The Breath of Life

Spiritual awakening begins as a seed in space deep within you.

The Seed of Life

The Seed of Life

To feel this seed awaken within, take a Conscious Breath and become present with all of your attention. Breathing with awareness of the vitality of the body allows the seed to open into spacious Presence.

You are Creative Life.

Creative Life is the space that allows the seed to grow and blossom into a full expression of consciousness. 

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Through bringing all your attention to the Conscious Breath, the mind becomes still – no thought.  

You are the spaciousness within, the aliveness, the vitality that forms and sustains your Soul and body.

In awakening to Conscious Presence you begin to realise the creative dynamic of the Spiritual body, which is without form and has as its core Stillness – I Am – Being. 

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This Icon of the Black Virgin symbolises Nurturing Space, allowing the Seed of Conscious Presence (the Divine child) to grow and blossom within the Soul and body (the boat.)

The creative Spirit – Ruach in Hebrew – means Universal Breath. All thoughts, every form arises and dissolves out of the movement of  the Universal Breath of Life.

As we increase our awareness of the Breath of Life, we allow all thought forms of fear, grief, pain, loneliness and separation to be held in a space of love and compassion, where they are dissolved into the One Consciousness that pervades all of life.

Be Present in the here-now with all your attention – as much as you can give to your awakening in this moment.

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As you Breathe Consciously realise that you are rooted in Being – timeless Presence.

Right now, you are at one with the breath of Elohim – One Consciousness.

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Realise that you are being breathed.

Space and breath are One.

This is beyond all form, beyond anything that the mind can understand as anything.

The Creative Spirit continually conceives new life, allowing all past and future imaginings to dissolve into Presence.

The Cave of Mary Magdalene

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 This post is inspired by my recent visit to the Cave of Mary Magdalene, La Sainte-Baume (“Holy Cave” in Provencal) Provence, France.

The Hebrew name for the Tree of Life is Etz Haim. Etz, translated as Tree also means the Spinal Cord. As a Tree of Life you are rooted in Being; remembering this allows the power of Creation to flow through you as Living Breath.

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The conscious Breath is a doorway to the Eternal Present.
Still the mind and enter your innermost room.

To enter the cave is to be at peace with not knowing.

Without any thought we enter inner silence. 

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Be aware of the spinal cord as the axis of consciousness within your energy field, and breathe with awareness.

Feel the conscious breath massaging the spine allowing you to fully inhabit your inner space – expanding through the six directions.

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Love and creativity continually arise out of consciousness which is beyond the mind. This is the core of who you are, your true Self.

In Hebrew this inner core is called Tipheret: Goodness, beauty and truth; pure consciousness that witnesses the passing of every form into New Life.

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At your core lies your formless timeless Self, a Self that shines without ego: No-mind.
One with the source of all Life.

The sound of every in breath and out breath is the mantra of Ehieh, which in  Hebrew means, I Am – Being.

Listen now, with all of your attention to your breathing, as you take an in breath,     a silent pause, and then an out breath.  

As you breath consciously you bring your attention to the peace of your inner core. This peace is eternally present within you, untroubled by any thoughts arising in the mind. 

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Above the forest in the distance lies La Sainte-Baume (“Holy Cave”, in Provencal) which appears to the mind as an outer place, but which points to the timeless, formless, Self in which all ego dissolves. To look into the Cave with awareness is to see into the core of who you are: Being.

The journey to your centre takes place in the eternal present, each step you take unfolds out of the present moment. 

The journey appears as movement in time-space; Conscious Presence witnesses all movement from a point of Stillness.

Through your practice of the conscious breath, inner and outer, subject and object, are known to be One.

This is the end of all division, all mind-made separation from the Present Moment, Ehieh – I Am.

This is your gift to the World.

 

Kabbalah

What is Kabbalah?

cropped-img_08551.jpgThe Hebrew word Kabbalah means to receive; to be receptive to life as the ongoing revelation of Eternal Presence. There are many Hebrew words in the Bible used to describe this formless Eternal Presence. The three principal ones are Ehieh, I AM; Jahveh, To Be-Being; and Elohim, Absolute life – the formless source of unfolding creation. 

