Allow me to draw your attention to an apparently surprising thing. If I told you that now, when you are reading these lines, you are in fact asleep, you would certainly believe that I have gone mad.

You are awake, you are concentrating your attention to reading, and you are aware of your environment as well. You can see the furniture of your room, you can hear the call of the birds from the nearby forest. You are also aware of your thoughts and emotions. How can anyone claim that you are asleep at this very moment?

Naturally, you – just like everyone else – sleeps at night. Yes, sometimes you see dreams while you sleep, but right now it is daytime, you are awake. So how could you see dreams?

You Imagine a Whole World Around Yourself

I believe that you do not only sleep at night, but also during the daytime. I believe that in your present state of consciousness, your greatest illusion is that you think you are awake. I believe that in your present existence, your greatest illusion is when you think that you are alert. What I see is that in your present state of consciousness you are asleep, and at present you are dreaming, and what you see and hear are all parts of your dream.

Your nighttime sleep is only different from your daytime sleep in that in the night your dreams are less active. During the day, you imagine a whole world around you, and you play an active role in that dream. Your personal history takes place in that world, and identifying with that world shapes your personal identity.

At present, you are dreaming that as a part of your personal history you are reading these lines while identifying with the role of the spiritual seeker, and you are outraged by what you are actually reading.

The question may arise, ‘why do I claim that you are asleep and dreaming now?’. Well, from the state of consciousness I call Alertness, I can see that you are asleep, you believe yourself to be a separate self, you are a captive of the works of your mind.

You are not Present

What is the evidence for me to say that you are now asleep and, as a citizen of a dreamland, you are dreaming that you are awake?

It is because you are not present. To be present means that you are fully alert, attentive, and conscious in the present moment. Whatever you do, you do that fully consciously, you focus your entire attention on that particular activity.

Watch: Live in the Here and Now

Do you feel free to declare that you are present in every moment of your life?

What does it mean to be awake? It has happened to all of us that we have come under the spell of a moment, at some time during our life. A beautiful landscape, a sunset, a beautiful piece of art, the rhythm of music enchanted us. It may even happen that we are just lost in the silence of a peaceful moment. The identification with the forms and shapes loosens a little bit for a short while, and in that instant, we may experience an entirely different state of Consciousness.

You Live in a Separate World

How deep you sleep may depend on how realistic you find your dreams, how much you identify with your identity embedded in your personal history. The less alert you are, and the deeper you submerge into your dreams, the more isolated, solitary and individualistic you will become.

Every sleeper –including you– has a separate world, only those who exist in the state of Conscious Alertness (the true Lucid Dreaming) have a common, shared reality. All those different and separate worlds are created by the mind, which generates the state of separateness: the Ego, which appears as the focus of our identification with our thoughts and emotions. Thus everybody has a separate identity, personal history, individual world view and methods of action.

Sometimes suffering alarms you from your sleep, but then you hasten to return to it, and start a new dream, a new objective in life, new ideals, passion, ambition that confirms your connection with your identity, rooted in your personal history.

The Reasons of Your Sleep

The reason of you sleeping is that you are not alert, only awake. Only one dimension of Alertness is present in you. Although you are able to focus your attention on your internal emotions and your environment, in your present state of Consciousness you are still powerfully identified with your mind and its functions.

You are therefore drifting on the stormy ocean of your thoughts and emotions day by day, and the space necessary for the emergence of a contemplating Witness is missing from you. You still identify with your thoughts and emotions. These generate the dreams of the Mind, in which you live as a separate self, and try to find the ways of safely navigating your life on the stormy sea.

Longing for Freedom

In this separate state of Consciousness, the lack of Alertness may appear as a desire for freedom. This desire emerges from your real self, as your mind remembers its origins. This atavistic memory of the ancient past is the quiet attraction that will eventually take you back to Silence.

This deep desire will only cease if you become alert again, that is, you will not be awake but also alert. Then the Consciousness awakens to its own existence in the human form you at present call yourself.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

Only giving up the struggle with the thoughts and emotions and the recognition of the futility of insisting on them will bring you the real freedom, the freedom of independence of the functions of the mind.

Alertness, the awakened Consciousness, the world of internal silence are all beyond the functions of the mind. If you wish to reach beyond the identification with your thoughts and emotions, if you recognize the functions of the mind and the intensity of your identification with them loosens, you may become alert again, in the quiet, pure space of Consciousness.

In this way, the third dimension of Alertness, that is, the contemplating Consciousness, appears in your life. This is the original state of our existence, the pure Consciousness, the state of the witnessing Presence.

This article was originally posted at The Mind Unleashed.

From the book >> Frank M. Wanderer: The Flames of Alertness: Discover the Power of Consciousness!

Read more articles from Frank M. Wanderer

About the author

Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D is a professor of psychology, a consciousness researcher and writer. Frank is the author of the books “The Revolution of Consciousness: De-conditioning the Programmed Mind“, “Ego – Alertness – Consciousness: The Path to Your Spiritual Home” and several books on consciousness. With a lifelong interest in the mystery of human existence, Frank’s work is to help others wake up from identification with our personal history and the illusory world of the forms and shapes, and to find our identity in what he calls “the Miracle”, the mystery of the Consciousness.You can also follow his blog HERE.

Are you looking for a new job and are you stressed? Mindfulness meditation will help you feel better during your job hunting.

Job searching can be a stressful business, especially if right now you are completely out of a job. The more resumes you submit and the more interviews you go to before finding something you like, the more you will consume yourself with uncertainties. Questions like “how do I pay my rent next week” or “will I afford gas to get to work when I finally get a new job” should be asked, but don’t let them overwhelm and stress you out.

Don’t Think You Are Invincible

During their teen years, everyone probably thinks they are invincible. Driving too fast, sleeping too little and irregularly, drinking too much, are done often, with little regard for the body or the mind. This changes once people get to their mid-20’s, early 30’s, and start doing more adult stuff, like working long hours, worrying about family, or staying awake at night because of insecure jobs and the need to look for new ones.

Unfortunately, this whole “adult stuff” business can be just as dangerous as driving too fast. You accumulate stress each time you overwork yourself and each time you worry about someone, failing to let your body recuperate from all that stress by depriving it of sleep. The fact of the matter is, everyone still acts as though they are invincible. But people burn out too.

Stress is responsible for 75 to 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits. Long-term, it contributes to heart diseases, diabetes, weight imbalances and autoimmune diseases. But you will feel the effect much sooner, or are already feeling them. Those mild migraines throughout the day and the fact that you feel queasy when trying to eat something could just as well be caused by stress.

Mindfully Relieve Stress

Mindfulness is the latest eastern practice to be widely adopted across the western cultures. Classes are being offered all over the place, promising mental wellbeing, and pupils are being thought to use this technique to better focus on their studies. It should also help with calming your mind during a new job hunting.

It became popular when University of Massachusetts professor Jon Kabat-Zinn adapted eastern meditation methods into a stress reduction program for the chronically ill. He claims this technique doesn’t only help people manage stress, it transforms the way stress is dealt with. Gelong Thubten, a Tibetan Buddhist, who teaches monthly classes at Google’s headquarters, says the technique works differently than most: “You’re going for a deeper approach,” he says, “because you look at how to get the mind to let go of stressful thinking.”

In a 2011 study,  done by the University of Washington on HR staff, it was found that people who had done an 8-week mindfulness meditation course were less likely to switch between tasks and showed an improved memory. Thubten says this technique brings “a greater sense of focus, non-distraction and concentration,”  which is most useful when you need to be at your best for an interview.

Mindfulness meditation is not complicated at all. All you need is a quiet spot (at first) and a word. This word will be your mantra, and can be anything from an “mmm” sound to something of significance to you. Then breathe regularly and repeat this word, letting your thoughts come and go as they please. Don’t focus on any of them. Your focus is your mantra.

Don’t ignore your thoughts completely, though. Notice their flow and how one thought gets you to the next, but don’t start daydreaming and remain anchored in the present. Notice other physical reactions as well, and become more acquainted with your body. Do this while sitting, not lied back, with your open palms resting on your thighs, facing upwards.

