Awakening to the Tree of Life

You are the Tree of Life in human form, a microcosmic reflection of the Universe. To begin to realise this is to consciously inhabit your body, and to live within awareness of non-duality. 

artwork by Melissa Martinez called Getting to know the Tree of Life, sacred geometry.

This wonderful artwork by Melissa Martinez called Getting to know… Tree of Life, Sacred Geometry – utilizing the hand-drawn diagram below from the book Patterns of Creation, depicts beautifully the inner reality of the Tree of Life. Every Woman and Man is a Tree of Life – a microcosm of the Universe in human form.

Tree of Life

Hand-drawn diagram of The Tree of Life. From the book Patterns of Creation. Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John.

The word for tree in ancient Hebrew is Etz. This word is deeply significant and has three profound meanings. It signifies firstly the totality of multi-dimensional life, in all its beauty and diversity: The World Tree, consciousness beholding consciousness through the diversity of everything that exists.

The second meaning is spinal cord. This takes us beyond the vertebrae and the skeletal structure of the physical body. It refers to the central axis of your entire spiritual, physical and psychological being, your vitality, right down to the cellular level. 

The third meaning is “building blocks” – the building blocks of life, not only that which is visible and tangible, but the deep underlying structures at the cellular and atomic levels.

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The Tree of Life is not a theory, something to believe in, or that needs to be endlessly discussed. It is our spiritual reality, our wholeness, connecting us directly with the life of the physical body, and the life of the Earth and all our fellow creatures.

To truly realise Etz Ha-Haim – The Tree of Life – bring all of your attention to this abundant vitality of life within. This vitality has its source in the formless Spiritual dimension at your core, and continually creates your mind and body, out of the timeless Present Moment.

Sit or stand quietly and breathe with awareness, breathing from the base of the spine so that the breath deepens naturally.

Enjoy the feelings of increasing aliveness, following the breath as it enters and leaves the body. Through each conscious breath you are connecting with the vitality of Life – both inner and outer – in all its magnificent diversity. From here you enter space without thought, simply being present. img_0795

Through conscious breathing, and enjoying the vitality that continually creates and sustains the body, the mind becomes still.  Silent space opens within; inner and outer merge, are realised as One.
Through the practice of the Conscious Breath of Life, realisation comes that you are a multi-dimentional being, connected to every living thing in the natural world, the solar system, and the Cosmos.

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“You are a Tree of Life, a living vine, connected to all that is unfolding in the natural world, the solar system and stars. You have within you the water and the wine, and beyond these symbols of form and Spirit, the light of consciousnes that continually gives birth to, and sustains, Creation.” From the book Patterns of Creation. Logos and the Tree of Life in the Gospel of John.

At your heart, you are rooted in the Eternal Present – I Am, timeless Now – out of which everything is created, formed and made into the life of the Cosmos.

The Tree of Life represents the still and silent spaciousness out of which the creativity of Universal Life continually emerges. This is always accessible to you. It is only through identification with the thought forms in the unobserved mind that you lose connection with timeless creative space. With its addiction to drama and crisis, the unobserved mind is always trying to make one problem after another. Then the spiritual dimension seems remote and inaccessible, and you feel disconnected from life.

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As you practice conscious breathing, movement and speaking in daily life, you open the possibility to consciously choose to be free from the collective and individual negative thought forms that torment us, and drain our life. Breathing and being present in all the little things of daily life, through all these seemingly insignificant routines and gestures, gives back the freedom of creative space.

Then you realize that in reality creative space has never left you. You are the Tree of Life in human form.

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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.
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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.
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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.

The Light of Consciousness.

Life is sacred, the Natural World is a reflection of the One Consciousness that permeates the Solar system, Galaxy, and Cosmos. This abundant flow of creativity gives rise to and sustains every living thing.

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Every moment of every day we are surrounded by intense beauty, which blazes forth from everything that appears to us as the external world. To feel this intense depth of life, become consciously present to this same lifeforce welling up from deep within you.

How can we cut ourselves off from the Earth that sustains our physical life?

How can we cut ourselves off from space, the solar system and the stars, that sustain our life, and through which we journey when we leave our physical body, and return to our spiritual home that is not built of matter but of what we experience through the physical senses as light?