Eternal Presence is in the universe and is the universe, but the universe cannot contain the formless creative essence of life. Therefore every form of life is in  a continual state of flux: a continual outpouring of this One consciousness.

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You are a Tree of Life.
You are connected to everything that exists, both as formless essence and as the

multi-dimentional diversity that makes up the fabric of the universe. Most of Life remains invisible to the everyday mind, yet when you awaken as the Tree of Life your eyes are opened to the depths of Creation.  

To receive is to be open and spacious to possibility; this the universe continually provides in the present moment. You are letting go of outcome and allowing the creativity of the universe to come through you, as it will. This means that we enter a space of not knowing – or unknowing.

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Life always takes on form in the Present Moment. Creation is the continual outpouring of possibility, this is its infinite power.

The mind alone struggles to understand the reception of life because it is striving to know as an objective observer. But the conscious witness is at-one-with all that it beholds.

IMG_1046_1 copyTo know as the witness means letting go of all that we think and accumulate as intellectual knowing – it is to enter a state of Being – Presence – that allows life to flow through us as the universe itself.

The Essence of who you are is at One with the Essence of all Life. In Kabbalah this is expressed as Ehieh Asher Ehieh – I AM that I AM. 

The sound of every in breath and out breath is the mantra of Ehieh. Listen now, with all of your attention to your breathing, as you would listen to the sound of the ocean lapping on the shore. 

Birth through the conscious breath.

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You are intimately connected to the continual flow of creative existence. Even to the vast and seemingly remote Birth of  new Stars.

When you emerged from your mother’s womb into this world, you were naked, tiny and helpless. But within such a seemingly helpless body is the same energy that lights an entire galaxy, and more so, the entire Cosmos.

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The Earth and all its life forms are carried on the universal breath.

You are the Breath of Life, you are being breathed every moment of every day. The spark of life within you, at your core, is one with the creator of all life: whole worlds, stars and galaxies. When the mind is stilled we may see beyond all the forms that are continually emerging out of  formless Spirit, and realise their source within us. 

The Light of Consciousness.

The Light of Consciousness gives birth to the Sun. Every Star is the manifest form of the creative unity of life.

In order for the light of creative consciousness to realise itself in you, all thought forms that separate you from the Unity of Life must die, and in dying, be reunited with the totality of life which is the core of your Being.

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All that we see in the external world are but fleeting images, appearing and disappearing into and out of formation.
Consciousness is the ever open eye that perceives the continual flux of life without becoming lost in the dream.

The ego wishes to keep us small, and this thought form includes all our fantasies about being special or insignificant, powerful or weak, and part of an exclusive group separate from the rest of life. All such fantasies need to be brought into the light of awareness where they can be redeemed.

When the ego-dominated personality passes away, the space of Creative Spirit pervades your life. This is vaster than the mind can comprehend.

All thought dissolves in the face of Creative Presence which sustains all life in the here – now. 

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Our primary purpose in life is to be consciously present with all our attention in everything that we do and say.

Breathe consciously. focusing all your attention into the Present Moment.

Each conscious breath you take creates space where there is no thought, allowing you to be, allowing others to be, allowing all life forms to be.

In your awakening to Presence, the One consciousness realises itself.

Creative Presence

One of our greatest illusions is that we are far removed from the spiritual Universe, the Creative Presence that continually manifests life in all its forms.

The Spiritual Universe is present, here, within you now. It exists as the formless reality out of which all forms of life continually arise, and into which they return. The Spiritual realm is not something to be looked for as if it were an objective place, nor is it something that we need to wait for in some future time.

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In Hebrew the Spiritual Universe is called HaSamaim, “the Heavens”,  the Fire that burns as the Cosmic Breath of life. 

