New Thought

Author interview: What does meditation feel like?

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I have this friend who is really, really happy. Her name is Leta Hamilton. She’s a channel, an author, and a mom of four–and the perfect person to grill for answers about life. Her books include The Way of the Toddler and a four-book series called 100 Daily Messages.

Here, our question-and-answer series continues.

Me: People describe the feeling of meditation in different ways. For some, it’s just relaxation. For me, it’s slightly increased peace–a bit of space between myself and my neurotic mind. What does meditation feel like to you?

Leta: When I meditate, I see myself as the vast universe. I feel a hugeness from the inside out that can only be described as vast empty space. When I see a photo of the universe, of galaxies and the lights emerging from them, the colors they display, I feel that is the best description, visually speaking, of what I feel inwardly as I meditate.

I feel the whole universe is the space of my inner self.

This feeling is cherished and it is why I return to meditation again and again. Even when I have moments without meditation (without that feeling of vastness from the inside out), I remember it and return to it. Whether I am in the kitchen, car or store, I return to the vastness I feel when I am in meditation. Maybe that explains why I maintain the notion that meditation is more than just sitting with eyes closed and legs crossed. It is any time the feeling of vastness comes over me.

Me: Are you able to feel this anytime, even when you’re not alone?

It is harder to accomplish in the company of others. When I am with others, I am pulled back into the world and the illusion of separation. I am pulled into the physicality present in our form-sense orientation. I am reminded of my humanness when I am with others. This is not a bad thing in and ofitself. However, I desire the balance of isolation as well to accompany it. I desire my own time without having to speak to another soul as much as I desire human interaction, love, friendship, and all the things intertwined with human-experiencing.

So I only have this to say: meditate. Breathe. Give back to society in whatever way you can. Volunteer. Think about others in everything you do. Lose yourself happily, because you are seeking nothing. Nothing means no-thing. Give yourself permission not to have goals–to have the goal of loving what is every moment.

That is the most awesome goal of all.

Vision boards, the law of attraction, bringing into your reality what you visualize/hold in your mind, etc., are part of the game of living on earth and they have their place, but I am more interested in being the galaxy and all the galaxies. I am more interested in returning to that place of great big BIG-ness that I feel when I meditate.

It must be a rush of endorphins or whatever brain chemicals rush through my skull that cause me to be so drawn to that meditative state. It is pure bliss and it comes whenever I am focused, steady and silent in my Self. It comes whenever I tell it to, but that is after years of practice.

Love.

Leta

***

For more from Leta, and more from me on meditation, get The Power of Acceptance: One Year of Mindfulness and Meditation on Amazon.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

Author interview: Is everything really just a projection of ourselves? Even the mean stuff people do?

In the world of mysticism and New Agey-type spirituality, it’s become a bit of a cliche: Everything we see, everything we experience, is merely ourselves, reflected back at us. We are here to discover who we really are, say our Buddhist teachers (like the great Pema Chodron) and our channels (like Esther Hicks, Jane Roberts and many others). This is supposed to make us feel better when things go wrong, I suppose; it’s not really happening, right?

But that isn’t the only reason we appreciate this teaching. We also like it because it gives us a sense of control. In his awesome pop psychology bestseller, What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, David DiSalvo tells us about the human mind’s neurotic need for certainty and understanding–even in the face of very few facts.

Knowing what’s really going on at all times–with ourselves and everyone around us–is a major driving force of our actions and thoughts, he writes. There is a distinct physical and chemical pleasure response from coming up with a reason or explanation–no matter how accurate that explanation may be.

Enter all kinds of false conclusions. We even assign meaning to pure coincidence, making causal inferences from scant information.

And in Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, Professor of Behavioral Economics Dan Ariely agrees.

So in a sense, believing the world is a projection of our own minds is a pretty attractive scenario. If I can change my mind, I can change my life, we conclude. Who doesn’t want that kind of power?

However, there’s a flip side to this perceived super power, a quandary to consider: What about when something goes wrong? Who do we blame when someone is truly mean, truly heinous, truly inconsiderate, truly . . . well, wrong?

Hmmmm . . . . That’s a hard one, isn’t it?

