Tag Archives: spiritual awakening

What On Earth is Going On?

In our journey through the ages from being particles of stardust to our current selves, we have come to a place now where we are being pushed to take a leap into a new and different way of being human. Through many past generations we have developed the incredible gift of intellect and have begun to understand and control the world within us and around us. We have learned to express our intellectual power, building a world that would have been completely unimaginable only one thousand years ago. Yet we cannot rest comfortably here, for the world we have built now presents us with challenges which cannot be solved at the level we utilized to build it. We are pressed to evolve again in order to survive this new situation.

In the process of developing this capacity, our intellect has overshadowed any sense of who we are beyond itself. Intellect frames who we are in terms of ideas, temporarily blinding us to the reality behind those ideas. We have been caught in a golden trap where our lives are for the most part confined within a web of thinking, unable to escape from relating to everyone and everything through our ideas about them.

Yet in each generation, some small percentage of our ancestors have pursued various contemplative traditions, building an ongoing connection with what lies beyond intellect, a golden thread if you will — a human capacity which portends our possible escape from the trap our minds have us caught in, shining a light on our collective passageway ahead. We have planted for ourselves the seed of our next stage of development and it is growing. It is the capacity to open up to what is, to experience the fullness of life without filtering and limiting everything through our preconceived ideas about it. Because of the nature of the challenges we are presented with at this time in history, it is time now for this seed to grow from isolation into the mainstream of human life – from the cloister into the marketplace.

All around the world, the fruits of this seed are beginning to develop and ripen. People are beginning to wake up as if from a long sleep. Contact with those pioneers stimulates the same capacities in others and a new and wonderful contagion spreads. New possibilities become visible that could not be seen before. The felt-sense is that of having a new door of perception has opened. Life is radiant with vitality, people are seen as unique expressions of divine grace, the answers to the previously intractable world issues are already in the room.

Intellect is no longer is in charge of having to figure everything out and can assume a new, more do-able role as servant of something beyond itself and is less subject to initiating self-defense type activities and more prone to just exploring what is possible. The thought-based operational self which the intellect created to try to run everything and survive, is no longer in change. We find ourselves a part of something larger and much more stable and secure. Intellect becomes the most amazing tool.

To be alive now, at this critical juncture between the potential for humans to meet the challenges of our time or self-destruct is both a privilege and an opportunity. Many people are thriving as pioneers here in the midst of the pain of the dying of the old order. This is truly a renaissance of human nature arising at a time when the old world’s forms, organizations and thought processes are beginning to fail us. Many people are already beginning to build on the new possibilities, even as they are dwarfed by the weight of what is failing all around them. New structures spring up like weeds.

Because this is just beginning, these pioneers often can feel isolated and overwhelmed. Yet I would argue that these far-flung pioneers of a new humanity are in fact already all parts of one movement stretching across the globe. I would also argue that it is the work of this time to begin to make connections between ourselves, forming a network which transcends all the differences once separating us from each other and solidifies our true unity in the oneness of all life in a way that we can palpably feel and be supported by. We have the technology to form this network, and all around us humanity is beginning to awaken.

New Book in June 2012: Finding Our Way Forward: New Perspectives on Our Evolving Human Potential

We stand at a significant evolutionary transition-point!

Can you imagine that the current world situation could be inspiring a significant transformation – a promising leap forward towards a new earth and a new awakening of human nature?

Do you feel that you would like to change the world for the better, help establish world peace, etc., but you don’t know how?

In this book, learn immediate and powerful ways to make a difference during this transitional time. Ways to change the world and bring a new awareness and peace to all that you are involved in. Learn to broaden your perspectives, revealing expanded possibilities for addressing the monumental world issues. This breakthrough information allows you to immediately become a part of the solution!

Awaken to find yourself taking a creative part in this unparalleled breakthrough in human development.

In Finding Our Way Forward, Alice Gardner proposes an inspiring view of transformation coming directly from our troublesome world situation. She then engages the reader in an introspective journey to the core of who we are and back again to all of the world’s intractable issues. We are then led to find the unique part each of us has to play in humanity’s grand maturation process. This is as significant an evolutionary transition-point as was the beginnings of our logical/analytical thinking. Now, again, our old ways of thinking are becoming obsolete, and we need to move forward.

We can and do make a difference, no matter how small a part we play!