Ha-Shamaim is the animating creative spirit of every form of life, carrying the seeds of every living thing into the fertile womb of space that becomes the full expression of life.

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The Earth is seen as a speck of light in the middle right of the picture just below the rings of Saturn, at the outer reaches of the Solar System.

The door to the Spiritual Universe is open to us Now. This has nothing to do with belief –  it requires only our practice of conscious presence. With this comes the dissolving of past thought forms and future imaginings.

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Inner and outer space are One. The glimmering light of galaxies and the dance of subatomic particles within the cells of your body both exist in deep space. This creative dance is the continual emergence of form, out of the presence of the Unmanifest.

When you breathe consciously you stand on the threshold of the creative universe that exists as a permanent presence deep within you. Take a conscious Breath and feel the energy field that manifests your body. Feel it in your cells, in your bones and in the blood coursing through your veins. The conscious breath acts as a doorway to deep space within you, freeing you from the conditioning of the unconscious mind. 

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You have within you the light of the Cosmos: Take a conscious Breath and feel the spaciousness of Eternal Presence.

The Gospel of John.

IMG_1964The Gospel of John was written for you. It is about you: not as a personality or ego identity, but as spiritual consciousness, the vastness of the spiritual body, which is far beyond the understanding of the mind.

Awakening to the presence of the spiritual body can be felt as a pressure for change, which is not often welcomed or understood by the ego. In reality this pressure comes from our inner core, the deepest part of us, that is more natural and real than the world we experience around us through our everyday mind.

The sacred heart or core of life is Love. Unconditional Love or Agape is Consciousness: universal, beyond gender and race and creed, the source of all life. This is to know peace, stillness, profound silence and bliss. The stars in the Cosmos and the cells in the flesh of your body burn with the same Divine light. All is One.

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Mystical awakening is a reality outside space-time as the mind understands it.

The created universe of Spirit is seemingly endless, worlds within worlds where linear time has no relevance. At the core of this realm there is no separation, no inner and outer distinction. This is I Am consciousness – beyond subject and object – At-one-ment with the Divine.

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The World is not what we think it is.

The Earth in all its magnificent beauty is not just a planet spinning around a star in space: it is a vast field of consciousness that washes through us, and yet we are mostly only dimly aware of its surface in our everyday thinking minds.

The Hebrew word for the Earth or World  is Eretz. Through its three Hebrew letters this can be translated as: Absolute consciousness expressing itself through universal containers as the exaltation of life through diversifying forms; conscious intelligence, creativity, enjoyment.

As we learn to Love the magnificence of the Earth we come to realise that it is transparent, revealing a greater reality suffused with the creative energy of Divine Light.

In every moment souls are continually arriving and leaving the physical realm. The flow of consciousness continually emerges out of the timeless present moment, taking form in individual and collective patterns before dissolving back into the formless again. To know this is to realize that everyone and everything is connected.

Star birth cloud - Hubble imagesThis is the breath of life. The breath and to breathe consciously, is so vast and so deep that it fills all of life and is all of life: the movement of creation, the continual flow of creative life unfolding Eternal Presence. This is Logos. (Logos is the Greek term normally translated as Word in The Gospel of John. In reality it is untranslatable.)

The teachings in the Gospel cannot be adequately be expressed in the written word or any one translation. They remain primarily oral (spoken). This is because living teachings emerge out of the present moment. Or we could say that the teaching continually emerges out of Presence.

From the One Light comes all Life.

The Light of Consciousness.

The Light of Consciousness.

Out of the light of Consciousness, in rhapsody of sound, texture and colour, comes the movement into form of every living thing – a symphony, ever moving, ever changing: light in refraction, always new, the intense presence of creative power continually unfolding out of the still centre.

IMG_1980This magnificent unfolding mystery of creation is always present, here, now. There is never a time when the fullness of life is not totally present – a continual pressure To Be.

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The Presence of Absolute Life.
In Hebrew this is understood through the
letter-number equation Elohim.