Clearly, your partner was not being nice when he told you he’d rather spend a night out with the guys than with you. Obviously, your mother should never suggest you go on a diet, and your sister is unfair to expect you to babysit her kids every week.

I mean, let’s face it: It’s one thing to believe in theory that everything that happens is a just projection of ourselves. It’s another thing entirely to act like we believe it, to truly believe that we’re the only ones responsible for our reality.

Some law of attraction followers have a code word for what happens when things go wrong. They call it “co-creation.” They think that even enlightened people experience bad stuff on occasion (in other words, even Esther Hicks gets sick). This is because, well, we’re not really the only ones out here on this plane of reality. And some, but not all, of the out-there stuff affects us.

We’re all in this thing together.

Another explanation, which I like even better, comes from a lesser-known but equally awesome teacher named Matt Kahn. (Get a free long excerpt of his book, Whatever Arises, Love That, here.) Kahn says that when bad stuff happens, it’s not because you didn’t create or visualize right; it’s because there’s some serious work going on inside you. The idea is similar to the Buddhist idea of working out one’s karma. (See Kahn’s video, “The Karmic Return,” for more.)

For quite a while, I accepted these explanations, and in fact I still do–partly. I do believe (for now, anyway) that there really are other people out there, and that those other people are actually doing things. If reality is a projection, I think it’s a collective one.

However, there’s another layer to this idea that I only recently truly discovered. And the teacher that led me to it was Byron Katie.

Here is Katie’s take on the topic in a nutshell. She says that it’s not that so-called “bad” stuff never happens to enlightened or “advanced” people. (She probably gets her disproportionate share of hate mail, for example, due to her nobody-is-a-victim philosophy.) But when you know that a comment just isn’t true, that comment doesn’t feel truly mean to you anymore. Instead, it just feels like pain. It feels like an angry child is speaking to you, someone who doesn’t understand you–someone who’s hurt and afraid.

So the question she asks is, How can people ever really be mean to you, if you’re never, ever mean to yourself?

I would really, really love for you to go down the Byron Katie rabbit hole with me. For a very short video introduction to her view on this topic, watch “Byron Katie explains a post: ‘Your partner’s flaws are your own, because you’re projecting them” on YouTube. And expect more posts on this topic to come.

 

Law of attraction success story: “I paid off my mortgage in under ten years”

Contributor: Mollie Player

On a cold Friday the 13th in January over a decade ago, I signed the mortgage agreement for my first home. And I wasn’t scared about it at all. Though I wasn’t exactly rich–I’d decided that waiting tables was my true calling, at least for a while–I believed that by saving every dollar I could and paying at least a little ahead on the mortgage each month, I just might be able to pay off the house in ten years. With that goal in mind, I took in renters and saved every dollar I could. I didn’t drive a car, for instance. And sometimes I even passed up the bus, deciding it wasn’t worth that $1 fee.

Five years later, I was nowhere close to my goal, but I didn’t worry about that–I just kept making payments. Something in me told me that it would all work out as it should.

I married my first husband, and worked as much as I could, using most of my earnings for the house. Then I divorced and married David, which gave me another big edge. Still, the goal was pretty far away. Then the year before having my second child, I got a great job at Microsoft, and started paying in big chunks. Finally, the day came when my husband gave me the approval to take the twenty grand out of our savings account and pay our very last installment.

In the February nine years after signing the mortgage, I made the final payment on the house–nearly one year ahead of schedule.

I believe in hard work. And planning, and being careful with money. But I also believe in the power of setting an clearly defined intention.

***

Finally, it happened. After ten years thinking about it, I attempted, as the Apostle Paul once wrote, to “pray without ceasing”–to communicate in an ongoing way with the Divine.

Interested in my results? Get You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends on Amazon.

