Category: Buddhism


fourthawakeningI chat about the concept of True Nature all the time on this blog and the definition and premise is really the back bone of the Responsive Universe – my recent book by Wisdom Moon Publishing.

A great question was recently brought forward by a reader (please know you can always reach me at mandalatree@aol.com for comments and or questions). The question was this:

” Do you consider True nature/True reality to be individually defined (different from person to person) or are they defined ‘universally’.  As in everyone has the same True Nature/True reality. ”

This is a great question and is certainly worth sharing with our Responsive Universe community –

so…

Lets first understand what True Nature is: True Nature is your intrinsic connection to the Responsive Universe. You have existed before mortal  birth as energy in a different form. In some form or facet your energy – my energy has existed since the beginning of time as we know it. Not just time here on Earth but one could argue since the Big Bang. Let that sink in for a moment.  After the Big Bang and the battle between particles and anti-particles, a minute amount of particles had just enough (or more) mass to win the battle for cosmic supremacy. That ancient left over matter and energy is what created the Universe we know and study today. We are part of that energy because quantum physics states – Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.

In Buddhist philosophy one may call this energy that transcends earthly dogma as True Nature.  You exist now as True Nature and you will exist after mortal death as True Nature.  When you live in the present moment sans of fear and fantasy (ego) you connect to your True Nature; the non-duality of your instinctual consciousness that is connected to something bigger than us. The ego is required for basic survival and subsistence strategies and can lead us to early child development but it becomes a burden later in life. Yes the ego might be a yardstick to know the pendulum balance between suffering and bliss but the goal of Self-Discovery is to understand the difference between True Nature and ego and how we can shift our thoughts more away from our ego and closer to our true self or True Nature.

So now that we are clear what True Nature is let’s get back to the question at hand.  Is True Nature a Universal energy or an individually defined energy? In a nutshell it is both. This source of energy known as True Nature is forged from the Cosmos. Through a matrix of quantum particles and waves of light and energy we are connected to the source. So in a sense it is Universal and we could probably leave it at that.  Still there is a humanistic side to this. We all have this True Nature within. Much like a soul it is our life source.  The big difference between a soul and True Nature is that in religious dogma a soul can be taken from you (I.E. the Devil). True Nature is fixed, indestructible and dependable. It has been around for over 15 billion years (maybe forever) and it is not going anywhere and no one can take it from you – not even death. The true miracle or gift is the rare ability to foster conscious thought which allows us to not only understand True Nature’s existence, but also to strive to connect to its love and instinctual wisdom. Many people have no idea they have True Nature even though it exists in every conscious sentient being. Different religions and cultures may have different names but broken down to the most common denominator; it’s the same thing. Unfortunately the ego clouds our unadulterated vision of True Nature. No matter the human state or the ideals and intelligence that drive the variability in human consciousness; we all have True Nature where we like it or not. The personal side of this is the ability; with the right mindfulness and clarity to connect to this wellspring of energy and enlightenment.

So, there is the universal concept of True Nature – something we all possess and there is the humanistic side of True Nature which is the intrinsic goal as sentient beings to reach True Nature and thus self-discovery through meditation, mindfulness and daily life practice.

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

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John C. Bader on Twitter

sunraysOur journey to spiritual and social evolution begins with your minds aperture. Living with an “open mind” is an important facet to personal and spiritual evolution. The ability to be open to new ideas is really the key to self-discovery and being able to connect to the healing, holistic energies that surround us. We need to be open to innovative ideas and we need to be open to re-analyzing our old belief systems. A belief system is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing natural philosophy, religion, politics and even relationships. Really you can have a belief in anything. For most of us, a belief system is based on religious beliefs or blind faith. As you will learn, most of what we discuss and experience in this blog revolves around the laws and theories of science, thus requiring very little blind faith.  The knowledge and wisdom learned from The Responsive Universe will be gilded from your own experiences. The truth in such knowledge will come to fruition through actions and living by example. In order to evolve as humans on a social and spiritual level we need to analyze old belief systems we used to call our own. We need to discard the archaic and unnecessary and connect to a belief system that incorporates all possibilities within this grand Universe. When we expand our minds aperture to the infinite possibilities that exist within this Responsive Universe, anything is achievable.

