Category: Meditation


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!

newyears

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

Advertisements

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…

autumnberries

Autumn Berries…

autumnshadows

Autumn Shadows….

bangs092415

Autumn Fire…

turningleaf1.jpg

Turning Leaf…

autumnglory

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

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

Meditation Part V

The Responsive Universe

We can take meditation much further in an effort to evolve and root our being within this amazing Responsive Universe. We have within our ability the power to manifest our own creative reality. Those that are mindful of the present now realize that our True Nature is unwavering and something we can always rely on. Our True Nature is the environment from which the instinctual energy of the Universe and God vibrates across an electromagnetic field of pulses. We are interconnected to this field of energy through body and mind.  Knowing this, we can be confident that the world is ours to possess because we are intimately connected to it. We do not need to rely on religious trappings and blind faith. Everything we need is already inside us; it just takes time and effort to reveal these truths. As discussed in the Seventh Mandala (Responsive Universe), we have the ability to…

View original post 1,126 more words

The Responsive Universe

We continue with the Art of Meditation – Below is a list of our previous meditation threads…

Meditation Part I.

Meditation Part II.

Meditation Part III.

We just discussed Set and Setting for a successful meditation session. Please keep in mind that though I outlined a rather detailed process for meditation, there really are no rules when it comes to mindfulness. In essence, anything goes as long as you find your mind rooted in the moment away from fear and fantasy, past and future. When you are mindful of the present you are meditating in some facet – you are evolving and centering yourself in a Responsive Universe. Any mindfulness is meditation and even one minute of mindfulness is better than an hour of mindless brain chatter.

Deepening and Appreciation

With any meditative session, you will begin with your set and focus to get comfortable and concentrate on your breathing…

View original post 685 more words

The Responsive Universe

I have been discussing a more intimate approach to meditation here on WordPress.  Meditation or mindfulness is the key to self-evolution from a spiritual and personal level which is why I am spending so much time on the subject this week. To be mindful of the present, sans of ego is where the true magic arises. It is within those gaps of ego driven thoughts that reveals the wisdom, love and energy that is our True Nature. Earlier, we began with Meditation Part I. and Meditation Part II., where we discussed mindfulness as tool for self-actualization.  A good step forward is to label all the incessant thoughts that careen through our heads as guests: Treat them all neutral and do not get frustrated by the endless trail of thoughts; in fact, find amazement in how intricate and vast the mind is and find faith and energy that you are the master of this domain.  There are three areas…

View original post 1,586 more words

The Responsive Universe

In Meditation Part I. we briefly discussed “daily life practice”. The objective was to become more aware of your thoughts, label them as guests and be more mindful of the present. Seems easy enough right? If you are reading this blog entry then there is a pretty good chance you have tried meditation before. I can certainly recall my first meditation attempts: A train wreck is probably the best description. One would think finding time to self-actualize would be the most difficult facet of meditation. With such busy lives, when can we find time to meditate? Others may think that the most difficult part of meditation is sitting in one spot for an extended period of time. Truthfully, the most challenging part of meditation is fielding all the thoughts that parade through our heads at any given point. Sure your first meditation seems to start off well: You feel mindful and…

View original post 640 more words

The Responsive Universe

The art of meditation is a lifestyle tool that helps one calm the mind and sharpen our clarity from within. Meditation allows us to slow and impede the incessant thoughts that ripple through our brains and find that inner realm that resides just below the surface of our ego. There is a shift in perspective and mindfulness that leaves the static of this “material world” we live in behind and thus allows us to disembark on a journey inward and outward all in the same breath – thus connecting to our true nature. There are no boundaries when we discuss the concept of true nature, much like there are no boundaries within this vast cosmos that is everything. All that is matter and energy has no edge or periphery. When we consider the mind, the same notion seems to hold true. Just as we can quantify the vastness of our…

View original post 828 more words

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

Mindfulness in Kauai….

kokee

The perfect hike in the back country of Kauai…

Hikes are a great way to be mindful and present in the moment at hand…

What is it about water?

In this case the Pacific Ocean… There is something tranquil about

sitting and staring at the sea… A great place to meditate!

sunset7

My favorite time of day is at sunset…

There is something about the color, energy and beauty of a sunset that makes

dusk the perfect time of day to meditate and be mindful…

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

%d bloggers like this: