Monday, December 26, 2016

When People Fall in Love With Your Energy

awakened love, spiritual awakening, spiritual love, spiritual attraction, spiritual energy, falling in love
Clearing out lots of our issues can have surprising effects. For some people, they find talents they didn't know they had. Other people find themselves leaving their homes or homelands for new places. Others find love in the simplest of things like staring at the flowers of a blooming tree and getting lost in the intricacies of those petals.

However, along with your inner changes, other people's perspectives will change about you. There is something in particular about clearing out issues and making more inner space that seems inviting and attractive to many people. They feel good around you. They want to spend time with you. Some people fall in love with you. For those who have never had this attractive quality, it may be amusing at first, but eventually rather tiring. Others who have always attracted a lot of attention may find this entirely intolerable.

So let's talk about the appeal of your clear energy and why others may flock to it.

Clear Energy, Clear Love

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Consciously Confronting Hunger

world hunger, confronting hunger, spiritual action, healing hunger, spiritual awakening
The spiritual path shows us what is. As many of you open your eyes to the truth, certain real world hardships become more and more apparent. One of those major issues is hunger.

Hunger has a variety of definitions, and one of the commonly used definitions is "food insecurity." "Food insecurity is variously defined as experiencing hunger, inability to secure enough food of sufficient quality and quantity to enable good health and participation in society, and cutting down on food due to financial necessity." (cited from The Guardian's article, "More than 8 million in UK struggle to put food on table, survey says"). However we choose to define it, hunger is a major issue that creates a lot of physical suffering, which invariably causes lots of psychological suffering. It's prevalence in the developing countries is a fairly well-understood fact. But there is also a high prevalence of food insecurity in developed countries. Here are a couple statistics to help you appreciate the scope of this issue.

"Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth."

--World Food Programme Statistics

"42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children."

--Feeding America

"New UN data show that an estimated 8.4 million people, the equivalent of entire population of London, were living in households reporting having insufficient food in the UK in 2014, the 6th largest economy in the world."

--Too Poor to Eat: Food insecurity in the UK
By Anna Taylor and Rachel Loopstra

These last two statistics can be particularly shocking to people. I think there is a belief that hunger isn't a major issues in rich nations like the U.S. and the U.K. Obviously that belief is wrong. But what does it mean to consciously engage with such a huge issue? Let's delve into this question and consider what it means to consciously confront hunger and other real world issues.

Real World Problems Vs. Imaginary Human Issues

Monday, December 19, 2016

Being Open While Having Boundaries

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There is a lot of discussion around being open among spiritual people, but when the rubber hits the road, most of people don't really want to be open all the time. What most people want is to feel safe. In the desire for a feeling of a safety, people put up all kinds of walls to preserve this feeling and avoid uncomfortable feelings. It's this mentality of self-protection that underlies most discussions around having boundaries, and it's this idea that must be confronted before we can consciously choose boundaries as opposed to erecting endless walls.

Being open to all of life means being open to all of life. Nothing is excluded. Most people don't want that. Most people don't want to be open to pain, shame, fear, anger, hatred, and all the rest of the uncomfortable emotions and sensations that human beings can have. However, that aversion to discomfort is a primary reason we end up collecting so much inner pain. The old adage goes, "What you resist persists." The more you pay attention to your inner space, the more you'll find that to be true.

Thus it becomes the only rational thing to do to stay open. In so doing, pain can come. But it also can go. If we shut the doors when we feel discomfort, the pain already has gotten inside by then. And by closing done, we seal it in with us. What we do succeed in keeping out also includes many beautiful experiences and emotions. Finally, erecting walls to avoid pain takes people on a path of becoming more and more numb. In going numb, life becomes more and more bland and even hopeless.

Numbing Yourself to Life and Over-stimulation

I am not here to say that being open is an easy space to be at first. Being open illuminates many hidden inside. Opening the windows brings light into the house. It shows you what is actually there. Some of that you may not like. Some of it you will. But you won't know what is there until you really open up. Additionally, being open is also not a doormat to whatever garbage people throw at you. So for the rest of this blog post, let's look at what openness really is and how to not get caught up in the garbage.

Being Open Starts With You

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My BATGAP Interview

Thanks to everyone who voted for me and thanks to the kindness of Rick Archer, Irene Archer, and their whole team, there is now an interview posted about me on Buddha at the Gas Pump (BATGAP).

