Archive for May, 2012
Music for Meditation: Jonathan Goldman – Ultimate Om

Ultimate Om

Moving back towards what could be considered truly meditative music, we set our hears onto an incredible layering of sounds that creates the Ultimate Om. Created by sound healer Jonathan Goldman, this hour long continuous Om is extremely powerful and can take you so deep into your meditative state that you will undoubtedly want to use it again and again for your meditations.

Om has long been considered the primordial sound of creation (form coming out of formlessness). The harmonics of Om have the power to induce a meditative state and create a feeling of being one with the universe. It is also known as the ‘Anahat Nada’, the “Unstruck Sound”, meaning that the sound that is not made by two things striking together. It, rather emanates on its own and contains all sounds in itself.

Below is a half-hour version of the Ultimate Om (the full version is 71 minutes) which should give you a very good taste of the transcendental journey this collection of harmonic sounds will provide you. Using Goldman’s description, the Ultimate OM brings peace and harmony to those who listen and will help create balance and alignment in everyday lives, assisting in calming and centering your mind and body.

 

Science & Christianity

This is something I saw a long time ago but I thought I’d post it here just as a reminder of the importance of worldviews. The following is from the pen of Michael Shermer:

We parents can’t help feeling this way, and neuroscience explains why. Addictive chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin surge through the brain and body during positive social interactions (especially touch). This causes us to feel closer to one another. Between parents and offspring, it cements a bond so solid that it is broken only under the most unusual (and usually pathological) circumstances. (http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/10/13/evolution-and-the-empty-nest-syndrome/)

The context is the “sadness” that Shermer experiences as his daughter goes off to college. It is not real love that he feels (at least not the way we normally think about it). His feelings for his daughter are no more than a chemical bond. There is no more significance in the feeling Shermer has for his daughter than there is between vinegar and baking soda – it’s just a chemical reaction. This is, in fact, what all things in a naturalistic worldview reduce to. Darwin himself may have said it best.

“With me,” says Darwin, “the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?”

Hence the whole enterprise of science is suspect in a naturalistic worldview. There is no reason to trust our minds. Christianity, conversely, provides a foundation for thought and therefore a foundation for science. If we were created by an intelligent personal God, and if he created us after his image, then he also created us to be rational beings. That is part of the purpose of his design. If that is the case, then we have reason to trust our sense. We have reason to believe that we can reason. Sometimes we do not sense something accurately, and we sometimes reason fallaciously, but there is at least a foundation upon which we can build and continue to improve.

Awakening Enlightened Awareness

enlightened awareness

There is an extraordinary potential hidden inside every human being. If it is awakened it will take you to a much higher plane of consciousness – beyond the limitations of the human body-mind. Experience this super-consciousness, actualize your ultimate potential. This is the only aim of human life – to live the ultimate luxury of enlightenment.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda

Mastering Our Relationship With Ourselves

staring into the reflecting pool

The first relationship you must master is the relationship with yourself. -Paul Lenda

All too often, people look for happiness outside themselves. They search for someone or something to fill the void they feel they have within their being. Some fill it with money and physical possessions. Others fill it with friends and lovers. What such individuals should realize is that the place they should look in order to feel a sense of purpose and hope in life is within themselves. Being one’s own best friend and knowing everything and anything about oneself is pertinent to a successful and healthy future for oneself.

Acknowledging and facing any fears, inhibitions, dispositions, and ego-centric thoughts that one may have, he or she will be able to fully understand the mechanisms behind such forces and realize their effect on themself. There may be some hesitation or fear at first, and this is perhaps why many people do not form a healthy relationship with their own selves. This fear has to be melted away because if not, very little success can be achieved in a person’s goals of self-actualization and Self-realization. A realization of one’s true self can be made. That Self is the semi-hidden ‘I’ that exists as the reality that the ego pretends it is.

Once a relationship is mastered with one’s own self, then strong and healthy relationships with others are able to be made in a healthy manner and an understanding position of awareness. Without such mastery, relationships can crumble just as fast as they were built. As the hermetic adage goes, “Man, know thyself.”