This is how we can be a part of leaving behind a world which we are proud to let the children of the future inherit. This is how we can know what peace is; know how our consciousness affects everything, and how love can today begin to direct all the actions we take.

ON AMAZON: http://amzn.to/MFSdQx

ALICE’S FIRST BOOK: http://amzn.to/Mnk8U6

ALICE’S WEBSITE: http://www.wideawakeliving.com  for excerpts and much more.

Beneath the Surface

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If we have learned
Our lessons from life’s
Losses and failures, and
All that makes it worthwhile…

If we have learned
From our journey
And found the new fullness
Of our human-hood,
We begin to see
The patterns beneath
The surface of things.

Everywhere there is
Something that is lasting…
That doesn’t change
In the center of all
The changes made…
All along the journey
To what we are,
Where we are
In this moment.

Deep and untouchable
Divine patterning
Like arrows
Pointing always to
Something undefined by mind,
Something still
but in motion,
Not old or new.

Gathering both together
Seamlessly being
What has always been
In the unabashed
Nakedness of reality,
Just here, just this,
Unadorned.

© 2010 Alice Gardner

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An Evolutionary Movement at Hand

An excerpt from Alice’s upcoming book:fog.jpg

“Although there is a lot of argument about the word evolution regarding the origin of the humanity (evolution versus the other creation stories) we will stand aside from the fray here and look at the subject a bit differently.

“If we consider human evolution in terms other than purely biological (such as in terms of our ability to learn new behaviors in order to survive) it is easy to see the movement of it all around us in our individual experiences. We are developing new thought processes, behaviors, skills and capacities as we go through whatever our lives bring us, both individually and collectively. This is the kind of human evolution that plays an integral part in our daily lives, only it shows up in such small increments that we rarely bring it into focus.

“We are taught in school about ‘natural selection’ and ’survival of the fittest’ in regards to evolution, but giving some focus to the ‘adaptation’ involved is a broader and less biological way to explore the relevance of evolution to our everyday lives. Adaptation is the capability we and other organisms have to adjust ourselves to new conditions when they appear in our environment (in order to be naturally selected or to survive). It is the ability to alter our way of life, our habits and our behaviors when it is necessary to do so for survival or for other things that matter to us. It is about our ability to meet each moment freely and creatively and to let go of old habits of thought or behavior.

“This world situation that we are facing is inviting us to let go of old fear-based thinking habits that have in the past formed our ways of thinking about the world and its problems. Our old ways of thinking have brought us to this point – a point beyond which they are no longer able to help us survive and thrive. Through seeing ourselves and the world from a perspective outside of our old filters and frames, our perceptions are altered and we naturally are freed from old outworn thinking and behaviors that no longer serve us. We are then able to adapt ourselves to the new environment presented by the times we live in, and become creative in our relationship with it.”

© 2010 Alice Gardner from her upcoming book “Making Sense of Tumultuous Times” (working title).

First book: “Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice” available on Amazon, as a kindle book, other ebook, or at your local bookstore by request.



Transformational Leadership in American Life

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There has been a lot of interesting leadership material coming out of the business community over the last decades. I will do a gross summation by saying that as organizations have realized their most valuable assets to be the creativity and loyalty of empowered employees, the art of business management has deepened from the mechanics of correct administration to the art of individual empowerment, fulfillment and the fascinating question of what is involved in transformational leadership.

Tranformational leadership can be said to be the ability to allow organizations to move in quantum leaps as the changing world demands, rather than in incremental and survival-based steps.

Companies that have floundered in survival and greed seem to be falling all around us at the moment and proving once again the need for a new way of doing business with each other. How interesting that insight is coming out of a business community currently demonstrating the collective repercussions of following ego’s ambitions and fears.

Yet embracing the business community’s learning about transformational leadership in the political arena at this time could well offer new ways of understanding our national challenges and help restore a sense of collective possibility. The stage is set for a transformational leap on a national scale by the collapse of the reigning ideology and the subsequent don’t-know-mind that such an event opens.

Could it be that the rule of the mind-made self is coming to its end in exactly these times? As our incredibly interconnected world presses on each person’s sensibilities day after day, year after year, can we feel a natural relaxing of the firm boundaries of the ego which would draw a circle around itself making all else “other” and dangerous? Can we notice a larger identity already present? Can we relax our preconceived notions about how life works and what is going on long enough to see with new eyes? Perhaps the possibilities for our lives are something far greater than we had thought!

