Samadhi-Pure Bliss

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.”  

Isn’t that what Maroon 5, says anyway?

The more you are of ‘service’ to others, the more aware you become of your gifts.  However, this also means you will have more responsibility to fulfill your own desires and share your experiences.

The path of spiritual awakening, can seem easy when you are emerged in high vibrational energies, and surrounded by others who are able to access their highest selves.  For example, at festivals, and on retreats when there aren’t any “everyday life,” type of worries to deal with.  There are no pesky co-workers, or family members to bother you.  Sure, there’s experiences of pure bliss, pure joy, pure excitement, pure love….

But then you’re alone, or you come home from vacation, and you’re left with the humanistic truth of the real world, when things start to hit you suddenly, and then bam, you’re right back to where you started.  All your tools are forgotten, and the bliss goes away, the feelings of joy, pure excitement, pure love, disappear. Something happens in “reality” and then ‘POOF” all thoughts, emotions, and experiences wash away, like the tides washing away footprints in the sand.

If you would like to hold onto feelings of pure bliss, love, excitement, acceptance, and healing, then the key to success is to remember the tools.  The trick is to come back to self in times of stress, doubt, worry, anxiety, fears. The Truth is to remember to Breathe.

Remember the breathe.  

Once you come back to the breathe, your thoughts are able to slow down, and then you are able to move out of your own way.  The brain is able to release from “fight or flight”, to “rest and restore”, while being awake. The Breathe takes the brain from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system, and the limbic system slows down.  The amygdala begins to release fear, and the frontal cortex may begin to see a step in front of it. Thirty seconds of deep breathing, allows the body to move through these thoughts and feelings, and regain control over our minds.  We have the potential to move our own energy throughout the body.

For example, when we are moving through our “stuff,” we can literally take in whatever it is that we are moving through.  Whichever thought that arises; breathe into it, hold onto it for about four seconds; the brain will begin to process these thoughts in our mind, and then exhale slowly, from the crown of the head to the base of the spine.

This allows the brain to slow down, and flow energy freely in order to send balance to the mind, body, and soul.  The heart becomes a bridge between the mind and body, and the Truth frees.

So sure,  this is easy to do off in “La-La, Land,” but the true testament is to put what you learned while you were there to the REAL TEST.  Are you able to foster these tools and use them for your highest good? What potential do you have to move energy throughout the body system in order to help process your own emotions?  

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We ain’t got the time

Before my Father had passed away in October of 2017, I had a feeling that he didn’t have much time left.  So I sought out a journey to return to self, and to gain acceptance and awareness of the events that were soon to occur.  I wanted to feel grounded and present for the time we had left together, and for the time when we both would have to say goodbye.  In doing so, there were many things I had chosen to do.  One of them was to seek out metaphysical healing modalities, another to learn Quantum physics of change, I completed a theta-level energy cleanse, and I also came to acceptance.

A poem I had found during this time, read as the following:

We ain’t got the time

Hey dad,

I ain’t much of a writer

I’ve seen big ships pull out of nasty weather

Rock back and forth and sail on.

And now there’s a storm moving through

Tell me dad, what’s a girl to do.

Not gonna lie, this don’t sit well

And it hurts my heart to see you go through hell

I say my prayers at night; in my bed

When the heaps of thoughts run through my head

Don’t cry

We got a life to live.

Thank you for bringing me up right

You will soon learn just what I need

Yeah I’m a wild one, but you planted the seed.

There ain’t nothing I could do

To show appreciation for a friend like you.

Dad, please don’t cry

We ain’t got the time.

-unknown 

During this time, I had also read an excerpt from Mark Nepo’s: The book of awakening.

