WHAT’S BEYOND MINDFULNESS? WAKING UP TO THIS PRECIOUS LIFE
Welcome to “Healing From Within” with host Sheryl Glick author of Life Is No Coincidence The Life and Afterlife Connection and The Living Spirit which share stories of spiritual awakening spiritual communication healing energies and miracles which lead us to discover our intuitive nature and ways to know ourselves so we may live in accordance with our life plan and am delighted to welcome Stephen Fulder PhD author of What’s Beyond Mindfulness?: Waking Up To This Precious Life a life changing guide on every aspect of modern life from using mindfulness to heal conflict, age wisely, deal with tiredness, find fulfillment at work and in relationships and make friends with your body heart and mind.
As listeners of the show are well aware Sheryl and her guests share intimate experiences and insights into the complex nature of energy, Universal Energy and the seemingly divide or duality of our physical and spiritual essence in order to know ourselves as one with unity to the world in its entirety so we can maneuver and be comfortable in our bodies mind and heart.
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within Stephen Fulder PhD will share through the Buddhist practice and philosophy how we may discover that what’s beyond mindfulness are important concepts such as happiness being found in being not having, to the impact of deep listening and sharing our suffering as a way to create empathy and build bridges among war torn groups and finding ways to know peace within and peace for the world begins with each of us learning more about our human and divine aspects and creating a joyful way to walk with our neighbors and find how we are more similar than different and need to respect life our planet and world as the first step to being a conscious citizen of the Universe. Stephen Fulder has spent years teaching healing and peace work in Israel and Palestine and offers a unique way for us to move forward in these changing challenging times in helping ourselves individually and collectively to find well-being.
When Stephen is asked to think back to his childhood and remember a person place event or value that may have shown them or others the adult lifestyle and work they would pursue for often in the beginning is the passion for our true destiny in this life Stephen tells us the following: ”When I was a kid I remember sensing that life was one big mystery. I read a lot of fantasy books, my imagination wove vast worlds and I saw magic in everything and every place: the way apples grew on trees, the way both myself and the butterfly enjoyed the spreading aromas of a lilac bush and the way the people walked in the streets of London. I had one serious problem—that I knew that one day I would have to be an adult and the magic would disappear. It was a terrifying thought. Adults it seemed spent most of their lives worrying and stressed, were never satisfied with what they had especially money were busy all day or just worn out from their busyness…. Etc. Now I am an adult.”
He goes on to tell us how decision making was hard for him and others and writes, “Sometimes it’s agonizing and usually stressful. We just can’t decide about something. It might be as trivial as what restaurant to go to tonight…..I remember the gut wrenching nights when I was just 15 and the school required that I choose the humanities or science. Faced with the endless possibilities of what might happen in the future, the mind spins one scenario after scenario trying to predict the best outcome. This is what causes stress. The reason that the mind does this is that it is driven by a “me” a “self” which has as its job description the search for the safest and most comfortable outcomes for itself in an unpredictable world. Essentially it cannot be done. The future is unknown. The best we can do is to write possible future scripts based on our experience of the past or who we know ourselves to be.
Sheryl responds that we may not know the exact future or even the results from the choices we make, but must determine the next part of our journey make a choice and whatever happens is exactly the experience we are meant to have. An intuitive healer, Sheryl has at times picked up spiritually certain future happenings. In a reading for a client she told her that she saw a large green grasshopper. The client understood all the other messages given, but not that one. About a week passed and Sheryl received a phone call saying she had been cleaning out a drawer and a giant green grasshopper jumped out. Sheryl asked her, “ Well, what does that show you?’ It shows us the past has already happened and Sheryl had just picked up a little piece of that event which would happen. Perhaps our energy is swirling simultaneously in the past present and future and also a part retained above in what some call the afterlife?
Stephen tells us about years spent working to bring healing and peace to Israel and Palestine and sees that this divide may one day be ended with peace and well being achieved as the practice of working living together following the basic mindful tenants of the Buddhist spiritual path allows for greater harmony and peace to reside within and for an acceptance of all living things without judgment. If we can see past our differences to the humanity and love we feel for family children nature the Divine and for living a life without fear we may learn to enhance the love and joyful part of our human and divine nature and give up negativity and emotions that hold us back from peace.