Elohim: That, which cannot be contained by existence, continually giving birth to itself as the Tree of Life, whose fruit is living diversity,  flowing breath as form and matter.IMG_1988Every second you spend in Presence, every conscious breath you feel coursing through you, in your blood, in the atoms of your flesh and bones – this intense aliveness brings the presence of Absolute Life into the Universe through you.

hs interacting spiral Gs jpgThe sea of Space is a living ocean – each Star a centre of intense creativity. Each Star a Sun of power, holding the potential of a great spiralling vessel in which life unfolds its unimaginable richness – a hidden treasure revealing itself in the intense pressure of creative life.

Greeting the Dawn on Glastonbury Tor.

Greeting the Dawn on Glastonbury Tor.

The Hebrew words Nephesh – Breath – and Neshemah – to Breathe – are used for the Soul – the life force – of every living thing.

Be Present, Breathe consciously and Be. And in the conscious breath realise that every thing about you and within you is alive and connected: All is One.

Presence

How are we understand the Presence of Absolute life? We can begin by withdrawing energy from the unconscious mind. Breathe consciously and allow yourself to be.

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The presence of Absolute Life is in the form of each flower and tree. You are that same presence in human form.

Every conscious breath that you take brings you into awareness of the Presence of Absolute life.

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The Flower of Life – as depicted in the Alhambra, Granada, Spain. Each form of life is an expression of the one universal lifeforce; each form is a reflection of the one formless source of life. The diversity of life exists as an interconnected whole.

Conscious awareness is the alert watcher that breaths you in and out of the stillness of Presence, and that witnesses thoughts and situations as they arise in your life. Through your ability to be, consciousness realises consciousness as itself. In biblical Hebrew this is expressed as the realization of Jahveh (To Be -Being) – Elohim (Absolute Life).

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Conscious reflection brings you to the face of Absolute Life, the end of all separation. Can you feel this Presence in and around you now as you take a conscious breath?

IMG_1944In conscious presence you are like the Sun: the essence of life flows through you like the waves of a great shimmering sea. The movement of the whole of life is held within the radiance of the One. To be Being, is the realization of this revelation.

Two Day Workshop on Kabbalah

The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

“At your core is your spiritual Being. It is accessible to you now. This is the essence of Kabbalah.”

Weekend workshop Saturday the 2nd and Sunday 3rd of November 2013 With Stephen Pope, Author of Patterns of Creation Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John (Axis Mundi Books 2012)

This workshop takes you into the depth and beauty of the mystical teachings of Kabbalah, which tell us that we are intimately connected to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the vastness of the Cosmos.

“You are a tree of life, connected to all that is unfolding in the natural world, the solar system, and stars. You have within you the light of consciousness that continually gives birth to, and sustains, the created universe.” (From Patterns of Creation)

The workshop will help you to experience these profound spiritual truths for yourself, going beyond the everyday mind, which is dominated by the ego, into the stillness and peace of Presence at your core.

The creative intelligence of life is far greater than the everyday mind can conceive: it is the formless essence out of which all life forms emerge, and into which they dissolve, to be reborn as new life.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with that creative source of life within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, and the realization that we are part of the great community of life on Earth, and intimately connected to the life sustaining the vast Cosmos.

Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm with an evening session. Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years, Steve Pope has a B.D and MA in Theology and translates Greek and Hebrew Biblical texts.  His book Patterns of Creation – Axis Mundi Books 2012 is a radical exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

This remarkable and profound work takes the understanding of the gospel to a new level.

 Scientific and Medical Network review.

You don’t have to a be a kabbalist to appreciate this really fascinating and enlightening book..it truly brought the teachings to life for me. It really is teaching at its very best.

Goodreads Review.

 

Cost of the workshop: £165.00

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals.

If you wish to arrive at the Abbey and stay on the Friday evening there is a small supplement. Enquire on booking. 

