The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Consciousness

You carry Mother Earth within you

“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.

Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the Earth are two separate entities, that the Earth is only the environment. That is a dualistic way of seeing.

So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it, realise you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.

We need a real awakening, enlightenment, to change our way of thinking and seeing things. When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born. That is the meaning of love, to be at one…”

~Thich Nhat Hanh~

Realize You are the Earth https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/…/realize-yo…/

 

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The noble purpose of suffering

The Book of Incredible Changes


Love is the perfection of consciousness

“Love is the perfection of consciousness. We do not love because we do not comprehend, or rather.. we do not comprehend because we do not love.

For love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us. It is not a mere sentiment; it is truth; it is the joy that is at the root of all creation..

The human soul is on its journey from the law to love, from discipline to liberation, from the moral plane to the spiritual…

In love all the contradictions of existence merge themselves and are lost. Only in love are unity and duality not at variance. Love must be one and two at the same time.

Only love is motion and rest in one. Our heart ever changes its place till it finds love, and then it has its rest.”

~Rabindranath Tagore


Not Me, Not Mine

Source: Not Me, Not Mine | Great Middle Way

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com

13880131_819563638143113_6430162870348043192_nSurely, whatever form, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that form must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

Surely, whatever feeling, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that feeling must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

Surely, whatever perception, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that perception must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

Surely, whatever mental formations, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all those mental formations must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: ‘These are not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

Surely, whatever consciousness, past, future or present, internal or external, coarse or fine, low or lofty, far or near, all that consciousness must be regarded with proper wisdom, according to reality, thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Anatta-lakkhana Sutta


Dalai Lama: Spirituality Without Quantum Physics Is An Incomplete Picture Of Reality

Source: Dalai Lama: Spirituality Without Quantum Physics Is An Incomplete Picture Of Reality – Collective Evolution

http://www.collective-evolution.com

 “Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.”
 

 – The Dalai Lama (source)

For a long time, science and spirituality were considered to be opposing views, creating this polarization of both subjects. You were either a “Man of God” or a “Man of Science,” with no middle ground. However, we’re now observing a merging of both science and spirituality through quantum physics and the study of consciousness, shattering old thought patterns and putting an end to the previous “tug of war” between the two subjects.

Quantum physics is verifying what Buddhists and other spiritual practitioners have been saying for years, helping people to accept their inherent spiritual nature all around the world. We are fundamentally connected to everything around us, and science is finally proving that. Nevertheless, there’s still a lingering dualistic air surrounding science and spirituality: You have religious people denying scientific facts and scientists identifying themselves as self-proclaimed Atheists. However, we’re simultaneously seeing a merging of the two, and it’s truly beautiful.

Many prominent religious figures and scientists have recognized the interconnectedness between spirituality and the scientific community, including the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has spoken out on numerous occasions about the similarities between quantum physics and spirituality. In fact, he even attended a conference on quantum physics and delivered a speech on the subject.

The Dalai Lama Attends Conference on Quantum Physics and Madhyamaka Philosophical View

In November 2015, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, attended a two-day conference on quantum physics and Madhyamaka philosophy in New Delhi. Madhyamaka translates to “one who holds to the middle” or “the middle way” and belongs to the Mahayana school of thought in Buddhism, which was developed by the Indian Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna during the second century.

The conference explored a variety of topics relating to human consciousness, science, and Buddhism and included a panel of experts, physicists, and monastic scholars. The Dalai Lama was one of the speakers, and according to him, reconciling science and religious philosophies may be essential to the future of our species.

“I hope conferences like this can address two purposes: extending our knowledge and improving our view of reality so we can better tackle our disturbing emotions,” the Dalai Lama said. “Early in my lifetime, science was employed to further material and economic development. Later in the 20th century, scientists began to see that peace of mind is important for physical health and well-being… As a result of combining warm-heartedness with intelligence, I hope we’ll be better equipped to contribute to humanity’s well-being.”

The Dalai Lama also explained how he first came into studying quantum physics:

When I was about 19 or 20 I developed a curiosity about science that had begun with an interest in mechanical things and how they worked. In China in 1954/5 I met Mao Zedong several times. Once he commended me for having a scientific mind, adding that religion was poison, perhaps presuming that this would appeal so someone who was ‘scientific minded’. After coming to India as a refugee I had many opportunities to meet people from many different walks of life, scientists among them. 30 years ago I began a series of dialogues focusing on cosmology, neurobiology, physics, including Quantum Physics, and psychology. These discussions have been largely of mutual benefit. Scientists have learned more about the mind and emotions, while we have gained a subtler explanation of matter.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this quote is the fact that the Dalai Lama interpreted Zedong’s harsh words against religion as being somewhat appealing to someone with a “scientific mind.” This speaks to the belief system of science and religion being polar opposites. If you were a scientist, it was almost a social norm to make fun of religion, and vice versa, and that still remains true today.