I don't talk about myself too much on this spiritual awakening blog because I want people to focus on themselves. It's easy for a lot of people to get caught up adoring, idolizing, and demonizing the spiritual teacher (sometimes all at the same time). But within you, your own greatest teacher is already here. So I do my best to keep the focus of this blog on the inner work that is needed to open yourself to that teacher rather than discussing a lot of personal experiences.

However, in this interview with Rick, you'll get to hear a little more about me as well as the usual stuff that I talk about. I hope you enjoy it!

Jim Tolles BATGAP Interview

Monday, December 12, 2016

Maintaining Your Spiritual Practice During Hard Times

spiritual practice, wind, nature, plants blowing in the wind, spiritual awakening
Life doesn't ever stop being life. That means there are easy moments and challenging moments for us all. It doesn't matter how clear and free of ego you are, dealing with tuberculosis or cancer is a challenging set of moments for any human being.

Which is why a regular spiritual practice is so crucial. Your practice helps to take care of your heart, body, mind, and spirit right when you need it the most. It is during difficult times that we most need to be open-hearted, clear of mind, and at ease in our bodies--as best as we're able. Those qualities help us to work through any emotions, physical sensations, and ideas that get triggered for all of us who are still working with plenty of old ego responses. For those of you who are exceptionally clear, your practice is a gentle nudge to maintain as much physical relaxation as you can during those times when you feel a lot of physical pain. It's very easy to revert to that old fight-flight mechanism within us. Those tendencies are part of our evolutionary heritage, and they die hard. Our spiritual practice, however, helps usher it out and turn off some of its most powerful emotional and physiological reactions.

However, during difficult times, that's when most people close down, freak out, and not think well at all. It can make hard times harder. Having a regular spiritual practice is a key support when life gets hard, and it is one of the best ways to help us make good decisions and mindfully move through those difficult times.

The Initial Trigger: Hearing the Bad News

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Recording: Awakening to Action

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People are often confused by the idea of "non-action." Many think that this means we don't take any action at all, but I think it's pretty clear that spiritual people take actions all the time. Acting in this world is a prerequisite of living in it.

But initially, the primary encouragement for people on the spiritual path is to go within and reduce the amount of actions they take. It's an encouragement to simplify and get back to basics as you learn about yourself. If you don't do this first, you don't really understand yourself nor why you want to take many actions. In our ignorance, we think we know why we want to do things, but as many of you who have done inner work have discovered, there are many ways our hidden issues define what we want to do and how we want to do it. When we heal those issues, we often find that some interests evaporate entirely.

Other interests do not. As we open to the truth, some things become clear. Ironically enough, it seems like when people become clear on an issue, they also may not want to take action. When people want to take action, they usually need to sit and be still. When they want to sit and be still, they usually need to take action. But to not take action when we are called to is a form of self-denial. It does not serve anyone, least of all yourself.

So I felt like offering some thoughts on what conscious action is and how we differentiate between a call to take action and the ego's old programming that is telling you to do something. I hope you enjoy the recording.

Awakening to Action Recording

Date of Recording:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


10:30 AM Pacific Time


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Additional Spiritual Reading

If you want additional reading on this topic, here are two blog posts you may enjoy:

Creating a Spiritual Movement

How to Create Conscious Change

Monday, December 5, 2016

How to Create Conscious Change

divine nature, nature, divine plan, conscious change, divine change, spiritual awakening, awakened change
We live in an age where there are tons of advancements in technology and many ways that we are actively changing society. But how conscious are those changes?

Before we go any further in this conversation, it's important to clarify what I mean by "conscious." To me, "conscious" is a term for being knowledgeable of the impact of what we do. Being unconscious means we are unaware of things and the impacts of our actions. For example, the unconscious ego is unaware that it is a construct of beliefs and experiences. The conscious ego knows that it is made up. With a conscious ego, you can then actively investigate other parts of your ego self that you are not aware of

I hope that clarifies what I mean by conscious in this context. Any of you who have become more conscious of yourself and life can see more, and you are probably also aware of how much you cannot see. The conscious person is like someone living with a light on in the room. Even with the light on, there are limitations to what you can see, and this requires a certain level of continued exploration as well as humility in understanding that there are always going to be things that you do not know.

Clearly, this implies that conscious change is always going to incorporate some level of unconsciousness. There are going to be things that we don't know about any situation, and there are ramifications of any action that are going to be surprisingly. This doesn't mean that action should be avoided or that we end up in analysis paralysis. Rather, we learn to understand that any change we attempt to implement in life is going to be a process, and understanding the influence and reality of unconsciousness means that we stay engaged with any change we are creating to best guide it towards solutions that are beneficial to all.

Facing the Unconsciousness Within You

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