James Pesavento is a trained Transcendental Meditation teacher and leader in Siddha Yoga meditation. He has been teaching and practicing for over 40 years. His interests include nature photography, writing and social welfare projects.

Beyond Mindfulness

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As you may know, I write a lot about mindfulness – mainly to end your resistance to life and end your suffering. What you are about to read is possibly the most important teaching for your enlightenment. And I am not going to suggest you practice mindfulness. I am going to suggest you go beyond mindfulness.

Most of us spend our time identified with our body mind and emotions. We literally think we are our body, our thoughts and our feelings. Of course this is not the ultimate truth. We are Consciousness, the soul, Atman-Brahman. But we live in the awareness, ‘I Am That’ body, thought and feeling.

‘I am that’ means you are a body, mind and emotion. That limited identification tends to lock you into an ongoing experience lost in a very limited, dissonant, ever-changing experience. Mindfulness has the power to take your attention into the present moment, without judgment. That’s the classical interpretation of Mindfulness. That is immensely beneficial because it takes your attention from ‘I am that’ to ‘I am’. ‘I am’ is one step closer to the soul but it isn’t the soul. ‘I am’ is awareness of yourself now, with the past and future left behind. But it doesn’t eliminate the layers of false identities that are subtler than the body, mind and emotions.

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Mindfulness and Why You Meditate

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Meditation is about re-connecting. Mindfulness is about creating spaciousness and present moment awareness. Together they create the foundation for transformation to unfold.


Meditation is a journey from an outwardly focused life where the senses are always keeping your awareness focused outside, to bringing the awareness inward and leading it to the Self, a state of pure awareness. Meditation allows the realization of the authentic Self and the essential nature of who you are. Meditation is knowing the Self, realizing who you are and immersing yourself in the light of the Self. Self-realization is your natural state of awareness. It is restoring connection.


Mindfulness is bringing yourself back to the reality of the present moment. It is disengaging from the past and future that capture your awareness, causing you to live in old or future illusory realities and allows you to rest in the now. Now is the only place power resides. Now is the only neutral place from which to make conscious choices, receive what the universe is offering you and seize possibilities. Now is the only place transformation is possible. And mindfulness creates the space for awareness to blossom. You can only move from reaction to response when there is some degree of spaciousness. You can only change your energy to change your life in the present moment.

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Mindfulness, Trust and Surrender

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You have been conditioned to attempt to control life, to mold it into shape, to be the master of conditions and to be in charge of your life. So you are constantly trying to fix and change what is in order to assert control to create an outcome. This process arises from fear and lack of trust. You fear that if you lose control life will spin further out of control and all that you have built and struggled to create will disintegrate before your eyes. You fear the future because you have no trust or belief in the fact that life is looking out for you, unfolding and happening for you, for your evolution, for your expansion and for the expansion of your happiness and awakening.


You watch life and see that, when left alone, life falls apart. If you don’t take care of your house, it becomes shabby and derelict. If you don’t take care of your body, it becomes dirty and disease ridden. If you don’t put energy into your business, it goes into bankruptcy. So you assert control and, to some extent, it works.


But if you feel deeper into this idea of control you will see that it reaches beyond giving energy to something in order to make it thrive. It is true that if you give energy to something it will thrive and this is beneficial. It is the attachment to an outcome that creates the problems and suffering.

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Mindfulness and Dealing with What Triggers You

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A trigger is an event that causes a reaction or a response. In you there are unresolved energetic impressions that can become activated and when they become activated they cause a reaction in you. They activate an energy and a feeling or emotion. They cause the mind to respond to the feeling contained within the impression. Most times that feeling is dissonant, because it is unresolved, and so the mind responds in a habitual way of distracting yourself from the feeling or stuffing it back down inside or letting it out and taking others down.


When you distract yourself you over-eat, over-drink, use drugs, gamble, over-indulge in sex, work, TV, social media, or any activity that allows you to ignore what you are feeling. When you stuff it inside you add to the energy’s density and it festers within. When you let it out, it can be destructive to you and others.