It read like this:

Questions Put to the Sick-I

“I was lying flat on a stretcher in a large hospital room after one of my surgeries.  I had just been wheeled in, rejoining four others all mending in the one open room.  There was a deep silence as we looked at each other; there was only the slight breathing of machines and the clear drip of fluids and the hum of old radiators.  Suddenly, an older man began to laugh, and without a word, our eyes bounced back and forth to each other, and one by one, we joined in what became a cascade of coughing laughter interspersed with short moans; for with each laugh, our incisions and bedsores poked us sharply.  But we laughed and hurt and laughed and hurt, like a flock of broken birds dreaming of their next flight.

The laughter was raw and primal sort of song, an elemental way of giving voice to our suffering.  It was remarkably healing.  I learned a great truth from that unexpected chorus.  I learned that even when we feel powerless, we can always give a voice to our pain and home, to the slim, ongoing fact of our being alive.

We often underestimate the power of giving voice, but it is real and sustaining.  It is the basis of all song.  It is why prisoners break into song.  It is why the blues are sung, even when one is listening.  It is at the heart of all hymns and mantras.

And it works in giving voice to what lives within, even through the softest whisper, we allow the world of spirit to soften our pain.  In this way, the smallest moan is in itself a lullaby.  In giving voice to what we feel, the darkest cry uttered with honesty can arrive as the holiest of songs.”

Mark Nepo

At the end of every daily excerpt, Mark gives a guided exercise for everyone to practice and to gain awareness.  Here is this one:

  • Sit quietly and breathe slowly until you feel a catch in your breathing.
  • Focus on the catch, for something is pressing there on your heart.
  • Place your hand on your heart and inhale deeply.
  • On the exhale, give voice to what is pressing, even if you don’t know what it is.
  • Even if all you express is the slightest sigh, it is the beginning of your song.

I took these compilations of useful tools, and I brought myself into awareness of what was going to soon later happen on October 6th.  Saying goodbye is never easy.  But it is where the real healing journey truly began.  For everyone.

The Self as Soul

Distraction is a significant reason why human beings need a constant reminder of where our true selves live.  The reminder of self, through inquiry and experience throughout time, brings us back to an innate sense of who we were born to be.  Understanding how a person’s sense of self is generated is complex and difficult to define. However, understanding how people develop their perceptions of self is an integral part of understanding human behavior.  Reality is a projection of how we truly see ourselves, and because of that the self can be identified as three separate parts including sense of self as cognitive structure (Mind), flow of experience (Body), and sense of self as a soul, or entity.

The sense of self as a soul views the essence of being as constant throughout life.  It transcends the physical being and experiences the self as more than just a physical “body,” but as an “entity” consistent across time (Hutchison, 2015).  Through Prayer, a sense of my Self as a Soul is created.  Knowing, God (the Universe, Source, Light) is the true essence of self.  Oneness demolishes the idea of separateness and the ability to view God as One with all of Creation manifests in true physical form.  The sense of self as a Soul is similar to the self as cognitive structure in that both are ever-changing and adaptable throughout a human life.  The difference between the two is the mind attaching to the physical body, not as an “entity” of transcended Spirit consistent across time.  When comparing the sense of self as Soul to a flow of experience over universal time, both are suggested to be an ongoing process in life and may involve existential beliefs, or karma from previous generations.  The differences are that a flow of experience (human embodiment) in physical form is temporary, whereas the soul is infinite.

 

My sense of Self * as SOUL*  Practicing mantra:

http://www.thegratefulyogi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Mantra-Meanings-The-Grateful-Yogi.pdf

 

Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram

Sita Ram Sita Ram

Meaning:  May the Lord as Light and Virtue that dwells in my heart be victorious over all (internal and external) obstacles and difficulty.  May the positive and transforming vision of the Devine in my heart, lead to the fulfillment of Divine Will.

Physicalism:  the idea that human beings can be explained in terms of atoms and molecules (Hutchison, 2015).

 

A Reminder:  Trevor Hall

When you’ve lost your way
Colors start to fade
Take a look within
Find your offering
Hold it to the sun
Let your spirit run
Remember
Remember find your center
My love it’s just a reminder
Find your center

 

When you research Trevor Hall’s lyrics, “Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram” does not get included in them.