The Foundation of Meditation

This technique is based on two important human traits, compassion and empathy, and focuses on developing a more positive attitude towards others. “If you can engage in meditation practice and learn how to develop a more positive attitude towards others, it has amazing benefits,” explains Thubten.

You may think being compassionate and empathic can be counterproductive when you search for a new job, as you need your competitive edge to stay ahead of other candidates. But this technique has the end goal of improving your understanding of others, which will give you the edge you need and show the interviewer you are a positive person, focused on building and growing, not consuming and taking advantage.

The key point here and the person you should focus your compassion and try to understand better is yourself. “In the western world people are so self-judgmental, so hard on themselves and meditation is an amazing tool for developing self-acceptance, a sense of peace within,” says Thubten. Being at peace with yourself will show during an interview, by making you seem more confident.

Watch: Inner Peace and Harmony

How Long Should You Meditate

Don’t imagine you will lose hours each day standing still on a mat in the lotus position. Sure, there are meditation techniques that can require long periods of time to get working, but not this one. 15 to 20 minutes each day will be enough for you to feel the benefits. Done immediately after you wake up, this technique will get you ready for the day ahead. Before going to sleep, it will help with clearing your mind and allowing you to have a good night’s sleep.

Mindfulness meditation will show it’s true potential when you become able to enter the calming state it brings anywhere and at any time. You can use it when at work, during a break, or in public transports, on your way there. You will see its benefits in your new job application effort when you manage to enter a meditative state just before an interview and you enter the meeting room calm and ready for anything that gets thrown at you.

This meditation technique has become extremely popular in the last few years and you will be able to find a lot of other articles explaining it in detail, so be sure to check them out. Classes should be available mostly anywhere, though be careful to find an experienced, reputed instructor. If you feel you need more help, you should even be able to find some mobile apps to help you out.

Mindfulness meditation has been proven to help with concentration and memory and has the ability to ease anxiety. The most important aspect, according to Gelong Thubten, is the fact that you become a nicer person. “If you are kinder to people, you get along with them better,”  he says. “And you do well in the world when you get along with people. They reward you and your career will go well.” Makes sense.

What do you think about doing meditation to release your new job-hunting stress? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Contributing Editor at Job Application Center. She has a great interest in everything related to job-seeking, career-building, and entrepreneurship and loves helping people reach their true potential.

Consciousness is defined as the state or quality of awareness. To be aware we have to be awake. Not just physically awake but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

We are all conscious beings, but achieving a state of higher consciousness is about developing the awareness of the hidden, unseen world. It is about digging deeper beneath the surface in order to uncover the essence or truth.

Consciousness can be similar to enlightenment. The truly conscious person is awakened to their fullest potential and therefore “lit up” with the energy of who they really are.

Raising your consciousness is not something that is only for the privileged few. We all have the ability to raise our levels of consciousness through being more aware of who we are, where we are and what we are doing.

Many spiritual teachers call this being “present”. It is only when you are fully aware of the present moment that you can truly raise your consciousness.

But what does this even mean? What does it mean to be present? How does being present help me?

Becoming Physically Present

Take a moment right now to observe 7 things around you. Look at your surroundings and identify 7 things that stand out to you.

Just by doing this easy exercise, it is has brought your attention into the present. When you are in the present, it helps you to become completely aware. For just a minute when you were identifying the objects in the room, there was no worry, there was no fear. There was just you, the observer, trying to tune into what you were seeing.

This works on a deeper level as well. When you can be present and tune in to how you are feeling, you also start become more aware and more conscious.

Becoming Emotionally Present

Take a moment right now to identify 3 things that you are currently feeling. Go with the first emotions that pop into your mind.

In that brief moment, when you were doing that exercise you started to tune into your emotional awareness. In this moment you were able to clearly tune into your emotional state of being and feel your energy. In this moment there was nothing else, it was just you, the observer.

We can go even deeper with this exercise onto a more spiritual level, but this is where it takes true commitment and practice.

In fact, all of this does, which is why even the most “enlightened” of people will always have days when they lose touch with who they are and their awareness.

