the author of the Friday Report, a weekly report that has been printed every Friday for the past 18 years.  This weeks report can be found at this link.            http://victorzammit.com/November24th2017

 

Over the last five years we have seen the closed minded skeptics getting fewer and fewer, while orthodox religions are also losing numerical support.

Collectively we are going through an expansion of the mind unseen in human history. Fewer people are accepting traditional creation stories and religious beliefs. At the same time they are refusing to accept the materialist explanation that everything in the universe came by chance. 

Fundamentalists and other traditional religious believers blame the reduction in the number of their followers on the evils of materialism. However people are saying that they are not finding traditional religious information convincing and relevant.

This is why objective, repeatable afterlife research is more important than ever. People are opening their minds, seeking a new understanding of who we are, and our place in the universe. People are looking for the TRUTH and the TRUTH about the afterlife sets us free from fear of death and despair about life.

Thinking the season differently…

You gather round the table.  A time to celebrate they say.
But you are feeling naught but sadness on this day.
The family’s not the same this year as holidays gone by.
“How can I be happy?  To smile would be a lie.”
Those you love may not be seen, but can you feel them in your heart?
That stirring when you think of them—that’s the place to start.
“It’s not the same,” you say, and here that may seem true.
But in spirit, trust us, they stand right next to you.
What makes a family is the bond you share.
That bond exists whether they are here or there.
Feel sorry if you must, but your sorrow is in vain.
Your loved ones are not gone when in your heart they do remain.
“Connected at the heart” is more than just a phrase.
It’s a link that bonds you for all days.
Love never dies. Love is that binding link.
Those who’ve passed are far closer than you think.
Give thanks for life.  Give thanks for love,
As your loved ones watch you from beside you and above.

Suzanne Giesemann

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Gratitude…

Today I have a short story for you…

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which read, “I am blind, please help.”

There were only a few coins in the hat – spare change from folks as they hurried past.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words.

Then he put the sign back in the boy’s hand so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.

That afternoon, the man who had changed the sign returned to see how things were.

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.” I wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.”

Both signs spoke the truth. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind, while the second sign conveyed to everyone walking by how grateful they should be to see…


When your life seems full of troubles, it seems difficult to maintain an attitude of gratitude, doesn’t it? All we see are our problems, like a blackened storm cloud casting a dark shadow over our lives.

And the times when everything just seems to be going smoothly? We often take these precious moments for granted too, don’t we? Caught up in the bliss, comfort, and familiarity of it all, we can simply forget to be thankful.

So what, then, is gratitude?

Simply put, gratitude is a habit. It’s a way of looking at the world and all the good things in it with a feeling of appreciation, regardless of whether or not your current situation is to your liking.

Gratitude is a heart-centered approach to being at peace with yourself and with all you have. When you practice this feeling of gratitude, it attracts even MORE things into your life for which to be grateful.

Go ahead, try it out right now. What or who do you have in your life to be thankful for? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Nick Ortner

Quiet time…

“Take some quiet time for yourself. In the quietness you will begin to recognize yourself again.   We so easily lose ourselves in the daily shuffle of life. Mindfulness and awareness will allow you to participate in your life rather than only reacting to life.

Through practicing mindfulness, you can begin to enjoy the simple things in life that have been lost in the clutter. Meditation is the powerful antidote to many of the poisons in your life; it stills vast yearnings and inner-discontentments.

Meditation provides a reprieve from the vicious swings of worry; that horrid place where our mind continually wanders, where it’s filled with fear and grasping for unknowable futures.

Meditation opens you to completeness; a moment of true reality. Meditation does not strive — it only opens you to what is. As your hopes and desires disappear, you emerge.

Through meditation you begin to take form in your interior as a beautiful being. Free from self-deception and fear, you will start to see and believe in your own beauty. As you submerge into your own realm of nothingness you feel you are being pulled into some great oneness; a mending of the fractures in your own consciousness.

Nothing to conquer or control, no-one to quarrel with — the still mind is peaceful, and the still mind is free. Your quiet moments prepare you for the harsh scuffles and abrasions of life.

Take some quiet time for yourself to center and to transcend the madness. Quietness is the most unpretentious preparation for a life of peaceful significance.”

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Bryant McGill – http://www.BryantMcGill.com

No death for the soul

THERE IS NO DEATH FOR THE SOUL20161106_191457

“I have great compassion for you regarding the passing of your loved ones.

I have had several people I was very close to make their transition, including my brother who sadly took his own life.

I am learning that we can love people deeply (on Earth and in Heaven) without needing and believing others are the source of our self-worth, love, happiness, and inner peace – even if we are family or friends.

We can learn to love ourselves, express our needs, take care of ourselves, and seek healing.

We can learn to accept the past/present/ourselves/others while surrendering to a power greater than ourselves to guide and support us.

We can learn to trust that one day we will have greater understanding about those people and things that seem difficult, outrageous, or unfair.

We can learn to have faith that those we love who are in Spirit are now healthy and at peace. They are still with us in a different way. We will be together in Heaven someday when the time is right.

