Be the conscious breath

“Be still (become silent within – no mind) 
And know (as revelation)
The I that is Elohim (Presence – The Unity of Life).
Elohim will raise up (spiritually awaken) unconscious humanity.
Elohim exalts the whole created Earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (My translation from the Hebrew).
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What is the “I” that is Elohim?

The Hebrew letters Elohim are a meditation, and have always been mistranslated as God. But Elohim is not, and never has been, a deity. To experience the “I that is Elohim” directly is one of the most profound mystical teachings in the Bible.

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Take a conscious breath: be aware of the spine, let it be straight but not tense, with each conscious breath you are allowing the soles of the feet to connect with the Earth. Consciously connecting with the Earth, allowing it to support you, deepens the Presence in which the mind becomes still and silent.

Be aware, that as the spine relaxes, it elongates: you are allowing space between the vertebrae from the coccyx to the cranium. As you breathe out, be aware of the space before the in-breath, a pause that allows the breath to draw in naturally, without effort. As your shoulders and arms release tension, the chest opens, so that you feel space opening out from your centre, around the heart and solar-plexus.

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The Tree of Life showing the sacred geometry of life through the six directions of space. (Hand-drawn diagram from the book Patterns of Creation.)

Once you gain a deeper sense of inner stillness, become aware that Elohim – Presence -Unifying field of Life; Source of your Being – connects you with the whole of created existence.

This eternal Presence radiates from deep within you, through the six directions of space.

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This radiant Spirit is everywhere, in everything, the Source of all life.IMG_4512

From a greater awareness of life expressing itself in diversity on the Earth, become aware of your connection with the planets in the Solar system.
Earth and Moon - Hubble images

The Earth and its Moon exist in symbiotic relationship as part of the great dance of life.

Be aware of the central point of the Solar system – the Sun – and through the Sun, your connection with the galaxy and the entire Cosmos. Everything is alive, everything is being breathed into existence.
Sun showing Solar flares - Hubble images

What we view in the sky is the core of the Sun. We live within the radiant body of the Sun, our physical bodies are made from the energy of the Sun and other stars.

As you breathe in, bring this awareness back to the center within you, beyond body and mind, beyond form. As you release the breath, be aware of the formless creative Spirit that breathes you: be aware that you are being breathed.

Elohim is the timeless source of all life, out of which you are continually created. As your awareness of the I that is Elohim increases, the sense of  an egocentric “I” and “mine” begins to diminish.

Star birth cloud - Hubble imagesYou are the living breath of the Universe in human form.
Breathe consciously, allow the conscious breath to carry you on your journey through life, with, and as, the creative pulse of life.
The universe is breathing you, and when you are conscious of the Eternal timeless Presence, the I that is Elohim, the universal breath flows through you.
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Weekend Workshop at The Abbey Sutton Courtenay

Saturday the 19th and Sunday 20th of September 2015

  The Kabbalah

   Awakening to Unity

  with Stephen Pope

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

Kabbalah teaches that the spiritual dimension is not distant or separate. It is present within us right now, as the core of our being and the Essence of who we really are. Only our mind-made sense of separation and fear keep us from awakening to the direct experience of Unity and Peace with all life.

Patterns of Creation - book coverLike the mystics and shamans of every culture, as we awaken spiritually, we make the mystical, journeys of ascent into the formless heavenly realities, and descent into the life of the body and the natural world and know them both as aspects of the One Creation.

This weekend we will work with some of the most powerful gateways to spiritual awakening – expanding awareness through meditation and the conscious breath, awakening the vital energy of the body and connecting with the animal spirits and the living Earth.

From this comes true freedom, as we transcend the mind dominated by ego to know our Unity with all life and realize the Peace and Stillness of Sacred Presence at our core.

A practicing mystic in the Kabbalistic tradition for over thirty years and a meditation teacher for the past 20 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, June 2012. Is a radical and acclaimed exploration of the mystical teachings in the Gospel of John.

 10.00am Saturday – 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday                           

Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals   £165
You can join us for this companion Friday evening session as well  at a special price with two nights accommodation   £190

The Heart of the Wild

 7 – 9pm on Friday 18th September
with Eleanor O’Hanlon and Stephen Pope 

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The mystical and shamanic traditions teach that all life is conscious, interconnected and whole and we humans can commune with the spirits of minerals, plants, animals and the Earth itself. Western science and religious dogma broke that connection between humans and other life.

But now western science and shamanic teachings have begun to meet – many leading researchers in animal behaviour have come to see animals as conscious individuals that can choose to interact and commune with us.

Award-winning author Eleanor O’Hanlon speaks about this recent revolution and shares her own experiences of intimate connection with wild creatures from the desert elephants and rhinos of Namibia to the gray whales in Baja California. And with guided meditation, Stephen Pope takes us deeper into direct experience of inner connection with the animal spirits and the living Earth.