A trigger is actually calling for your attention. It is telling you what needs resolution. It is signaling that it is there and it is giving you an opportunity to end your suffering. But there is a natural response in you to want to feel and reach for the pleasant and push away the unpleasant. You naturally resist the unpleasant. This resistance to feeling what is being triggered misses the opportunity for resolution and greater freedom. You will create your life in a way that only allow people, places and things around you that don’t trigger you. But it is the uncomfortable that allows for the greatest growth. It is the trigger that is your teacher, mirroring what is inside you in need of resolution.

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Mindfulness and dealing with Crisis

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Everything that happens in your life is happening for you. Life is a series of situations that are being created for your awakening. Your destiny is unfolding perfectly for you to return to connection to your essential Self.


Everyone’s life has a destiny which is playing out in harmony with all things. But you have a limited perspective from which you judge everything. When an extreme situation arises in your life you judge it from a human perspective and label it a crises. You see it in a limited perspective. You personalize the situation.


Crisis is accelerated change and change is the vehicle for expansion and evolution to march forward.


Crisis tests your humanity. It is the ultimate trigger for both bringing into awareness what needs resolution and also who you really are; peace, love, abundance, bliss and well-being. Dramatic times create the opening for leaps in expanding awareness. Welcome them, even in the midst of your fear, pain, heart-break and loss. Crisis opens you to seeing deeply.

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Mindfulness and Fear

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Fear is a vibrational energy. Fear is an organic, natural energy that is shared by all animals, unlike guilt and shame, which are not natural. When animals experience fear they feel it and shake it off, literally, and move on. We refuse to feel it and it accumulates, causing density. Then we prove to ourselves that the world is an unsafe place. We keep it locked in place to protect us, but then it keeps us locked in place. Fear limits and restricts us. We stay in unsatisfying relationships, unsatisfying jobs, invalidating the universal principle of more. We play life safe. We hold onto our limitations.


When we experience fear we fight, flee or freeze, all of which stop the flow of energy and impede receiving and expansion.


Fear is an immature, primitive reaction. It served primitive man well and served us well as children to protect us. It keeps us safe, but small and needy and weighs us down even as it seems to support us.


Fear exists on the mental level and much of our mental activity is being run on the energy of fear. It is like a membrane that enshrouds us, protecting us from deeper vibrational density within, mostly sadness. It is a self-defense mechanism. 


Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is a willingness to feel fear and move forward anyway. Fear sets up a barrier both to us receiving our magnificence, and experiencing and giving out our Divinity. Fear is a vibrational membrane that locks energy in place. Courage allows our energy to flow by restoring movement. We feel the fear and walk through that barrier of fear. Fear is not wrong but it is limiting. Courage is sustaining momentum and moving through this barrier of fear, moving beyond our comfort zone. Fearlessness equals doing, moving forward, keeping momentum.

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Mindfulness and Depression

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There is one symptom of the fear of un-lovability and unworthiness and that is sadness and depression. This wound of un-lovability expresses itself in the feeling of depression. The reason sadness arises from the experience of unworthiness is that it is untrue, yet you believe it. Lack of worth, lack of acceptance, lack of lovability is the great fallacy in life. But you hold worthlessness as a belief on some level and as long as that false belief is in place you will feel the symptoms of sadness and depression.


You believe you are unlovable not because you truly are experiencing yourself authentically that way but because you are gauging and judging your worth based upon the conditioning and experiences of parents, teachers, society, friends, family and spiritual beliefs. You have to fit in, excel, look, act, respond and think like they want you to in order for them to love you. And that is an impossible job with an unattainable result. You live in-authentically to be loved and you dis-connect yourself from your essential self, always living in a created self, seeking to be loved.


When you don’t get what you want you react with anger or you hide yourself away. Either way, deep inside you feel a deep and ever-present sadness. You can’t achieve being loved outside and you aren’t experiencing it inside, where it truly exists, because you are dis-connected to your essential self. As this cycle continues sadness turns to depression.

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Mindfulness and Worthiness

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Worth is determined by how you value something and Self-worth is determined by the extent to which you deem yourself excellent or lacking and how you value yourself.


How do you see yourself? You are, to some extent, living an in-authentic life. You have created an image, a created self to fit in, to be accepted and to be loved. Everything you think, say and do is caught up in your quest to be valued by others. So your self-worth is being determined by an outside person or group of people who have never been able to see the authentic you.

