Category: Inspiration


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From pain and suffering wells growth and evolution…

An uphill journey with sunset views at the apex of self-discovery

Merely a drop of water within the ocean of life

A cosmic atom and a dash of light –  splashed across the starry night

Intuition and True Nature your guiding illumination

No longer a slave to the past; an optimistic future within sight

The sun’s warmth bathes your face

a positive thought manifests dreams

Wisdom and mindfulness fuels  your inner light

A moment of silence takes flight…

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

Spring Photo Series

Spring represents birth – regeneration – new life and new beginnings…. We are born from energy and thus an insignificant but most eloquently conscious entity – an intrinsic part of the system that is everything.

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Silhouette

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Indications of Spring

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Just Dating…

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Afterglow

For more images please visit 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… Photo Series

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….

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Fresh snow covering an already frozen lake….

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Dusk Reflections…

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Who says there is no color in the winter?

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Crystal Dawn…

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So much detail….

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

God lives in the Present Moment?

Let’s read this thought-provoking quote from one of the great modern philosophical minds:

“Through the present moment, you have access to the power of life itself, that which has traditionally been called “God.” As soon as you turn away from it, God ceases to be a reality in your life, and all you are left with is the mental concept of God, which some people believe in and others deny. Even belief in God is only a poor substitute for the living reality of God manifesting every moment of your life.”

Eckhart Tolle

To begin, I guess you first have to define what God is to you… I am not a big proponent of allowing others to define God for me or for society. History has shown in excruciating detail that has failed in many facets. There are many definitions of God; in fact the word God has been so overused, misinterpreted and manipulated that you almost have to toss the word out and redefine it for yourself without the dogma of organized religion and old parables. You need to wipe the slate clean and  look inward and outward for what God represents to you as a life source, an energy and the connection we all bear. In doing that you need to also include yourself as part of that equation. God is not an old definition; in fact God is a boundless energy of instinctual consciousness, light, quantum dynamism and vibration that connects the Cosmos as one breathing, pulsing organism; a definition that continually redefines itself .  It seems over the course of religious history, few people take the time or even have the open mind and ability to define God without attaching dogma to the idea. And many in this modern world argue and battle for these defined concepts of God that have little bearing on the true reality of spirituality and our place in this Universe.  It’s almost insanity at its finest example and yet it is the norm we all live with. As Tolle suggests, such blind dogmatic exploits are a “poor substitute for the living reality of God”.  I would agree, blind faith is in itself a poor representation of what is truly godly and spiritual. And that divine notion cannot be found solely in a church or in a book; or from the mouth of a holy man. This energy, wisdom and celestial instinct is found within the silence of your thoughts. Only you alone can find the true definition of God. Yes, that puts a burden on the individual and goes against common religious practices; aligning more with eastern faiths.

Eckart Tolle is famous for his book the “Power of Now” which discusses the power and energy that exists by rooting your mind in the present moment. As I have written, the past is riddled with dogma, guilt and things in life that you can’t change. And yet, more than half of our thoughts within a given day are anchored in the past. Our thoughts of the future are typically riddled with fear and fantasy – all ego driven maladies. The only true moment is the “Power of Now”… That instant moment when you are experiencing this exact split second: Gone is the ego, the past and future; only you and the Universe with expanding horizons to infinity. The key is to live in the present moment. Meditation and immersing yourself in nature are paths to the present moment. There lies the essence of your True Nature and there lies the true power of God that exists as the totality of the Cosmos.

As Tolle interjects: As soon as you turn from the present moment, “God ceases to be a reality in your life”. All that is left is the mental imagery that is now rooted in the past or future; laden with dogma and all the perils of societal immersion, religious ideology and the wars fought over them. There is nothing pure about dogma, fear, guilt and ego – and yet that is exactly what most organized religions market subliminally. Can you find God through organized religion? Maybe, but it will always carry with it the dogmatic trappings of a cloudy history wrought with money, war, power and absolutism. It can never be pure, unadulterated and just about you and only you. When you look into the mirror and see that you are the hand of god, then it is about you and only you. When the ego remains out of such revelations, what you are left with is a pure connection to the concept of God. Nothing is more empowering…

So, once you achieve that higher level of spiritual clarity and awareness you begin to realize this thing called God is bigger than just man-made religion. It is bigger than you and I. It is bigger than a book of parables or a mega church on a Sunday morning. Its bigger than Earth. It is everything within this Responsive Universe and living more in the present moment and less in the past and future is a path to connecting to the true essence of God – your True Nature within.