A notable quote from Barack Obama: “The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time.” Our mind-made-selves and their fear and greed are failing us. This rising together Obama talks about is one way of expressing what is possible now. In order to allow this rising to occur, we each do our part when we internally relax or just turn our attention away from our stale thinking, our outworn survival mechanisms and petty divisions and make room for transformation to occur in each of our individual lives. This is simply life giving us a chance to move beyond old perspectives and see the world freshly. Then we will know to take action or not, each within our capacity, not just for our own personal advantage or that of the causes we believe in, but for the collective well-being of all life. Then leadership will be coming from within, and our collective energies will power a rising beyond anything our new President could imagine.

© 2008 Alice Gardner

The Art of Being Exactly Where We Are

yos.jpgBeing where we are. We’ve all heard that “being where we are” is where we need to be. But do you see the joke in that? Here we are, trying to get somewhere again!!

Being here fully gets translated by mind into a being something to work towards. Somewhere new to get to at some point in the future after lots of hard work, discipline and time, lots of time! Are you laughing yet? It’s funny, and it makes us feel crazy, but its really just mind doing what minds do. That’s all. Mind is so good at figuring out how to do things, and its just trying to do this too, but it can’t. As soon as we realize it can’t, we are free to just smile at its efforts and relax. All is well. Mind is doing its thing and it doesn’t matter. No need to pay overmuch attention to it.

Meanwhile Here we Are! Here we are in this moment with whatever is going on inwardly and outwardly. There is nowhere else we could ever have possibly been except as we allow ourselves to listen overmuch to the stream of thinking. Our minds may be saying to us right at this moment that “this can’t be it” because this moment is totally mundane, empty, boring, painful or… (fill in the blank for yourself). Mind can always come up with reasons why this particular moment can’t be what is being referred to, because it can’t find anything special there. Nothing. (Are you laughing yet?)

Meanwhile, smiling and relaxing we fall into a reality that mind doesn’t even notice. Its kind of like falling asleep at night–we have to relax for it to happen.

Our thinking minds have everything boxed and labeled and categorized according to past knowledge, and our own structure of understanding whatever is encountered. And those capabilities are so very useful to us for practical things. But what the logical left-brain thought-stream doesn’t even notice is anything that is outside of its structures for understanding the world–and that very definitely includes Reality with a capital R. Not because thought is wrong or bad, but because it is constrained within self-constructed bounds and can’t see beyond that. It is blind to whatever doesn’t fit its own structures (at least not until those structures are broadened enormously). So for now it tries to shrink everything to make it fit its constructs. But in contemplating what is really going on in life, thought has run into something much bigger than its constructs, something that contains mind and everything else within it. It has come to the edge of its ability to be helpful and will, when its good and ready, relax and allow us to fall into this new territory. To fall awake.

When we run into a fabulous sunset or an unusually beautiful flower, our mind’s processes of naming it, talking about it, and so on, can detract from our seeing and appreciating it fully. It is the same with the present moment. Relaxing into being exactly where we are, we begin to notice what is here (including thinking and a LOT else), and that this has been here all along. Its just like a new door of perception has opened. We now see where we were blind before.

We stand in a new territory beyond the previously held paradigm that our mind provided us, telling us how life worked, who was to blame, and so on. We have reconnected with something familiar, something we never really left. Something that we have, over all the years we thought we were separate, never left for a second.

As we look around we begin to see how it all is working. Now everything that is happening, even including our own seemingly idiotic or unenlightened episodes are perfect setups for continued awakening into a fuller and fuller embrace of being this that we truly are. Slowly we relax our incessant argument with life, and trust our circumstances, even our thoughts and feelings, as being perfect as they are, even as they flow and change. We offer ourselves, including our thinking minds and their amazing capabilities in service to this perfect alive presence we now can see and that is also who we are.

Readiness to Awaken, making ourselves fertile ground for new seed…

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Has Oprah’s marketing call “get ready to awaken” bothered anyone else? It bothered me, but then it inspired the following words about how we might actually be able to do so:

Oprah has been telling us “prepare to be awakened” and people are signing up by the thousands. For many of us, this awakening thing is of utmost importanceit’s what our lives are all about. Others of us may be signing up with a simple curiosity or perhaps an inclination to argue. In either case, so often our minds want to know—how exactly can people prepare to awaken? How, in this particular ten weeks, can we allow ourselves to really awaken? We ask this whether we are currently in an organized religion or not. It doesn’t matter. If what Eckhart is saying is true, awakening can be possible for us no matter what our cultural or family history or religious beliefs. We have engaged in our belief systems in order to come to this point of stepping beyond them.