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Mindfulness, Guilt and Shame

Mindfulness, Guilt and Shame

Sometimes we make an intention or a resolution and break it. We feel guilty. We feel bad and angry that we let ourselves or others down, sad we have broken our promise, or fearful we are going down a slippery slope. Maybe we think we have sinned. All this combines to form guilt, a learned and conditioned response to what happens when we violate our sense of integrity. Guilt is self-inflicted. It is not an organic emotion. This dissonant feeling of guilt is telling us we are drifting out of alignment. Guilt is the gap between our behavior and who we want to be. It is an incredible chance to see ourselves clearly and grow.


Guilt impedes our ability to receive everything life has to offer us. Guilt is the foundation for unworthiness and when we feel unworthy, we sabotage life. Guilt locks unworthiness in place. Guilt comes from ourselves, other people, religion, and family. We should place guilt in its proper perspective and realize that we are not the same people we were when that happened, that story is not true, we have learned much since then, and our consciousness has expanded. Recognize the distance between now & then. The Divine doesn’t judge us. On the level of the Divine and Soul, there is only love and acceptance.

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Mindfulness and Anger

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When a desire with attachment is thwarted or denied, it turns to anger. Anger arises from dissatisfaction, from not getting what you want or getting what you don’t want, from the expectation unfulfilled. You become more and more attached to your expected outcome and when it doesn’t arrive you get angry. You seek wholeness, completion, and happiness in the fulfillment of desire with attachment and are constantly in dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is the main form of suffering. Dissatisfaction and anger arise from feeling limited, betrayed, from not speaking up, from being pushed around, by not being seen or heard, by being passive and feeling futility. It starts as resentment. Resentment turns into frustration. Frustration turns into anger and becomes rage when not addressed. 


Anger can take on many faces. Some you see as anger and some are more subtle. You think; That person rubs me the wrong way, You roll your eyes, make a sharp remark, you think he’s a thorn in my side, you have a tantrum, feel bitterness, suspicion, hatred, envy, resentment, criticism, annoyance, animosity, sullenness, gruffness, rage, grudges, and you have arguments.


However much you think we are provoked, your anger is always your own creation.

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Mindfulness and Worry

Mindfulness and Worry

Worry is born from a lack of trust. You have tried to control life, especially when you feel insecure and vulnerable. When you feel your life is unstable you begin to project into the future and worry. You lose trust when you lose stability, when you lose connection to a strong foundation inside. You imagine all the negative possibilities; poverty, homelessness, being alone. You stoke fear-based energies. These arise when you feel disconnected internally and fear arises.

 

You have such a strong attachment to certain outcomes. When these outcomes appear to be crumbling in front of you, fear strengthens, unworthiness increases and you worry as you see control slipping away, as you see possibilities narrow.

 

You also identify as your accomplishments, your possessions, your thoughts and your fears. Your self-worth is attached to outcomes and circumstances. So when your attachments and identifications come under assault, when they crumble, you move into worry. You are not your mind, your body, your possessions or your stories. You are limitless love, peace and abundance. When you can move into this authentic identification, you open up to the possibility of peace.

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The power of your altar

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Many people have power points in their homes. These are usually places where they place their most important pictures, objects or memories. When you wish to formalize that power and create a space of expanded energy within your home, then it may be time to create an altar.

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Creating your altar – Connection and intention

Creating your altar – Connection and intention

Your altar represents the highest intention for your life. You are creating a space in your home or office that represents a point of connection to your highest Self, your teacher, your God, to Nature, your family or your goal. It is an elevation or prioritization of an important aspect that you honor, worship or aspire to. So it is important that is represent you personally.

There are a core group of intentions that your altar can focus upon and connect you to.

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How to Create your Personal Altar

How to Create your Personal Altar

Altars are designed to create specific vibrational frequencies and to connect you to Universal energy. This might be embodied in an enlightened being, in nature or in an aspect of the Divine.

You may have only one or two choices as to where you place your altar, but there are specific locations that represent specific energies:

North is abundance and contains the color green

• Northeast is benevolent relationships and contains the color yellow.

• East is perfect health and contains the color white. 

• Northwest is enlightenment and contains the color gold.

• South is career advancement and contains the color red.