The above was an excerpt from the book The Creation of a Consciousness Shift by Paul Lenda

Tangible Kingdom – A Charitable Critique

Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, the authors of Tangible Kingdom, have poured their heart into ministry for many years.  They have experienced the highs and the lows that come from real ministry. Some authors started a church straight out of seminary and became a huge success story and wrote books for everyone to learn how to be like them. This is not one of those books, and for that I am glad.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV). Job laments that “The tents of robbers are at peace, and those who provoke God are secure, who bring their god in their hand” (Job 12:6). Malachi also struggled with this lamenting that “we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape” (Malachi 3:15). Jonah was disobedient and saw a massive revival under his preaching, while poor faithful Jeremiah was told ” So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you” (Jeremiah 7:27 ESV).

The failure stories in Tangible Kingdom are a breath of fresh air to the vast majority of pastors whose heart identifies with Jeremiah’s plight. While the authors have experiences real failure, they did not become completely jaded and abandon the church as so many have. They saw many things that could be improved, and they have once again poured themselves into the church, into ministry. They confess as much on p xx saying, “our heart is for the church, both existing and emerging.”

Early on they tip their hand to emergent leaning.  It is hard to know just what “emerging” means from one person to another, all you can do read and learn. It’s not long before some of root reasons for the emerging church surface. “We’re not measuring success by huge leaps in attendance or a shiny new building. . . . Our goal isn’t to attract Christian people to our way of worship service but to be the faithful church in small pockets throughout our city.” I readily identify with these sentiments.

I have grown up in, continue to pastor in, and have a deep affinity for the traditional church. I have deep disagreements with much of the emerging church and what are clearly overreactions. Yet I have also fought against much of the market-driven, hot-tub religion that characterized so much of evangelicalism. Suffice it to say, I agree with a lot that the authors have to say, but I also believe that they overstate or mis-state their case in ways that are unhelpful or even dangerous. All that to say, this chapter-by-chapter review, I hope, will be a charitable critique.
Music for Meditation: Loop Guru – The Third Chamber

Loop Guru - The Third Chamber
Some music has the intention of stirring up higher emotional states in us on a purely sensational level (being appealing to the basic senses). Other music however, wants to stimulate our minds and higher states of awareness within this existential Reality where we are being and becoming. Loop Guru chooses to do the latter. The worldbeat music artists that make up Loop Guru have an incredible way of telling a story that is so deep, so vast, and so intricately beautiful in the form of musical harmonies. It is both fascinating and hypnotizing.

When listening to The Third Chamber close your eyes, turn off the lights, and prepare to be taken on a journey into a reality where the term organic reality takes on a full sense of actuality. Personally, when I hear this incredible musical masterpiece, I am reminded of The Wingmakers and specifically The Third Chamber that is one of several chambers from which incredibly philosophical and spiritual guidance and wisdom comes from that is shrouded in incredible mystery and wonderment that is something worth exploring.

Let yourself be taken where the music leads you to and through. Stream into your consciousness the tranquility, serenity, and peace that wishes to flow inwards, filling you with a mystical wisdom encoded within musical harmonies. To quote the Third Chamber transmissions directly, “Throughout the cosmos there is life — the expression of First Source in individuated form. These are the divine fragments that are always in the process of separating to experience individual expression of self, and congealing to experience universal expression of First Source. We are born from the very womb of the cosmos, and it is here that all will return in time. It matters not when or how. It only matters why. “

You are What You’ve Been Looking For

peace girl

You are what you’ve been looking for. The answer is always in you alone. There is nothing in the external world. For the external world is an emanation of your own mind, your own thinking and your own imagination. You created this world.

Robert Adams

A Philosophy of Education

My wife and I home-school our children. Michelle does all of the heavy lifting of course, but I played the leading role in choosing the philosophy of education and consequently the curriculum we would go with. I make no claim of expertise, but having thought through a few things on my own, I thought I’d share some about my philosophy of education for whoever may benefit from or improve upon my thoughts.