To confirm booking please contact:The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 

http://www.theabbey.uk.com 

admin@theabbey.uk.com

Tel: 01235 847401

And for further details about the course please send an email to: stevepope59@hotmail.com

Agape – Love, the sacred power of consciousness

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Agape – Love, could be described as the activation of the sacred power of consciousness within us,
a deep initiation into the creative power that permeates the visible universe.

The Seed of Life

The Seed of Life

For if I speak with the inspired language of the Human Spirit (Anthropos)

and the voices of Angels (the Patterns of Creation)

but have not Agape (Unconditional/universal Love),

then I become like the roaring echo of an empty vessel,

the clamouring of restless and raging passions. 

And though I have inspired prophecies and insights into the mysteries,

and all gnosis (spiritual knowledge), and such faith that I could remove mountains,

and have not Agape, I am nothing. 

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The Flower of Life

And if I give away all my possessions to the poor,

and give the vitality of my body to burn as a shining light showing the way,

but have not Agape in me, I gain nothing.  

Agape stays constant, is patient and kind;

Agape does not envy or hate – knows no anger; 

Agape does not boast, and has no pride; it is not coarse or rude, does not insist upon its own way.

It is not irritable or easily provoked; it is not resentful, injurious or destructive.

It does not rejoice at finding wrong but rejoices at goodness, beauty and truth.

Agape never gives up, never loses faith, has confidence, and perseveres through every circumstance.  

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The Flower of Life

What we can know is only partial,

our prophetic visions are only ever partial,

but when that which is perfect comes (the peace of completion/Oneness with the continual creative outpouring,)

the imperfect (identification with forms) will pass away.

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The Flower of Life

When I was a child, I spoke without knowledge, I lacked understanding,

I reasoned without knowledge or wisdom;

when I became an adult, I deprived those childish ways of their power and influence over me.

For now we discern as in a darkened mirror, but then in immediate presence (face to face).

Now my Gnosis is partial, but then I will know, as I Am known.   

1 Cor 13:1-12 (My translation)

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The Flower of Life – Roman Tile, Cordoba

The Oneness of completion with the continual creative outpouring, that which is perfect, is not the end of created life, nor the cessation of change in the world, it is the Peace that comes to us as we allow life to flow freely through the centre of consciousness that we find to be at our core within the great unfolding universe. 

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All forms are fleeting and in continual flux.

To let go of attachment to all forms, is to allow the imperfect to pass away. All our holding on to form becomes imperfect because the creative spirit is a constant flux of renewal. Peace comes to us when we stand at the core of our Being, which is simultaneously the point of unknowing that allows the spirit to unfold freely.

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All creatures exist within the formless creative universe and the world of form simultaneously.
What we see is a mere fleeting glimpse of their reflection.
To see their true depths we first need to find our own true depths.

Everything we see, touch and, hear is an impression of the One consciousness interpreted by the mind as a series of objects and events. The source of life is the Eternal Presence: I Am – Being.  From out of Eternal Presence comes the continual outpouring of  creativity – Agape. This is the formless universe of Ideas which flows as the breath in great rhythmic pulses, sustaining the sea of  ever changing forms and ephemeral matter we call the Cosmos.

When you still and silence the mind, you become aware of this continual outpouring as living presence animating everything in existence.

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Every Creature is a revelation of the continual creative outpouring.

Universal Love is not the limited to human beings. Every creature is involved in the great revelation of Agape: each creature at first discerning its being as in a darkened mirror, but then realising the brilliant fullness of its beauty as an intimate expression of the whole universe – both visible and non-visible.

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This image of the Divine feminine is based on the Archetype of Mary – Magdalene. 

We are emerging consciousness in human form. To become Human – Being is our destiny; to look into the dark inner reaches of the cave of unknowing, is to begin to see the brilliance of the fullness of consciousness emerging out of the Great Cosmic womb. 

This is to be continually born anew in Eternal Presence, where we relinquish all identity with form. 

Through becoming consciousness itself you are At-One with that Presence.

You create no more suffering for yourself, for others, or the creatures of the natural world.

This is Agape.