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stackedrocks

 

Thanks for visiting the Responsive Universe! It is truly my hope that after reading this blog or even my book, the Responsive Universe some of your views and perspectives in life have changed for the better. Hopefully you have found new empowerment and now see the world as a beautiful place with plenty of space and synchronicity. It is not my focus to create any upheaval in your belief systems or to claim one system of thought as wrong or right. My focus is to combine the wisdom of other authors and philosophers like myself and humbly put into words a more palatable vision of this Responsive Universe we live in. I do want to ask tough questions about god and religion but I leave the answers up to you. Each of us has our own path to walk on this adventure in life and only you can answer life’s most intriguing questions. My focus is to propose a fresh viewpoint and hopefully create an environment that may produce small, subtle shifts in perspective. Eventually, when you make space within the mind, clarity will arise within that space and your inner voice will speak wisdom. It is from that wisdom that your answers will materialize. Please remember everything you need in life to find bliss, happiness and healing energy is already found within your True Nature; it is already found in you!

The fact that you have made the effort to visit my Responsive Universe domains (whether you bought my book or not) proves that the premise of the Responsive Universe may have opened new doors to your thinking and perception. It has created some interest… Maybe you have found the meditations and daily life practices to be beneficial. Maybe you like my Photos. Maybe you have made small shifts in your perception of life that has moved the pendulum of thought away from fear and fantasy, past and future; to a more mindful existence in the present. Being mindful of the present and finding clarity in the space you created is the evolutionary goal. You should be congratulating yourself because this thing call self-evolution is not an easy path. As you may have found, it is a continuous uphill battle. Yet, the enduring benefits of living in a Responsive Universe are innumerable. As days turn into months and months turn into years, a new person will emerge from that hollow shell of ego and false-self – a self-actualized you! Yet, if you found yourself on my Blog, Facebook or Twitter page and are still hungry for more; please join me as we enter the literary world of the Illumination of the Nine Mandalas.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

We normally focus on meditation, mindfulness and self-discovery here on the Responsive Universe Network. But lets face it, sometimes life has an uncanny precision at dragging us away from the center of our energy and True Nature. Tax season can be one of those culprits and yes, here in the United States, filing those dreaded returns is right around the corner. Writer and guest blogger, Julie Morris give us some tips to being more mindful this tax season:

Extensions are commonly misunderstood by American taxpayers. Should you file one? Not if you can help it—in most cases, the average taxpayer has plenty of time to file by the deadline (this year, you get an extra three days with an April 18 deadline). However, some taxpayers need an extension. Maybe they have to hunt down missing documents, there was an unexpected event such as a death in the family, or they’re new to paying US taxes and fell behind on getting professional help.

taxes

All extensions must be filed before the April 18 deadline. Otherwise, you’ll likely get slapped with a late payment and/or filing fee. Extensions can be a great help in buying time, but you still need to abide by deadlines. If you do file for and get an extension, you’ll have until October 17, 2017, to file your 2016-year taxes. Also remember that extensions are just that: They simply extend the amount of time you have to file your taxes—you don’t get more time to actually pay those taxes.

If you think you’ll owe money, you still need to estimate how much that will be, and either pay in full by April 18 or set up a payment arrangement with the IRS. A CPA can help estimate taxes due, and also aid in scheduling estimated quarterly tax payments going forward, if applicable. If you’re a small business owner or contractor, paying quarterly taxes is often a great way to plan ahead, not get an IRS penalty, and avoid owing a large sum (or getting a huge sum back) next April.

How Can I File an Extension?

Think an extension is for you? There are a few ways to file one. The easiest for many is e-filing federal tax extensions with an online program or with W2 or 1099 software. You can e-file an extension request, make an estimated tax payment, and access both hard and soft copies of all your documents. E-filers will get a notification if and when the extension is accepted.

Alternatively, you can print and mail your extension request to the IRS with Form 4868: Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return. It’s an incredibly short, easy form to complete, and all instructions are included. Make sure to make a copy and preferably scan this form just in case of any troubles. Just like e-filing, you’ll also want to estimate any taxes owed and postmark payment by April 18.

What About State Taxes?

Similar to how you file federal and state taxes separately, the same goes for extension requests. Some taxpayers are able to file state taxes by the April 18 deadline, but need an extension for federal—and vice versa. If you’d like to file a state extension, the regulations vary from state to state. You’ll have different deadlines and mailing addresses, so check your state’s tax site for information. However, it’s safe to assume that you’ll need to also file your state extension request no later than April 18.