Stephen Fulder PhD is the founder and senior teacher of the Israel Insight Society, the foremost 25 years guided thousands of people in Israel and worldwide in exploring Buddhist teachings practices and perspectives He is also well known for applying these methods to promoting peace in the Middle East. Dr. Fulder has written 14 books on health related subjects.
Stephen goes on to tell us how his book What’s Beyond Mindfulness?” is organized and why it is this way. The book is divided into three sections which can be read in any order, the first part of the book is about how we act and function wisely in the face of sickness, work, ethics, money etc. The second part deals with the pathway up the mountain and what we should take with us. These chapters include working with difficult emotions, conflict conditioning and so forth. While the third section is how things look from up there and deals with divine, autonomy, wise social action, karma and liberation.
This book will imbue your life once more with the sense of magic and mystery that you felt as a child: it will allow you to put down the burdens of anxiety, joylessness, restlessness or a judging mind and shift your experience of the world in a truly profound way.
What’s Beyond Mindfulness? is a uniquely practical and accessible exploration of Buddhism in everyday life that will appeal to people of any faith and to those of none.
Stephen shares with us the universality of the Buddhist teachings and how he discovered that it also works with your primary religious beliefs.
Stephen writes, “ This is where wakefulness, mindfulness and spiritual practices are important. They can make a shift at the deepest level, in the way we are with ourselves, with our experiences and with the world, moment by moment. And gradually something extraordinary happens. We discover that our very nature is peaceful joyful and connected, but we could not see it because it was obscured by beliefs, stories, memories, narratives and habits that filled our consciousness with clouds and burdens. Once the clouds are seen as unreal and not solid, we realize the sun is there and it will shine out again. And in its light our view of reality expands beyond the boundaries that we thought were the world. We are changed and life is lived differently.”
This book is grounded in Buddhist teachings and how they may be applied meaningfully to our outer and inner life but the vast teachings of Buddhism are an absolutely vital resource, a practical treasure trove: simple, direct, non-mystical and non-religious in essence which has reached us today intact and not covered by layers of religious obscurations. We are in a new phase of acceptance and an interest in Buddhist inspired teachings in the modern world and the West. In particular, mindfulness a key Buddhist practice which has changed the face of psychology with the rise of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and impacted health care.
Stephen and Sheryl discuss what they feel may be the way to eventually have peace for Israel the Middle East and political cooperation here in the United States and in the world as all nations are dealing with many of the same issues: migration economic issues religious difference and inequality and a need to recognize our commonality as human beings.
In reference to war Stephen aptly writes, “Most wars including this one in Gaza as I write this or those happening as you read this are fought because of fear insecurity anger or revenge. But these are individual and national emotions often stoked up by media and political leaders. The emotions create a national blindness in which neighbors become demonized and labeled as the enemy. Then communication and sort out problems become impossible. Fear and insecurity are dangerous because it is human nature to want to destroy the object or source of anxiety and fear which are uncomfortable emotions. Most wars are fought in the name of peace but in reality they are fought in the name of comfort and instead of dealing with fears internally there is an attempt to destroy the source of them externally.”
Stephen goes on to see as with everything there is a choice and writes, “There is a choice to see things entirely different. To see us and them as a habit of mind and not a reality, to see how much we are connected not separate, even as we fight together and certainly as we live together on this same earth. Pain and joy, love of life and fear of death know no boundaries. The opposing sides can both wake up and realize that our happiness depends on the happiness of our neighbors and our real safety is in togetherness not in intractable conflict.”
In regard to Gaza each act of violence breeds another act of violence and conditions the collective consciousness to feel peace is impossible. But we can unroll this in a different direction. It is possible to create chains of peacemaking to turn acts of aggression into acts of healing to look for windows of opportunities for communication dialogue and understanding of “the other.”
Stephen shares ideas on how to find our way to peace and liberation. You might start with the five moral guidelines or precepts of the Buddhist world regarded as fundamental.
