Tag Archive: vibrational universe


Who is Lao Tzu

LaoTzu

Laozi, better known as Lao Tzu, was a legendary philosopher of ancient China who is probably best described as the author of Tao Te Ching. Known also as the unofficial founder of philosophical Taoism, he was considered by many as a religious deity. Born sometime in the 6th century BC (possibly the era of Confucius), Lao Tzu is more of an enigma than a historical figure: Some scholars would argue that Lao Tzu may in fact be more of a legend than a man, as historical information of his life and work have been passed down through the generations as lore with very few written records. The Tao Te Ching is the strongest evidence of his existence.

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
– Lao Tzu

The story goes something like this: Due to political unrest and chaos, Lao Tzu, already a famous philosopher,  decided to leave the lands he called home.  Apparently he was travelling westward on a water buffalo when he came to the Han Gu Pass, which was guarded.  The keeper of the pass realized Lao Tzu was leaving permanently, so he requested that Lao Tzu write down some of his wisdom so that it could be preserved once he was gone – hence the Tao Te Ching was born (at least in some facsimile) and the philosophy or religion of Taoism was born as well.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
– Lao Tzu

It is hard to condense Taoism into a couple of sentences for blog purposes. Much like many eastern philosophies, Taoism emphasizes living in harmony with a particular path or principal. Taoist ethics may vary depending on the particular school, but the path is one of action through non-action including qualities of naturalness, simplicity, spontaneity, and the Three Treasures: compassion, moderation, and humility.

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”
– Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu quotes are seen posted across Twitter and Facebook on a regular basis. I have posted many of these quotes myself on the Responsive Universe.  At first interpretation, you would think such wisdom is contemporary in nature. Yet, Lao Tzu’s words and wisdom span over 2500 years.  As with the likes of Plato, Aristotle and even Rumi, it is fascinating to think that ancient philosophers had a steadfast grip on energy, illumination and spiritualism when science was still in its infancy.  I am actually surprised we are not more evolved (spiritually and socially) knowing what these ancient teachers knew thousands of years ago.

Here are a couple more of my favorite quotes from Lao Tzu:

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
– Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
– Lao Tzu

John C. Bader

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Einstein

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 and is well-known for his scientific research in modern physics. Famous for his theory of relativity, much of his exceptional work is still considered a benchmark in the modern world of quantum science.

Across Facebook and Twitter I always see philosophical and even spiritual quotes from Einstein that not only portrayed him as a scientist but also as an awakened being.  Some of his writing seems Buddhist in nature. A German, Jewish scientist who found his True Nature? Publically, he called himself an agnostic, while dissociating himself from the label of atheist. Cleary he was not swayed by religious dogma, but he did see some amazing connections with instinctual consciousness and the Universe – these quotes below may reflect some of this energy and wisdom:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”   -Albert Einstein

“Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: It transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual; and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.”  -Albert Einstein

“If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.”  -Albert Einstein

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
-Albert Einstein

John C. Bader

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oshoOn occasion I like to expand on some of my spiritual and philosophical influences which include the likes of Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and the Dalai Lama; among many other writers and spiritual leaders. One such influence is Chandra Mohan Jain (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh); also known simply as Osho.

“Spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. Spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology. Religiousness keeps you a sheep, and spirituality is a lion’s roar.”

Osho (Born December 11th, 1931 – died January 19th, 1990) was an Indian mystic, guru and spiritual teacher who travelled throughout India during the 1960s as a public speaker. A professor of philosophy, he relocated to the United States; only to be deported in the 1980s due to some serious legal ramifications.

“Go inwards. Find your inner space, and suddenly, you will find an explosion of light, of beauty, of ecstasy -as if suddenly thousands of roses have blossomed within you and you are full of their fragrance.”