He continues:

About 15-20 years ago at some meeting, the Indian physicist Raja Ramanna told me that he had been reading Nagarjuna and that he’d been amazed to find that much of what he had to say corresponded to what he understood of quantum physics. A year ago at Presidency College in Kolkata the Vice-Chancellor Prof S Bhattacharya mentioned that according to quantum physics nothing exists objectively, which again struck me as corresponding to Chittamatrin and Madhyamaka views, particularly Nagarjuna’s contention that things only exist by way of designation.

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Dalai Lama: Spirituality Without Quantum Physics Is An Incomplete Picture Of Reality – Collective Evolution


Buddhist Monks Bless Tea With Good Intention – Here’s What Happened

Source: Buddhist Monks Bless Tea With Good Intention – Here’s What Happened – Collective Evolution

http://www.collective-evolution.com

intentnionIt’s become clear to more and more people that consciousness is directly correlated with our physical material world. Numerous scientific studies have proven that our consciousness is directly correlated to it, and through our consciousness, we can directly influence our physical world in more ways than one. One example of this is how the mind has a capacity to influence the output of devices known as Random Event Generators(1) Another example are the multitude of declassified papers that deal with ‘paraphsychological’ phenomenon. For example, government experiments revealed human beings are capable of bending physical material objects with their minds.(2)(3) Another great example is what’s known as the “double slit experiment.” This study found that factors associated with consciousness such as meditation, experience, and electrocortical markers of focused attention have an influence on material reality. (4) I also think it’s important to throw in the remote viewing experiments conducted by the NSA, CIA and Stanford University. (5)  Another great example is the Placebo Effect, the documented fact that we can transform our biology with belief.We constantly receive comments saying that there is no scientific evidence for the correlation between consciousness and physical material reality. However, there are a number of published studies done by experts, for experts, scientists, and academic institutions all over the world. Work is available in a number of respected peer reviewed journals that clearly demonstrate it. For a selected list of more examples click here.I just wanted to make it clear that it’s pretty clear that human intention and consciousness does correlate with the physical material world. Why this isn’t the topic of rigorous investigation by universities world-wide is curious. The implications of this information are far reaching and relevant to many factions of society (health for example).

Knowing that human consciousness and intent can alter our physical world lends further credibility to a study conducted by scientists at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.

The study examined the roles of intention and belief on mood while drinking tea. It explored whether drinking tea “treated” with good intentions would have an effect on mood more so than drinking ordinary tea. The study was done under double-blind, randomized conditions. (6)

 “Each evening, for seven days in a row, volunteers recorded their mood using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire. On day three, four, and five of the test, each participant drank 600 mL of oolong tea in the morning and again in the afternoon. One randomly assigned group blindly received tea that had been intentionally treated by three Buddhist monks; the other group blindly received untreated tea from the same source. On the last day of the test, each person indicated what type of tea he/she believed they had been drinking.” (6)

189 adults participated in the study, and the study was conducted over a week in order to reduce mood fluctuations. Those who drank “treated” tea showed a greater increase in mood than those who drank untreated tea. Change in mood in those who believed that they were drinking treated tea was much better than those who did not.

The authors also noted that the belief that one was drinking treated tea directly correlated with a large improvement in mood, but only if one was actually drinking the treated tea. This indicated that belief and intentional enhancement interact.  The authors also mentioned another very interesting point, that “esthetic and intentional qualities associated with the traditional tea ceremony may have subtle influences that extend beyond the ritual itself.” (6)

How Can We Apply These Concepts To Our Everyday Lives

We can apply these concepts in a number of ways. Before you eat, or drink water for example, put love into it, put good intention into it, be thankful for it. Your intent and emotions behind the consumption of food and water can have a direct impact on your physical body. To take a look at what thoughts and intentions do to the structure of water, click here. If thoughts can do this to water, just imagine what they can do to us.

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Buddhist Monks Bless Tea With Good Intention – Here’s What Happened – Collective Evolution


Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: “Consciousness is everywhere”

New theories suggest Buddhist teachings on consciousness may be correct, and the implications for science could be huge.

Source: Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: “Consciousness is everywhere” – Lion’s Roar

lionsroar.com

Christof Koch explains the neuroscientific view of consciousness to the Dalai Lama.Neuroscientist Christof Koch discusses scientific theories of consciousness with the Dalai Lama.
New theories in neuroscience suggest consciousness is an intrinsic property of everything, just like gravity. That development opens a world of opportunity for collaboration between Buddhists and neuroscientists.

“The heart of consciousness,” says neuroscientist Christof Koch, “is that it feels like something. How is it that a piece of matter, like my brain, can feel anything?”

In 2013, Koch, one of the world’s leading experts on consciousness, went to a monastery in India to discuss that question with a group of Buddhist monks. He and the Dalai Lama debated neuroscience and mind for a full day.