IMG_3828Many years ago, I began to experience the Light of Consciousness, just as my life opened out, and I moved to the beautiful mountainous area of North Wales on the edge of the Snowdonia national park. In this elemental place, this Presence grew stronger in me. I lived where mountains sloped down to meet the sea, and the constant changing light and sunsets melted into the open horizon.

2014-10-13 09.53.17There I began to experience the essence of life behind the thin veil of physicality, in the living rock, in the woodlands and forests with their flowers, birds, animals and insects, and in the rivers and waterfalls swelling the abundance of life. I began to feel how all physical existence comes out of light, and how light shapes and holds all the diverse beauty of the natural world. 

2014-10-14 04.31.16Light is consciousness of Being made manifest in the Cosmos. The Light of Consciousness lives and breathes the rhythms and cycles of planets and stars, and they give life to the Earth in all its diversifying forms. Constant movement and change held by the still silence, that is the essence of life.

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connected to all that is unfolded in the Vast Cosmos,

the Solar System, and the Natural World.

Breathe and be Present to the vitality of Life flowing through you: This is the Love of Elohim. 

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Depiction of the Tree of Life, within the Vesica Piscis. The diagram comes from the book Patterns of Creation.

 This post is an extract from the Book Patterns of Creation.

Easter 2015 Retreat in Southern France: Practicing Conscious Presence

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The Birth of Spiritual Consciousness

  Spiritual Consciousness begins as a seed within the heart of every Woman and Man.2014-10-11 23.38.18

This is the Birth of  creative potentiality within, which takes place when you become Conscious of Being Conscious. This is  spiritual awakening. It means you are no longer identified with your thoughts. The mind is silenced and you are aware of the spacious stillness within.

The seed of spiritual awakening is carried on the Conscious Breath.

The Seed of Life

The Seed of Life – the six directions of Space.

The seed of consciousness comes from the depths of who you really are. It exists as creative potential wihtin you now. For it to blossom, open, grow and bear fruit, you need to give it conscious space.

As you read this now, feel the space within you. Feel the aliveness of the energy field that continually manifests your body.

Feel the aliveness of the breath entering the body, entering every cell in your body.

The birth of Cosmic Consciousness is not someting abstract. The beginning is here, within you, now. You know, without thinking, that everything is alive; inner and outer are connected, continually emerging out of the formless, timeless One.

The Seed of Consciousness becomes a Great Tree. 

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Life is a Cosmic Event and the Cosmos is the visible surface of muti-dimensional space in which creation continually occurs. Life on Earth is inseparable from the creativity of the Cosmos.

Evolution is the continual creative change in the single multidimensional being we call the Earth.  Our planet is evolving along with the Solar System, which is the fruit of the Tree of Cosmic Consciousness: The Tree of Life. 

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Artistic representation of the Geometric Tree of Life – from the Madīnat az-Zahrā, Cordoba, Spain. 10th Century.

You are a Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life – depicted by the illuminated Minorah – symbolising the energy centres within you that give life to your mind and body.

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You are the light of consciousness.

The light that animates spirit, that illuminates soul, that breathes every form you inhabit, into existence.

Spiritual consciousness is already here, within you now.

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The sacred geometric pattern that forms the Tree of Life:  Sephardi synagogue, Cordoba, Spain.

 As awareness of the formless I of Being increases, the illusory i of the ego diminishes: You realise your connection with every living thing, on the Earth, in the Solar system and ultimately, the multi-dimensional Universe.

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life gives birth to multiple flowers of Life – you are a Tree in human form. (Tree of Life diagram, from my book Patterns of Creation.)

The Flower of Life

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life: I Am that I Am: the continual creation of life from out of the Eternal Presence of God: When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

The Flower of Life:
Creation continually emerges from out of  Eternal Presence: When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

The Flower of Life is the fulfilment of the Universal potential in you, which grows out of the death of the ego.

This brings to an end to the illusion that you are a separate self within a vast, empty universe.

The universe is alive with splendour, full of potential and intimately here, now, breathing through you, bringing you to birth on every breath.

Awakening

 

Patmos

Sunrise from the Cave of the Revelation, former Temple to the Goddess Artemis, Grikos beach, Patmos, Greece.

