Tag Archive: mindfulness


Meditation Part II

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…

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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…

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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

mandalaIs it suffering and tremendous emotional pain that unknowingly thrusts those solemn few on to the path that is the Heroes Journey? What is it that motivates us to follow our Bliss? When you look at the world that surrounds us, I suspect the Heroes Journey is a gift that everyone receives; but few disembark on… I could be wrong, but I would imagine it takes some cultivated levels of mindfulness and awareness to see the signs; to walk the hero’s path; to accept the gifts of this Responsive Universe. The Hero’s Journey for me was acknowledging and then confronting my ego facilities; thus connecting to this sublime notion of True Nature… But my journey did not begin there… An abusive childhood may have been the beginning point. Low self-esteem, Attention Deficit Disorder, addiction and most definitely the bludgeoning defeat that brought my suffering full circle: The late-term, still-born loss of my first-born and namesake – truly a devastating day and a defining time in my life that saw me reach rock bottom both inward and outward. It seems as we age and mature our soul becomes calloused by the layers of ego and societal immersion. We tend to be defined by society and by our successes and failures. The cold, stark walls of that hospital continue to be a grim reminder of that awful day I lost my boy. And yet while holding my lifeless child in my arms that fateful day; it may have been that moment that I unknowingly began my own Hero’s Journey.

I recall a quote from Joseph Campbell: ““We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” Ironically for me, surrendering to life instead of fighting against it became the veering path I eventually chose. It was several months later that something unique happened that changed my life forever. After the loss of my son and after weeks of depression, sadness and self-loathing, the sun came out and showered me with the warmth of wisdom and spiritual illumination; a stark difference to the wintery, cold grip that previously enveloped my life. The sky looked bluer, the clouds seemed whiter. The trees and plants all seemed brighter and more colorful. My thoughts were clear and concise; my mind boundless; my challenges and suffering palatable. It was if I had poor vision all my life and suddenly began to see clearly for the first time. I experienced an awakening – I stumbled upon the concept of awareness and space and how it related to me, my life and surroundings, my hardships and my place within this Universe – my intrinsic connection to this Universe. This source of empowerment was not of religious origin. I knew immediate it was a much bigger picture: A vast boundless world of energy, vibration, love, wisdom and connection. In fact, religious dogma began to look very weighted and dogmatic. Thus began the process of deconstructing my belief systems and living life with an open mind.  My Hero’s Journey evolved as I allowed more space, clarity and responsiveness into my life. I no longer blamed myself for the loss of my son. I no longer blamed God or the Universe. I redefined God and the Universe…. I no longer blindly demanded answers for life’s mediocrity. For a brief moment, I saw myself connected to every atom in the Universe – a part of something so vast and immense it boggled the imagination. My fear dissolved and an illuminated path revealed itself to me. It was my True Nature… The concept of True Nature is the intrinsic, immortal potential for reaching enlightenment that exists within the mind of every sentient being. Its source and energy are born from the Cosmos. True Nature is your transcendent link to the Universe. It is everything that exists and when you consider everything that exists you must consider yourself part of that equation; connected and purposeful.

I discovered that True Nature is the opposite of ego. True Nature is everything left behind when you are egoless. Imagine stripping away negativity, evil, fear, guilt narcissism and jealousy (all ego facilities) – what are you left with? Only love, wisdom and positive energy – the heartbeat of existence. Mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls”. Following my bliss involved accentuating mindfulness and self-discovery. Through meditation and daily life practice I became acutely aware of my ego and what reinforced its maligned energy on my actions and reactions. Through synchronicity and awareness, I began looking for the signs and genuine thoughts and epiphanies that shifted my mainstream perceptions away from the majority. There is a price to pay to society while on this Hero’s Journey – I have found that as I walk uphill most people that surround me are walking downhill. Yet, there is an acute awareness that my path is noble and genuine. By centering myself in the moment, I took the necessary steps to act and react with unadulterated empowerment.

My Hero’s Journey is not always a perfect sunset. Life can be messy. I will make mistakes and from failure will come triumph and wisdom. The key to this journey is always stepping forward and never backward. No matter how small the step, I will continue my Hero’s Journey with karma, clarity and my center of being aligned as best as possible with my True Nature. I have confidence the Responsive Universe will take care of the rest….

John C. Bader

John C. Bader is a 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

121014Happy New Year to any of you reading this blog now… and a Happy New Year to anyone who stumbles across this post; say in July…. I guess that is the point… Every word written here is valid today, tomorrow and in six to nine months…

Everyday can be a new day… a new start…. Sure, New Years is about “out with the old and in with the new”. Still, I am not fond of New Year’s resolutions.  I like to have the option of failing. Yeah, that’s right, failure is good! How many resolutions are still being religiously followed by Summer? Spring? It is sort of a “set yourself up to fail and then feel guilty about it” scenario…. Nothing new and wholesome about that…. Resolutions seem to set us up for disappointment. They certainly have never worked for me.

