I am looking for some type of hope or some encouraging words. As this war continues, it is depressing and disheartening. I want to be hopeful, but there is so much suffering. Do you have any advice or encouragement about how to deal with war and the related discomfort? Any message at all would help.
From your current reference point, that of the "dreaming I," you believe that you are limited to the body/mind. From that reference point, the world is but a mirror that is reflecting the delusions of the misidentified state of consciousness. "Dreaming I" is under the assumption that it is separated from the Heart; supreme intelligence and unconditional love. Within that unattainable separation is the pain gap. It may sound radical, but nonetheless, suffering is not in the world. The suffering is within you. Therefore, the only answer for enduring world peace is the awakening and to continue that journey to Self-realization. In this, we realize that we are perfect peace. With full embodiment, we are "our beautiful world" that is pure consciousness and free of suffering. The mirror can only clear by realizing the illumined mind and still heart.
Regarding your question, pointers can help you to be more present in the life situation and with this, the possibility of awakening draws near. Whether war in the world or the everyday conflict that you experience in relationships, the cause and effect are identical. In the world-mirror, we are currently noticing massive human suffering. We are able to look directly at the insanity and madness caused by ignorance and unconsciousness. Could the mirror be pointing it out and stating it any more clearly than it is?!
When we believe that the world appearance can "make" us suffer, we are not taking responsibility and we are giving away our true power. We are then hopelessly tossed about by the waves of emotion in constant reaction to the life situation. My first pointer is to continue self-observation. Based on the past, you will find that your own conditioned thoughts and judgments about the war are the cause of your depression. Watch your thoughts and notice that when you indentify with them, you suffer. If you watch thought, it is impossible to identify with it. Without identification, the emotional reaction does not occur. I am not asking you to get involved with the thoughts and process them. I am asking you to simply watch them and stand free. Thoughts are not the problem; identification with them causes suffering.
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Free videos, television and radio interviews, published articles & interviews, a photo gallery with Kirtana music, Free Spirit book reviews, summary and Table of Contents, links page, Sundance's WiseCracks, Awake Books, info about Eckhart Tolle, Ramana Maharshi and Papaji, how to contact Sundance.
• Handbook for the Spirit
• "Event Reviews"
Satsang ~ Sundance and Katie
The Essence of Enlightenment
July 2008 Volume 8 Number 7
“During these intense times people have asked me how to touch and expand the joy that they know is their essence but that is often veiled by the mundane and its demands on our time.
I have often answered this simply through the following:
That joy is not static, or a place, or even a goal but rather, like art and music, multi-faceted, uncontainable and expansive.
The way to experience joy is unique to each individual, yet the core of joy is a shared experience that makes us human and part of an alive participating adventure.
Simply put, joy is only understood through the expansion of consciousness. This is when we glimpse what it means to be expansive.
Most of us, due to a thousand and one reasons, focus on the lacks, limitations and problems. These lacks, limitations and problems are so real that they demand all of our attention and from this space we struggle to find the real joy of each moment.
Many feel that by resolving what seems to be a block or hindrance for their expansion then expansion will happen miraculously. I see it differently.
What we want is what we need to be.
An oak tree starts as an acorn but it has no doubt that it will fulfill its destiny as a tree.
Most of us don't even believe that possibilities and potential are real as our experience sabotages our expansion and holds us in the mud of daily living.
The sky, the light, the beautiful stars seem to come from a different world and seem totally out of reach. This leads to depression as we no longer believe in our destiny or even see the light.
One of the most important steps to reawaken who we really are is to be of service to humanity.
By being of service to humanity rather than to our perceived needs we remember in our actions the true meaning of love.
Love is expansive. As we expand with this service so does our focus expand freeing our attachment to the mud so that we are harmoniously in touch with the Universe.
It is not a difficult journey if put into action but it does seem impossible when one uses the present contracting situation as a limitation to what is possible and hence why many of us are not able to expand.
I ask you strongly during these intense times not to focus on yourselves or your needs, or the problems, or the lack of joy, or what could be better. No matter how present they seem, please focus on what it means to serve others and the divine aspect of what is their essence.