 

https://www.ramdass.org/mantras-2/

Ram Dass: Polishing the Mirror

Inside of me there’s a mantra going on that reminds me of who I am. It’s that place inside – that niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. Always bringing me right to my heart where we dwell eternally.

Mantra is the repetition of the names of God. Mantra is usually recited silently in the mind. When practiced daily, it has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. To be most effective, mantra should be repeated frequently; any time, any place – walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes. I used to do mantra while waiting in line, so as not be bored. Now I practice being here now in line….

In Buddhism, the word mantra means “mind protecting”. A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its’ usual mechanics, which often are not our desired or optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering, and for letting go of strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger. The more you practice mantra the more it becomes a part of you. When you need it on the psychological level – for example when you feel afraid, using your witness, you notice the fear and replace the fear with your mantra. This will occur naturally once mantra becomes an established practice. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and all beings.

Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart…. by Ram Dass  2015

 

“Them” is becoming “Us”

Be Here Now:  in inner vision continues to pull and we continue to follow.  Shifted our point of view from whatever we thought was going on, to seeing life as a spiritual journey.

“Just being” completely present in the  moment, Just be.  The process of clearing out our mind fields of clutter and attachment of just “Be Here Now,” is complex and daunting.  It’s a multi-level game.  As soon you focus one on part of the jigsaw puzzle, something else that’s even harder to deal with, invariably grabs your attention.  As Ram Dass, the Mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

Staying present is HARD work and it is a process, and just when you think you are mastering the idea of BEING HERE NOW, something much harder to master, an obstacle, comes into existence and creates a distraction from the path.

 

Witnessing:  becoming the witness of our lives.

This is yoga, not just yoga within the body, but yoga within the mind.  Yoga of The Heart, Bhakti Yoga, and the Yoga of Selfless Action; Karma Yoga.  As the vails of illusion become more transparent, recognizing the limitation of identifying solely with thoughts and experiences with so called objective reality, the purer state of being.  Removing the dust of impurities and attachments from the mirror of our heart mind, allows the light of the spirit to be reflected.  As the layers become more transparent, the light shines through us and we begin to dwell in a less content latent, ever clearer, state of awareness.

 

Awareness in the Heart, “floweres” into Love, Light, Wisdom and Compassion.

Polishing the Mirror, this process of reflecting on ourselves by witnessing and by bringing our external life into harmony with our true being, resolves when we identify fully with our soul, and these layers of being merge in our spiritual heart.  Perhaps then, there is a further stage, when we cease to experience ourselves as separate beings, when the paradoxical relationship of subject and object merges in oneness.  This is called, “Grace.”

Tips:

Gurus or Mentors help us to stay focused, and not be distracted by our own mental detours.

Tool kit to quiet the mind, open the heart, and enter into oneness.

These teachings offer practical ways to be here now.

A travel quite for the path to nowhere.

How to guide for finding the precious sense of inner peace and spiritual reunion.

Need more constant reminding of where your true self lives.

Road map to guide home.

Reminders

(Dass, 2015).

The sense of self as cognitive structure can be related to the human mind.  It is in touch with cognitive thinking processes and accepts these as representations of our “essence.”  The self as thinker implies that action and emotion originate in thought (Hutchison, 2015).  There are no assumed innate drives or motivations to act in a specific manner, and patterns of thinking and behavior are developed through habit, but can be changed as the brain receives new input.  As Hutchison (2015) mentions, “schemata” are our internalized representations of the world based on early learning and development patterns that can be changed, but it does not come easily.  Pantajali’s yoga sutra’s begins with “unified consciousness comes with cessation of thoughts.”  This implies that quieting the mind allows the natural depth of the spirit to manifest.  My personal practice of self as cognitive structure includes meditation, the practice of quieting the mind.  Meditation stems from the truth that who you really are, is more than who you really think you are (Dass, 2015).  The self as cognitive structure is not so much about being right or wrong, versus being functional versus dysfunctional.  This especially holds true for when it comes to thought processes and cognitive behavioral health.