 

Do you believe that? That anything is achievable?

 

I have learned through experience that the aperture of your open mind will determine what is possible and impossible. The truth it seems is in the experience; our insight and knowledge is dependent on our link to our True Nature. Any genuine want or desire that is created in the mind is a dynamism that exists within reality – you are connected to this energy whether it is born from the mind or your surroundings – quantum physics has many great studies on how energy connects and manifests our actions, reactions, thoughts, dreams and yes fears. Energy is measured by how mindful you are. Imagine the person that drives home one evening with their mind preoccupied about fear of the future, fantasy and past, not even noticing a beautiful sunset exploding to the west, signifying the finale of another day; and then there is the person who is mindful and connected to the present who sees the sunset as a union to something sublime; even a sign or milestone that he or she is evolving in the right direction; perhaps synchronicity – that perhaps we do live in a Responsive Universe. Please understand that anything is achievable when your focus and intent is genuine. Be mindful of this…

The purpose of this blog and really our purpose in life is to achieve a “personal” level of enlightenment. Enlightenment is living a life of bliss, free of ego and suffering. We need to be careful here and not consider enlightenment the same as perfection. Perfection is a difficult if not impossible benchmark to reach therefore in the genuine pursuit of enlightenment our primary focus is continued improvement or evolution in a positive direction. I use the word “personal” because though the definition of enlightenment may have a common domination, the true essence of enlightenment will be different for every individual. Much like our finger prints which are unique to us as individuals; our own personal search for enlightenment is also unique and needs to fit our very own needs and desires. Like a handprint in the wet sand near the shore, you’re hand needs to fit the mold – thus being the perfect, aesthetic match. The first problem that arises is that enlightenment is not found in the “material world” we were born into. In order to reach true illumination we need to strip off the chains that shackle us to this ordinary world. We need to walk uphill even though most around you are walking down hill. It is ironic but true; in most cases the more difficult path in life tends to be the more fruitful. There are few shortcuts in life and choosing the easy path through conflict, challenges and changes tends to lead only to mediocrity and suffering. The evolutionary goal is to walk toward the sun – toward the healing light – toward enlightenment. Enlightenment is a blessed state in which the individual transcends most desire and suffering and attains Nirvana. Nirvana is an enlightened state of being, void of suffering. As you will begin to see, the concept of suffering is the mainstay of this problematic “material world” we all live in.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes an imaginary pyramid that begins with physiological needs at its base and aesthetic principles of self-directed growth at its apex. After the satiation of water, food and warmth humans seek love and safety needs. These requirements are born from a more primitive human existence dating back millions of years. It was not until more recently – the last 3,000-5,000 years that humans have began searching for self-actualization. This is where the genesis of modern religion began to root itself in humanity. Self- actualization is really just another word for enlightenment.  This higher level of reasoning and understanding is really the last evolutionary step in human perception and consciousness. We are just now entering this new realm of reason which includes asking the most pressing questions in life: Why do we suffer? What is God and how does the Universe function? What is the meaning of life? …And how am I connected to all this? These questions take us away from the dogmatic, close minded view of what religion has presented the last couple millennia and urges us to take a more dynamic approach. Deep down there is this almost primal hunger to know and understand and through awareness and understanding we become more self-evolved. Religion was created by man in an attempt to feed this hunger to know and understand yet for many it is not enough. Our appetite is voracious and for some of us, there is this peculiar feeling that the concept of God as it relates to the Universe is much more complex and magnificent. Somehow the concept of enlightenment figures into this puzzle that also includes feelings of bliss, love and healing energy. You might be asking, “How do I fit into this Responsive Universe? “Where do these feelings of bliss and positive energy come from”? Why do negative emotions like fear, anger and jealousy root themselves in our lives? This rift in emotions is explained by the two worlds we discussed earlier: the “material world” and our “true reality” governed by Mandalas. More to come in my next Blog post.

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

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

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The Universe does not judge…

The Universe does not reprimand…

The Universe does not promote happiness…

The Universe does not control your destiny…..