As you begin to see the light in every being there is no doubt in my mind that the light within will help the acorn that is in each of us to reach up and open to this new and beautiful expansive experience and hence open up to the joy of life.
This is what is asked of us during this special time of the spring equinox and the months that follow.
It is up to each of you to put this into practice rather than to just meditate upon the beauty of my words.
The world needs more trees.”
Handbook for the Spirit (Dual Spirituality)
Marianne Williamson, Richard Carlson, Benjamin Shield
Spiritual Visionaries Describe Their Relationship with the Divine
Handbook for the Spirit includes a wonderfully diverse collection of writings from 25 visionaries including Mother Teresa, Rev. Michael Beckwith, Matthew Fox, Marianne Williamson, Shakti Gawain and Wayne Dyer. New World Library. Purchase
When you are ready to explore the absolute Truth that is prior to thought, emotion and form, we begin the exploration of what is prior to the "dreaming I" and its objects. We shift beyond awakening and enter the adventure of Self-realization. Through direct Self-inquiry, we realize who this "dreaming I" truly is. My new book, Awake Joy, guides beyond ego to the awakening, but it also completes the journey, as does Sundance's new book, Free Spirit. An Advaita expert and scholar of Advaita scriptures, Dennis Waite, shared that Sundance's presentation of Self-inquiry is the clearest and most complete guide that he has ever read.
In closing, you are not separate from that which is occurring. You are That within which the act of war or no war is occurring. By focusing on who you are, instead of taking sides, you are conscious freedom. Taking sides is part of the war. The concept of conditional peace is opposing the concept of war. In other words, hating war is the same hatred that is being acted out in the violence on the battlefield. Hate begets hate. We do not identify with either polarity. Perfect peace is transcendent of war and transcendent of relative peace. Resistance does not bring about change. Resistance perpetuates whatever you are resisting. Surrender is key.
You mentioned that you wanted to be hopeful. Honestly, hope is not required and this is the truth. Hope is a future endeavor; a better tomorrow. You do not need more time to be the perfect peace that you are right now. We have only to become conscious of what is within us now, but buried beyond all of the false ideas of the intellect. ~ Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy
During this self-observation, you soon meet what Eckhart Tolle, author of A New Earth and Power of Now, calls the "pain body;" the apparent void of collective suffering. As Eckhart Tolle explains, when the collective pain body rises up, it uses us and feeds on more pain and therefore gains strength. Instead of fueling it, we can allow the emotion to be as it is, while resting as stillness. In this, a natural transmutation occurs as the pain is transformed into love. However, if you find yourself spiraling deeper and deeper into the suffering, invite it in to explore. I am not suggesting that you act it out, but find out whether the pain body ultimately exists in the core of your being or whether in the end, it is an illusion. Taking this as a concept is not the remedy. This discovery must be direct and the investigation is required. Otherwise, the pain body will resurface time and again to either be fueled or freed.
In This Issue
NASA Space Hubble Photos
A Gift from Richcard Sink
• "Conflict or Perfect Peace"
Katie Davis, Awake
• "Chicago Television Interview"
Sundance Burke, Free Spirit
• "Awareness Anonymous"
Sundance Burke, WiseCracks
Customer Review, May 21, 2008:
"First let me say that I had my first awakening while sitting with Katie and Sundance in Silent Joy Satsang. The stillness was deafening. I enjoyed the same deep stillness while reading their books as I did in the Silent Joy evenings.
Awake Joy is well organized and progressively goes deeper and deeper with great clarity. She included quotes at the beginning of each chapter from sages throughout time to offer a taste of the chapter's subject matter.
This book does not get lost in therapy for the psychological drama of the ego, but unceasingly points you back to "what is prior, closer and more intimate to you than the idea of me." In Awake Joy, "who am I?" remains the most essential question.