There is quite a lot I have thought through in terms of learning styles and various models (Charlotte Mason, Mastery, Classical, etc), but I want to focus my attention elsewhere in this post. One of the main criticisms from the public of home-schooling is that the kids will be socially backwards. For the most part I think this criticisms miss the mark. If socialism is the ability to interact on various levels with relative ease, then locking a 7 year old in a room with 30 other 7 year olds is hardly going to promote good social skills. This aside, I think that the kids will be as adjusted as their parents care to make them. Certainly there are parents who completely shelter their children and therefore their kids may not know very well how to engage strangers. But when I was home-schooled, my parents had me involved in boy scouts, 4-H, home-school co-ops, etc. I got plenty of interaction. In fact I was a very shy and introverted kid until after the time I was home-schooled. I don’t know if home-school remedied my poor social skills, but there was an interesting correlation.

Related to the question of socialism is how the parents attend the education of their kids more properly speaking. Again, there are many people who home school just because they don’t want their kids to learn about evolution and homosexuality and other such ‘forbidden” subjects. These people tend to shelter their kids intellectually just as others may shelter them socially. That is not why my wife and I decided to homeschool. We did it because we thought we could provide a superior education that way.

I don’t want to shelter my children from the world, I want to equip them for it. I can do my best to provide for them a solid creation based science education and never expose them to that evil Darwin, but I think I would be doing them a dis-service that way. Once they leave the house and maybe go to college, they will come face to face with some intelligent, articulate, winsome atheistic evolutionist (among many other philosophies and worldviews). If they have never been exposed, it may rock their world. They may have been told that evolutionists are the most incompetent numb-skulls on the planet, but when they meet an intelligent one it could rock their world. I don’t want to shelter my kids I want to equip them.

I want my kids to know evolution better than most public schooled kids. I want them reading the best of what the world has to offer. I want them to read Hume, and Freud, and Nietzsche, and Darwin. I want them reading these classics (and more) and I want them reading their modern stalwarts and popularizers. . . but I want them to do it under my watch. I want to interact on all of that material. I don’t want my kids to see a caricature. I want them to see the best that the world has to offer and why I think the Christian worldview is superior. I want them to see God’s common grace working in unbelievers. They need to recognize the insights that God has given to unbelieving mathematicians, artists, scientists, etc. I also want them to see where they err. I want them to benefit from the meat and spit out the bones. I believe in a liberal education. See here (sorry for the goofy formatting, just scroll down and squint.) http://gracemccook.org/blog/?p=270

I take a similar approach in my philosophy of education in the church. I want my people reading good books. I recommend them. I plug them. I review them. I make them available. But I also know that my people do not live in the church. They will go into the world. They will see other books (and may even read them). Friends, family, co-workers, or peers in general may give them books to read. I know that they will be exposed to less than desirable books outside of the church gathered, so I want to equip them. I want to teach them good theology and solid thoughts. But just like at home, I don’t want to merely teach them what to think, I want to teach them how to think. We need to be able to read a book charitably and benefit from the meat. We also need to be able to read critically and spit out the bones. The books that are a “mixed bag” are ones I want us to work through as a group so people can see how to spot the good and the bad.

I’m sure there are better methods and things I may have missed, but that is part of the beauty of community (even an electronic one like this). As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another. I’d be interested in hearing from you. Soli Deo Gloria!

Lightning in a Bottle Music & Art Festival


Out in the beautiful landscapes of California there is a festival that brings together positive intention and musical revelry in a harmonic balance and calls it Lightning in a Bottle. Many who are attracted to conscious evolution, meditation, yoga, EDM, and harmonic living are attracted to this amazing life-changing festival. LIB has so much to offer in so many different ways and keeping with the theme of Peace and Loveism we’re going to look at what it has to offer in spiritual living and social transformation.

Lightning in a Bottle is a celebration of Art, Music, Performance, Sustainability, and Life. It takes place annually on May 24th-28th at the Oak Canyon Ranch in Silverado, CA. It is produced by The Do LaB who specialize in interactive environments, event production and creative lighting design. These elements collectively shape The Do LaB’s mission: creating experience as an art form while bringing communities together. Taking an organic approach to designs, The Do LaB brings imaginative visions to life with natural materials, recycled objects and sustainable resources. When producing events and festivals or building an installation for an international tour, The Do LaB is committed to the highest levels of art, production and aesthetics. Its work has been showcased at Coachella, Virgin Music Festival, Global Gathering, Boom and many more. For more information about The Do LaB, visit them here, or follow The Do LaB on Facebook and Twitter.