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Mindfulness and the Joy of Living

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Life was created for the expansion of bliss. This may be hard to believe because most of the time this is not your experience. Your nature is joy and it is the expression and expansion of your nature that is the reason you are here. Enjoying life is to be in alignment with your nature and your purpose.


It basically comes down to love or fear. Your nature is love and when you are connected and grounded in your authentic nature you are able to enjoy life. You can flow with the expansion of life. You can accept change as the cause for more evolution. You can allow life to bring you all that uniquely supports your expression. You can connect to others and live authentically. In love there is total acceptance and allowing and trust.

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Mindfulness, Freedom and Limitations

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The main limitations for any human being are that you experience the following limited beliefs:


I am my body


I am my thoughts


I am my feelings


I am my concepts and beliefs


I am this separate consciousness


The illusion that this is who you are veils and hides your authentic, essential Self and causes you to live in a limited state of dis-connection from your full intelligence and power. The ego, creates the experience of a separate “I”. Universal I becomes limited, separate I. You see everything as outside of yourself and you create false stories, you see things as separate from yourself and judge everything as good and bad. This separation cause you to feel fear, lack and limitation.

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Mindfulness and a Busy Mind

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What have you put into your mind? What have you fed your mind for years? What vibrations have you filled your mind with? You can feel them now reflected in the state of your mind; at peace or at war, calm or agitated, a clear, calm lake or a monkey mind. It is what it is and so you must look at how to shift it into a mind that functions naturally, in a way that is always supporting your fullest expression and expanded state.


You have filled yourself with so many impressions, many that are vibrationally unsupportive and dense. The first step is to find a way to change your energy so that higher vibrational frequencies, more peaceful and aligned frequencies reflect within your mind.


You spend much of your life at war with life. You are in the habit of always wanting life to change, to be different from what it is and you spend so much time fixing it. You separate yourself from others through judgment and criticism and not allowing others to authentically be themselves. And you live an in-authentic life that requires that your mind work overtime being something that is not who you really are in order to win approval, acceptance and love.

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Mindfulness and Health

Mindfulness and Health

In essence, supporting your health is an act of gratitude and worship. You have been given this vehicle to express in the world and you must address the body’s requirements in a balanced fashion. Since you must eat, eat with mindfulness, eat with balance and eat what supports health. Since you must move, move and exercise with balance and grace. Since you may get sick and someday will die, do not become too attached to the body. The body allows you to be here, to evolve and know the essential self. You must kill to survive so always express gratitude and connect to what you eat mindfully. Allow the body to serve its purpose and support it in that.


Health also includes a healthy mind. Realize that every thought you think affects you and your state, including your body. You are ingesting what you take in through all of your senses and filling yourself up with whatever that is; beneficial or harmful. The beneficial will calm the mind and expand consciousness. The harmful will agitate you and create narrow vision.

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Mindfulness and Relationships

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Relationships can be approached from 2 directions; need or as two fulfilled people sharing life. In relationship there should be both support and space. Looking to another to fulfill you will never work because fulfillment is a personal, internal experience. Share life, but have a life, each your own. Relationship that smothers or binds another or covers another with expectations will suffocate the other in need. It becomes energetically stifling.


Relationships serve as one of the strongest vehicles to bring into awareness all that is hidden. At the same time it allows you to connect to your essential self and feel the love there and focus and share that love with another. Love is always an internal experience, even though another can inspire your inner connection and allow you to get in touch with your inner love.

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Mindfulness and Addiction

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When you don’t want to deal with something and you want to avoid it you move into behavior to distract yourself from it. That creates a habit or pattern that can become an addiction. Anything can become this distraction. The possibilities are limitless. You can distract yourself through work, social media, shopping, phone calls, as well as the addictions you commonly recognize; alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, gambling, sex.


Addiction disallows you to be present for life, to be completely engaged, to be open to feeling all that you must feel. Addiction is your solution to not wanting to feel something; the fear, anger sadness, shame.


When you don’t recognize, accept and feel these feelings, they become density. When you recognize, accept and feel them the energy of addiction dissipates and you are depriving the addiction of its energy. It is awareness that is the power that allows the energy of density to dissipate. Shining the light of awareness on your feelings can be difficult because you have constructed habitual patterns to avoid feeling. You fear you will be overwhelmed by emotion if you start feeling it all.

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