We can continue to have a relationship with those we love who are in Spirit, to still feel their love, and to send them our love as we connect our Soul with their Soul.

We can be willing to learn to accept what is and ask for help with it.

I am learning to focus on being thankful that my loved ones are no longer suffering and are now at peace.

I am learning to think of my loved ones in Heaven as surrounded by the love of family, friends, and pets in Heaven who are now with them.

I am learning to create a new relationship with those in Spirit and to experience them, not as a physical presence, but as a living Spiritual Presence in my life – still very much alive, but in a different form – as pure Soul.

I am aware that I am an eternal Soul too and that my loved ones in Heaven and I can love one another and still communicate Soul to Soul. The bond of love is never broken.

I am focusing on being grateful for having my loved ones in Heaven in my life. I am remembering the many blessings they brought my family. I remember them with love as I remember the good times we had together.

I celebrate their life. I honor them with the way I live and I make them proud knowing that when I am happy, they are happy for me.

I am comforted in knowing we will all be together again as a family one day in Heaven.

We choose to come here to love, create, learn, heal, and grow.

Be gentle with yourself and others. It helps to ask, “What can I learn from this?” and to help others who are in similar situations or needing help in other ways.

By extending our hand and hearts, we also help heal ourselves.”

© 2017 Gayle Kirk

 

from “They Shall be Comforted”

Maurice Barbanell (1902-1981) was an accomplished journalist and superb medium for the Teachings of Silver Birch.  The description of “life after life” in his book “They Shall Be Comforted” is well worth sharing.

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If you are currently grieving the passing of a loved one, you are urged to read this extract.

One day after “death” you will be the same individual as you were one day before it, except that you will have discarded your physical body.    You will express yourself through your etheric body, which is a replica of the physical one.    It does not, however, reproduce any of its imperfections.

All disease and infirmities will be left behind.    The deaf will hear.   The dumb will speak. The blind will see.   The cripple will be a cripple no longer.

You must try and understand that life in the spirit world is not dreamy or nebulous.   It is full of activity.     It is just as real as the life that each one of us lives here.     We are accustomed to thinking of the material world as being real and solid, although actually, this is not so, as the science of physics proves.    The things of the mind, or the spirit, seem to us shadowy and vague, but to those who live on the Other Side, the mental is the real and the physical is the shadow.

This doubtless will be hard for you to grasp, but you will find a perfect analogy if you think of your dreams.     When you dream, all the things that you encounter are real at the time of their happening. They only become dreams when you wake up.    If you never woke up, and dreaming was the perpetual state of your existence, then that state would become your reality.

The spirit world is round and about us.    Some people see it and hear it because they can tune into its vibrations.     It is not situated in some far-off continent.     It is a part of the universe, blending and intermingling with the physical world.

You must dismiss from your mind the old-fashioned theological idea that, after “death,” there is an undisturbed eternal sleep.      There may be, at first, a short time of rest to enable the newly-arrived spirit to adjust himself to his new life.   This usually takes a little time. Then he meets those who have preceded him.   Families are reunited.    Old associations are re-established.    Friendships are renewed.

I know the question you will ask is, “How will I be able to recognise those who have gone before?”   This is not a real difficulty.   They will know you, having watched over you and kept in constant touch with you.   Then, because the spirit world is a place where thought is the reality, they will be able to show themselves to you as you knew them.

There is, however, one great factor always operating in the spirit world – the unalterable law of attraction.   Only those of like spiritual qualities can meet on the same plane in the new life. The husband and wife, who were only held together on earth by a legal tie, and between whom no real love existed, will not be together in spirit life.

Sometimes, people are puzzled because they learn that there are houses on the Other Side.    You must remember, though, these are not houses made of bricks and mortar but constructed out of thought.    This applies also to the clothing that is worn.

The instinct to clothe oneself is deeply rooted and has become habitual. No one would dream of walking through the streets unclothed.    This habit is part of our mental make-up.    That is why it persists on the Other Side where mental states are the reality.

“What about food?” you may ask. “Do they eat?”

As long as there is a desire for food, this mental desire is mentally satisfied.    As long as the individual craves for food and drink, he can obtain the illusion of what he requires – and it satisfies him.   You may call this material if you like, but it is far more sane and logical than pearly gates and golden harps!

In the spirit world, there are no language difficulties.   All people of all nations speak the same language – thought.    There are no words to be mouthed, for ideas are conveyed telepathically, from one person to another.     Words, after all, are but clumsy substitutions for thoughts.    They are artificial means by which we communicate our ideas to one another.   But words can never adequately express the thoughts one is trying to convey.

One day, when the human race has evolved,  language will be abolished.   We will have learnt how to send our ideas to each other telepathically.    Then, many of our international difficulties will disappear.

In the spirit world, each person’s thoughts are known and cannot be hidden.   There can be no deception of pretence.   Every individual is known for what he is.   He cannot deceive anybody, for lying is impossible.

“What about age?” you may ask. “What happens to old people who pass on?”

Physical age and mental growth do not proceed at the same rate.   We rashly judge a man’s mentality by the age of his physical body here.   On the Other Side of life, it is the mind which survives, and mental growth consists of progress towards maturity.   Little children will grow older.   The old people grow younger in spirit.

