Awakened Activism: Being Empowered to Transform Our World by Lynn Marie Lumiere

Hands-shaped heart with world map

AWAKENED ACTIVISM
Being Empowered to Transform Our World

By Lynn Marie Lumiere, author of Awakened Relating—coming in July 2018!

We are facing global challenges as we move into the 2018 New Year and our world becomes increasingly out of balance. Life is showing us that living within dualistic consciousness and the illusion of separation does not serve us. We are all being called to wake up to the non-dual truth of our shared being and find solutions in an infinite intelligence beyond our conditioned mind.

We become empowered when we connect with this infinite source of power rather than living through the distorted lens of our imagined separate self. We are already creating our reality all the time, mostly unconsciously, so it is empowering to take responsibility for that and consciously create a world full of peace, love, equality, and justice. We always have the choice to move beyond victimhood and become empowered creators as we learn to embody who we truly are in our human life.

We are now facing an unprecedented evolutionary crisis. The survival of our human species and the Earth herself will be threatened if we continue to ignore the basic interconnectedness of all life and allow a consciousness of greed and lack to rule the planet. We have been given dire warnings from non-dual spiritual leaders.

“‘Wake up or perish’ is the spiritual call of our times.”
—Adyashanti

Adyashanti tells us, “We are no doubt at a very critical point in time. Our world hangs in the balance, and a precarious balance it is. Awakening to Reality is no longer a possibility; it is an imperative. … ‘Wake up or perish’ is the spiritual call of our times. Did we ever need more motivation than this?”

And Eckhart Tolle states, “Humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. … If the structures of the human mind remain unchanged, we will always end up recreating the same world, the same evils, the same dysfunction.”

We cannot address this evolutionary crisis from the dualistic consciousness that created it. A new activism is being called forth—one that is based in an awakened understanding of the inherent unity of all life and its interdependence. Awakened activism is non-dual wisdom in action. It is taking action from, or as, this wisdom. Only infinite intelligence will know how to get us out of the mess we are in at this point; our dualistic minds, dulled by conditioning and blinded by the fear caused by belief in separation, cannot begin to meet this crisis. These times are necessitating a greater awakening of consciousness in the human species.

Awakened activism is non-dual wisdom in action.

We each must now address the serious problems we are facing at their source, which is our belief in separation. This misunderstanding has created a greed-based global financial system that places corporate profits over human life and the survival of the planet. Most of our current world problems are a direct result of this system, including hunger, poverty, homelessness, inadequate education and healthcare, and prisons for profit. We are also facing increasing destruction of our biosphere, as well as the extinction of numerous species. There is a suppression of free energy sources for the profits of coal and oil industries, and the continuation of other environmentally destructive industries such as animal agriculture.

This divisive system, created out of ignorance of our true non-dual nature, has also created continuous wars and the existence of nuclear weapons. We have a war-based economy in the United States that is financially dependent on ongoing war, and is currently budgeting $700 billion per year for military spending. A lack of concern for the welfare of all beings has also created a toxic food supply (GMOs, pesticides, factory-farmed animal products), pollution in the water and air, and excessive use of toxic, addictive pharmaceutical drugs.

We are moved from the heart of compassion to act…now.

Without denying these serious global issues, awakened activism starts with a deep knowing that “all is well.” At the center of all life, all is truly well, no matter how bad it looks to our mind. Yet the paradox is that we are moved from the heart of compassion to act in order to alleviate suffering. And this action needs to take place now.

The systems built on separation and duality are not sustainable. They will come down. It is not a matter of if, but when and how hard. It all depends on the consciousness that we meet it with. If we mobilize from fear, anger, and resistance, we will only create more division and therefore support the problem. We must now raise our consciousness to include the truth that we are all one, and act from true wisdom and compassion. Nothing less will do.

Awakened activism…is based in love rather than fear.

Awakened activism is fundamentally different than conventional political activism in that it is based in love rather than fear—and therefore has the potential for a very different outcome. It is based in a vast wisdom rather than in our extremely limited conditioned identity and its adversarial thinking. When we “plug in” to an infinite source of energy, we are empowered in a way we never will be as an imagined separate self that is fighting against insurmountable odds. Being empowered in this way allows us to become “superhuman” because we are consciously in touch with and moving as our infinite nature through our human form. As the numbers of awakened humans continues to grow, it will transform and reshape our world to become kinder, more compassionate, and caring for all beings.

Awakening to our infinite nature is accessible right here and now. This has always been true, but during these challenging times we are becoming more aware of this than ever before. More and more people are waking up to the simple truth that we are all in this together and we are conscious beings.

Awakening to our infinite nature is accessible
right here and now.