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

Best book for mystics: “Why We Believe What We Believe” by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

Best book for mystics: Why We Believe What We Believe: Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

To learn about this best book for mystics, see:

Why We Believe What We Believe on Amazon

Why We Believe What We Believe on Goodreads

Why We Believe What We Believe on Barnes and Noble

Andrew Newberg on Wikipedia

AndrewNewberg.com

Andrew Newberg at the Internet Movie Database

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

Best book for mystics: “Is Nothing Something?” by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Best book for mystics: Is Nothing Something? by Thich Nhat Hanh

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Is Nothing Something? on Amazon

Is Nothing Something? on Goodreads

Is Nothing Something? on Google Books

Is Nothing Something? on iTunes

Is Nothing Something? on Barnes and Noble

Thich Nhat Hanh on Wikipedia

Parallax Press: Publishing house founded by Thich Nhat Hanh

La Boi Society: Publishes books by Thich Nhat Hanh in Vietnamese

Sangha Directory: List of communities (Mindfulness Practice Groups) practicing in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition

Plum Village: Thich Nhat Hanh’s main monastery and practice center, located about 85 km east of Bordeaux, France

Vietnamese website of Plum Village

French website of Plum Village

Deer Park Monastery: Monastery located in Escondido, California

Magnolia Grove Monastery: Newest Thich Nhat Hanh practice center, located near Memphis, Tennessee

Order of Interbeing

I Am Home: A Community of Mindful Living and home of the “Mindfulness Bell” magazine with news, articles, and talks by Thich Nhat Hanh and other Order of Interbeing members

Full text of Thích Nhất Hạnh’s Five Mindfulness Trainings and The Fourteen Precepts

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

 

 

 

Best book for mystics: “Fringeology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—And Couldn’t” by Steve Volk

This month’s best book for mystics: Fringeology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—And Couldn’t by Steve Volk

Is this really one of the best books for mystics out there? Why?

There are a ton of books out there on the paranormal. But how many of them are written almost completely without bias by a seasoned journalist and top-notch science writer? Not many, I’d bet. Volk is likable, smart, objective—and convinced paranormal stuff is real.

A few quotes and highlights from this best book for mystics:

Near-death experiences, telepathy, meditation, lucid dreaming–in this book, Volk really takes some big swings.

Introduction

The introduction to Fringeology is the author’s soapbox speech on the believers-versus-skeptics debate. It’s a false dichotomy, he reasons; scientists can be just as dogmatic, judgmental and irrational in their skepticism as believers can be in their belief. It’s just part of human nature. The debate we should be having, then, shouldn’t be about whether or not paranormal stuff is real. The debate should be about what evidence is good enough to offer convincing support of the paranormal. He calls this “possibilianism,” and he’s convinced that if both sides got on board, there would be a lot stronger research and fairer critique—not to mention agreement—on the individual issues at hand. After all, once the threshold of “good enough” proof is met, the skeptics would have to back down a bit. And if it isn’t, the believers would have to at least qualify their statements of belief.

Chapter One: On near-death experiences

Evidence indicates that near-death experiences are real. Not only are there a large number of these stories, but they agree with each other in many key ways—and the skeptics don’t have any good explanations.

Chapter Two: On telepathy

“Telepathy—reading minds, ‘seeing’ what the human eye can’t see—is the paranormal field with possibly the best evidence. A small effect is proven when large enough samples are used. An example: Whenever researchers perform card reading tests, even on “normal” people, the subjects predict what’s on the cards with statistically significant greater-than-chance odds. Even though the effect is there, though, it is not very practical since it’s unreliable and small.

This chapter also discusses the heated, ongoing debates between the main faction of skeptics, CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), and the Parapsychological Association (the CSICOP being by far more intellectually dishonest).

Chapter Three: On consciousness outside of the brain

This chapter discusses whether or not consciousness exists separately from the physical brain.
The evidence for this lies chiefly in quantum physics, which shows that the smallest units of matter we know of behave in ways that imply they have a mind of their own (such as quantum entanglement and changing direction and properties seemingly randomly).

The chapter tells the story of Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist and scientist who wrote about what consciousness is.

Chapter Four: On UFOs

This chapter discusses the chances that there are aliens on our planet or in our galaxy. Though most stories have been disproven, one mystery remains: the large aircraft seen over Stevensville, Texas by many viewers in disparate locations. It is the most convincing sighting to date.

By the way, the author says, UFOs are definitely real, as UFO simply stands for “unidentified flying objects.” Also note that many people who see them say they didn’t want to, and are open to explanations other than aliens.

Chapter Five: On ghosts

The most personal chapter of the book, here Volk relates his own experience of living in an apparently haunted house, then discusses the debate over the reality of these phenomena, concluding that very little scientifically rigorous evidence exists.