The book cover calls this an A-Z guide to awakening and Self-realization and it is definitely a valuable handbook for everyone to reread at different times along the awakening journey. I call it ... simply beautiful." ~ Steven, Seattle
Seattle Washington Pacific Northwest September 12-13
East West Bookshop Satsang and Intensive
Saturday, September 13, 10:00 am-4:00 pm Intensive Book Signing after Friday night's event
Private Appointments Seattle or Eastside
Sunday, September 14, Contact Awake by clicking EMAIL
New Release ~ Chicago Television Interview Show 30
Sundance Burke, Author, Free Spirit
"Never Not Here" Show host and producer, Richard Miller
Customer Book Review, June 8, 2008:
"Welcome fellow travelers to the journey. This book is like your carry-on guide and would save you a lot of luggage. It may not be easy, however it is as easy as it can be. Some friends say that we may need to read a thousand books to find what we think we are looking for. Well, maybe I am very close to that and lately most of the books give me some kind of fatigue (I fall sleep very easily). This one on the contrary makes me feel awake and alive. I have not even finished it and already I want the whole world to know about it. Thank you so much for the love and the energy that Sundance put into this. It is like listening to a close friend that tells you the truth, because he is your friend and loves you." ~ Rosa, California
Event Testimonial: "Dear Katie and Sundance, I want to let the two of you know what a profound and lingering affect you had on me. As a long time student of Papaji and Gangaji and the many teachers that have come to Boulder, please accept my deepest pranams for one of the most memorable teachings I have personally received in the last 18 years. You and Sundance make a great team. Your humor, love and deep caring were expressed so easily. The meditation was amazing. Your quiet and gentle approach awakened in a simple way the wonder of the non-dual presence. I look forward to be invited into this timeless embrace with you again. Safe travels … ~ Love, Chandra" ~ Shankar Gallery, Boulder, Colorado
Event Testimonial: "I just wanted to drop you a note regarding the Satsang Friday night. I have been to many Satsangs and have seen some of the most famous-- Gangaji, Adyashanti, Neelam, Pamela Wilson, Nirmala, Arjuna, etc---but I must say this was perhaps one of the best if not best Satsangs I have been in.The transmission was such a high frequency, I could "hear" it. The words were gentle pointers that somehow got me into the total awareness state easily. And I was in that flow for an extended time. Such peace. I hope you come back." ~ A., Boulder, Colorado
"Our Beautiful World"
by Tony Samara
Review by Katie Davis, Author, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment
Katie's Classification: Dual Spirituality
Handbook for the Spirit is a treasure that could be your resource for daily inspiration. It encourages us to realize the divine within and then discover the spiritual in every living encounter. In this beautiful and diverse collection, some of the world's visionaries such as Mother Theresa, Rev. Michael Beckwith, Shakti Gawain and Wayne Dyer intimately share their personal relationship with God and how it magnificently interplays with their lives. You will also enjoy the heartening Preface by Gerald Jampolsky and the inspiring Foreword by Marianne Williamson. This insightful book is a true gift of Spirit.
~ Katie Davis, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment
Customer Review, Free Spirit, May 27, 2008
"I was looking forward to reading this book after attending an intensive with him in Toronto. Energetically, it was one of the most profound satsangs that I have ever attended and I have sat with many.
I loved this book for the energetic stillness that I sensed while I was reading and I also appreciated Sundance's ability to communicate the principles of nonduality with such clarity. I read a little each day of Nisargadatta's I Am That and it has been one of my favorites, although often I cannot understand what he is explaining. Sundance's insights are deep and profound, but he speaks in such a pragmatic manner that points us directly to the heart of awareness. He brilliantly demystifies the process of awakening to who we really are in a grounded and intelligent way.
I was especially helped by the section on Self-inquiry. In fact, it may be one of the clearest presentations that I have ever read. The chapter entitled "Realizing Freedom Now" was also helpful by making me more conscious of the root of all suffering in order to transcend this fear of the unknown.
Rather than conceptually telling us how to Self-realize, he asks the right questions and then points us where to look, so that we discover directly the deeper insights. Finally, he has a good sense of humor and in case you haven't noticed, this path can sometimes be quite strange.