…you do

 

We live in a Responsive Universe. A conscious cosmos where every thought, action and reaction creates a wave of energy and vibration at the sub atomic level. Basic quantum physics already sheds a bright light on how our responses to life are interconnected and intertwined in a quantum field of light, energy and vibration.

Think of the  Universe as a clean slate… An empty canvas…  The conduit for your energy – whether positive or negative.  The Universe responds to your thoughts, actions and reactions. You are the painter adding color to that proverbial painters canvas.  You are the energy and the Universe is your pathway; your medium… Even  when we comprehend the concept of God as it relates to the Universe we have to include ourselves in that equation. It is our positive and negative thoughts, actions and reactions that become the hand of God. We have the power to create a living heaven or a living hell within this Universe and microcosmic world (Earth) that takes heed to our energy footprints; our waves and vibrations of existence.

When you think happy, positive thoughts these pulses of energy translate into positive actions which more often than not are greeted with positive reactions. Society can be thought of as one breathing organism. When you feed this organism with positivity, it responds with positivity.  This is what defines karma. It begins on the individual level. You have the power of happiness within the palm of your hand. You alone can allow the ego to govern your thoughts and actions or you can let your True Nature be the governing force. True Nature is a place within and without your body that is free of ego and false-self. When you strip away all that is negative: Fear, anger, jealousy and greed you are left with only love and positive energy. When you root your intent; your thoughts, actions and reactions in True Nature you connect to sometime genuine and unadulterated.

You are creating a Responsive Universe…. You are in control. The present moment is the essence of God and Universe – the totality of everything at your finger tips. Believe this and you too will live in a Conscious Cosmos… a Responsive Universe….

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

Understanding Orlando

massshootings

“Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It’s very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.”

– The Dalai Lama

Great quote by the Dalai Lama and it rings wisdom in light of the Orlando shootings. Still, it’s not that simple is it? 49 people are dead and there are fingers pointing to religious extremism and also gun control in America. I also strongly believe our Western Mideast policy which involves greedy corporations, oil and the backing of various governments is a bloody cursor to all this – but no one ever talks about that (and this is not a political blog so I will leave it there).  The fact is,  I am not going to be able to sum up this tragedy in one blog post, but we can try and begin to understand it all:

Lets step away from gun control and foreign policy for a moment and focus more on religious extremism.  I truly think  one of the major problems is “belief”.  Belief in cultural differences  and more importantly belief in religious ideals that have no scientific or philosophical bearing on society.  Specifically religious beliefs born on blind faith; sometimes radicalized. Blind faith is defined as belief that is not based on reason or evidence. All major religions, excluding Buddhism fall under this definition.  As you know I am not a big fan of organized religion and it is crucial to point out that Buddhism and the Dalai Lama is not religion but a philosophy. Buddhists do not worship idols or believe in blind faith. A Buddhists energy and karma lies firmly on reality, their own shoulders, thoughts and actions and not on blind faith or a mystical god.. Further, people tend to draw their “beliefs” from religion and that is where much of the problems lies. People do not need belief or faith in a religious dogma to know what is wrong or right. I have raised my son completely free of religious dogma and he knows right from wrong. He knows what feels good emotionally from a karmic standpoint and he understands how his thoughts, actions and reactions can either benefit and or hurt himself and others around him. My son is a 15 year experiment in parenting and a non-religious upbringing that proves a simple point. You do not need religion to know right from wrong and you do not need religion to live a well balanced, spiritual life. I personally have found god and True Nature through my own devices and nothing is more powerful. When you find the concept or definition of God within (with self-discovery) you have something special, unadulterated and unique. When you rely on others for God outside your own energy footprint it opens up the person and situations that abide with too much variability. It can invite in radical ideas and levels of ego that are not healthy.

I think it is interesting how all of us are born as innocent little infants – our minds a clean palate – it is society/politics and especially religion that colors that palate and with cultural variability, social status, ego, politics, religion (blind faith) and societal pressures. The common denominator is people  exhibiting all levels of crazy. I do not think people need to have the same belief in regard to cultural values. Our diversity is what makes us beautiful. I think the disconnect is forgoing basic, fundamental human rights before religious and cultural values. There lies the problem. If we put religion second to human value we would all realize we are not that different. When we understand that all of us struggle; that we all suffer. That we all have similar DNA. When people worldwide understand that we all also love and dream. Well, we are not that different at all. As Ram Dass has stated eloquently, “we are all just walking each other home”….