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

itsatrap

So you had a spiritual breakthrough? …an epiphany? Maybe you read an enlightening book and it has changed your perspective (hopefully it was mine – LOL). Maybe you read a bunch of books… You feel your space, clarity and insight growing… your vibration and glow expanding? Excellent! Self-discovery and spiritual evolution is the goal in a Responsive Universe…

Do you feel compelled to tell everyone you meditated today? Is your new found wisdom splashed all over Facebook and Twitter 24/7? Do you stop random people and tell them you can see their aura or energy? Are you voicing your new opinions to those around you as if you have been a master teacher your entire life? Do you feel more powerful and self-actualized than others with your new found energy? Do you feel sorry for those easily led by blind faith?

Easy there eager beaver!

…your new found self-discovery is creating a new ego from the one you just got rid of!!!!

what?

As we step into self-discovery and sun bathe in the first light shards of enlightenment it is easy to become intoxicated with this new found energy. Congratulations, you are on the path to Self-Actualization!

IT’S A TRAP!

what?

yep, that’s right…. In order to find this new self-discovery and enlightenment, you had to surrender at least a portion of your false-self or ego to connect more with your True Nature. The trap is that it is easy to fall into a more complex ego born from your new found vision. It is easy to step up on your soap box and preach this new age gospel. Beware, it is unbecoming… People do not want to hear it… Silence is the best wisdom… In fact, living by example is the best teacher… If you feel the need to tell people you meditated today or that you are vibrating at a higher level – or their religion is wrong;  that is your ego talking… not your True Nature…

Say less… Do more….

Don’t judge….

Be compassionate….

Sometimes silence is the best wisdom….

Hey, I have to self-check myself all the time – especially with family. It’s part of the journey and when you are mindful of your energy and place with this Universe and do not let it synthesize more ego – well, you just jumped to a new level in self-discovery and enlightenment….

And yes, this blog post is my friendly reminder….

more on Ego     ….more on True Nature   …more on what the Responsive Universe 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 Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Photo Credit: Star Wars – George Lucas (big fan)

A blog that I wrote in 2012 that is all of a sudden going viral this week… Its numbers are breaking records! So, I thought I would share it once again to our Responsive Universe social media family that has grown considerably of the years as well. Thanks for everyone’s energy and consideration! JCB

The Responsive Universe

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”

– Joseph Campbell

This is a very powerful sentence…. It sometimes takes great minds like Joseph Campbell to effectively wrap up the Cosmos – everything that exists – in one eloquent sentence. Carl Sagan was able to effectively do this as well. Sadly both of these great teachers have passed but their words live on eternally. That is the distinct power of words isn’t it? The inspiration of this particular sentence comes from the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth century B.C. I find it interesting that even thousands of years ago, people were reaching for the heavens and also inward to find the meaning of existence – the how and why…. But what I find truly interesting is that even thousands of years ago, wise people were connecting to this sublime dynamism that…

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A  Facebook friend, Elaine Matthews, posted this very simple yet profound quote in her news feed recently. I just love the quote: ” Do not be afraid of your own darkness. Do not be blinded by your own light…”. What does that mean? I know what it means for me…

“Do not be afraid of your own darkness” – We all have pasts – some more torturous than others. We have all faced loss, defeat and yes, sometimes we are our worst enemies. The ego functions of the mind; born from the past and subliminal hard wire thoughts and behaviors; act as the point of intent for many of us. The ego is rooted in fear, anger, guilt, narcissism and a false sense of self-worth – whether positive or negative… Like looking in a mirror, that reflection; like the ego is a fabricated image of ourselves. Like storm clouds the ego can obscure the illumination that is intrinsic to our being. Deep down bubbles our True Nature – this unadulterated and unfettered true-self free from the constraints of societal immersion. For some the darkness is suffering and loss. Experience has shown that deep within the darkness wells lights – It is almost as though we need darkness to raise the vibration of our awareness and clarity. We all have darkness but having faith that light will find its way through the cracks in the walls of false-self, loss and suffering is key to self-discovery and betterment. Further, knowing when to accept the fruits of our labor and suffering is paramount. Do not fear the darkness for within its shadow lies a gift…

“Do not be blinded by your own light” – There lies the fine line between self-discovery and social evolution and the ability to not be sucked back into the ego abyss. It is a paradox of sorts: Through self-discovery the trap is growing another ego from your new found vision and power. Those mindful enough to see the light; to understand that we are just energy changing form – the power of god sitting within the palm of our hands; a spacious connection to this grand Responsive Universe: Well it is easy to let such understanding and power unknowingly rebuild the ego you just reigned in. In times of challenge, sometimes silence is the best wisdom. The lesson in mindfulness is to continually self-check our intent to ensure our actions and reactions remain rooted in True Nature and not False-Self. As illumination warms our face, we want to share this new insight with others but as I have found with excruciating detail; the best teachers lead by actions and not words – a lesson I continually need to remind myself daily. It is easy to become blinded by the light of self-discovery. The art of life is to let the light illuminate your path forward while leading others without dogmatic trappings.