If you’ll be making any payments by credit card, you can do so via the IRS’s preferred Electronic Payment Methods. You can also pay by check or phone, but paying via credit card is much easier to track, and you’ll get automated updates from the IRS. Keep in mind that estimating your taxes owed isn’t so much an “estimation” as a mathematical equation that you need to get very close to correct. If you underpay, you’ll owe interest on the unpaid amount if it’s not received by April 18. If you underestimate by over 10 percent, you’ll also get a 0.5% penalty applied every month until the balance is paid.

Extensions and estimating payments are within the scope of a CPA. It’s just another reason to get this tax professional on your side before tax season really takes off.

Author: Julie Morris

 

Image source: Pixabay

 

dalilama

“I believe the only true religion consists of having a good heart” – The Dalai Lama

Another simple and yet profound quote from his Holiness the Dalai Lama. How do you interpret that 12 word sentence? There are so many religions and faiths in this fallible world. Some can operate independently of blind faith like Buddhism. Other religions are built entirely on blind faith. Some condemn a veering path; some describe both the edicts of what is considered good and what is considered sin. All talk about an afterlife in some form or facet.  I can think of two religions specifically that have facilitated more suffering than good across the last couple thousand years.  So where does that leave us? Most likely confused…
What is religious scripture; but carefully crafted words? History has proven that much of the organized scripture we reach for today has been manipulated, re-written and molded to benefit the few in power and control the masses. In 300 AD Emperor Constantine literally rewrote the Bible at the Council of Nicaea. Tell that to a reborn Christian and see how that shakes out… But none of that really matters anyway. At least not to me. For scripture or as Joseph Campbell references, “mythology”, to exist and have power it requires the faith (or blind faith) of its followers to give it energy, authority and life. And as we have learned, such religious ideology can be rooted in complete fantasy and even science fiction – ever explored Scientology?  Yeah, enough said there…

Now,  from your educated eye… From a socially evolved viewpoint; if most or all religion is muddled, adulterated, twisted and warped; many times  so far skewed from the original message, how are we to find our way spiritually? How do we know what is right and wrong and what is prepackaged bullshit?

By finding your true thoughts, intentions, actions and reactions through True Nature!

We have discussed in this Blog and also within my book, The Responsive Universe, that True Nature (which is the opposite of ego and false-self) is this unadulterated source of energy within that is everything: Within its borderless aura sits your moral compass, the secrets to happiness and the path of less suffering. When you connect to this True Nature, vast horizons open to bring space, awareness and sensitivity to this thing call life. True Nature brings mindfulness and understanding to the controlled chaos that is modern-day living. True Nature has always existed and always will. No one or thing can take True Nature from you – not even death itself. True, this energy source may remain hidden, buried by ego, but it will always remain within; steadfast and dependable.  In Buddhist teachings the word “heart” is coined a lot to describe your inner soul or being; your core of existence. This is the definition of True Nature and when you base your intent from this bottomless well of responsive energy you are living from the heart and not from the ego and what society deems correct.

If you scientifically and philosophically attempt to quantify True Nature you will understand that it possesses all the trimmings of religion. It is the definition of “true” Religion. Or maybe a better way to put it: It is the definition of Spirituality. Your spirituality… The difference between contemporary religion and True Nature is that in order to define God and your place within this Universe, you have to include yourself as part of its definition. You are part of its common denominator. You are Heart, Love, God and Universe and none of it can exist without you!

If that is not religion, I do not know what is….

 

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Image by NDTV

California Dreaming – Image Showcase

pelican

While I was mind surfing the Salt Creek waves, Brown Pelicans were gracefully riding the Southern California curls…

edgefoam

I love finding the minute details in such ordinary things. Take for instance this one single wave. There are waves rolling up the beach every few seconds and yet here is this one moment in time – a true meditation in mindfulness

sunsetsession

Another day in Dana Point, CA at dusk and another Doheny Beach surf session complete!

misty

A misty morning just south of Modesto, CA. Looking into the Almond Tree groves toward infinity…

birdbarb

A rough, rusty barb wire fence and then the beauty as a small bird takes flight in Lynch Canyon Open Space…

sunsetdriftwood

Sunset and driftwood near Capistrano Beach, CA.