As we come to this point (becoming ready) we can lovingly embrace any of our tendencies to argue or to think too much (or whatever our perceived faults might be) with a gentle acceptance of the miracle of having arrived right here, at this exact place where we are now, here at the beginning of this course. This place, this moment, has an inherent openness to the possibility of spiritual awakening built into it. If we are in any way able to notice the noise that our minds are making such as “but tell me how?”, or “I can’t awaken because…” then we are noticing this mental hubbub from a place of a spaciousness in us that is always and already ready to awaken. This open spaciousness in our beings IS our readiness, or more accurately, it is the One that we are who already is awake. Just feel this. Be this one that you are. Stay right HERE. This is readiness to awaken. It is this open, spacious, don’t-know, place in us that gives Eckhart’s words have a place to land in our beings. If we think we know a lot of things about spiritual or other matters, then that openness is hidden under the noise of that. It is still there, but it is not accessible to us, and Eckhart’s words will fall on infertile ground. But with a simple openness we are able to both enjoy Eckhart and Oprah and enjoy ourselves, and decide for ourselves if what is being spoken about is true for us or not. No-one is asking anyone to believe anything. Just be open and see for yourselves what is of value here.

I feel able to advise in this way because Eckhart transformed my life so very dramatically back in 2002, and I’ve had years to wonder about how it was that I happened to be “ready” at that moment.

Blessings,

Alice

 

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Here are some handy links for those people who might be having a hard time finding their way around in Oprah’s large website:

A New Earth main events page:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_begin_main.jspWork Book:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/workbook/anewearth_workbook_chapter1.jsp

Awakening Exercises:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_chapters_1.jsp

http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_main.jsp

Check your time zone:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Install software:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Windows Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_win.jhtml

Mac Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_mac.jhtml

Ask Questions:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/questions/anewearth_questions_main.jsp

Talk with others:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/comments/anewearth_comments_main.jsp

Tips for reading A New Earth:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_tips.jsp

Readiness to Awaken, making ourselves fertile ground for new seed…

Has Oprah’s marketing call “get ready to awaken” bothered anyone else? It bothered me, but then it inspired the following words about how we might actually be able to do so:

Oprah has been telling us “prepare to be awakened” and people are signing up by the thousands. For many of us, this awakening thing is of utmost importanceit’s what our lives are all about. Others of us may be signing up with a simple curiosity or perhaps an inclination to argue. In either case, so often our minds want to know—how exactly can people prepare to awaken? How, in this particular ten weeks, can we allow ourselves to really awaken? We ask this whether we are currently in an organized religion or not. It doesn’t matter. If what Eckhart is saying is true, awakening can be possible for us no matter what our cultural or family history or religious beliefs. We have engaged in our belief systems in order to come to this point of stepping beyond them.

As we come to this point (becoming ready) we can lovingly embrace any of our tendencies to argue or to think too much (or whatever our perceived faults might be) with a gentle acceptance of the miracle of having arrived right here, at this exact place where we are now, here at the beginning of this course. This place, this moment, has an inherent openness to the possibility of spiritual awakening built into it. If we are in any way able to notice the noise that our minds are making such as “but tell me how?”, or “I can’t awaken because…” then we are noticing this mental hubbub from a place of a spaciousness in us that is always and already ready to awaken. This open spaciousness in our beings IS our readiness, or more accurately, it is the One that we are who already is awake. Just feel this. Be this one that you are. Stay right HERE. This is readiness to awaken. It is this open, spacious, don’t-know, place in us that gives Eckhart’s words have a place to land in our beings. If we think we know a lot of things about spiritual or other matters, then that openness is hidden under the noise of that. It is still there, but it is not accessible to us, and Eckhart’s words will fall on infertile ground. But with a simple openness we are able to both enjoy Eckhart and Oprah and enjoy ourselves, and decide for ourselves if what is being spoken about is true for us or not. No-one is asking anyone to believe anything. Just be open and see for yourselves what is of value here.