The balance of Light and Darkness is not about opposites but the circle of energy that binds them as one: A Mandala… Both light and darkness exist together – the key is finding the balance between the two facets of human nature. Maybe that is why the hour before sunset is my favorite time of day…

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

SONY DSC

Happy New Years!

New Years is by far my favorite holiday of the year… It is the finale of the American holiday “hat trick”. You find Autumn and then the Thanksgiving Holiday: For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have and not what we don’t have… I am always thankful for health, family and my career. Christmas comes and with it comes this watered down message wrought with commercialism. Christians say Christmas has been stolen. I am more pagan in nature and jokingly accuse the Christians of stealing Christmas from its true roots – Winter Solstice Paganism. For me, Christmas is about illumination, love and wisdom and the gift of giving – something we should celebrate every day.

So what about New Years? … the finale of the Holiday Trifecta…. New Years: Out with the old and in with the new! It’s kind of a rebirth of sorts. When you take into consideration the Mandala of Life you find we are not part of a story that begins and ends; but a revolving journey of birth, death and rebirth. Take the seasons for example: From Summer comes the colors of Autumn and then the sleep of Winter followed by the rebirth of Spring and so begins our journey yet again. The hands of a clock rotate, storms rotate, planets rotate, galaxies rotate…. So, New Years is a time of rebirth… Not a beginning or ending but a time to reflect on the journey. Here you are in the present moment with the past behind us and the future ahead of us – and no attachments to any of it!

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It allows us to pause… to look at each year in review and learn from our mistakes. After all, life is a  learning experience and our failures and shortcomings should be triggers for mindfulness and not negative setbacks. New Years is a time to start fresh… a metaphorical clean slate wiped free of attachments and dogma… and so the journey continues!

I am not a big fan of resolutions – they tend to set us up to failure. Still, New Years is a time to put into place more mindfulness, space and clarity for life’s newest journeys. The goal is to be happier right? Below are some very easy steps to finding more happiness in the New Year:

Live with an Open Mind: Living with an open mind allows us to question what has been presented to us when we were young and impressionable. It allows us to challenge old ideals and control patterns to better evaluate our belief systems to confirm that they were not founded due to negative outside influences. It opens us up to understanding True Nature as a pure and unwavering source of happiness. We have the sovereign power to embrace our own thoughts and convictions. Living with an open mind, being receptive to change, and having a willingness to work for it are the first steps toward liberation.

Meditation: We make space and open ourselves up to the infinite vision of True Nature through devices like meditation and daily life practice. The devices show us that under all the ego and co-dependency that seems like reality, there is a constant, unwavering force we can all depend on that is as spacious as it is endless. Allowing spaciousness to enter our minds and lives gives us the ability to face all of life’s challenges and make good decisions. The brain may seem small physically, but the mind is vast. If we connect to this space, gone will be stress and anxiety. We will have infinite space for clarity and truth. Incorporate meditation into your daily life and you will see a different world reveal itself to you—a “True Reality” beyond ego and false-self.

Moderation: By living healthy lives, eating well, and exercising, we create immediate positive results. Love for life and love for others reinforces positive physical and mental health. Living in moderation equips us with the ability to be aware of our bad habits and get into routines of healthy living. Moderation means we understand our needs versus just our wants and desires.

Positive Energy: The laws of karma govern positive and negative effects in our environment. Positive reactions are the common denominator of our Universe. Becoming open to the positive energy in nature, beauty, and love is crucial to self-evolution. Focusing on positivity creates waves of joy and healing which will ultimately pulse through our thoughts and actions to build a better life.

Happy New Year!

image credit: bonzabottlerday.net

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

Autumn…

Autumn represents beauty, wisdom, knowledge and compassion. We are here in this world as both learners and teachers. We need to be able to look in retrospect from the autumn of our lives and smile back on summer and spring. We need to be happy and satiated, alive and well…

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Autumn Berries…

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Autumn Shadows….

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Autumn Fire…

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Turning Leaf…

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Finale of Color…

Please visit www.johncbader.com for more images

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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