Becoming Spiritually Present

To heighten your spiritual awareness, it requires you to learn how to separate who you are with the observer in your mind. To do this, give yourself 2 praises. This could be something like –“I really love how you handled that project at work today.”

Whatever praises you come up with, say them to yourself in your head. As you are saying them, feel the response that you get when you hear them. That “person” that energy hearing the response is who you are. You are not the voice, you are the listener. You are the energy hearing those words.

Mind blown? I hope so.

Being in the present moment is really about holding on to your awareness and keeping in the flow of life. It is not about getting caught up in the past or in the future.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

This doesn’t mean that you ignore the things that happened in the past, or you neglect your future. It just means that your active awareness is with the energy of the present.

When you are actively present you have taken care of your past and your future simultaneously. When you are in the present, you are one with yourself and the world.

Being present is a gift (pun intended) and the more you can practice tuning in to the moment that is around you, the more peace you will feel with your every day life, and the higher your consciousness will go.

Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live.

– Steve Goodier

This article was originally posted at foreverconscious.com and used here with permission.

Be like water. Water cannot be compressed or repressed. It changes states.

As the proliferation of staged events and the accompanying fear campaigns and predictable clampdowns ensue, it’s always good to take stock of any situation unfolding and assess how best to handle what’s transpiring. With the playing field changing at such a rapid rate, locally as well as globally, it’s wise to see how to perhaps adjust our sights as well as personal attitudes and outlook, all the while staying completely clear of any reaction with even the faintest smell of fear.

Any wise strategist knows you don’t fight today’s battles by yesterday’s instructions. Surely in big ideas there will be overarching plans that too will need to be adjusted accordingly, but the day by day, minute by minute decisions require thinking on your feet and being prepared, vigilant and most of all agile and adaptive are the ever present challenge.

Not just now, but in the potentially confusing days to come.

Flow

The nature of water makes the most amazing metaphor for spiritual preparedness and how to adjust and adapt to our environment. Water cannot be compressed or repressed. It changes states, and yes, can be temporarily contained, but even then has incredible kinetic energy despite its confinement and seeming resting state.

It’s energy withheld from potential activation in another form, awaiting movement. But even then it can evaporate into another state and transfer itself on a whim.

This incredible liquid is the basic building block of nature. It’s now known even stars produce water and other heavenly bodies are rich with it. It floats about in our cosmos like life itself, all completely contrary to the dead, sterile vacuum model of “space” we were entrained with.

It moves, it adapts, it morphs, much like the gift of the human spirit. Only wrong teaching can convince us otherwise. Experience bears this out, as does our intuition.

Lao Tzu Water

Staying Nimble in a World Ruled by Flat Brained Scientism

Adaptability is contrarian to social programming. We’re handed down a very staid, structured and set model for our behavior, as well as outlook. So-called modern science attests to this. It only changes its views with overwhelming 5-sense evidence they accept, an attribute that is a total giveaway as to its true origins and intent and left brained, system reinforcing paradigm and lack of spiritual understanding.

While there is a current wake up of sorts amongst the scientific community as to the influence and profound importance and implications of consciousness, it’s slow on the uptake and will never match the requisites for true societal change.

These so-called advances are encouraging in a way, but they’re always too little and too late….and too lame. Much like so many of the changes many seek to see in conventional understanding that will never hit the mark.

We’re on different frequencies, different levels of understanding and awareness.

We cannot look to any form of established authority for anything. But one thing we can know for sure, when we follow our hearts we know it’s a time of massive change in ways that they will never allow themselves to acknowledge.

Fine. We don’t need their affirmation.

The point here is it’s time to keep moving and changing. Like water.

Being Here, Being There

A lot of people ask me about where I live, why I moved out of the US gulag, and have questions about why I live like I do. I don’t mind and I answer many questions regarding this. Where we each choose to live at any given time is up to each one of us individually. There’s no set or pat answer for anything.

I just like being free. Most of all consciously. Free to do what I love and feel is the most productive, without having to look over my shoulder every two minutes or drive somewhere never knowing what kind of a fascist police bust is up ahead.

But this leads directly back to the water metaphor.