What work do they do?   Each person seeks to express his natural bent.   In this earthly life of ours, there are thousands of singers who have never sung; actors who have never acted; painters who have never painted; poets who have never written a line of poetry; musicians who have never composed a note of music.   All these talents have never had an opportunity of being expressed, because through economic circumstances usually, the owners had to follow some other occupation to secure their bread and butter.

On the Other Side, they can express their talents.   There are no square pegs in round holes in that world.   For them, life is one continuous road of progress, each person striving to eliminate the dross from his nature and perfecting his own being. In that striving for perfection, there is no limit.   It goes on for eternity.

The spirit world will not be so unfamiliar as we think because … most of us visit it in our sleep state.   Unfortunately, few of us remember what transpires.   When, however, we pass on, the law of association of ideas will recall our nocturnal experiences.

Of course, it takes some time for the newly arrived spirit to acclimatise himself to the conditions of life on the Other Side.   This process of awakening differs according to the knowledge of spirit life that the “dead” man had before his passing.   The more ignorant he was, the longer it will take him to familiarise himself with his new conditions.

Then, too, those who were trained in very orthodox ideas, with rigid conceptions of after-“death” states, experience a great difficulty, because the next stage of life being a mental one, they live in the mental world they have created, until they have evolved sufficiently to dispel this illusion.

When we pass on, we do not enter Heaven through “pearly gates”, neither do we descend to Hell through lakes of “fire and brimstone”.    Nor do we sleep forever.

Each one of us naturally gravitates to the spiritual sphere for which we are fitted, according to the life we have lived and the character we have evolved here.   We cannot occupy a higher sphere than the spiritual status we have reached, nor will we desire to occupy a lower one.    Automatically, we shall go just to that plane of spirit life for which we are fitted.   We shall not be able to pretend that we are better or worse, for stripped of our physical body we shall be revealed and known for what we are.

People who have lived normal lives will not find anything to disappoint them when they arrive in the spirit world.   It is the selfish man who has to face great difficulties, due to these earthly habits which act as a barrier to be overcome by progress before he is fitted to associate with those he loves.   If by virtue of life he has lived upon earth, he has cut himself off from those who love him, that will be his hell.

What is heaven?   It is the reward of a life wisely spent on earth, for it will mean that automatically we reach those we love … heaven and hell are mental states.   Of course, those who dwell on a higher plane can, if they so desire, visit spirits on relatively lower spheres.   This they often do.   But it is impossible for those on lower planes to visit those on higher.

In many cases, those who “die” go through a difficult period of stress, due to the fact they cannot reach the ones they love on earth.   When they have awakened to an understanding of their new life, they naturally return to their loved ones to try to tell them of their survival.    They find it hard to understand that while they can see the earthly members of their families, the bereaved are unable to sense the presence of those for whom they are mourning.

This is a very poignant sorrow that thousands of spirits experience. They do all they can to attract the attention of earthly friends, but too often they fail and have to leave them disconsolate.

By some law which we do not understand, those on the Other Side know a little beforehand when somebody is going to pass from this world.   They make the necessary preparations to greet them and to help them with their passing.    This explains the fact that on hundreds of occasions people before they “die” have named “dead” relatives they said they could see in the room.   Sometimes these spirit relatives have been seen by those in attendance on the “dying” person.

Clairvoyants who have witnessed the “death” of an individual tell us that they see a replica of the physical body gradually rise, connected for a while by a thread (it is what the Bible describes as the “silver cord”) which is attached to a vicinity near the brain. When the thread is snapped, “death” takes place.   This etheric body is then seen to rise upwards until it disappears from view.

The one thing that brings the greatest sorrow to those who have passed on is our excessive grief.   This, curiously enough, acts as a deterrent to their getting close to us. They do not like the constant visits to the graveyard as they know they are not there. Most Spiritualists make a habit of placing flowers near the photograph of the one who has passed on, particularly remembering anniversaries.   This serves to perpetuate the idea that the spirit is constantly in the home.

Spiritualist also indulge in the habit of mentally communicating with those who have passed on by sending them messages, treating them as if they were actually present in the room.    I know that these messages are received, for again and again I have heard spirit return thanks for this communion and give evidence that he has received it by repeating to the medium some of the ideas expressed.

Spirit life is not a state of vagueness or eternal sleep, but one of activity and labour. Idleness and unemployment do not exist there.    There is plenty for all to do, although I know it is difficult for us who are immersed in material affairs to appreciate the activities of the spiritual world.

Apart from labour, there is the opportunity for recreation and enjoyment.   There are means of education and instruction in all branches of life – in just that particular form of knowledge which the spirit desires.

Of course, many of them are engaged in tasks which mean co-operation with people in this world.    Some of them are hard at work helping to make communication between the two worlds easier.

Others, attracted by people in our world who are following similar lines of research, industry, art or reform, naturally return to inspire those efforts, although often people in this world are unconscious of spirit interest.

(from “They Shall Be Comforted” by Maurice Barbanell,

published by the Psychic Book Club, London. Not dated.)