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January 19, 2020


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I found this—not wise enough to come up with this kind of stuff on my own...

Swami Kriyananda explains:

“The more you consciously withdraw your energy inwardly, through meditation, the more you experience an enormous revitalization of energy and consciousness.

When you get into a deeper level of calmness, what you begin to feel is something very powerful indeed. It is an expansion of consciousness that begins to take you away from the ego.

It is almost overwhelming, much more than a simple state of peace might be. This profound calmness is the soil in which cosmic consciousness begins to blossom forth in your consciousness.

Calmness gives us an exceptionally clear mind and a very keen understanding that cannot come without deep inner calmness.”

There are so many types of “good feelings”. There’s peace and joy and calm and happiness and excitement and hope and bliss. I wouldn’t demonize excitement because it serves its purpose in some, helping to drudge through overwhelming obstacles with confidence. I get criticized for being “very spirited“ often enough and I always have to explain that I’m not upset I’m just enthusiastic. But I’m happy and being very spirited has been a great blessing in affording the determination to find answers and get through a lot of tough circumstances. Whatever gets the job done I guess. We are all unique.

However, we also need clear consciousness to effectively accomplish all the mundane and irritating demands life throws at us.

And at the end of the day we definitely need calm or we would never sleep! 🙂

This is a very cool look at research behind mantras, Kirtan (mantra) music and mindfulness... mantra based meditation too. Here are two paragraphs in quotes from the article, and the link to read the full article is below. (I’m going to listen to Kirtan music by Dave Stringer and see if that has any affect on me).

“Over that past decade, however, the ancient practices of Kirtan music and mantra-based meditation have experienced a resurgence around the world, in large part due to the more mainstream acceptance of yoga and mindfulness in Western culture and the medical community.”

“ As a psychologist and a researcher, I wanted to understand better how something so simple could generate so much positive emotion. I searched “meditation high” and found that others were reporting something similar, but back then almost nothing existed in the academic literature to explain this phenomenon.”


Well, just thought I’d post one more thing about mantras seeing as not too many people are as of yet expressing their appreciation for such a powerful tool (perhaps tomorrow). 😉

I am reading ‘Divide by One’ by Grace Ragland and Steve Justice. It’s a memoir about Grace’s ride on the Tour Divide (2,700 mile bike race across the Continental Divide from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico).

My neighbor loaned the book to me and wants it back in a few days, so I have a specific number of pages I have to read each day in order to finish it before she gets impatient.

Coincidentally, two pages before the end of tonight’s reading assignment, I reached a paragraph where Grace is sharing her biking mantra with a group of teens she meets along the way:

You Gotta Wanna (desire)
Eyes on the Prize (dedication)
Find a way (overcome obstacles)
Leave MS in the dust (execution)

She’s a 57 year old, American cyclist with Multiple Sclerosis.

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It was recommended to me by two people who I really respect for their reading choices. And so far, really illuminating. A fun read!

I tend to see awareness as a being a somewhat primordial phenomenon. In a very real sense, everything, including non-organic matter responds - is aware - of its environment. Sentient creatures react and respond to numerous external conditions. Plants respond to weather and injury. Even rocks and minerals grow, change and decay.

Consciousness is limited and only manifests on contact. It has to be conscious of something. No object = nothing to be conscious of. Awareness on the other hand does not need an object. Awareness happens (is happening) regardless of any sense perception. Without awareness there can be no consciousness.

I admit I prefer the concept of awareness in that it has the feel of boundlessness whereas consciousness is very much dependent on there being an 'I' (me) and an object.

Brian, I like your mantra, calm, clear consciousness.

This practice is helping me now on a daily basis with my ageing problems...

Awareness practice - doing one thing at a time throughout the day - keeping that ball of light, that awareness, undivided attention - practicing concentration.


Unwavering Focus (17:02)


I just finished watching that Ted Talk link you sent. Maybe it’s semantics but I think it really helps to hear things explained in different ways. I loved the way Dandapani talked about awareness and the mind being different. It makes so much more sense visualizing it the way he showed. Also, “teach HOW to concentrate” was such a good point. It was almost like a “duh” moment. I mean we as a society should have had this realization a long time ago... but didn’t.

Great talk. Thanks!

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