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I am a musician, meditator and sometimes teacher.  From time to time I will be offering workshops and sessions to encourage others to explore the world of meditation.  We will practice some sitting, walking, stretching and chanting.  We’ll rest in silence. What might this reveal?

A shift happens as we become aware of awareness. We connect with something that is bigger than anything else, and it happens to be beautiful. This inspires us, helps us to heal and opens a richer experience of our lives.

One beautiful young fish said to a beautiful older fish;  “Everyone’s talking about this thing called water,  and I sort of understand, but I can’t really see it – do YOU think it exists?”

The wise fish said, “Water  is everywhere, in and among everything – you are breathing it and it is a big part of what you are made of. Without it we wouldn’t be here”

“ I still don’t really get it.”

“Don’t worry little fish – one day you will ..” said the wise fish and she swam off leaving a golden stream of bubbles lit by the sun above.
_                        _                         _                             _                           _                           _                               _                        _

To me, in this story, the water is a state of awareness that we can mature to participate in more consciously.  Call it “God”,   “Enlightenment” “True Self” or “Moksha”.  These are semantics.  Let’s agree that 1) awareness can be wider and 2) Saints and masters of insight advise  us to pursue this.  That keeps it simple.

Some seekers may be inclined toward a mystical approach such as going deep into prayer or meditation or artistic work.  Others will have a philosophical or scientific approach, and others like to just help people and stay plain-minded, grounded in what’s to be done.

Whatever our style, we can benefit from setting aside a little bit of time to do a practice that “tunes the machine” , an exercise that increases our feeling and our  intuitive connection to things at a raw, non-conceptual level.  Using our minds, we “get our hands dirty” and it feels good. We work with our voices and our bodies too.

Simple meditation and ritual practices from ancient roots can be practiced today to help our wholeness and happiness.  Historically we’ve always done this. Only recently have we lost touch with this core  behavior that goes along with washing, eating and working. When we bring it back in we get to know ourselves and where we came from.

It is possible to break out of our cocoon and more directly experience what’s happening, going beyond our usual perspective towards a richer and more joyous experience.

Jivasu’s  “Naturality Mantra”  – sung by Gary Justice: The text and explanation is here

In Among Everything is about  experiential ways to  discover what we have, who we are, and what links us to our energy source.  A shift happens as we become aware of awareness. We connect with something that is beautiful. This inspires us, helps us to heal and opens a richer experience of our lives.    It is so powerful we can be moved to a sense of  devotion when we are “in”  it.  This experience can be brought about by meditation, or by becoming deeply immersed in a wholesome activity, seeing a sunrise, looking into the eyes of an infant.  Yet,  we tend not to stay “in” such a  connected awareness – only visit it briefly, sometimes  not even consciously.

In ancient times exploring this connection with the vast and profound was of great concern to spiritual masters and everyday people.  There was much  motivation to pursue the matter. Oral traditions and ritual were in place. Each in their own way people could feel a connection that was understood to be the source of our well being.

Spiritual masters  express compassion for most of us who had limited access to this awareness. This is the subject of Jesus’ Communication, Moses’ Realization, The Bible, The Quaran,  Krshna’s teaching in the Baghavad Gita, the oral transmission of First Nations Peoples, Buddha’s message, and so on.

The situation is not different today.  There are many among us aware of this connection and its possibility for all of us.

Breaking The Chains 

However, we don’t openly include this thinking in our planning and our understanding.  It has become “alternative” to have truly wholistic curiosity.  A  spiritual perspective is not part of our schooling, our hospitals nor is it on our advertising billboards.  It is politically incorrect to include this aspect in community decisions.  We consider the environment, budgets and governance in terms that exclude notions of divinity, respect, accountability and gratitude. Instead, our systems are heavily influenced by self-serving drives that end at our city or country borders and that exclude the marginalized.  The mainstream middle class behaves as though we are relatively unconcerned with doing what’s best.  Yet, deep down inside we are all actually deeply concerned and every one of us has potential that reaches beyond the mundane.

But because it isn’t built-in to the way society is set up,  to  explore this with to others  we might join a religion or a large spiritual/meditation organization that often imposes an imitative approach that we find ourselves trying to squeeze  into.   Or in small groups of  like-minded others, perhaps in friend networks, niche religious groups, non-religious spiritual or meditation groups or yoga or arts communities .  Like any fringe pursuit in groups, this can have mixed results unless a strong personal practice is in place to help keep you grounded.

Masters from most paths tell us it is in alignment with nature to evolve in humility, kindness and expansiveness  and they recommend we undertake a conscious personal  practice to do so.

In this sense “practice” means something you do other than the regular stuff, some time set aside to take stock of what needs shining, and with this time”practicing” for all the other parts of your life.  Sitting silent meditation, walking meditation, bowing, chanting and other yogas.  We undertake simple exercises designed to help us let  go of  neurotic drives and distractions from what is most important. This is what masters refer to as uncovering our “True Nature” which is said to be luminescent– that is – shining, brilliant and wonderful!  It has been called God (by many names), also Buddha Nature, Paramatman/Parambrahma, Superconsciousness, Higher Nature, etc. All these are attempts to convey a formless yet rich Presence that we are all connected by and can be experienced better than described.

Meditation can be a direct way to move towards this awareness without the  need to pin it down.  Instead, like an artist we experience the flow on a non-conceptual level.  It can ground us, inspire us, soften us, strengthen us, inform us and reveal paths on which to move towards freedom and joy.  This web site will develop as a source for  events and practices to help us connect with this unfolding process, by way of writings, video/audio, hosted events and listings for like-minded hosted events.  Then we can all form a religion – joking!!

Maybe we could all keep our religion or our atheism and just do some fundamental practices.  We can learn to think for ourselves.  Replace the conditioned response of shopping eating drinking and talking with something more connected and more original – at least sometimes!   We can remain an individual and also be assisted by this experience of Oneness, Consciousness, Joy, Peace.  It is not something abstract or intellectualized, but something primordial and fundamental.

For the most part, those positioned as “leaders” today in government and business will not be the ones to show us.  We can receive pointers from artists and spiritually aware teachers, but ultimately it is the  solo journey of personal cultivation that reveals all.

This needn’t require studying complicated philosophies or doctrines. The main thing is  sincerity, humility and being still enough to open our hearts so we can hear  the wordless world.

I am Gary Justice, AKA “Empty Book” and  would like to  share  some of what goes on in the practice of music, Zen, Meditation, Yoga, and Movement – from  lineages of Buddhism,  Sanatana Dharma and more.  These were learned  by spending time with practicing communities led by masters and turned on beings.

We can learn to look up, look in, and listen, to better see, better hear and better feel the light, the sound and the silence of our experience within the universe and beyond.  Then we can better serve each other and enjoy the dance we are doing right here in our everyday lives.