Meditation in the Cave of Mary Magdalene at Winter Solstice

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The Cave of Mary Magdalene is set high in the cliff face beneath the rising Sun. According to legend, Mary Magdalene dwelt here in this Cave as a teacher and healer for thirty years.

The Cave of Mary Magdalene, high up in the side of a Provencal mountain, is a doorway into sacred space. It symbolizes the doorway which exists within you now, between the outer and inner Life. In Hebrew the name Magdalene means inner strength, and the protective space in which creativity can take place. The space of conscious meeting for formless spirit and universal formation.

The figure of Mary Magdalene represents the feminine consciousness within us all, both women and men, that desires to be fully alive, to awaken to our true nature, and realize our creative potential.

IMG_2663To enter within your innermost Self, listen with your whole body. Hear the silence, and the songs arising out of that timeless silence. Breathe consciously, and feel the still Presence out of which creative life is continually arising, as this moment, now.

Breathe with the Sun and the Earth, breathe with the forests and the Oceans. Breathe with the stars in the night sky.

Through engendering Love, compassion, and empathy in the human collective, parasitical thought forms from the egocentric mind cannot pollute or drain life from the world around us, nor destroy the new born spiritual awakening which is now taking root in the New Humanity.

Despite the negativity that we see and hear through politics and the media, there has never been a greater opportunity to awaken to the beauty of the universal consciousness that flows through every living thing, and that is available for us to step into right now, wherever we are.

IMG_2617This potential to awaken to the Bright Light of the Spirit is within the heart of every Woman and Man. It is a rebirth that takes us into the intensity of Life in the present moment.

The intense creative Presence of the fullness of life is timeless, calling us to awaken and join with the rest of creation in shared abundance: in a greater community where we join with all of our fellow species as companions.IMG_2544

To take this path is not avoidance of the human world, and all of the unnecessary suffering that so much psychological ignorance is causing at this time. Spirituality is not a way of enhancing the ego, making you richer and more successful or a better person than others. Spiritual awakening is to be inclusive, to consciously embrace multi-dimensional and diversifying Life, and live this Life fully.

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To enter within the depths of the human Spirit is to leave behind the baggage of mental noise, to leave our stories, histories and narratives about who we are and what we need.

Be still and enter the contemplative silence of no-mind: the suspension of all thought. Be conscious that the spiritual dimension is here within you now, in your breath and in your blood.

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It is only the unobserved mind and all its compulsive thought forms that separates us from the Malkut HaShamaim.

Malkut HaShamaim is translated as the Kingdom of Heaven. In Hebrew it means the formless Source of dynamic infinite potential, the unified field of every possible form of Life, beyond all our conceptions of time and space.

IMG_2687In Kabbalah this Source is sometimes called the Brilliance of Life: Bahir and Zohar are Hebrew words which seek to express the inner Fire – the essence of all Life, Source of every Woman and Man, and every living thing.

The essence of Kabbalah is to receive Life, which means to still the mind and become silent within. This creates a conscious vessel, a sacred space which receives the fire of life, and the realisation of connection to the abundance of this multi-dimensional universe, which is always here, now.

Love is another word for Consciousness, and it has no opposite. Love is a state of non-duality, where we cannot hate or be indifferent, cannot hide or lie, nor be afraid of and seek to control Life.

IMG_2632We are One with all that the mind interprets as the outside world

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When you are consciously present the whole universe can be felt as alive within you.

Mary Magdalene is the feminine face of fully realized Humanity, called Christ consciousness in biblical Greek. In the external world, she appears to have lost everything. She is an exile, a refugee, a woman who has witnessed the worst of human cruelty, the beginning of the war that will lay waste to her homeland. Yet she has found the certainty of the spiritual universe within herself, she lives and breathes it and teaches it to those around her.

We all have this same ability to connect with the spiritual universe and this opportunity is open to us now. It is not a future that we need to wait for.

When we choose to be present, we are joining the greater community of life. This means we are no longer enslaved by, the unconscious human mind. Our first step to true liberation and peace is realizing that we can step outside of the unobserved human mind, see the madness of the human world and not be overwhelmed by it. You too can tap into this creative spiritual dimension that frees you, by becoming conscious now. And if not now, when?

 

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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.

2014-10-14 05.06.46You are a Tree of Life rooted in the Stillness of the One,

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.

Everything is Connected

Everything is connected and comes from one formless, timeless, Source.

We can call this Eternal Presence.

In Biblical Hebrew this is expressed in the meditation Ehieh Asher Ehieh, the mantra on the conscious breath – 

אֶֽהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶֽהְיֶה

Usually translated I Am that I Am.

This I Am has nothing to do with the persona or ego, which is the identification with mind-made images, our thoughts and emotions, both personal and in the human collective. 

Ehieh Asher Ehieh takes us deeper, beyond the thinking mind.

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Be still, be consciously receptive, and in the silence of no-mind, come to know Eternal Conscious Presence.

As you read this now, breathe consciously, feel the aliveness in your hands, in your feet, your arms and legs, and in your whole body, in every cell of your body. Feel the aliveness in your spinal cord connecting spirit and body into a unified whole.

You are one with the Source of all Life. 

This is not a thought or a concept, it is beyond the comprehension of the mind.

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From the conscious breath and the awakening to the aliveness in the body, realise there are two movements of the universe.

The inward towards stillness deep within the heart, and the outward into form and diversity of the One.

Practice the embodiment of the inward and outward movements of the breath throughout your day, this frees you from identification with thoughts and brings you into spacious Presence.

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Ehieh is the still, silent space that allows the light of consciousness to shine through. This is an awakening in which consciousness becomes aware of itself – as itself: there is no subject – object, no duality, no other to be sought after.

Know that you are given life in this moment now, that you are continually supported by the One universal consciousness – Ehieh Asher Ehieh.

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Be present, here, now, with all your attention. 

This Presence will flow into all that you do and say – no more fear and anxiety, no more competitive actions or harsh words.

This is true Peace. 

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              

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.

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.

 

Awakening

 

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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.

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.