Still, there is a silver lining in the concept of failure and blown resolutions. Let us not forget it is the failures and shortcomings that teach us the important lessons in life. Much of our wisdom is forged from learning about what works and what does not work. Life can be one big experiment. Life has taught me that with the right mindfulness, every negative can be turned into a positive and from pain is born space and awareness. So with that said, I am slow to say goodbye to 2014 or any previous year without remembering the high points and yes, the low points. It is the latest chapter of who we are.

Still, it is an unfinished story…

That is where the New Year becomes useful: 365 new chances to do better and get things right. It does not have to be a perfect process – it won’t…  and that is okay… We tend to be hard on ourselves for our actions, thoughts and reactions. This thing called living is not easy. Still, we can have the confidence that our story is not yet finished. We are the authors of the next chapter – why not write a good one!

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

jupiter2How vast is the mind? When we conjure up huge distances in the mind our brain seems border-less in its periphery. Take our own solar system with its planets: Within the mind we can visualize the red planet Mars as we whiz by in our thoughts. Seconds later we pass Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System. To the left is an image of Jupiter I took from the backyard using my telescope. Jupiter alone is over 628 million miles from Earth! Soon we reach the rings of Saturn and the icy blue reaches of Uranus and Neptune.  We can visualize what it might be like on planets orbiting other stars in the night sky – some millions of light years away. When we look through a large enough telescope we can see other Galaxies, different from our own – some hundreds of billions of miles from Earth. Then there are the galaxies and deep space objects we can’t see – their light so ancient its energy and vibration has yet to reach Earth. How is it possible to conjure up such vast distances within the mind? How big is the mind and does it have a border? What is a thought? Where do thoughts arise and where do they go?

These are things worth contemplating….

What about the inner world of sub atomic physics. A single cell’s nucleus mirrors that of a planet orbiting afar: Electrons orbiting the protons and neutrons like moons orbiting a host planet. Each cell nucleus spaced like planets and stars across the vast and intricate structure of the human brain. Over 100 billion cells dotting the night sky of the brain – vast, border-less, and possibly infinite…

How do we fit in all this…? The Universe with its myriad of star laden galaxies and the sub atomic Universe infinite in its structure…  There isn’t just the Universe and then us – something detached and separate… In order to understand the Universe in simple terms we need to consider ourselves part of the equation. The same can be said for the sub atomic world within. Just the act of observing microscopic particles changes their result. We are part of the result. We are part of the Universe. There is not one and then the other. We need to consider ourselves part of something so vast it transcends earthly dogma. So vast and connected that anything is possible because within the Responsive Universe there are infinite possibilities.

Do you want to learn more about our connection to the Responsive Universe?

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

action!

Can you imagine? Having the ability to go back in time and redo some the things we maybe regret. Or even better, return to the past with the wisdom we now garner? Yeah, that would be pretty cool wouldn’t it? If I could go back in time I would tell my younger self to worry less, not care what other people think, be a leader not a follower; and above all, love myself unconditionally…

 Just one problem… That is not reality is it? More of a fantasy I think….

There is a reason we grow and mature. There is a reason we have to learn the hard way. I call it social evolution. Every past positive and negative thought, action and reaction contributes to the person you are today. Life is a university in learning. How else are we to discover our true self? It is worth noting that none of us are perfect. Many of us have had less than stellar childhoods; maybe we had a bad break up last year, a terrible loss or wish we would have said or done different things in retrospect. I think that is pretty normal.

The thing to realize is that every present moment is a new start. We can’t go back in time and change the negative memories, but we can stop them from reoccurring in the present moment. Imagine being the director of a movie; except the movie is your life story.  Maybe this movie starts off a bit negative. You may even feel sorry for the main character. But as a director you can create any ending you like. We all want to feel good after a movie right? The idea is to understand that as directors of our own lives, our past script may have sucked, but you have the power to save this movie from the .99 cent bargain basket at Walmart and make it a blockbuster!

Understand that you are the director, not a victim, and write your very own happy ending. It can be that easy when you stop complicating things and understand that every new moment in life is an opportunity to be happy.

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

John C. BaderI am a person who is a student and mentor on a voyage to self-discovery and enlightenment. My own personal awakening years ago birthed much of my philosophy. An awakening is an immediate or sometimes gradual realization of a reality different from what you always believed. I like to call this different reality a “True Reality.” Waking up from my ordinary life and seeing how things fit together has propelled me forward to fulfillment. This quality of knowing is like seeing 20/20 for the first time. This vision, the awareness, and the feelings sound like they would be jarring and intense, but my awakening felt like a pleasant windfall. I immediately knew how to act and react to challenges and stress. I had a new openness and clarity with life. Things were brighter and clearer. Even my most challenging problems seem to be palatable.