For more images please visit www.johncbader.com

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Winter represents an exchange in energy – from life births death… Winter may be the most alluring of the seasons – Death is one of the most sublime beauties yet to be discovered. Understanding the evolution of a Mandala shows us that where there is life there is death and then life again – a revolving vortex of energy where matter is not destroyed – it only changes form… From this wisdom comes an unadulterated vision of not just a mortal world littered with dogma and ego – but a vast and unfathomable Responsive Universe….

closeice

Abstract Ice…

bangs5

Clear Skies Ahead

firstmelt

Warmer Days Ahead…

supermoon

Winter Super Moon Silhouette

For more images please visit www.johncbader.com

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

lightburst

When looking  back on the past does not interest you anymore…. Well, you know you are heading forward in the right direction….  It is amazing how much energy we can expend on thinking about the past: Our failures and mistakes; our stresses and worries about things we probably can’t change. The past is the past….

The only control we have is the present moment… right here, right now… It is the actions we take right here; right now that can change the future; thus rewriting any past negativity. Remember that as we head into a New Year. Your past does not need to define you. Further, you have complete control over the present moment which can dictate the future…

Peace, Love and Illumination!

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

flowerpower

…a poem

Boundless, clarity and responsiveness for the present moment: Stillness encourages harmony…

My reverence and mindfulness creates positive thinking and a admiration for simplicity.

Veneration for my surroundings, awareness of my body and energy; clarity and sensitivity bears an infinite vision that transcends all dogma…

A journey of self introspection. Void of persecution and stigma; karma, the watchful eye of my progression…

Peace and tranquility: Unfettered and unswerving are my feelings: A dynamism in the moment that outshines past and future, fear and fantasy – for a moment I find myself ever present – Stillness speaks wisdom…

Bringing forth compassion born from intrinsic nature…

Unlimited is my ability, love and bliss my energy as wisdom and an errant but welcome epiphany unravels life’s meaning…

 

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

lightburst

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story  rather than the actor in it…”

 – Ram Dass

A poignant quote by spiritual leader Ram Dass. What does this mindful thought really mean? Of course, I am not here to necessarily paraphrase a quote from a great thinker; instead I am here to simply analyze this quote with my own devices on how such meaning would fit into a Responsive Universe. There may be a slight difference…

It is quite simple really; especially when we get back to the basics of meditation. I have always mentioned how there is a misconception about meditation. It is not about controlling the thoughts in our head – it is about being an observer of the thoughts in our head. That is a tough principle to reconcile especially for people new to meditation. There is this passive or underlying stress or urge to try to quiet the mind when the goal of meditation is to simply be an observer of the thoughts that continually float in and out of our heads. The goal of meditation is to not attach ourselves to the dramas of the mind. Do not judge the thoughts and do not be overly positive or especially negative to your thoughts – just be the observer – just be… nothing more…

Once we master meditation and let that skill set transcend into our daily life practice, our ability to not be so sensitive to ego and false self is actualized. We are able to establish a balance or baseline of energy that remains positive to neutral in our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions; even during negative life situations. The objective is to suffer less. Just like in meditation, the goal is not to be the thought or let a thought drive our meditative focus – the goal is to simply be an observer. In doing so, we are more of a witness and less of an actor. In life, we have the same choice; particularly in times of conflict and challenge: With minfulness, we can leave our ego facilities out of such dramas and simply be a witness to the story instead of being embroiled in the drama as an actor. Such changes in how we think and react to conflict and challenge will net completely different results. Now, the goal is not to be a by stander and live with no interaction. We all have to face challenges and conflict on a daily basis  – the goal is to not let challenges or conflict be the driving energy to our reactions to such events. Be an observer and  be mindful of how our egos and false-self want to take such dramas into a negative space. By being an observer, we also create space between the sitation and our immediate action or reaction; all in an effort to avoid negative blind responses. When you detach from a situation of conflict or challenge and face difficult situations with mindfulness and true nature you will find the most proactive solution. Be the witness and not the actor. Let mindfulness, space and clarity be your source of intent.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

fourthgod

I have written in the Responsive Universe how dreams and the afterlife could be connected. It is a theory I think about a lot. I thought we could explore this idea more –

Like the concept or dogmatic idea of Heaven and Hell, the dream world is a place where anything is possible… Anything…. The dreamscape is a place where we can visit dead friends and relatives, where a quadriplegic can walk and where our deepest desires, fears and energy are revealed and even distorted and magnified. I have even mentioned to those who have bad dreams on a regular basis; that this could be an unconscious barometer as to how positive your life and karma really are. If you have good dreams most of the time then you are exhibiting positive energy, actions and reactions in everyday life – of course the opposite could mean necessary changes in life are required to shift the pendulum of energy to a more positive existence. I truly believe there is a connection between how we project ourselves in life and how the dream world mirrors such energy. Could the afterlife be a similar mirror or dimension? Good dreams equal Heaven and bad dreams equal Hell?

DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is a brain chemical,  a structural analog of serotonin and melatonin, that is released in minute quantities during various levels of dreaming. It is also released at the time of death as sort of a pleasure chemical. Is there a connection? Near Death Experiences reveal similar stories that transcend religion and creed illustrating a warm healing light and a place outside of our own being. Is this a snapshot of the afterlife or just pleasure chemicals?

Biocentrism

And what about brain death? We understand that brain activity can continue minutes (or longer) after clinical death. Could this be the DMT? We also understand how time within in a dream is not relative with conscious time. Could a second of dream illusion be an eternity of experience? Is this the afterlife? I think we need to dig deeper…

We understand that energy cannot be destroyed even after death. Recent evidence in the mechanics and the singularity of Black Holes illustrates the point that even though matter is stripped down to its basic electrons, neutrons and protons (like at the event horizon of a black hole), the information and energy contained in those electrons, neutrons and protons is not destroyed and possibly transferred through quantum energy exchange. Death would be similar as our bodies return to their source: Energy and the information that defines energy…. Possibly the information that defines us as instinctual and conscious energy sources continues on in some form or facet… The question is… In what form? Perhaps reincarnation? Perhaps we exist in another dimension as String Theory could suggest. Or perhaps death is a “White Hole” (the opposite end of a black hole) and we become our very own Big Bang – reanimating into a new form of energy? Will we retain our memories? My instinct says no which can be disheartening to many… My gut also tells me it will not matter…

Think of our being as an energy footprint (a soul);  an orb of quantum energy inside a physical body, and our physical brain is actually a way for our body to interface with the Responsive Universe and perceive conscious existence…  When we die we lose this conscious connection and return to our indigenous unconscious state we were before we were born. We are returned to energy: Energy, the common denominator of the Responsive Universe…

We all understand that death is a threshold we all will pass through. Death is inescapable… Religion has created its own fear and love for death but in reality death is as relative as birth. Death is part of our existence; a rite of passage. It need not be feared and in fact could very well be the most beautiful and empowering experience of life. In fact everything is relative isn’t it? From Spring comes Summer, Autumn and then Winter. Clocks rotate, storms rotate, our planet rotates, galaxies with hundreds of billions of stars rotate – wouldn’t life rotate too? A beginning, an ending and a new beginning. Birth, Life, Death and Rebirth…. Energy cannot be destroyed – it only changes form. And who knows, the dream world could be a window into something sublime. The more positive your dreams, the more positive is your energy footprint that can carry over as information in those electrons, neutrons and protons.

Buckle up, your greatest adventure lies somewhere in the inescapable future…

I am cool with that….

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Like you I live a busy life. I am inundated in my Responsive Universe (literally) and also my career in technical sales (yes I have a job outside of books and meditation). Family, playing hard with friends and not always eating right are norms in my life. I counter my busy lifestyle with a juicing regiment that I truly think saves my life. I just don’t eat as well as I should and juicing every other day is my key to wellness. Problem is, when you buy fresh fruits and veggies (especially organic) they tend to spoil quick – and no wants to juice limp kale! So, I freeze my juicing portions!

juicing1

Ok – so in this sandwich size zip-lock bag is the following goodness: Fresh, raw, organic kale and spinach (both are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants). Included are fresh sliced bananas and strawberries, a thin slice of beet and then frozen blueberries and black berries (no sugar added). That’s it! Sometimes I will toss in sliced carrots or red pepper – really anything fresh and bright in color. Mix it up and find your own creative recipes – there are no rules! Then I freeze up to 6-8 zip-lock portions. When it is time to juice I pull a baggy from the freezer and add some coconut water and blend away! Your veggies are always fresh and loaded with everything your body needs to counter free-radicals.

juicing2.jpg

I love coconut water in my juices because it is natural and one of the most hydrating fluids out there. Make sure you buy “clean” coconut water. The ingredients should only say coconut and water! Also, if you are really on the go and want to supplement your juicing recipe there are several good whole food vegetable juices out there.  Look for the ones that say “pressed” and look for the ones with the least amount of sugar and carbs.

juicing3

The result is something bright, healthy and refreshing. It takes me less than 2 minutes from start to clean up and I swear by this regiment. It is easy, rejuvenating and a meditation in health and wellness. I juice every other day so it is not a labor and I just love it! This is from a guy who does not like veggies. Freezing your portions saves time and money (no spoiled food!) and even 2 weeks later your fresh/frozen fruits and veggies are bright fresh and ready to do their job! Happy Juicing!

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

 

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