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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Meditation on Bereshith – Creativity

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Meditation at Sunset, Namibian 2015

Bereshith

בְּרֵאשִׁית

These six Hebrew ciphers (letter-numbers) that form Bereshith open the Torah. They are a profound meditation on creation and creativity.

Bereshith is a meditation on the creativity of a multi-dimensional Universe; the creativity of the totality of Life.

All creativity, and the universal creation, take place here, in this moment, now. 

From out of silent stillness, all movement – space-time – continually emerges, becoming multiplicity of forms that continually pass away into the formless essence from whence they came.

Behind the continual emergence of form is great power, beyond anything that the mind can conceive.  Creativity, the continual creation of life is within you, in every conscious breath that you take.  

You are the universal song of life in human form, the great dance in all of its potential.

IMG_5461When you still the mind, and in that inner silence, feel this reality within you, it appears to you as the essence of every form, dancing around you, and you feel that same dance within you.

IMG_5615Bereshith is the Eternal Present Moment out of which Creativity continually emerges, to become what the mind experiences as form and matter.

Beneath the Surface there is no object – only a communion of subjects.

IMG_5616In Bereshith all subject object relationships dissolve into union.

hs interacting galaxy pairIn Bereshith both past and future are consumed into the Presence of The Now. Every creative act takes place in the Present Moment, which is timeless, formless, space.

When you breathe consciously, with awareness of the universal life force that manifests your mind and body, you are entering that Eternal Presence, the Essence of every form of Life.

This meditation can only convey something of what the Hebrew letters of Bereshith point to. If you would like to further explore the depth of meaning contained in the Hebrew letters, you can read my other post on Bereshith here.

Or contact me directly through this site.

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.

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 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 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.

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

Jacob’s Ladder

“Within every human is Being: total Presence. Absolute consciousness, stillness, silence, and peace can all be used to describe that which Is.” (from the book Patterns of Creation.)

In Biblical Hebrew these teachings are put into story form, where the emerging consciousness is symbolised by the names of people and places.

Jacob's ladder by Albert Huthusen

The “dream” of Jacob, in which the awakening Soul encounters Eternal Presence.  (Jacob’s ladder by Albert Huthusen)

Jacob – Symbol of the Awakening Soul

In the story of Jacob, the awakening Soul leaves Beer-Sheba (In Hebrew, the seven springs) and journeys to Haran (In Hebrew, a meeting of ways, crossroads,  to burn or glow, and to be freeborn).

The Seed of Life

The Seed of Life, called the seven, springs, or seven wells – Beer-Sheba – in Biblical Hebrew.

In Biblical symbolism, to journey is to encounter greater consciousness.

On this journey of inner ascent, Jacob – the awakening Soul – encounters a place of deep stillness. This point within the Soul is described as an upwelling of abiding strength: a place of Brilliance (Light), emanating out of a timeless Presence which the Soul realises as its source and foundation.

The Light of Consciousness.

The Hebrew word shemesh is usually translated as “the Sun”.  A deeper meaning is “Brilliance” meaning; the Light of Consciousness, abundant, timeless Presence.

The Hebrew text says that, Jacob lays down to die in this established place of HaHoa, the breath of life. 

Hoa –  one of the Divine Names – means Breath of Life in Hebrew.

Jacob's Dream – El sueño de Jacob (1639) by José de Ribera, at the Museo del Prado, Madrid

Jacob’s Awakening is mis-translated as sleep. The Hebrew word shakab means to lie down to die. This is the death of the ego, in which the Soul dies to the sense of being a separate entity in the universe.                                                                (Jacob’s Dream –  by José de Ribera, 1639.)

Jacob encounters the Inner Presence of Elohim in the exaltation of conscious Presence.

Presence – I AM consciousness – dissolves the personality until there is just enough to function in the world. The personal self is realised as a dream, and becomes transparent so that Presence shines through. This brings to an end all needless suffering and limitation.

Patmos

The cave of the Revelation or unveiling of Presence, on the Island of Patmos.

To feel the aliveness of the boundless Presence of Life requires no thought.

Breathing deeply with awareness whilst feeling the energy field of the inner body as intensely as you can creates space.

The ego does not like Presence and will complain and try to distract you.

Practicing conscious breathing, is the  beginning of freedom from identity with thought forms; the beginning of the end of the small self of the ego.

This reveals Presence – called Hoa and Elohim in the Hebrew text of Jacob’s Ladder – the source, out of which all life forms continually arise. 

(A fuller translation of the story of Jacob from the Hebrew is available in the book Patterns of Creation.

Awakening to Inner Space

Meditation and spiritual practice are not separate from your daily life.

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Arriving at the river each day is to greet the world anew.
No life form remains the same.
Underneath the flow of life is the Peace of Presence, the space that allows each form To Be.

Life, meditation and prayer are realised as One, no thoughts or words are necessary only your lucid attention in the present moment.

Awakening to inner space

The Hebrew for the formless Spirit is Ruwach, which can be translated as “expansive creative space,” and “the movement of the breath or the wind.” It is within you now giving you life. (From the book Patterns of Creation.)

The Human Spirit is intimately connected to the whole of life. To live as Ruwach is to be free of identification with any form whist living fully within the universe of forms. 

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Ruwach, the formless Spirit, can only be known by being fully conscious to Life which means being open to the constant renewal of forms.
Awakening to the Peace of Presence, there is no resistance to the continual flow of new life.

Living Creativity

Creativity continually emerges out of unknowing: formless, non-conceptualized space – no-thing that we can say is anything – allowing every possible possibility to emerge in the play of forms.

Creative inner space emerges out of the Quiet Still Presence within you, and allows the application of all of your learnt skills without interference from the compulsive thinking of the unobserved mind.

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As awareness of creative space grows, identification with the ego diminishes, dissolving the compulsive thought forms that cause fear, anxiety, anger and depression.

Ruwach – Spirit of Life – is fullness of life, animating every form.

 Eternal Life continually creates all things new, and is present within you now.

IMG_1098Creativity continually arrises out of intense Presence.

In Hebrew this is, Bereshith Bara Elohim Et Ha Shamaim Vey Et Ha Eretz.

Bereshith Bara Elohim Et Ha Shamaim Vey Et Ha Eretz.

This can be translated as:

The creation of all life continually emerges out of Elohim; Being – Eternal Presence, in the Here – Now:

As Heaven (formless creative Spirit) and Earth (all the forms of the Cosmos):

Heaven and Earth are intimately intertwined as One Creation. 

(my translation of the opening lines of Genesis)

 

 

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.