Eleanor O’Hanlon is a writer and conservationist. Her book Eyes of the Wild won the 2014 Nautilus Gold Award for Nature Writing. http:www.eyesofthewild.org

  £12 suggested donation for the Friday evening only 

All bookings through The Abbey Sutton Courtenay:

 The Abbey Sutton Courtenay, Oxon OX14 4AF 
Telephone: 01235 847 401 
Email: admin@theabbey.uk.com  
http://www.theabbey.uk.com              

Meditation on Conscious Communion

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Everything is Alive – everything is Conscious.

All the stars, planets, all of the minerals, plants and animals: All are creative life forms within the One sea of consciousness. All are expressions of the single conscious breath, behind which, Life is Still, Silent, timeless, Presence.

In biblical Hebrew Elohim (usually translated as God) expresses timeless Creative Presence.

As you read this now: Breathe with awareness, feel the spaciousness within connecting to all that appears as external to you.

אֱלֹהִים

Eternal – timeless – formless – Presence;

Formless movement out of the present moment; 

Conscious Breath of Life; 

Creative Potentiality, 

taking shape and form as the Great Ocean of Creative Space. 

Feel the stillness out of which the movement of the breath arises. 

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The Universe shines forth continuous creativity, and we bathe in its Brilliance. 

The Light of Consciousness.

The Sun blazes this same Cosmic Brilliance, a cell within the great Universal body.

The Earth is that Brilliance; 

All life forms are that Brilliance;

You are that Brilliance in Human form.

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Become conscious of the movement of your breath, anchoring you in Presence.

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A Blue Whale on a rolling breath, Loreto, Baja California, Mexico.

You are a point of consciousness within multiple fields of consciousness that interpenetrate each other: A multi-dimentional being within a multi-dimentional Universe.

When you realise the formless unity of all these fields of consciousness you share life with, you partake in conscious communion.

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You are connected to a vast web of life, from sub atomic particles to the Earth itself. You are connected to the Solar system and the Stars of the Galaxy, to the depths of the Cosmos.

Planet-earthAll that we experience through the physical senses is the surface of things. 

Breathe consciously and feel the aliveness opening out beneath the surface.

As you go within, following the conscious breath, you enter a multi-dimensional creative Universe, obscured by the compulsive thinking of the egoic mind.

The intense aliveness within you is met by the intensity of aliveness in all that appears to the mind as the external Universe.

The call To Be in immediate Presence brings Peace and Inspiration into the World.

This is your gift to all Life.

Subject and object diminish into the One Conscious Communion of Life.

The Essence of Life

2014-10-01 06.49.30This blog post is inspired by a walking meditation in forested mountains on the Mediterranean island of Corsica.

Meditation in the Forest.

Through the conscious breath I felt a deepening connection with the underlying Spirit of Life.

On the surface of things, Life is not meant to be easy, the struggle for life means death is ever present: the continual creative upwelling demands intense awareness from the life forms inhabiting the Earth. 

Alert awakened Presence is the cutting edge of continual renewal, as the essence of Life shapes the manifest World.

In the intense Presence of Life – beneath the appearance of things – everything is known 

to be One.

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In reflecting Conscious Presence, inner and outer dissolve into One: There is no other. That which Is the underlying formless source of external reality, is felt, and known, to be within.

Beneath the different forms of multiple movements lies the great Ocean of formless fluidity, Ha-Main in Hebrew, potent life force, fluid space allowing all things to be in existence, to interact, one with another, to transform from one form into another.

Each life form has its time before it dissolves to be reborn anew.

 הַמַּיִם

Ha Maim – the Waters of Life.

Nothing is separate; the beholding consciousness meets that of the conscious whole. All our mind-made divisions resolve into One breath.

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The 11th century German Mystic Hildegard of Bingen spoke of the intense Greenness of Life as the expression of God’s Presence.

In ancient Hebrew the expression of the intensity of Life is found in the words, Ani El Shaddai. These words point to the reality that is the foundation of the Abundant Life of the natural World. Usually mistranslated as “I am Almighty God”, its meaning is much deeper:- 

אֲנִי־אֵל שַׁדַּי

 Ani – El Saddai

I – the One, the all nourishing essence of Life.

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אֲנִי

Ani – The I of consciousness – Being – The Real,

Still, Presence.

Be Still and breathe with awareness of the life force within you.

The physical Universe continually emerges out of intense alert Presence.

אֵל

El -No-thing, Being, source of the continual flow of Life; the creative dance- every movement emerging out of, and supported by Stillness.

The potency and potential of every emergent life form.