“The more you desire to know who you truly are, and why you are here on Earth, the more you are drawn to that truth.

As you are pulled inward, you begin to leave behind attachment that keeps distorting  and narrowing  your vision.

Your mind can take you into the spirit, but it can also keep you deeply attached to your ego, to who you think you are.

Western culture glorifies the mind, but there are other ways of knowing, and the thinking mind is only part of our being.

The reality of oneness is greater than what is available to you through your senses and thoughts.

Attachment to the ego, is what keeps you from being here now (Dass, 2015).”

My sense of self as cognitive structure includes a skillful use of contemplation, the path of knowledge and wisdom.

I use the mind  (cognitive structure) to reflect on itself.  What I think, I become/manifest.

As Ram Dass (2015) mentions, within the illusion of our separateness, what we perceive is relative reality, not seeing things are they are, but as I am.  Reality is a projection of how I identify with the world. The projected illusion of subject and objects.  Behind apparent reality, there is a spiritual dimension.  Einstein once said “I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe, through my rational mind.”  He understood the laws through his intuition.  Again, the similarities between the soul and the cognitive structure of the mind include the ever-changing and adaptability both have.  However, the mind is only attached to a body, not an “entity.”

The sense of self as cognitive structure (the mind) and the self as flow of experience (the body) both create a perception of reality based off of experiences, or stories.  They prove different as well because the mind has the ability to use logical and cognition, whereas the body serves as armor for the soul.

The self as flow of experience (body) is an ongoing process of experience.  Hutchison (2015) defines the self as flow of experience by stating human beings are subjective and ever-changing notion that serves “body as a vessel” thinking.

The self is never any “thing” at a single point in time, because we are defined by the process of becoming, a process for which there is no end point (Hutchinson, 2015).  The sense of self as a flow of experience creates freedom to make choices.  It’s essence is defined by the will to create meaning or purpose out of life.  The sense of self as a flow of experience is consistent with “Narrative Theory, ” which is an ongoing process of constructing a life story that determines our understanding of ourselves and our positions in the world (Hutchison, 2015).  Narrative theory suggests the stories we tell about ourselves and others create psychological and social realities.  This can be closely related to people in our lives such as family, community or culture.  An example of this includes karma from family members, or ancestors which creates ties to the attachment, or beliefs, held in previous generations.  The sense of self through a flow of experience personally entails karma, the essence of being.  It involves embracing the dark and light aspects of the human experience and carries the true essence and embodiment of Light.  Not denying any parts of myself that make me whole, but balancing the duality in life by accepting all parts of myself in all forms.  Sense of self as a soul and the sense of self as a flow of experience both are suggested to be an ongoing process in life, and involves existential beliefs, or karma, from previous generations.  Yet; the body is temporary agent or vessel in one human lifetime, whereas the soul is infinite and not bound by time.  Time is an illusion, just as it is infinite.

There is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth (Nepo, 2000).  Using my sense of self to help spread Light and awareness on the true essence of the human experience may help to influence future generations.  Strengthening my perception of the world will strengthen my perception of self.

As our perception of the world changes, our sense of self evolves through the process of stimuli and defines our realities (Hutchison, 2015).  By remaining authentic to my Truth, my path, and to the Divine, I will use my power to serve others in which ever form best meets the needs of the population.

Resources:

Hutchison, E. D. (2015). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Mark Nepo, 2000, The awakening

Ram Dass, 2015, Polishing the Mirror

 

 

I do not accept any absolute formulas for living. No preconceived code can see ahead to everything that can happen in a man’s life. As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.