I feel able to advise in this way because Eckhart transformed my life so very dramatically back in 2002, and I’ve had years to wonder about how it was that I happened to be “ready” at that moment.

Blessings,

Alice

 

img_1302.jpg

Here are some handy links for those people who might be having a hard time finding their way around in Oprah’s large website:

A New Earth main events page:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_begin_main.jspWork Book:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/workbook/anewearth_workbook_chapter1.jsp

Awakening Exercises:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_chapters_1.jsp

http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_main.jsp

Check your time zone:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Install software:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Windows Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_win.jhtml

Mac Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_mac.jhtml

Ask Questions:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/questions/anewearth_questions_main.jsp

Talk with others:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/comments/anewearth_comments_main.jsp

Tips for reading A New Earth:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_tips.jsp

Readiness to Awaken, making ourselves fertile ground for new seed…

Has Oprah’s marketing call “get ready to awaken” bothered anyone else? It bothered me, but then it inspired the following words about how we might actually be able to do so:

Oprah has been telling us “prepare to be awakened” and people are signing up by the thousands. For many of us, this awakening thing is of utmost importance—it’s what our lives are all about. Others of us may be signing up with a simple curiosity or perhaps an inclination to argue. In either case, so often our minds want to know—how exactly can people prepare to awaken? How, in this particular ten weeks, can we allow ourselves to really awaken? We ask this whether we are currently in an organized religion or not. It doesn’t matter. If what Eckhart is saying is true, awakening can be possible for us no matter what our cultural or family history or religious beliefs. We have engaged in our belief systems in order to come to this point of stepping beyond them.

As we come to this point (becoming ready) we can lovingly embrace any of our tendencies to argue or to think too much (or whatever our perceived faults might be) with a gentle acceptance of the miracle of having arrived right here, at this exact place where we are now, here at the beginning of this course. This place, this moment, has an inherent openness to the possibility of spiritual awakening built into it. If we are in any way able to notice the noise that our minds are making such as “but tell me how?”, or “I can’t awaken because…” then we are noticing this mental hubbub from a place of a spaciousness in us that is always and already ready to awaken. This open spaciousness in our beings IS our readiness, or more accurately, it is the One that we are who already is awake. Just feel this. Be this one that you are. Stay right HERE. This is readiness to awaken. It is this open, spacious, don’t-know, place in us that gives Eckhart’s words have a place to land in our beings. If we think we know a lot of things about spiritual or other matters, then that openness is hidden under the noise of that. It is still there, but it is not accessible to us, and Eckhart’s words will fall on infertile ground. But with a simple openness we are able to both enjoy Eckhart and Oprah and enjoy ourselves, and decide for ourselves if what is being spoken about is true for us or not. No-one is asking anyone to believe anything. Just be open and see for yourselves what is of value here.

I feel able to advise in this way because Eckhart transformed my life so very dramatically back in 2002, and I’ve had years to wonder about how it was that I happened to be “ready” at that moment.

Blessings,

Alice

 

img_1302.jpg

Here are some handy links for those people who might be having a hard time finding their way around in Oprah’s large website:

A New Earth main events page:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_begin_main.jspWork Book:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/workbook/anewearth_workbook_chapter1.jsp

Awakening Exercises:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_chapters_1.jsp

http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/exercises/anewearth_exercises_main.jsp

Check your time zone:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Install software:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/install_launch.html

Windows Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_win.jhtml

Mac Install Problems:
http://www2.oprah.com/obc_classic/player/howto_mac.jhtml

Ask Questions:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/questions/anewearth_questions_main.jsp

Talk with others:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/comments/anewearth_comments_main.jsp

Tips for reading A New Earth:
http://www.oprah.com/obc_classic/webcast/begin/anewearth_tips.jsp

Registering for the Eckhart Tolle Oprah A New Earth Event

I am putting up this “blog post” as a place to exchange information about difficulties and successes in registering for the Eckhart Tolle, Oprah event starting next Monday. Many people are having difficulties getting registered. Please tell the story of your difficulty by clicking on comments below if you are having trouble. A woman named Stephanie will be helping us with these kinds of issues, and will be checking this blog to see if she can be of assistance.
Also, if any of you learn anything that would help people know how to successfully register, please click on “comment” below and it will soon show up for everyone to see. There is already some important information there for Mac users straight from Oprah central!! Click “comment” below.

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