Controversy aside, Osho is known for his open attitude towards sexuality and his unorthodox teaching methods that were interwoven with humor and rhetoric; revealing paradox and contradiction, thus making his work somewhat difficult to summarize.  Osho was skilful in merging eastern philosophy with western ideals; formulating a fundamental understanding of ego and mind: According to Osho, every human being exhibits Buddha nature with the capacity for enlightenment. In his teachings he surmises that it is the ego that usually blocks the road to enlightenment. The art in life is identifying and then separating ourselves from social conditioning and false needs and conflicts which create this illusory sense of identity which is a barrier to man’s inner gift to self-evolve.

“Nothing kills the ego like playfulness, like laughter. When you start taking life as fun, the ego has to die, it cannot exist anymore.”

I have always been drawn to his teachings on meditation. Osho taught that meditation is not only a practice but also a state of awareness to be maintained in every moment; a total awareness awakening the individual from the sleep of mechanical responses conditioned by beliefs and expectations. That idea resonates well with me and is reflected in my writing.

“Meditation is nothing but a bridge between you and light.”

No stranger to controversy and opinion, Oshos legacy is certainly up for debate and criticism. When you read about the history of his life you see an imperfect person preaching enlightenment and wisdom.  That is the burden of a spiritual leader: To be held to this higher moral standard.  I suppose a good question is whether or not his poignant quotes and philosophical contributions seem to stand above any short falls that history may present. Like many great writers and teachers like Alan Watts or Hemingway, the burden is heavy and the final toll is equally intense for some.  The skill in how we walk through life is extracting the positive from the negative and moving forward as best as possible with grace, energy and wisdom. As I continue to learn more about this controversial spiritual leader, I am becoming more convinced his legacy is in question.

“Spirituality is your original face; it is the discovery of your intrinsic nature.”

 

SIDE NOTE: I have received several messages from very knowledgeable people who have expressed their discord with the troubling side of Osho: A person who is known for his wisdom (as seen in so many FB and Twitter quotes) and also the train wreck of legal issues including drug addiction, financial and social misconduct,sexual abuse/harassment and other lawsuits. I must admit, though I did do research on his past; seeing much of the controversy; it still interested me that so many people were drawn to his wisdom (including me!) – maybe unaware of the sick parallel world he lived. I want to be clear that this is not a ringing endorsement but merely a snap shot of a person whose credibility may be in question more than his wisdom. Hind sight is always 20/20 –  I have since pulled a couple lines and added a couple lines of copy for amendment purposes – JCB

 

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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Quotes

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Wikipedia

mantraofthemonthIn this new 2014 blog series titled, Mantra of the Month, we will be focusing on our first meditative incantation. A “mantra” is a word or group of words designed to evoke a mindful response. This word or phrase is meant to act as a trigger to help focus on a specific topic or thought. Born from ancient Hindu Vedic literature and common in Buddhist circles our Mantra of the Month is:

“Breathe in Positive Energy, Breathe out Negativity….”

Remember, in a Responsive Universe what we think we can create if we exhibit the right confidence and intent. As a meditative exercise, take a couple of moments out of your busy day and focus on this mantra. But first, what is positive energy? Well, it is everything tangible and intangible that surrounds us and constitutes us… At the most basic sub atomic and cellular level, humans are made up of atoms and molecules composed of energy. Quantum energy is the basis for all matter both seen and unseen. In a Universe of light, energy and vibration, humans are connected to this dynamism that links instinctual wisdom and consciousness; a common dominator for human existence. Through meditation and mindfulness we can imagine and visualize this energy passing through or entering our body – its basis is pure, unadulterated and indestructible. It is the opposite of ego and all that is negative within our lives. As social creatures we are constantly inundated with negative energy in the form of fear, jealousy, anger and false-confidence – some more so than others. The key is to center our energy and connect more with that True Nature within.

For a helpful exercise, pause for a moment and breathe in deeply 5 to 7 times. First, take a deep breath and feel your chest inflate with oxygen. Hold this breath for a couple of moments and then exhale, expelling all that is negative from your body and aura. Simply, visualize negativity, disease and addiction leaving your body with the out breath. Repeat this exercise several times.

Breathe in positive energy and breathe out negativity….