—Martin Buber

Arctic Dreams

“No culture has yet solved the dilemma each has faced with the growth of a conscious mind: how to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.” – Barry Lopez

Lopez, Barry Holstun, and Robert Macfarlane. Arctic Dreams Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape. Vintage Classic, 2014.

Integrative Holistic Medicine: Balancing Mind, Body & Soul

Biopsychosocial Approach to Human Behavior 

Many biopsychosocial factors contribute to the understanding of human behavior.  These include incorporating the human experience as a balance between mind, body and spirit.  Contributing factors also include the physical environmental circumstances that affect prosocial control of expectations and may also contribute to subsequently identified maladaptive behaviors.  Biopsychosocial factors can be related to the psychosomatic symptoms in consequence of stress-related adrenal fatigue as well as information overload.  Somatic symptoms in response to an increase in cortisol directly correlates human biological symptoms with psychological factors of the human mind.  With biopsychosocial analysis of the human body, there is no separation between these bodily functions(Hutchison, 2015).  

The Importance of an Integrative Practice 

When integrating mind, body, and spirit as key concepts to the biopsychosocial factors contributing to the understanding of human behavior, it’s important to look at the human body as a whole.  This may also include integrating spirituality into the human experience, and it may help human service providers to comprehend an in-depth perspective on behavior.  Culture and spirituality help to understand humans as whole and create an opportunity for incorporating holistic healing into behavioral health practices.  

Contemporary medicinal practices in western society include existential and humanistic approaches which treat a person, medicinally and behaviorally, as whole.  The mind, body and soul (connected by biopsychosocial approaches) are the most useful ways in understanding human behavior.  Biological, psychological and social approaches create the holistic perspective of human behavior(Hutchison, 2015).  Complimentary medicine is a form of alternative care that is used in tangent to traditional medicine, whereas; alternative medicine is a form of non-mainstream practices that are used to replace traditional western practices(nih.gov, 2018).  The key to holistic wellness is to create an integrative system, combining traditional and alternative medicine.  Incorporating different pathways of healing allows humans an equal opportunity to be treated as whole.

Multidimensional Factors in Understanding Behavior and Current Issues

There are various environmental circumstances that affect multidimensional factors as well, and these include the prosocial behaviors found to be normative in today’s society. The physical environment may influence adaptive and maladaptive functioning of many individuals, groups and communities.  Humans have a desire to manipulate their physical environment, which can play an important role on the amount of controllability someone has and what their responses to each outcome will be(Hutchison, 2015). Mindfulness, teaches us not to have attachment, or expectations, to outcomes and to let go of the need for control.  Mindfulness teaches us to be aware and completely awake in each moment(greatergood.berekely.edu, n.d).  Being completely present in each moment, can serve as an excellent tool used to control thoughts rather than isolating control over physical action and patterns of behavior.  If we can control our thoughts, we can control our mind and evolve the way humans interact with one another, in every given situation.

Mindfulness can also help to reduce psychosomatic symptoms related to biopsychosocial approaches to studying human behavior.  Jon Kabat-Zinn established a stress-reducing program, called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in reference to the use of mindfulness practice; intending to help others receive physical and emotional health benefits(greatergood.berekely.edu, n.d).  Mindfulness can serve as an important tool in biopsychosocial approaches as well as the spiritual dimensions of being.  

Spirituality and Culture help define Human Behavior 

Spirituality can be defined as the path or journey each human being takes throughout their lives and it determines the way in which we process, develop and grow(Hutchison, 2015).  Understanding spirituality serves the purpose of knowing each individual is on their own separate path and may process information and experiences differently, especially in their physical environment.  Spirituality may be dependent on the particular culture of an individual and determine ones’ perception of the world.  Culture may include traditions and family origins resulting in the way a person not only behaves; but also establishes their core belief system.  Both culture and spirituality may enhance the understanding of behavior, but they could also possibly serve as a disadvantage for service providers, if they are educated or competent on many cultural and spiritual differences.