Still, knowing the right answers does not mean we always act skillfully and soulfully. Such feelings of energy and focus require diligence and determination. We need to center our body and minds in the present; sans of past and future; fear and fantasy: A endless task of mindfulness. I still struggle against ego, right and wrong; faced with the same challenges and conflicts that effect us all. My view points on religious dogma tend to get me in trouble with the religious right; my energy and drive continually needs to be rekindled. I am just a person. I had a forgettable adolescence. My first child was stillborn. I have struggled with addiction, marital problems, mediocrity, and utter isolation. But I am a person who has looked misery in the eye and asked the question, “Is there more to life than this?”

book coverSo, I am someone who has been there. We probably have more in common than we know. We both have stories to tell, some good and some bad. We have good friends and adversaries. We have faced success and loss. We are just working our way through this thing called life.  Our knowledge comes from our life experiences; our faith from knowing that we have in our possession the keys to unlocking the door to happiness. Do I have an answer for everything? Not a chance. As a mentor, I believe more in cultivating an awareness of environment and self that allows someone to discover answers on his or her own. My goal is to guide people in the right direction and pose questions that may spur a change in perspective and an awakening. I don’t believe, like many organized religions, that truth is one thing, that it is recorded as the word of God, and that the word is fixed and unchanging.  I believe we all have pure wisdom inside each of us. The goal is finding our inner voice that connects to our True Nature, thus leading us down the evolutionary path of self-discovery.

That is why I wrote the Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas. Let this book be proof that karma, meditation and positive energy can lead to a better life – that if we yearn for betterment and meditate on our dreams – they will come true! This book of nine mandalas or chapters is my awakening. But it is more than that. I took this knowledge gained through self-discovery and compared it with the knowledge of great writers, philosophers and spiritual leaders like Joseph Campbell and the Dalai Lama. I realized my thoughts and ideas were not that abstract. I realized that science could bridge spirituality and that we are all connected at the sub-atomic level – our very thoughts, actions and reactions changing the fabric of the Universe.

Please, join me on an adventure in Self-Discovery….

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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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

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John C. Bader on Twitter

From self-published to traditionally published; this is PART I. of a blog series detailing the evolution of my new book published by Wisdom Moon, titled: The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas.

More than a decade ago, I wrote a self-published work which I affectionately called The Sixth Tier, A Handbook to Enlightenment. Good luck trying to find it now! It was composed of six chapters which focused on various ways to search and find self-actualization in a world of indifference. I wrote this book in response to a series of life changing epiphanies or awakenings that engulfed me in 2001. After hitting rock bottom after the still birth loss of my first child and namesake, I found a new and enlightened vision of the world we live in. I truly believe you sometimes have to hit rock bottom before you can evolve to the next level of consciousness. Sadly though, my new-found awareness was quickly besieged by ego and false-self, which unfortunately muddled my True Nature. 10 years ago, I understood  how the Universe worked and my place within this grand dominion, but I was far from releasing myself from the perils of ego and false-self. In hindsight, the Sixth Tier reflected a lot of this anger and ego in small refined levels.

bookcover

The Sixth Tier, 2001

The Sixth Tier did get an offer from a small independent publisher but I decided to have it self-published instead. I was hesitant to accept the publishing offer for several reasons. First, I was going to have to sign away the rights of a book that I put my heart and soul in. Secondly, I was not finished with the whole body of work – I knew deep down this was not my best foot forward; there was room for improvement. Due to the pressures of ego and other false perceptions, I rushed the entire writing process. It became more about being a published author and less about the final product; an error in hindsight. There are many good elements to The Sixth Tier, but it was not a completion of the process – it did not reflect my life’s work. Thus, at the end of The Sixth Tier I wrote, “To be continued”.

Since 2002, I have studied Buddhism extensively and I have continued to put to work the many ideas and concepts found in my first published effort. One of my decade long goals was to bridge science with spirituality and meditate on a daily basis. More than a decade later I have emerged as a much more complete person. I have challenged my false self and settled into a new-found notion of True Nature – an unwavering energy found within that is driven by a Quantum Universe. Over the years I have toyed with new ideas and wrestled with old philosophical quandaries. About three years ago a new-found inspiration encircled me. I began to rewrite The Sixth Tier as it should have been years ago and in 2011 I again self-published the rewrite now known as the The Responsive Universe – Meditations and Daily Life Practice (recently pulled from the shelves).

I was a little disappointed I could not get the Responsive Universe printed by a traditional publisher. I am sure many of you know how tough it is to be a published writer. Even after self-publishing the RU, I actively pursued handfuls of smaller wellness and boutique publishers. I did not lose faith! I was successful in getting several articles published by MindBodyGreen and All Things Healing. My social footprint on Facebook and Twitter grew as well. Eventually through luck and my own positive manifestations, the RU was picked up by Wisdom Moon Publishing in 2013. Wisdom Moon Publishing is a boutique publisher with an emphasis on wellness, mindfulness and philosophy. It was a perfect fit!

book cover

Now Available

About the Book:

We all have within our grasp the ability to wield the power of quantum energy as it relates to the Universe and our intrinsic True Nature. Based on science and inspired by Buddhist ideals and new world philosophy, the Responsive Universe will lead the reader into a world of self-discovery, karma and wellness.. By following the creative and insightful meditations and  daily life practices, you will begin to free yourself from a false-self that may unknowingly govern your actions and reactions; the result being a spacious new vision of your true-self: A boundless vision bathed under the liberating light of self-actualization and enlightenment.

In Part II. of my journey toward publishing the new and improved Responsive Universe – Why this book is different and how it will change your life much like it changed mine….

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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John C. Bader on Twitter

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