Breathe in all that is positive: Energy, light, love and wisdom… Hold your breath and then slowly exhale allowing all that is negative to leave your body: Negative thoughts, feelings of anxiety, or bad experiences; let anything negative leave your body on exhalation allowing only your True Nature to remain; steadfast and unshaken. Think of negativity as clouds obscuring the sun. As you slowly breathe in and out imagine the sun breaking through these clouds casting warm, healing illumination down on top of you. Do this several times and be mindful of this shift in energy. How do you feel now? Centered? Lighter?

Try this several times a day and notice the difference. Do you feel more relaxed, positive, inspired or revitalized?  Use this exercise when you are feeling a little rushed, stressed or overwhelmed… This is a great exercise right before a sit down meditation session!

“Breathe in Positive Energy, Breathe out Negativity….”

 

John C. Bader

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beamlight

Happy New Years to all of you reading this…

For those of you that are returning visitors to the Responsive Universe – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate your energy, time and consideration. It means a lot to me!

For those of you new to the Responsive Universe – Welcome!

2014 is going to be an exciting year as there is change in the air. Change is good as it is intrinsic to our being. The more adaptable we are to change the more we will evolve and advance in this grand and amazing Responsive Universe.

comingsooncover

I am excited to announce the soon to be published Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas: To be edited, published and released by Wisdom Moon Publishing in 2014. This new version of the RU will be bigger, better and more in tune with our ongoing journey to self-discovery and illumination. More details to come!

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On the Responsive Universe Blog get ready for my new blog series titled: The Mantra of the Month.  I am also excited to exhibit the wisdom and energy of several select guest bloggers and writers throughout the New Year. Our “Guest Blog” focus in 2014 will be on Meditation and Mindfulness. I look forward to all the new and inspiring contributions!

___________________

On my official Twitter page we will be continuing with the popular Blog Share Friday which includes like-minded content including healthy recipes, travel, and literary wisdom from fellow bloggers. I am so reverent for the 41,500 followers on Twitter – thanks so much!

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Join me on Face book for updates and inspirational shares as we all disembark on this much-anticipated journey in 2014.

mandala

Again, with much appreciation, energy and reverence,

I thank all my followers, friends and fellow writers. Best of luck in 2014!

Sincerely,

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

2014 rocks!

newyearsA couple of years ago I wrote an article for MindBodyGreen entitled “10 Steps to Living a Positive Existence in 2012”.  I think it was a helpful piece and it was well received on social media like Twitter and especially Facebook.

With 2014 upon us, I thought I would revisit some important facets to betterment and self-improvement that mean a lot to me personally. As we all work toward illumination on our very own paths to self-discovery, our needs, wants and desires change; as does the root of intent that drives such personal growth. We are evolving and with any personal or social evolution births change. Everything I wrote in that MBG article still rings true, but since then I have been able to fine tune certain attributes to push my process of self-discovery forward.

This is a disclaimer of sorts: In the self-help world it is easy to watch some of the so-called self-improvement gurus (and there are many) sitting high and pious on their soap boxes, preaching compassion and conviction. They make this path to self-discovery sometimes look easy. Well it is not… and these New Years tips below are a good example of that. As I write this blog, I am fully aware that I am also working toward self-improvement. The burden is on me to live out my own destiny with the utmost determination and credibility possible. I am not perfect and I also slip and fall as we all do. This list is to be shared by us all – myself included. My goal in 2014 is to live closer and more intimately to my True Nature and this small list of resolutions is that gateway to more positive energy and wellness. I hope you find it helpful:

Credibility: As I continue to mature and evolve, I am realizing that credibility is a huge factor. Granted we should not care what others think about us in most facets – it simply feeds the ego. Still, we need to be sure our doorways to communication and expression are pure. This includes practicing what we preach, watching what we say and how we act in social situations. Every action we make creates a reaction and it is from this chain of events that builds and forms our credibility both inward and outward (how we perceive ourselves and also how our friends and family perceive us). This includes how we judge others verbally and nonverbally and how we act and react during times of challenge and conflict. This is an ongoing process and as a self-help writer and meditation advisor, the burden to be credible falls on my shoulders too.