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

 

Image Credit: Patheos.com

mandala

“Each person’s life is like a mandala – a vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life…
~ Pema Chodron

This is a great quote from Pema Chodron; one of our great modern teachers of this era. I have written and defined a Mandala as a sphere of energy.  In its simplest form, Mandala means circle. It is an ancient Buddhist symbol of inner and outer space where everything is linked as one from which the Universe and all its energy arise.  We stand in the center of our circle and as we communicate with friends, family, community and society our proverbial sphere of influence tends to overlap much like the Olympic Rings overlap.

Basic subatomic physics now explains in painstaking detail that our thoughts and actions react and change the fabric of the Universe. When we look at matter at its smallest form in the laboratory you now have to include the observer (scientist) as part of the experiment or observation because just the act of observing matter at the subatomic level changes the outcome. This can be applied to the mechanics of God but on a more social level it explains with science how every action and reaction we create does in fact cause a ripple… a dynamism of energy (positive or negative) that effects others and our own destiny. This explains karma, the power of prayer and positive manifestation.

When we stand in the middle of our mandala; our personal circle of energy we will overlap into other peoples energy, thoughts, actions and reactions. Every small thought and action does matter. Like compound interest, positive and negative actions and reactions will add up over time to drive a mood, conversation or something more permanent within our lives and the lives of those we influence.

It’s another reason for acute mindfulness; especially in social situations. We wield more power than we realize. Remember that the next time you get mad or cause negativity in any facet. Not only does negativity effect those around you, it is you (the source) that tends to suffer the most…

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

 

Xmastree

So what does Christmas mean in “Western Culture” to a non practicing Christian? or perhaps a Buddhist or Atheist? Hmmm… maybe I should rephrase that: What does Christmas mean to me; a guy raised in a Christian household but his suffering and wisdom understood with more clarity and insight through eastern philosophy.  A person who is more spiritual than religious? I meditate daily, watch my Karma and really have no internal or external connection to western based religious dogma. I am not a proponent of organized faith but Buddhism does speak to me…

From an American perspective, what is this thing we call Christmas? It is a beast bigger than all of us and the religion that once defined it. We see advertising for it in October.  Some want the Christ back in Christmas! I guess I don’t blame them… Though I have seen a lot of hypocrisy lately with this notion. Something about Syrian refugees; the religious and political right and the fact Baby Jesus and Mother Mary were middle eastern refugees taken in from the cold on a clear night with the North Star sparkling above – or some sort of contradiction like that… It seems Christmas is more commercial than Christian or Catholic. Most of the big retail corporations only want your money in their coffers playing on our emotions and credit cards with heartwarming commercials and subliminal advertising… In the aftermath of Christmas you have reports of holiday heart and reports about whether Christmas was successful from a financial bottom line and not spiritual bottom line. You have got Santa competing against Jesus and Target competing against Walmart. It’s like Holiday Thunderdome out there in the streets! It is a stressful time of year and I think a lot of us caught in the cross fire are thankful when it is all over.

…still, you know what? I love Christmas! uh.. from the commercial side that is.. well, let me rephrase that: I think I am into Christmas for 50% pretty lights and presents and 50% for the holiday idea that it is good to give… .001% for it actually being Jesus’ birthday. My birthday is the day after and it is actually common historical knowledge that Emperor Constantine changed Jesus’ birthday to December 25th at the 300 AD Council of Nicaea – Historically he may be an autumn baby but who knows. What I do know is my birthday is the 26th and it is probably the worst time in the world to have a birthday. I am still damaged from my childhood. There is a lawsuit pending…. But I digress…..

So what do I love about Christmas? I do love the twinkling little lights, the decorations and yes, the food! I love how everyone is in a good mood and people give like no other season. The energy is alive and flowing during Christmas and there is something special about that moment when the dawn illuminates freshly fallen snow and the unmistakable glisten of excitement we see in the eyes of our children. For a moment it seems like everything is perfect in the world. I even like Christmas songs.. even the religious ones like “Silent Night”

Do I thank Jesus for that good Christmas feeling or Amazon.com?