Move where you’re led, go with the flow and all that. It’s true. Just know the source of what you’re letting go into and be grounded in your intentions. Some seemingly confining situations may be your best option. There’s no place for comparison on that level. Where we’re each led to be and how to act is a very individual decision.

Water is the same. It goes where it flows. It sits where it’s confined or rests. It molds to circumstances, restrictions and environment, but it doesn’t lose it’s fluid, adaptive nature. It may be required to wait a while but it is always living kinetic energy awaiting release at any given time.

Enter the Sacred Dragon

Bruce Lee was big on this. And rightfully so. You may remember him as a martial artist but he was extremely spiritual, and died young with his empowering message.

Principles are principles, and hold their own. The wise teachings that have withstood the test of time and worked their way around the rocks and protuberances of social engineering still speak loud and clear to the hearts of humanity. Much like water, foundational truths cannot be quenched. They may be waylaid for short periods of time, even sequestered by powers that shouldn’t be, but they always escape the clutches of the control grid and reach deep into the heart of mankind.

Lee famously touted the liquid metaphor, as have many sages. It’s ours to learn these techniques and if you will, spiritual technologies, to stay free and happily afoot and adaptive.

It’s not easy but it’s worth learning. Flow.

And flow we will.

Be like water.

Love, Zen

Source: Zen Gardner

Meditation is one of the best instruments we need to adjust our feelings, in order to create a relaxed space and manage physical and mental trouble, and experience the peace of the present moment.

Here are four types of modern meditation, used worldwide today.

Guided Meditation

This type of meditation is, mostly, a modern phenomenon.

Meditation is a modern way to grow better well-being, improve your performance and enhance yourself. It is often the option that newbies choose as it is an easy way to get introduced to meditation. Digital technology and internet make this method very popular as you can find all types of guided meditations online. You just make yourself comfortable, by relaxing and hearing the audio. A voice is guiding you one step at a time and there is some relaxed background music to help you also. There are many customized themes of Guided Meditation that have different purposes. For example, improving someones relationships and cultivating forgiveness as a healing process.

A Guided Meditation actually walks you through the different phases of meditation and help you reach a quiet and relaxed state.

Mindfulness

Being mindful means that you bring yourself in a position where you can observe your inner world from a “distance”. Rather than letting your life cruise you by, you get connected to the moment and you try to analyze your feelings, correlate them with your thoughts and enjoy the present as much as possible. What is most important is that you make your mind clear and keep away any distractions, by keeping attention to what is crucial. Your personal thoughts are not important just because they are yours, you must be in control of them without criticising them. Mindfulness is able to help patients cope with serious illnesses. Some practitioners use Cannabis products because they can be hyper aware of their thoughts and feelings and find it a good way to experiment with meditation. They often prefer vaporizers, the healthy way to smoke marijuana.

Reflective meditation

This type of modern meditation is a methodical examination of some thought or an idea. The practitioner tries to focus to this thought and analyzes extensively the many parameters of the thought. For example if one chooses to concentrate and stay focused to the idea of LOVE then he will start correlate this thought with the people that symbolize love for him or her, and make a meaningful connection. Then the practitioner can recall times of the past in his life that love was present to his life. He can connect this state of love with other thoughts or ideas like openness. By exercising reflective meditation you learn to get focused and relaxed at the same time, and in the long term the quality of your analytical thought gets more and more clear and meaningful. It is very important not to give up and be persistent in practicing and keeping your mind focused on the idea you chose.

Heart Chakra meditation

This modern meditation type focuses on the chakras of the human body. Chakras are energy vortexes and the fourth chakra is the one of the heart, related obviously with love. The Heart Chakra is the center of human consciousness. Moreover, the fourth chakra which is described with green color, symbolizes the relation between the physical and spiritual selves. Practitioners try by activating their heart chakra to create a mental bridge between these two different dimensions. By using visualization techniques they imagine the green energy starting from their chest and expanding. This technique of heart expansion is believed to release the practitioner’s sadness and fear and bring sympathy and affection into ones life.

Do you have any other types of modern meditation to suggest? If yes, comment below.

By Guest Author, William Smith