- I will try to be more sensitive to the suffering caused by harming myself and others and I will cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect living beings. I will endeavor to do no harm in my ways of thinking and in my way of life.
- I will try to be more sensitive to the suffering caused by exploitation injustice healing and oppression and I will endeavor to work for the well being of living beings by sharing my time energy and resources with others. I will endeavor to live modestly and not take what is not freely given.
- I will try to b sensitive to the suffering caused by exploitative or abusive sexual energy and behavior and manage my sexual energy with care, awareness and harmony in relation to myself and others.
- I will try to be sensitive to the suffering caused by unmindful hurtful speech and the inability to listen to others. I will endeavor to cultivate kind truthful speech and deep listening in order to bring joy to others and reduce conflict and discord.
- I will try to be more sensitive to the suffering caused by unmindful eating drinking and consuming. I will endeavor not to ingest intoxicants or toxins that damage the body and dull the mind and to care for the health and well-being of body and mind.
If we can live in the light of these five guidelines our lives and the life of our environment will change beyond recognition. But it is not easy.
By following the five principles of morality we stop harming others which gives more freedom from fear anger oppression and like a circle of transmission and reception, those who transmit ease also receive it. This view is based on an understanding of karma and the knowledge that every action we take, every word we say, every thought we think, sows a seed. The seeds do not disappear they produce fruit. All beings in the world are connected by a network of interactions.”
Therefore an act full of light brings light to the world, a murky act results in a muddled outcome, a mixed action is what characterizes or is created in most cases, a bit of both: a pure life and occasionally a bit aggressive or drink alcohol or watch a stupid movie.
The ideal action is peaceful and creates no karma at all. It is an action that seems to happen by itself and takes place when life flows through us. It happens when essentially there is no “I” separate from and ceaselessly trying to control the world. This is liberation. It seems you must be free from control issues and allow accept and surrender as you simply glide through life with thoughts of compassion and love as your constant companion.
Sheryl Shares with us that in her Reiki Master training there are also Five Tenants or Principles to Remember Each Day and they are:
- Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings.
- Just for today I will be slow to worry.
- Just for today I will be slow to anger.
- Just for today I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.
Like all practices they include an adherence to proper thinking speaking and action exactly like the Buddhist way.
We can learn to deal with the challenge of sickness, aging or personal issues with other people in our life by following a few key ideas when dealing with adversity.
Choices in life are made radically easier if we wake up a bit and live according to three main insights.
- Events condition and create us from moment to moment. We do not choose events—they choose us. We can watch events unfold appreciating what comes instead o manipulating outcomes. Because we don’t feel in charge of everything we just go in the direction that seems most fitting and this way reduces stress and worry greatly
- If we live mindfully and not on automatic pilot, a world of greater freedom and spontaneity opens up. We do not want to be entirely passive bystanders in our life carried along by events. We want more choices to open up for us.
- All choices are actually made spontaneously in the moment. If we look carefully at the intense calculation speculation and hardship that goes along with choosing it feels like treading water with not much happening The choice is often made in the moment when we give up being exhausted from our doubt and if we wake up to this and live with awareness we can shortcut the process drastically and cut down the resistance and churning that goes on in our mind
These awakenings are not complicated. They are part and parcel of a more spiritual aware life. In this kind of life pressure to choose is replaced by something else. This is intention or direction: a real sense of what is good for us what helps us and a wholesome and steady direction to our life. This is the big picture which makes all the choices less critical, There is a sense of rightness harmony or what is fitting to us and the world, from that place of awareness, and we will know what to do instinctively.
In regard to a sickness and how to handle it..We all dread the moment we are diagnosed with some serious disease. The mind is besieged by fears worries what will happen concerns for our children or family and strategies for fighting the disease. We also build may narratives and may blame ourselves or be angry at life or others around us. All of this causes emotional turmoil confusion and despair which makes the struggle for health almost impossible. But if we could know that a disease can be an opportunity, a turning point in our lives and it may not be as bad as it seems we can give ourselves some space to look with reflection an open heart and some persistence and can transform the situation bringing hope and love to replace all the fear and doubt.