I recommend this book for people who are interested in awakening and for those who are ready to go the distance and realize the Truth." ~ Kathy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Better Together ~ Awake Joy and Free Spirit
Two Hardbound Books, Both with 224 Pages
Invite Sundance and Katie to Your Area
• Portland, Oregon, USA
Satsang and Intensive
• Awake Joy & Free Spirit
• Seattle, Washington, USA
Satsang and Intensive
When I was thinking, I was addicted to the past. For me, one thought simply led to the next. I just couldn’t stop thinking, because I thought I needed it to be who I am. Yet, every time I thought too much, I’d end up suffering. After several years of hard core thinking, I began to hallucinate. I thought that I was seeing separate people, places and things. I felt completely isolated and lonely. I tried to possess and hold onto the images as if they were real. I was constantly paranoid. I felt like everyone was leaving me or after me. I projected the cause for all my problems onto the illusion of others. My vision got blurry and I started seeing double. I would reach out for things that weren’t there. I was constantly dissatisfied and afraid. I began to believe that an imaginary future held my salvation and I lost all contact with the present moment. I felt divided, lost and constantly threatened. I didn’t know it then, but I was about to wake up in a gutter of my own making. Because of this experience, I now realize that I cannot have a single thought without the risk of falling back into my addiction.
By these meetings, I have come to realize that thinking is a dis-ease and so I shouldn’t feel guilty. I now know that I am not responsible for the thoughts that I think. I am merely unconscious when I am thinking, and so, I don’t know what I am thinking or how much.
I used to feel that I couldn’t live without thinking and that I was powerless to stop. The truth is, I used to over-think everyday. I guess you could have labeled me a Maintenance Thinker. I just couldn’t do anything without thinking about it first. I’d think a lot before going to bed at night. I’d also think in the morning as I was getting ready for work. I’d even think on the job and then I’d bring my thinking home with me. All the while, I didn’t feel like my thinking habit was a problem. I thought that I could think and get away with it. Often, I would hide my thinking from my family and friends. I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was thinking. So I wouldn’t reveal anything I thought. I would just keep my thinking to myself and think alone. You see, I became a closet thinker. However, sometimes a friend would suspect that I was thinking alone and ask, “What are you thinking?” I’d say “nothing,” hoping to hide the fact that I had been thinking all the time. Occasionally, I’d be honest and own up to my thinking and tell them just what I thought. Unconsciously, I probably knew that my thinking was a problem and that I needed help.
It’s a fact that I experienced a tremendous number of problems while I was still thinking about one thing after another. In the beginning, it seemed that I could think socially. However, I soon found out that 2 thoughts were never enough for me. I just couldn’t stop at “I am.” With me, 2 thoughts became 3 and 3 became 4… “I am…I am so…I am so angry,” I’d think. Next, I’d be pounding down one thought after another until I was completely unconscious and unhappy. “I am so angry… at… you… for…leaving…me… and…running…off…with…my…best…friend.” I’d go on like this until I blacked out and lost all consciousness. My thinking was completely out of control and I hurt myself, my family and friends. I also created a lot of enemies.
I also used to think positive thoughts to get high, but after thinking too many thoughts my thinking would invariably turn negative and then I’d suffer. When I wasn’t thinking anything at all, I felt so bad that I desired to start thinking again, just to get high again. This cycle of up and down thinking would repeat itself endlessly. Eventually, I thought my life was hopeless and I thought about ending my thinking altogether.
Only by grace, I discovered Awareness Anonymous and attended my first meeting. These meetings were dry, and so, no thinking was allowed anywhere in the hall. The anonymity in the group name comes from no thinking. However, each anonymous member of the group used to be an over-thinker just like me. To maintain our anonymity, we hang out with other non-thinkers and try to avoid places where there’s a lot of thinking going on. Someday I hope that I’ll be able to be around thinkers without thinking like they do. Until then, I’ll just stay with the program and not think. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be here anonymously.
For more of Sundance's WiseCracks, please click WiseCracks
New WiseCrack by Sundance
(AA Meeting - Speaking at an Awareness Anonymous Meeting)
Hi, my name is Sundance and I am a non-thinker.
I used to over-think unconsciously every day. I was a slave to my mind.