It is possible to directly experience the being aspect of a human being—that which animates our body and is the consciousness that sees and hears through our eyes and ears. It is the ever-present awareness of all that we experience. We can access this by simply noticing the aware presence that is here when we pause thinking for a moment. This ever-present awareness is our doorway to the infinite. As we recognize and rest more in this awareness, we discover there is no end to the wisdom, love, joy, and peace that is found there. We can then know that there is truly hope for our world.

Lynn Marie Lumiere, MFT, is a non-dual psychotherapist and activist with a focus on transforming personal and global issues at their source through dissolving the belief in separation that creates and sustains them. Lynn Marie is one of the pioneers in the emerging field of non-dual wisdom and psychotherapy. She is a contributing author of Sacred Mirror: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, coauthor of The Awakening West, and author of the forthcoming Awakened Relating: A Guide to Embodying Undivided Love in Intimate Relationships, available from New Harbinger in July 2018.

Read more about awakened activism and sacred activism at SAND17 US here.

’Tis the Season for Trauma: How Mindfulness Can Bring Joy and Peace Back to the Fall and Winter Holidays by Scott Kiloby

Abstract and mysterious background of blurred forest with autumn lighting

’Tis the Season for Trauma: How Mindfulness Can Bring Joy and Peace Back to the Fall and Winter Holidays
By Scott Kiloby, author of The Unfindable Inquiry and Natural Rest for Addiction

The fall and winter holidays are meant to be a time of peace, joy, and loving connection with family members and loved ones—or so we are told… Yet many of us don’t experience that peace, joy, and connection. Instead, we find ourselves reliving past memories and emotional disturbances related to trauma that we experienced in our early days growing up in our families of origin.

Those who experience a traumatic event during developmental years sometimes develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) later in life. Trauma is an event that was so emotionally overwhelming or hurtful that our systems shut down at the time, not allowing us to process emotions in a healthy way. The event leaves an imprint in our bodies and minds that continues to bring forth triggers when we see the people, places, and things that are connected to traumatic memories. PTSD is a set of symptoms that tend to arise over and over again as a result of this unresolved emotional imprint.

Trauma and PTSD are not reserved only for those of us who were physically or sexually abused as children. Trauma is much broader than that. Feeling unloved, judged, rejected, or abandoned by a parent or loved one during child development can bring about PTSD-like symptoms that continue to resurface every year around the holidays.

One glance at a loved one’s face or even the sound of a voice can act as a catalyst that brings up feelings of anger, sadness, shame, or anxiety that have remained buried inside us for years. This can lead to a feeling of dread toward holiday events and family gatherings. Instead of longing to be in the presence of those who truly love us, we find ourselves ruminating on and rehashing these past thoughts and feelings. For some, the resurfacing of trauma can be quite debilitating, leading to isolation, depression, or an increase in addictive behaviors and other not-so-healthy coping mechanisms.

With mindfulness, we begin to truly face, feel, and resolve these past traumas as they resurface. We learn to allow and dissolve the thoughts, feelings, and sensations tied to our traumatic childhood. We start to live in the present moment, where life is always new and fresh.

When working with people on past trauma at the Kiloby Center for Recovery, our aim is to first help them see the full extent of the emotional disconnection from their loved ones. We invite them to compare within their consciousness how they experience a beloved pet to how they experience a father or a sister. When they visualize their dog “Jake,” for example, they may experience love, warmth, openness, and connection. Thoughts of their pets are not traumatic or painful (unless, of course, they are grieving the loss of a pet). This is because, unlike our relationships with other humans, we do not relate to our pets on the level of ego. We connect with our pets from our natural state of presence and unconditional love. When clients are then asked to visualize their family of origin, something else happens entirely! They may experience fear, sadness, shame, or anger. The corresponding mental images of their loved ones may appear sticky and solid, creating a sense of separation between them. This is the ego, through and through.

How do we learn to experience our loved ones with the same warmth, peace, love, and joy that we experience with our pets? The key is to unhook ourselves from the filter of the past as it relates to our loved ones. Essentially, we dismantle the ego and its negative storytelling. With mindfulness, we begin to truly face, feel, and resolve these past traumas as they resurface. We learn to allow and dissolve the thoughts, feelings, and sensations tied to our traumatic childhood. We start to live in the present moment, where life is always new and fresh. Then, when we see a loved one’s face or hear his or her voice, we connect to the joy, peace, and love we feel for them, instead of re-experiencing the emotional imprint that leaves us feeling disconnected.

Mindfulness takes skill. We can become easily overwhelmed by the resurfacing of traumatic memories and feelings while working with trauma using mindfulness. Many of us need the guiding presence of a mindfulness facilitator or teacher to help us through the process skillfully and thoroughly. But once we learn valuable skills, those skills are with us forever. We can use them whenever the painful filter of the past begins to resurface during holiday events and family gatherings. We become the masters of our own experience, able to experience the joy and peace that the holidays are truly about.