Meditation: I have come to the personal conclusion that meditation is one of the best vehicles for wellness in my life. Seems obvious right? I have been enjoying a meditative practice for over a decade. Like exercise or anything else that requires effort, my meditation practice ebbs and flows like the tide. Sometimes we are very connected and clear, and sometimes the static of life disconnects us a bit. This is normal and simply requires mindfulness. Still, looking back on my past, it is easy to pinpoint that highs and lows and when I was more engaged and mindful. From this clarity and awareness has manifested better memories, luck and happiness. All of this can be directly rooted to meditation. The more I am rooted to the present moment, the easier it is to connect to success and wellness. The key is to get creative with meditation and incorporate it in all facets of life.

Letting Go: “Letting go” seems like a simple concept but it is a process: We need to let go of our negative past. We need to let go of the anger and conflict we feel for our enemies. We need let go of the sorrow and angst from the loss of love ones. We need to let go of the grip this material world wields over our wants and desires. We need to let go of the ego that controls our destiny; many times unknowingly. We need to let go of our fears. All of this is a purge of what is not real. Everything I listed above is not linked or aligned to our True Nature. Everything we cling to is a projection; societal conditioning; lies and false-self. This is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp and is an ongoing process of mindfulness, space, clarity and responsiveness. Trust me, this something I still struggle with daily myself – and that is okay. None of us are perfect and we never will be. Still, each little step forward out of the haze is a giant leap into the warm light of self-discovery.

New Years is actually my favorite time of year. Winter is upon us, and understanding the Mandala of life we are akin to; from winter comes spring (from death springs life): A renewal of energy, wisdom; even hope and anticipation. Remember, we live in a Responsive Universe: Self-discovery and the hard work to self-evolve might seem like a daunting task. Still, every small step forward; every small shift in perspective creates a growing footprint of energy. We are all connected and every move in the right direction, no matter how small, contributes to this glowing footprint of illumination.

2014 is going to be a good year. We have in our hand the key to happiness and betterment. We are the stewards of our own destiny. Believe this and it will manifest…  Shall we seize the day; seize the year? Let’s do it together!

Happy New Year!

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

christmas tree

I will keep this short because some of you probably need to get back to wrapping presents…

So what does Christmas mean to a Buddhist… 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.  I meditate daily, watch my Karma and really see no internal or external connection to western based religious dogma. I am not a proponent of organized faith but Buddhism speaks to me…

From an American perspective, what is this thing we call Christmas? We see advertising for it in October.  Some want the Christ back in Christmas! I guess I don’t blame them… Most of the big retail corporations only what your money in their coffers… You have got Santa competing against Jesus and Target competing against Walmart. 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!

I 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 feeling?

Yes, we celebrate 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. 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. 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!

John C. Bader

www.responsiveuniverse.com

Meditation alters our genes?

secondgirlmeditationA new study conducted by researchers working in the US, France and Spain has shown that mindfulness can affect your genes; especially in regard to limiting or suppressing the expression genes associated with inflammation. “Mindfulness Meditation” is the practice of centering your thoughts and energy in the present moment. This is the same type of meditation I outline in my upcoming book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas. Mindfulness Meditation is about our thoughts… A mind awash with thoughts of fear, dread, anxiety and ego related thought trails lives in the past and future – never the present moment. It is here in the present moment where authentic space, clarity and responsiveness can wellspring from our inner being; our True Nature.

This new research has shown that this type of meditation can actually suppress protein manufacturing associated with inflammation. Through a controlled patient study, results showed that meditation can actually turn down inflammation like it was a proverbial volume switch. Why is this important?  It is just one of many steps forward in understanding how mindfulness can alter the human condition and physiology down to our basic atoms and molecules. We are connected in ways with the Universe that science is just now beginning to explain. Meditation has long been thought to be the bridge to spirituality, wellness and self-discovery. This study is just another example of how mindfulness is a step forward into the sublime.