The 7th annual Lightning in a Bottle International Music and Arts Festival presents the lineup for Lucent Temple of Consciousness, a sanctuary for all participants to enrich the soul and inspire the spirit. The 2012 schedule inside the Lucent Temple, built out of recycled and found objects by Brent ‘Shrine’ Spears, will include over 300 different experiences in yoga, workshops, speakers and exotic world music. The temple will be a sanctuary for all participants to energize and balance the mind and body through spirituality, meditation, yoga and the art of natural healing.

The Lucent Temple of Consciousness workshops will teach a variety of sustainability practices and life skills for participants to bring home and share with their community.

Urban permaculture workshops will teach participants how to create an ecological, sustainable garden and human settlement.

Grow your own spirulina, microalgae that are taken as a supplement or whole food.

Workshops about herbal tonics will show how they can help restore, tone and invigorate the body and promote health and well-being.

Amazon Myco-Renewal Project builds partnerships with local people to remediate their lands using mycelium while growing edible and medicinal mushrooms for consumption and income generation.

For more than 30 more workshops with fun and educational activities, visit http://lightninginabottle.org/workshops


Inspiring speakers will share their stories and guidance throughout the four-day weekend event. These include:

Reverend Michael Beckwith is a humanitarian, co-founder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation, and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center. He’s the author of Inspirations of the Heart, Forty Day Mind Fast Soul Feast, and A Manifesto of Peace. He has participated on international panels with Dr. T. Ariyarante of Sri Lanka and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He is the originator of the Life Visioning Process and facilitates retreats, workshops and seminars around the world.

Barbara Marx Hubbard is the author of Becoming a Universal Species, a visionary, social innovator, evolutionary thinker and educator, producer, narrator, co-producer and co-founder and chairperson of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution.

Mirabai Devi is a spiritual teacher and healer who has led numerous humanitarian projects in Africa.

Also More than 30 more world renowned teachers, adventures, and givers of enlightening information will participate. See http://lightninginabottle.org/speakers for a full lineup.


There’s also plenty of invigorating yoga classes that will help you create balance and harmony to an awakened spirit.

Los Angeles-based Micheline Berry is the founder of Liquid Asana vinyasa yoga, founder of Zen Dancing® and creative director and co-founder of Red Musette and Shaman’s Dream.

Ashley Turner’s vinyasa yoga integrates wisdom from the roots of Yoga Psychology. She co-wrote Aroma Yoga®: A Guide to Using Essential Oils in Your Practice and Your Life with Tracy Griffiths and is an adjunct faculty member at Kripalu and Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Philosophy program.

Mark Whitwell’s yoga is based on the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar. He is the editor and contributor to TKV Desikachar’s book The Heart of Yoga and author of Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection and Hridayasutra.

Jo Tastula teaches vinyasa flow style who specializes in seasonal sequencing and breath work. She integrates her own inspirational connection to spirit and the creative sacred forces of the divine feminine.

Anusara teacher Tony Guiliano and soulful singer and prana teacher Steve Gold will bring love, light and inner peace.

For more than 20 more yoga and movement classes in a variety of styles and difficulty levels, visit http://lightninginabottle.org/yoga for a full lineup.

World Temple Music will be performed between classes and speakers, encompassing indigenous sounds from cultures around the world. For a complete Temple music lineup, visit http://lightninginabottle.org/temple-music/. For a complete list of speakers, yogis, workshops and world music artists, visit http://lightninginabottle.org/mind-body/.

For more information about Lightning in a Bottle and the music lineup, visit http://lightninginabottle.org. To view the official 2011 Lightning in a Bottle video, visit http://vimeo.com/34799577. Tickets are available at http://lightninginabottle.org/buy-tickets.