Excerpt from "Global Mind Change" with Edgar Mitchell
In honor of Neil Armstrong's life and death, we are delighted to share with you an excerpt of a talk by Edgar Mitchell -- the sixth person to walk on the moon – who talks to us about what what it means to be a human and our place in the universe in his series of lectures, “Global Mind Change.”
I like to suggest that there is a challenge here. Throughout most of human history we have strongly believed ourselves to be very physical beings -- rooted in our physicality, experiencing what we would like to think would be a wonderful life. But quite often, experiencing a lot of trauma and pain and all of those things that go with being human, that is the opposite of having ups and ups and ups. And the question is why? We are rooted in our physicality and yearning for a spiritual experience and trying to ask ourselves: Why me? What’s this all about? And we particularly ask that question “Why me?” when things turn sour.
I suggest to you that the way we need to look at it is that we are not really physical beings yearning for a spiritual experience. We are in reality eternal creative beings creating a physical experience, and it takes quite a shift in mindset to get yourself around that one. But tonight we’re going to give it a try. For those of you who haven’t heard me before, why is this important? What is it about now, that I would bring this up? What is it about the contemporary period that we live in that perhaps makes this a vital alternative viewpoint to think about and to look at? I will tell you that in the last year I have seldom spoken with a person who did not think that something very strange was going on, who did not think that the world was in a rather major crisis and it seemed to be deepening. I will suggest to you that in the last six months it has become almost overwhelming. I can’t talk to anyone who doesn’t feel that way. They seek me out and my telephone is ringing off the hook. Things are happening in ways they haven’t happened before.
Excerpt from "Perfect Just as You Are" with Pema Chodron
Excerpt from Pema Chodron's "Don't Bite the Hook"
We are delighted to share with you this transcribed excerpt from Pema Chodron's fantastic book Don't Bite the Hook. In it, she talks about the importance of working with anger -- something so many of us would rather avoid!
So -- what is the significance of the teaching on how to work with anger?
Well, it has tremendous significance because again and again, whenever we’re challenged, there is opportunity to open to the difficulty and let the difficulty make us more compassionate, more wise. Or the opposite, which is that when things are difficult, the chances instead of it making us more afraid and therefore more vulnerable or more subject to being able to catch the anxiety in the atmosphere and spin off into wanting to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and the tendency for aggression to escalate and violence to escalate under challenge is much greater.
I wanted to begin by giving the Dharma talks on the sixth chapter of Shanti Deva -- chapter on working with anger.
So, for Shanti Deva teaching as he did in the eighth century in India a long, long time ago, to Yolanda University in India to a entire packed audience of celibate monks, you might wonder what the relevance of such a teaching would be today, and all I can say is at the level of human neurosis, nothing has changed much. And so what he has to say and the way he… you’ll see, it actually has humor in it where he keeps pointing out example after example of our foibles of how we justify our anger and all the many, many situations that make us angry. But it’s more than just like losing our temper or something. We’re talking now about finding ourselves in a situation where many, many people are feeling more vulnerable and the situation is more volatile. And so, it might be that in the years to come, you might look back and think of it as something like, that was teaching. That was really -- because I have started to use it every day of my life in difficult situations -- has made it possible for me to be become more compassionate, to become more tenderhearted and loving rather than more afraid and full of aggression and wanting to strike out and protect me and mine. You might just look back and say, “This was really important” because right now the key thing is whether it was a difficult situation in the world or not; it’s to use the difficult situations of everyday life to wake us up, to awaken our compassion. To make us feel our kinship with each other rather than to buy into polarization. So Shanti Deva says a lot about our mindset. The mindset of friend and foe. Like and dislike. For me and against me. And how that very mechanism of buying so tightly into this notion of the good people and the bad people -- the ones that I like and the ones I don’t like and how we get so invested in this and how this is “the kindling” or “the fuel” for anger and aggression to escalate. So from this point of view, the teachings are on non-violence and on non-aggression. And you could think of that as a synonym for the word patience.
Original Be Here Now Talks - Transcribed excerpt Part I
We are thrilled to offer these rare lectures recorded live in NYC in 1969. Available for the first time in digital download, these talks given by Ram Dass went on to become the basis of his international best-selling book Be Here Now. Following is a transcribed excerpt from one of these seminal teachings.
We are also extremely pleased to have the inspired artwork of Peter Max on this digital download cover.
" I think life is just a game, then I am taking from it the meaning of its acts. I am denigrating the precious nature of the life process.
Do you think the man that made the music stand was able to make a more exquisite music stand because he was not attached to making a music stand?
Do you think he really got closer to the essence of music standness because he did not remain in subject object relation to the music stand? That’s the issue.
Let’s say you want to get close to somebody. Do you get closer to them through playing out the love story of Hamlet? Or do you get closer through getting beyond the interpersonal, beyond the subject/object to the place where both of you are one consciousness? If we can be us here, us, more us, just here and now us, forget where you came from, where you are going, that I’m talking, that you’re listening, here we are, just us and more us and more us and more us and finally right here on this world, right there here, huh -- here we all are.
How much intimacy do you want? I can feel it. I can be it. Do you think we would be any closer if we were all rolling on the floor together? Really? The thing you are seeking, the very thing you are seeking in life is so within your grasp if you but only know how not to grasp for it. It’s already here. It’s here. "