They had different approaches. Koch offered contemporary scientific theories on the subject, and His Holiness countered with ancient Buddhist teachings. Yet, at the end of their discussion, the two thinkers agreed on almost every point.

“What struck me most was his belief in what we in the West call ‘panpsychism’ — the belief that consciousness is everywhere,” says Koch. “And that we have to reduce the suffering of all conscious creatures.”

Panpsychism, the idea of universal consciousness, is a prominent thought in some branches of ancient Greek philosophy, paganism, and Buddhism. And it has been largely dismissed by modern science — until recently.

 

In his work on consciousness, Koch collaborates with a researcher named Giulio Tononi. Tononi is the father of the most popular modern theory of consciousness, called Integrated Information Theory (IIT), which Koch once called “the only really promising fundamental theory of consciousness.”

Tononi’s theory states that consciousness appears in physical systems that contain many different and highly interconnected pieces of information. Based on that hypothesis, consciousness can be measured as a theoretical quantity, which the researchers call phi.

Tononi has a test for measuring phi (the amount of consciousness) in a human brain. It is similar to ringing a bell; scientists send a magnetic pulse into a human brain and watch the pulse reverberate through the neurons — back and forth, side to side. The longer and clearer the reverberation, the higher the subject’s amount of consciousness. Using that test, Koch and Tononi can tell whether a patient is awake, asleep, or anesthetized.

There are already pressing and practical needs for a way to measure consciousness. Doctors and scientists could use phi to tell if a person in a vegetative state is effectively dead, how much awareness a person with dementia has, when a foetus develops consciousness, how much animals perceive, or even whether a computer can feel.

“That’s more urgent,” asserts Koch. “We’re witnessing the birth of computer intelligence. Is a machine conscious? Does it feel like anything? If it does, it may acquire legal rights, and I certainly have ethical obligations towards it. I can’t just turn it off or wipe its disc clean.”

koch

Christof Koch speaking at TEDxRainier Seattle.

 

IIT also marries these practical applications with profound ideas. The theory says that any object with a phi greater than zero has consciousness. That would mean animals, plants, cells, bacteria, and maybe even protons are conscious beings.

Koch sees IIT as promising because it offers an understanding of panpsychism that fits into modern science. In an academic paper, Koch and Tononi make the profound statement that their theory “treats consciousness as an intrinsic, fundamental property of reality.”

 

Modern research and recent dialogues between Buddhists and scientists have focused mainly on understanding the physical brain. But scientists have barely begun to develop an understanding of mind — or consciousness — itself.

On the Buddhist side, however, this is a discussion that has been going on for thousands of years. Buddhism associates mind with sentience. The late Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche stated that while mind, along with all objects, is empty, unlike most objects, it is also luminous. In a similar vein, IIT says consciousness is an intrinsic quality of everything yet only appears significantly in certain conditions — like how everything has mass, but only large objects have noticeable gravity.

In his major work, the Shobogenzo, Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen Buddhism, went so far as to say, “All is sentient being.” Grass, trees, land, sun, moon and stars are all mind, wrote Dogen.

Koch, who became interested in Buddhism in college, says that his personal worldview has come to overlap with the Buddhist teachings on non-self, impermanence, atheism, and panpsychism. His interest in Buddhism, he says, represents a significant shift from his Roman Catholic upbringing. When he started studying consciousness — working with Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick — Koch believed that the only explanation for experience would have to invoke God. But, instead of affirming religion, Koch and Crick together established consciousness as a respected branch of neuroscience and invited Buddhist teachers into the discussion.

At Drepung Monastery, the Dalai Lama told Koch that the Buddha taught that sentience is everywhere at varying levels, and that humans should have compassion for all sentient beings. Until that point, Koch hadn’t appreciated the weight of his philosophy.

“I was confronted with the Buddhist teaching that sentience is probably everywhere at varying levels, and that inspired me to take the consequences of this theory seriously,” says Koch. “When I see insects in my home, I don’t kill them.”

The theory of IIT shows promise for the future. With more research, Koch and Tononi could better test consciousness, to prove scientifically that all beings are sentient. Meanwhile, Buddhists around the world are constantly working to develop an understanding of the mind. Traleg Rinpoche said that analytical methods can only go so far toward understanding the mind. Instead, he says, by resting his or her mind and contemplating it, a meditator can develop an understanding of the nature of mind and how it relates to everything else.

Critics of IIT argue that the theory fails to explain where consciousness comes from. Science writer John Horgan argues, “you can’t explain consciousness by saying it consists of information, because information exists only relative to consciousness.”

Understanding the source of consciousness is an extremely difficult hurdle, but Koch is up to it. He says that his ultimate goal is to understand the universe. Some say that the best way to do that is to look inside your own mind. Maybe Koch is on to something.

Sam Littlefair Wallace is the associate digital editor of Lion’s Roar. He has also written for The Coast, Mindful, and Atlantic Books Today. Find him on Twitter, @samlfair, and Facebook, @samlfair.