The basic tools to clear the heaviness and bring laughter lightness and gratitude are mindfulness meditation using the breath and body as the main focus. Using imagery and developing a sense that there is a deep home inside us that nothing can steal from us.
Taking the disease down off center stage and replacing it with our lived experience causes a profound shift in attitude
One of Sheryl’s favorite chapter or a feeling in the book that speaks to the heart of the matter of your personal truth? was..”What Are We Saying?” Sheryl feels that our words thoughts and actions foster our reality and materialize as we think it so it becomes. So learning to monitor our thoughts and words is a full time job which dominate our inner and outer lives. Words may be empty or powerful, creating either insecurity and fear or comfort and blessings.
So what is right speech which Buddha defined as one of the eight primary paths leading to awakening.. The Buddha defined right speech as follows:
If it is not true and not helpful, don’t say it.
If it is true but not helpful, don’t say it.
If it is not true but helpful, don’t say it.
If it is both true and helpful, find the right time.
To be more mindful of what we are saying. This turns speaking into spiritual practice. It means being more awake as to the source of words within us, and to the effect of the words we are saying both on ourselves and on others. Thoughts arise out of consciousness and consciousness is pure-it is our Buddha-nature our pure being. Words are the feeling and the result of thoughts.
A word spoken right that encourages the best in others and creates healing can be felt directly as a moment of joy and ease. It creates an atmosphere that spreads in all directions and spreads help to others.
Sheryl feels that readers might take away with them after reading What’s Beyond Mindfulness? A very kind and loving picture of life no matter the circumstance or hardship and she shares a beautiful poem that Stephen wrote about his mother when she was totally incapacitated by Alzheimer’s and pretty much expresses the truth of the soul in all its infinite wonderment.
I want to share a secret
About the gentle radiance
Of those last years,
So clear, so soft, so good,
That even the doctors
And the visitors who come and go,
Stop to take a breathe
And will never forget you.
You are not ill
Illness is our label
Inscribed by our fears.
You know no illness nor wellness
No fear of death
No anxieties of what the future may bring,
Or not bring.
No pain, no blame,
No loss no regret
No anger at those who abandoned you
No time no purpose
But the gentle kiss of life itself
The grace that comes when all else goes.
To what do you listen, so intently?
Is it the music of your heartbeat,
Tapping celestial rhythms
On the gates of your soul?
Or is it the humming of bees
On that summer’s day?
Or the barking of your dogs, That only you
can quiet, Or your fingers in their thick fur?
Or dreams of play and play of dreams;
The kaleidoscope of past in present
Uninterrupted by our harsh reality.
As I lie next to you,
And feel this life flow through
And watch your face,
No frown, no wrinkles,
Just open present,
Then, like the moon that shines between passing clouds,
Beams a joyous smile that vanishes so fast,
That I do not know If I really saw it
And now, again, you teach me,
About a life without fear, without walls, without end,
Just as you did when I was born
And, like then, share your happiest years.
We thank Stephen Fulder for sharing a wonderful , and immeasurably improves our health and level of happiness mainly by knowing the truth of our eternal being.
In summarizing today’s episode of “Healing From Within we have discussed ways to find peace within and in the world, and happiness through opening our heart to the possibilities of awareness and higher consciousness. Living with the tenants of Buddhism and Reiki help us fulfill our human and divine journey of life to participate with gusto and live with courage love harmony and balance in order to make our communities and world reflect “Heaven on earth.” That state is not an idea, but a reality when you understand you are a spiritual being having a physical life, and the choices you make in response to the situations you face make all the difference. We are each of us capable of deep feeling and knowingness within the passion of life and love, and holding that energy and awareness through the many challenges we face in a physical world. The power to thrive not merely survive depends on your perception of hope that you are never alone and will receive the guidance and help you ask for at appropriate times.
Stephen and I would ask you to remember that life is full of possibilities for your personal power to grow and expand, as you allow yourself to surrender and not resist the daily life challenges, but flow into contact with adversity and conquer it, through your efforts to remain dedicated to your true soul nature: to love and be loved.