Yes, my family celebrates Christmas. We strings lights, hang holly and buy our friends and family gifts. Still, Christmas for me is not about religious dogma. It is about winter solstice, light, energy and love. More pagan in nature I suppose… Winter is part of the celebration of the Mandala of life. In autumn we see the trees turn as fall takes the hand of summer. Then it is winter that casts its cold gaze over our world. Yet, there is faith that spring will come yet again. Yes, for me, Christmas and New Years is a time to celebrate our lives, be reverent,  to give and center ourselves in the energy of illumination, love and wisdom. A celebration of the past, present and yes… the future!

My Birthday is the day after so do not get mad if I say Happy Holidays to you all!

Ah, hell with it…. Merry Christmas!

image credit: playbuzz.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

barefoot

The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

– Ram Dass

It’s a simple enough quote right? But what does it really mean?  Of course there is the literal meaning: When you are quiet you can hear others talk; like when my beautiful wife tells me to shut up so she can get a word in edgewise (just kidding  …. not really).

But is there a deeper meaning? What was meditation and Buddhist guru Ram Dass really implying?

The general goal of mindfulness and self-discovery is to quiet the endless parade of thoughts that march through our minds almost incessantly. Have you ever just stopped what you are doing and focused on the mind and its endless procession of thoughts? Try it sometime, there is a lot going on up there! This is how the mind works, but there is a drawback to this natural process. Most of our errant thoughts are rooted in the past and future – thoughts of fear, fantasy, frustration, envy and regret. Rarely are we completely rooted in the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says – “The Power of Now”.

During mindfulness and meditation, when we are capable of slowing our thoughts down to more of a trickle instead of a river of chaos; there is something unique and special found within the gaps of thoughts. That’s right, within the gaps of thoughts. Pay close, special attention to your thoughts. Focus on the start of one thought and look for the gap when one thought ends and drifts off and another materializes. At first it is almost instantaneous with little or no gap. With the right mindfulness and concentration there is a distinguishable gap between thoughts.

What is the big deal? Well, that is where the magic lies. There in the quiet little reprises between our ego driven thought processes sits the answers to life’s biggest quandaries.  It is there in the silence between thoughts that our True Nature wells. There within the gaps of thoughts sits silence – a level of acute clarity, awareness and responsiveness. As Eckhart Tolle has famously said – “Stillness Speaks”, and it is there in the silence between thoughts that your true heart wish emanates. It is there in the silence that wisdom and energy arises – healing, intuitive and blissful.

So, the more quiet you become, the more you can hear. It is there in the gaps of thoughts that we find our true-self; sans of ego and the pressures and control patterns of societal immersion. It is there in the silence that we find this beautiful connection to the Responsive Universe.

What if we could stretch those gaps within thoughts? What if we could live within them? There lies the goal of Self-Discovery. The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

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

A Buddhist for President?

Republican party presidential candidate Ben Carson was recently caught in a firestorm of controversy over whether or not a Muslim could be President.  I am paraphrasing, but when cornered to explain his point he states that depending on how a Muslim would interpret the Quran; there could be ideological conflicts with the US Constitution.

There are probably many misconceptions about the origin of the US Constitution – many right-wing conservatives may argue that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and the US Constitution reflects that. To a degree this is correct but based on my understanding, the US Constitution itself is a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being – only that religious freedom needs to be protected.

Mike HuckabeeI guess the irony here is how some people are more concerned with the notion of a hypothetical Muslim President challenging our constitutional rights – some idiots out there still think President Obama is a Muslim – and yet Christianity is ALWAYS challenging our constitutional rights. Maybe you are ok with that… I personally have a problem with it…. From challenging woman’s health issues, to teaching creationism in schools to same-sex marriage. I understand that Christianity is a dominant religion in America and many of our sociopolitical foundations are based on such dogma;  but I think it is interesting when the line between church and state blurs and people’s’ fundamental human rights are violated. When businesses like Hobby Lobby and Chick fil A can dictate how you should receive insurance  coverage based on religious views. When presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee think Jesus is a higher law than our US Supreme Court – that is not only bat shit crazy; it is down right scary! And yet in today’s American society it is sort of the norm isn’t it?…. and that is even more scary….