Conclusion 

Biopsychosocial approach is defined as one of the main components for understanding human behavior.  The importance of integrating all systems into a holistic lifestyle weighs heavily on the outcome and prognosis of overcoming challenges.  There are psychological, biological, social, and spiritual aspects needing to be considered in understanding human behavior.  Simply stated, psychological needs are met through the understanding of personality theories and various theoretical perspectives.  Biological factors include the understanding of the systems within the human body and their relation to the adaptive and prosocial behaviors.  Social factors include interactions with the outside environment, and spiritual factors include the integration between spiritual beliefs and the correlation to human behavior.

Resources: 

Complementary, Alternative, or Integrative Health: What’s In a Name? (2018, November 08). Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health

Hutchison, E. D. (2015). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Mindfulness Definition | What Is Mindfulness. (n.d.). Retrieved fromhttps://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition

The Affordable Healthcare Movements Impact on Social Reform

The Affordable Healthcare Movements Impact on Social Reform

Your inner Activist wants to find a clearly defined direction and refuses to stay submissive.  It insists on being fully yourself, whatever it may cost. A profound longing for inner truth demands undivided attention.  Your inner Activist is well on its way to creating social change!

With awareness and skill you can steer the immense powers of your political energies into a positive direction and understand their nature deeper, and more clearer, than ever.  

First, let go of all negative judgements about shortcomings in politics and then tame those governmental wild horses with love!

In today’s political economy, there is much promise of affordable healthcare insurance options(hhs.gov, 2018).  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides the opportunity for health care to be accessible to more people and provides specific tax credits in order to lower household costs(healthcare.gov, 2018).  

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, specifically, the Affordable Care Act has caused insurance premiums to increase and become less expansive in the choices being offered(hhs.gov, 2018).  However, there is a future goal to increase affordable options and allow for short term plans, which will be more cost effective for members(hhs.gov, 2018).

Social movements have three dominant components which include political opportunities, mobilizing structures and cultural framing perspective(Hutchison, 2015).  Cultural framing movements in reference to health care in this country, are seeking to change the way westerners practice medicine in its entirety; while working to change how healthcare systems are delivered to the political economy.

Most times, social movements rely heavily on the influence of other people who fight for a movement of the same commonality.  This may include an opportunity when small movements find like-minded supporters, or endorsers in order to help with funding resources.  

Unfortunately, the political system may influence how or when a social movement occurs because not all political systems are ‘open at the same time(Hutchison, 2015).  This means, wealthier movements are easier to access rather than those created by someone with less income. This scheme of financial treason, is what can bring discrepancies’ into the system.  

However, cultural framing includes raising more awareness and establishing conscious efforts by a group of people who have a common understanding of a specific concept, or goal(Hutchison, 2015).  Cultural framing is most successful when a group of people become upset, or outraged, by a particular situation once something is considered unjust(Hutchison, 2015). Emerging perspectives are on the rise in order to provide better methods to engage healthcare reform movements.  Recent studies have determined the importance on emotions and human behavior being directly effective on social movements and activism(Hutchison, 2015).

In order to motivate people to create change and become involved in collective action; political leaders, and those in power, must determine ways to cause an uproar.  Cultural framing is an important social perspective, used to motivate others to make an impact.

Humans deserve the right to advocate for access to affordable healthcare.  How will you use your voice?  How will you stand up for the rights of those who are suffering? How will you advocate for those who are in need of support, but don’t have the available resources?  

Resources:

Affordable Care Act (ACA) – HealthCare.gov Glossary. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/affordable-care-act/

Hutchison, E. D. (2015). Dimensions of human behavior: Person and environment. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2018, August 01). Trump Administration Delivers on Promise of More Affordable Health Insurance Options. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2018/08/01/trump-administration-delivers-on-promise-of-more-affordable-health-insurance-options.html