שַׁדַּי

Shaddai; all nourishing abundance, the vivifying fire, the breath of cosmic motion; the feminine breasts – to nourish its progeny into evolving, ever changing, diversifying life.

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With Her foot resting upon a skull – She symbolises the still centre, beyond the cycles of life and death.

El-Shaddai: The power of Life that underlies nature, the planetary being, the solar system, the galaxy and the universe, continually breathes life into every form.

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To Breathe with awareness is to begin to engage fully with life – to meet consciousness with consciousness.

  When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

 The realisation of non-dualuality, each movement unified by awareness of stillness. 

 Universal Creativity revealed in consciousness beholding itself.

The Kingdom of Heaven

IMG_3261The Kingdom of Heaven is Present within you here, now.

The spiritual teachings contained in the Bible can be summed up by this simple phrase.

When you are Present with all your attention, and all thinking subsides, you begin to glimpse the reality sustaining every form of Life.

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Clarity emerges from No-Mind Consciousness; Alert, Still, Presence.

Where is the Kingdom of Heaven?

You cannot say here it is or there it is.

Once the mind stops looking for something that stands out as if it were a distinct place you have to search for, reach or find, you begin to see, hear and feel the formless creative presence of life, the Essence of the visible universe. At first this awareness is so subtle that it goes almost unnoticed. Yet, it is here as potent reality within you now; that which the mind cannot grasp, own, or contain, the transcendent beauty that brings a deep sense of Peace.

IMG_3062Heaven and Earth – the formless universe and the universe of forms – are intimately intertwined as lovers who behold the One in each other.

To enter the Kingdom of Heaven is to become still, silent – no thought, no mind, just an alert awareness, the realisation that all forms in what appears as the external world are transparent, an empty fullness, an unfathomable beauty, the pressure of creative life seeking to be consciously known within you.

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Allow all thoughts to flow through your attentive awareness, without following the stream – just be the witness seeing that all thoughts are transient, continually arising and dissolving.

Letting go of thoughts and emotions is the beginning of freedom. The ego, the person, becomes transparent, there is nothing you need, to be who you are. This is to enter the place of Peace.

In the language of the Bible this is to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. However as the mind notices the deepening Peace and beauty, it begins to label and conceptualize it as a “spiritual”  experience. The essence underlying all forms of Life appers to vanish, obscured as the mind resumes its chatter. And we think the the Heavenly realm is gone, that we have lost it.

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Practice being consciously present with simple and seemingly small things. Witness Universal Consciousness within the tiniest flower, feel the Abundance of Creative Life.

To regain a sense of Presence: Be Still and alert: breathe with awareness: feel the aliveness in the spinal cord, in the arms and legs, in the heart, and the deep centre of the skull, flowing into and out of every cell in your body: As the awakened Soul, engage with the Spirit of Life flowing into and sustaining all things.

Every creative Idea, every creative act comes from this point of conscious stillness within the heart. All subject – object relating diminishes into the realisation that all is One.

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Dwelling in Peace – gratitude for the aliveness and infinite beauty manifest as the World.

The Kingdom of Heaven is dynamic potential of every living thing.

Continual change, yet underneath never-changing.

The Kingdom of Heaven – Malkut Ha Shamaim in Hebrew – Is Here within you Now, as it is within every form of Life. 

It is not something you need to wait for, or somewhere you will go to if you believe in a story, or follow a set of rules.

Heaven and Earth are a seamless garment of non-duality: the real and the appearance of that eternal reality within the One consciousness.

 

Entering the Place of Peace – September 2014 Weekend 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.” (From Patterns of Creation.)

Weekend workshop Saturday the 27th and Sunday 28th of September 2014 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 focuses on finding Inner Peace. In Kabbalah Peace is understood as the core of who we are, synonymous with Presence, and the stillness of Being. From inner Peace we realise our intimate connection to the whole of life, to all that exists in nature and the entire Universe.

Inner Peace, is the end of all of our projections: it equates with true love, which means no enemies and marks the end of all our unconscious destructive behaviour towards the natural world.

During the weekend we will work with meditation, contemplation, conscious breathing and the energy field of the body to reconnect with the Place of Peace within each of us. From this awareness comes true freedom, as we experience these profound spiritual truths for ourselves and move beyond the mind dominated by ego into the stillness and the peace of Presence at the core.

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. 

10.00am Saturday -­‐ 4.00pm Sunday, including evening session on Saturday £165. Please book in advance. Price includes accommodation and all meals. You have the option of arriving on Friday for the evening seminar, The Peace of Wild Things. Join us for both with two nights accommodation for £190

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

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

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.

 

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.

NASA Earth observation website photo

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.

Deep Space countless galaxies - Hubble telescope

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.