Chapter Six: On the Overview Effect

A lesser-known phenomenon, the Overview Effect is the overwhelming feeling of unity or oneness with all that is (some may even use the term “enlightenment”) that often occurs to astronauts who view the earth from space, though they don’t always like to discuss it.

The chapter discusses astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s quest to solve the riddle of consciousness so that he could find the source of the unity he felt.

He is still looking.

Chapter Seven: On meditation and prayer

This chapter discusses the highly established, widely researched positive effects of meditation and meditative prayer on people’s brains and lives.
In it, Volk tells the story of Dr. Andrew Newberg, who leads this field of research today.

Chapter Eight: On lucid dreaming

This chapter discusses the experience many have of becoming aware they are dreaming while still dreaming, and the main lucid dream researcher, Dr. Stephen LaBerge. The author also tells his own lucid dream story.

Chapter Nine: On Induced After-Death Communication (IADC)

IADC is a little-known therapeutic technique for overcoming emotional trauma that involves vividly recalling painful memories, then moving the eyes from side to side.

Volk tells the story of Al Botkin, who discovered the therapy. The therapy is an extension of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Anecdotal evidence is extremely promising, though no large-scale studies have been done on this little-known treatment.

The author’s conclusion:

We all do best to stave off our very human, very natural craving for knowledge and certainty, replacing it with a healthy dose of intellectual curiosity about the world at large and its many amazing possibilities.

Where can I further investigate this best book for mystics?

Fringeology on Amazon

Fringeology on Goodreads

Fringeology on Barnes and Noble

An interview with Steve Volk on YouTube

Steven Volk on Wikipedia

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Top 20 Spiritual Memoirs

Top 150 Meditation Books

Top 20 Near Death Experience Books

Top 100 Channelled Books

Top 1000+ Law of Attraction Books

Top 25 Scientific Spiritual Books

Top 20 Spiritual Self-Help Books

Top 15 Blogs for Mystics

My 40 Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories

 

 

Best book for mystics: “Forty Days to Prosperity” by Kathie Anne Lewis

Best book for mystics: Forty Days to Prosperity by Kathie Anne Lewis

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Forty Days to Prosperity on Amazon

Forty Days to Prosperity on Goodreads

Forty Days to Prosperity on Google Books

Forty Days to Prosperity on iTunes

Forty Days to Prosperity on Barnes and Noble

Official Website of Kathie Anne Lewis

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

Best book for mystics: “Forty Days of Freedom” by Kathie Anne Lewis

Best book for mystics: Forty Days of Freedom by Kathie Anne Lewis

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Forty Days of Freedom on Amazon

Forty Days of Freedom on Goodreads

Forty Days of Freedom on Google Books

Forty Days of Freedom on iTunes

Forty Days of Freedom on Barnes and Noble

Official Website of Kathie Anne Lewis

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

Best book for mystics: “Forty Days of Love” by Kathie Anne Lewis

Best book for mystics: Forty Days of Love by Kathie Anne Lewis

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Forty Days of Love on Amazon

Forty Days of Love on Goodreads

Forty Days of Love on Google Books

Forty Days of Love on iTunes

Forty Days of Love on Barnes and Noble

Official Website of Kathie Anne Lewis

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

 

Best book for mystics: “Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction” by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks

Best book for mystics: Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction by Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks

To find out more about this book for mystics, see:

Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction on Amazon

Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction on Goodreads

Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction on Google Books

Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction on iTunes

Sara, Book 2: Solomon’s Fine Featherless Friendscret About the Law of Attraction on Barnes and Noble

Official Website of Esther Hicks and Jerry Hicks

***

You’re not an overeater. You mostly keep it healthy. Maybe it’s time to give dieting a chance.

Get The Emergency Diet: The Somewhat Hard, Very Controversial, Totally Unheard Of and Fastest Possible Way to Lose Weight on Amazon. 

***

More mystical reading choices:

Best Meditation Books

Best Near Death Experience Books

Best Channeled Books

Best Law of Attraction Books

Best Scientific Spiritual Books

Best Other/Inspirational New Age Books

Best Spiritual Memoirs

Best Blogs for Mystics

Best of the Best: My All-Time Favorite Books for Mystics

150 Law of Attraction Success Stories