Now it is clear my religious perspectives are from the outside of the Christian bubble looking in. In fact, I am a minority in this thinking which in itself is ironic. When Pope Francis is more liberal than our right-wing conservative political party who tries to govern our policy and laws, it makes you wonder if this departure from reality is due to religion itself perpetuating close minded thinking, or America is just showing its ignorance, or Fox News is way too far-reaching and persuasive in its views and underlying agendas.

So what about a Buddhist for President? What about a Buddhist instilling and spewing dogma into our schools? Children would learn meditation. In fact, children would have to learn about Karma and how every action and reaction (whether positive or negative) can affect others and yourself. People would have to uphold the Four Noble Truths and learn to suffer less and take power away from our Ego – connecting more to our True Nature. Maybe Buddhist extremists would lobby to force people to spend more time in nature and be more compassionate to others? Probably not right? …The Dalai Lama recently was asked (and again I paraphrase) that if science proved a Buddhist notion wrong what would be the next step? The Dalai Lama responded that we would need to make a change in our thinking that would mirror what science now proves correct…. that’s refreshing….

The lesson here is simple… Be mindful of what is right and wrong based on fundamental human rights. Which paths whether social, spiritual or political are going to lead to the least amount of suffering for ALL people of all faiths, gender, sexuality, income levels and their basic rights as human beings.  Due to societal immersion and the dogma that is so interwoven into our news and politics we don’t even realize the true threats that sit in the shadows waiting to erode your fundamental rights as a human being. I cant reiterate this enough – as history has shown in brutal detail, without opposition, there is only tyranny… and that is why I touch on these subjects…

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

book coverPART II

I feel like there has been this gap or hole in the collective narrative that is wellness books; especially books on spirituality. We see plenty of self-help books on the shelves talking about what we need to do to be happier people. How do we achieve happiness? God knows there is plenty of that. In my own spiritual quest I have been just as interested in the how of enlightenment and also the WHY of enlightenment.  There are plenty of books to teach us how to be happier. But what about the mechanics behind such ideas? I have never been a proponent of blind faith and that is why the Bible is not on my shelf of favorite self-help books. I like to know the science and reasoning behind things like karma, God and the afterlife.  I think there is this global thirst to know and believe in God – Yet for me personally, organized religion continues to fall short with answers to the biggest questions of why… Why do we suffer? Why do we exist? where do we go when we die? WHY?

So, in researching and writing the Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas, I worked diligently to discuss topics of spirituality, God, human origin, karma and meditation and also the science behind such ideas. Take the concept of an afterlife: Can Science Prove there is an Afterlife is one of my most popular blog posts. Why? Because blind faith is just not enough for some people.  People want to know that science can prove we live on in some facet after death. It is more reassuring, especially for those that are educated and awake to the wonders of the Cosmos. It is a big place out there in the Universe and science is now beginning to explain our connections to this vast and impressive quantum Universe.

So, the goal of the Responsive Universe is to explain our most enduring questions with answers based more on science and less on conjecture. Couple that with helpful meditations and insightful daily life practices; and I have taken this book to another level with empowering steps to find happiness and understanding within this Responsive Universe.  The Responsive Universe is a unique book: It is approachable and understandable; and yet it is intelligent and philosophical in nature.  In the RU I am not afraid to question religious authority. In the RU we tackle situations of loss, dealing with our past as well as God and positive energy.  Each chapter builds on the next as we journey through this Mandala of life.

Who should read this book? Anyone that has questions about life that are not being answered by conventional religion and daily life. If you are interested in Buddhism or how science explains God and our place within the Cosmos; this book is for you! A reborn christian may not like this book – its ideas and premise will threaten their forged dogmatic views. Nothing is more scary than having your belief systems questioned. Yet it is fear and guilt that holds us from true self-discovery. What if I told you that you do not need religion to be self-actualized. What if I told you God and everything you need is inside your being; your True Nature. So, for the silent majority out there that is looking for more; that sees the world as vast and connective, then this book will connect you to something more – something larger: A Responsive Universe…

Read more about the evolution of the Responsive Universe idea (PART I)

 

John C. Bader

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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