Natural Rest for AddictionIn addition to authoring books on mindfulness and awareness, Scott Kiloby is co-owner of the Kiloby Center for Recovery in Rancho Mirage, CA—the first addiction treatment center to focus primarily on mindfulness—and co-owner of the Natural Rest House, a detox and residential center in Palm Springs. He is also founder of a worldwide mindfulness training program called the Living Inquiries. For more info, visit KilobyCenter.com.

Scott recently appeared at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose, CA (SAND17 US). To learn more about him and his work, check out his Q&A with Non-Duality Press here.

What Is the Purpose of Silent Retreat? by Amoda Maa

Image of solo meditation practitioner on the beach, sun shining through hand

What Is the Purpose of Silent Retreat?
By Amoda Maa Jeevan, author of Embodied Enlightenment

Many spiritual traditions offer silent retreat as the basis of their teachings. Most often, some kind of meditative practice is central to this—a way to still the mind and be more present. In the privileged Western world, silent retreat is mostly a luxury—something “spiritual” that we do when we have the time to get away from the busyness of our everyday lives in order to de-stress or find a higher state of consciousness. But for me, as a “spiritual teacher,” silent retreat is much more than this—it is a necessity, for each of us as individuals and for humanity as a whole, if we are to play a part in the transformation of the world.

Most people are lost in the matrix of their thoughts, beliefs, opinions, preferences, and grievances; it’s a prison characterized by stress, struggle, anxiety, confusion, and argument—in other words, it’s a state of inner division in which there’s an identification with the many “voices in the head” (which are often in opposition to each other). Seven billion people in a divided state creates a divided world; we see this in our social, economic, political, environmental, and religious arenas—this is the matrix of the world, and the outcome is war. We cannot end the war within or the war in the world without first freeing ourselves of the prison of identification with “psychological form” (thoughts, beliefs, opinions, preferences, and grievances). Discovering a dimension deeper than psychological form is vital for our own survival and for the survival of humanity.

The good news is, this deeper dimension is actually our natural state. Our natural state is the unending openness of being—in other words, consciousness itself. This consciousness exists prior to thinking and feeling, and even prior to self-awareness. It’s what is always here when you stop giving your attention to the movement of mind. It’s what happens when you are immersed in beauty, when you’re still in nature, when you’re running or dancing or making love. And very often, it’s what happens in the intensity of pain, trauma or shock, or a near-death experience. It can, of course, also be revealed in the midst of meditation. For some, the practice of meditation is a very useful tool. But many meditation practices do not use silence as the fundamental teaching—and even if they do, for many people meditation is far from silent!

Silent retreat has the capacity to go deeper than meditation practice. For me, it is not meditation itself that is the vital part, but the very nature of silence itself. It’s not about getting rid of thoughts or even about quieting the mind; it’s about falling into an inner dimension of beingness, like falling into the depth of the ocean—thoughts are the waves on the surface, beingness is the stillness and silence at the bottom. The more we rest in this silence, the more we come to know it as our essential nature. It is this silent core of being that remains unmoving and unbroken throughout the glories and tragedies of “my life.” When we keep coming back to this silence, we become more rooted in it, even in the midst of the vicissitudes of life, and eventually it is recognized as the backdrop to the movie of “me,” and gives rise to the true fulfillment of our innate wholeness. It doesn’t necessarily make our lives “perfectly happy” or “perfectly successful,” but it does free us from the prison of erroneous identification with psychological form (thoughts, beliefs, opinions, preferences, and grievances), thus ending the war within and revealing a peace and joy that is not dependent on circumstances.

Silent retreat is the opportunity to notice what keeps your attention at the surface, to be honest with yourself about what prevents you from falling into your innermost depth, and to practice surrender of the mind’s safety-seeking strategies while being held in the loving spaciousness of the “container” of the retreat itself.

The invitation to fall into the silence at the core of your being is a coming home to your natural state. And when we move from this silence into the world, the reverberations are revolutionary!


Join Amoda for her upcoming silent retreat this December:

Coming Home to the Core of Your Being
Resting in Silence
December 3–7, 2017 (Sunday–Thursday: 4 nights)

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
57 Interlaken Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262

Embodied Enlightenment

 

Amoda Maa Jeevan is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author, and speaker who recently appeared at the Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose, CA (SAND17 US).
Embodied Enlightenment: Living Your Awakening in Every Moment is based on both her vision for humanity and the conversations on the cutting edge of spiritual inquiry in her meetings with people from all around the world.