Now that I am conscious and aware, I no longer think.
In fact, its been 5 minutes & 32 seconds since I had my last thought.
Today, I stay thought-free, one second at a time.
Wednesday, September 24, 7:00-8:30 pm Free Talk, Borders Books
Shankar Gallery (Venue is Changing): Thursday, September 25, 7:00-8:00 pm, The Great Silence
Friday, September 26, 7:00-9:00 pm, Satsang
Saturday, September 27, 11:00-12:00, The Great Silence
Saturday, September 27, 4:00-6:00 pm, Satsang
Sunday, September 28, 11:00-12:00, The Great Silence
Monday, September 29, Private Appointments
• "Our Beautiful World"
• Ridgway, Telluride, Colorado
Satsangs and Intensive
"The Great Silence"
The Whales of Argentina
Do not miss this one ... are you ready to be inspired by beautiful music as the whales of Argentina frolic through the still waters ... and breech to snow capped mountains?
~ A Gift from Marielis
Instructions: Turn your speakers on, click the link, wait for the file to open, in the top menu click "View," in the second menu to the top left click the green arrow "Slide Show," click at the top of the screen to exit, close the page and you will return to Friends of the Heart.
"Conflict or Perfect Peace"
by Katie Davis
• "The Great Silence"
The Whales of Argentina
• Boulder, Colorado
Satsangs and Intensive
The slightest thing could not move me for I am in a ring of pure wonder What is the light you might ask
6-12-08 - Sonjan
Come, sweet beauties;
Meditators, yogis, lovers and seekers
You who have walked to Lhasa
On your knees
Meditated a lifetime
Sought the Kingdom in a 1,000 ways
You who have fallen in love
With silence, and
Adore the Holy One
Just listen . . .
There is an impulse
Moving thru silence
In your heart
It is the Image of God
Knocking from the inside
There is a Divine Order
Moving thru time
Do you hear it?
It is just beyond your ears
It is calling you
To become your Self
To be the winged creature
That you are
Let that impulse fill your wings
Take flight in it’s expression
Address the need
Arising in this moment
To express the Mother’s love,
The Father’s wisdom
You, who are swan-born
Came to this world for this
You came here . . .
Just for this
Oh, swept winged beauties,
The flight of the swan
New ~ Ridgway and Telluride Satsang, Satsang Intensive
Thursday, October 2, 7:00-9:00 pm, Ridgway
Friday, October 3, 7:00-9:00 pm, Satsang, Telluride
Saturday, October 4, 11:00-5:00 pm, Satsang Intensive, Ridgway Sunday, October 5, Private Satsang, Ridgway Carlsbad and Los Angeles California, Details Soon
Event Testimonial: "Dear Ones, [and I mean it :-)]. I want to express my gratitude for the (literally) mind-blowing few days spent in your blessed company. I've experienced the deepest peace and, to quote Rachel, 'I'm still flying'. Thank you! I've sent the link to the pictures from Niagara. It was so beautiful. ~You're in my heart, Dorin, Toronto, Ontario, Canada"
On Maui, Awake Joy and Free Spirit are currently available at the new Barnes and Noble Store in Lahaina, Maui Body and Soul in Kihei, The Studio Maui in Haiku and Borders Books in Kahului
• Carlsbad, California
• Lahaina, Maui
Free Talk and Book Signing
• Mind Body Spirit Radio
Free Podcast and Slide Show
Mind Body Spirit Radio Interview, Liah Howard, Sundance and Katie
Enjoy the free Mind Body Spirit Maui Radio Podcast below with a beautiful slide show that was recorded recently by Liah Howard as she interviewed Sundance and Katie.
Free Awakening Video Library
Enjoy our entire Free Awakening Video Library with three television shows with Katie on the Never Not Here Show in Chicago, two shows with Sundance, Dallas Satsang, a two hour Never Not Here Show at a Chicago Awakening Group organized by the producer with both Sundance and Katie, a Vancouver Radio Podcast by Padma of Beauty Truth, and a video interview by Jordan Shafer of CompassionWorks with Sundance and one with Katie.