Spiritual awakening is not personal; it is freedom from all ego identity and its resultant suffering. Spiritual awakening is part of the collective awakening of humanity, the evolving consciousness of the life of the Earth, the Solar System and Stars, and the Cosmos itself. In Conscious Presence you come to Know that everything is alive, and that everything is connected. 

Dawn on the sea of Galilee

The Sun rises above the Jordanian Hills to shine upon the sea of Galilee. In mystical teachings the Sun walks upon the waters of Life, it’s non-visible Light -the essence of all Life – greets and enters the awakening heart.

The dawn light is always present on the Earth.

The Seed of Life

Healing begins as a Seed of Life deep within our inner Space.

Awakening illuminates all of the pain that we carry within us. The pain that you feel is not only personal, your pain is linked to the human collective pain and suffering which have accumulated over thousands of years.

To feel our emotions is an essential part of healing: realising wholeness. Even more important is to feel the stillness of space underlying and surrounding our emotions so that we don’t become identified with our emotional body. The mind will quickly turn powerful emotions into ego identities, unless we bring them into conscious presence: the intense aliveness that cries out from every cell in the body; and beyond that, the stillness that brings peace.

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life: I Am that I Am: the continual creation of life from out of the Eternal Presence of God: When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life:
When we breathe with awareness, opening the heart, we access the universal creative pattern of life.

Breathing from the heart and solar plexus stills the mind, and brings awareness to the aliveness of the spinal cord. Awakening to the vibrant aliveness of the spine through the conscious breath, you feel life flowing through the arms into the hands, and through the legs into the feet, and the opening of the Pineal gland at the top of the spine – behind the forehead.

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Movement and Stillness in water and stone. Underlying all movement is Still Presence, unnoticed until we still the mind. The still mind is empty of thought, yet full of alert awareness.

Holding still, thought-free, space for a few seconds during quiet moments throughout your day, calms the emotions and allows all the thought forms that cling to the ego identity to begin to dissolve.

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Allow your inner Being to open and blossom.

Allow yourself moments of freedom from thought throughout the day.

Be Still and move from there. Be silent and speak from there.

Meditation

Presence is the essence of all sentient life that surrounds you, and is within you at all times and in all places. 

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Your ability to feel Presence begins when you notice openings in the continual stream of thinking. These are doorways into the timeless. The timeless moment opens out like a flower filling you with its essence, without any need for thinking.

To enter the deeper dimension that is present within you, here, now, requires no mind, no thoughts, just an alert, inner awareness.

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The practice of Meditation means To Be receptive to Life (Kabbalah in Hebrew): as you bring your attention fully into the present moment, you become rooted in the timeless. The mind becomes still. In this stillness, you realise your connection with Creative Presence.

The Bible calls this entering the Kingdom of Heaven – a deepening revelation of potent creativity in the present moment. This takes us beyond belief, and all identification with spiritual philosophies and religious creeds, into the formless One.

You realise the formless, timeless essence as the core of who you are; the core of everyone and everything.

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Every moment spent in Presence creates gaps in the thought streams of the mind, that open out into deeper awareness that permeates through you.

Once you are able to observe the egoic mind, even fleetingly, you notice how it seeks to fill inner space with thoughts and emotionally charged forms or identities, which draw you back into unconsciousness. Although it is a real challenge, your ability to become, and then remain, present, so that you can observe this return to the ordinary mind, is the beginning of the end of their power over you.  

It is important not to fight the ego; this simply strengthens it. Your attention in the present moment, without judgement, dissolves all past thought forms that cause division and depression, and all future imaginings that cause compulsive needs and anxiety.

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Practicing meditation by being still before doing or saying anything brings the spiritual dimension into your daily life. In this clear space, subject and object separation is diminished. Realising you are an integral part of the interconnectivity of all life on Earth and in the Cosmos brings Peace: your body loves this connectivity and is invigorated by it, the senses open out, the incredible depth and fullness of life reveals itself to you. And then you know that Heaven and Earth are One.

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The senses fill to overflowing, 

enlivened in your awakening,

wordless inner knowing,

a trusting,

you are supported by the universe,

and everything connected,

flows in and out of you as Conscious Breath.

 

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

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.