John C. Bader

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Less is more?

Roll-of-moneyLess is more?

When I was much younger my father would use the term “Less is More” in regard to lifestyle and the job market… To be honest it used to tick me off (especially in my early twenties)… I would quip, “well, why did I slave in college to get a degree and be saddled down with student loans if less was indeed more?” I was probably missing his point… As a side note, he moved to Hawaii to live the simple life after I graduated high school. Even still, as a young adult, growing up in Orange County, CA – I was inundated with images and real life examples of monetary success. Growing up in the eighties and living in a wealthy area near the beach only perpetuated this vision of success; setting this benchmark for self-esteem and accomplishment that carried me well into my early thirties.  Like many others, I was conditioned to base a large facet of my happiness on things that were not permanent. All I wanted to do was own a big home, drive a luxury car and have the money that was dangled like a golden carrot over my soft and impressionable ego.

Ironically, I got everything I yearned for – careful what you wish for!

…but when the economy dropped out and took stocks and home prices with it – I learned by biggest life lesson about wealth and how we attach ourselves to it… Damn it.. My old man was right all along… and guess what, it still ticked me off… LOL.

Attaching myself to materialistic objects and symbols of wealth; attaching my happiness to what others thought of my successes only dug me deeper into the pit of ego and false-self – the end result was suffering in every magnitude. It was an epiphany of sorts that jolted me out of my fantasy world. That and having to rebuild my self-esteem and investments one penny at a time.

Fast forward thirty plus years from that young and dumb kid in the OC and you have a completely different person. It has taken a boat load of life lessons and suffering over the years to see the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making lots of money. It is how we as individuals attach ourselves to it that is the defining factor.

So what was the point of this blog post? Well, first and foremost, my father was right… I concede…

Secondly, life is but a bundle of many variables. It is never prudent to base our happiness and wellness on variables like ego, money, stocks and big homes. Such things come and go like the wind and when they are gone so goes that happiness that was many times unknowingly attached to it. The only permanent facet to life is our True Nature within – this instinctual and intimate connection to the space, clarity and sensitivity that defines this grand, Responsive Universe. Our happiness is driven by the heart wish within that projects only gratitude and compassion; positive energy and good karma.

Now, that is something that money cannot buy… 🙂

John C. Bader

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Fellow blogger Dave (Go Groovy) asked an interesting question about our purpose in life and how meditation may connect us to this purpose:

Meditation

 

Interesting question Dave and I am not sure I have the full answer. Here it goes….

At birth we are born without an ego… yet, through social evolution the ego is what defines us at an early age. As we mature and see this rift between True Nature and Ego, we are left with a choice: Connect more to our True Nature (this energy, love and wisdom that arises from the within and without – the essence of God as it relates to the Universe) or we can continue to be led by blind reactions and blind faith; fear, materialism and false-self – all facets of the ego. Meditation slows down the thoughts within our head. Over time, meditation stretches those gaps between thoughts. It is there within those gaps that a beautiful silence arises from within; the ego is then powerless. From that silence wells our inner wisdom – our True Nature. That authentic energy and insight should be our guiding light to self-discovery and illumination. I think our purpose in this Universe is to live closer to our True Nature and live farther away from ego. I think we tend to over think our purpose in life (me included!) when everything we need is already there in the palm of our hand. Formal meditation is great but think of our entire daily life as a meditation – let that energy that arises from formal meditation transcend all thoughts, actions and reactions all day long! It is not a perfect process, but the more mindful you are at work, with family, friends (and enemies) and during your own meditative silence; the more you will grow and prosper. We gain credibility and our energy footprint grows as we evolve. New doors will open and your actions and reactions will be born from compassion, love and gratitude – there lies the gift in life… possibly our purpose too?

This blog including Facebook and Twitter is an open forum for any questions relating to life – please feel free to forward your questions – I may not have the answer, but I will try my best to shed some perspective – after all, we are all in this together!

 

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

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