Exploring Consciousness: Our Only Hope

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

Anyone who pays attention to what’s happening in the world will see a lot of hatred. It’s enough to make us wonder why humanity is so worked up and if we can reverse our course before we destroy ourselves. I think we can, but the solution will make most people uncomfortable.

Our only hope is to explore alternate states of consciousness.

When I say, “alternate states”, some readers probably think of psychedelic drugs. Psychedelics can induce an undeniably powerful spiritual experience, but for now, let’s talk about the alternate states you can induce naturally via activities like meditation that are good for the brain.

If you’re not looking for an alternate state that’s too overwhelming but you still need to calm your mind, meditation is perfect. When done consistently, it provides a light, balanced introduction to the “other side” without the overwhelm and anxiety psychedelics can cause.

Meditation is great for helping with mood problems that stem from an overactive mind. Most importantly, it can help you open your heart. This is what the world needs, and this is why alternate states are important.

Some believe we are on the precipice of a new era in human consciousness – particularly, in the way we explore our consciousness and interact with each other. Depending on where you look, you’ll either think this is true or misguided wishful thinking.

People are indeed waking up and discovering that this world we’ve built is amazing in many ways but deeply disturbed in many others. They see how backwards our society is, and they can’t understand how others are still falling for the tricks of a system that keeps us subservient.

Despite this, the same old drama repeats itself every few years as if it’s on a cycle. It seems like nobody has learned anything from the thousands of blood-soaked years that got us here, as most of us are still fighting and killing each other as humans have always done.

We show no respect for ourselves, each other, or the creatures we share this planet with; not to mention the planet itself. How could we be undergoing a shift in consciousness when so little has changed?

I used to have a lot of big ideas about what this shift entails. At one point, I thought a glorious spiritual ascension would sweep the world, enlighten everyone, and allow us to create heaven on Earth. Now, I think this shift comes in cycles but is nevertheless our responsibility to initiate. The only evidence we will see of it is that which we create.

Nothing can happen without our participation, and the first step is to gently introduce ourselves to alternate states on a global scale.

Again, for those who are uncomfortable with using psychedelic teacher plants, meditation is a great start. It is not overwhelming or even very powerful. You determine its power by how often you practice it. This, I believe, is the first step to initiating the kind of global consciousness shift we can measure and point to as proof that something real is happening.

I believe it is, but we could miss the opportunity if we don’t explore the states of consciousness that give us a glimpse beyond our reality. The world needs the feelings of love and unity these states provide. Without them, we’ll keep killing each other and missing our greatest opportunity for enlightenment.

About the author:

31287220_1930589003619961_7591073383912046592_nI’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, the environment, activism, music, and other awesome stuff. I run Karma Yoga Daily, a news blog dedicated to sharing daily wisdom.

This personal blog I run is pretty great, too.

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Listen to the Intuition

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I wrote the following for the 311th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.

Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. You can find the option to subscribe at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

If there’s one thing about spirituality I can be sure of, it’s the intuition – the voice within that guides you and helps you make the best possible choices in life. For those who look at life in a less metaphysical and more scientific way; it could just as easily be a psychological mechanism we use to guide ourselves onto the right path.

This is one possible explanation for what in my experience is a very real thing.

I couldn’t say what exactly it is, and the word “voice” is inaccurate. It’s more of an inner knowing or a nudge to the right thought, expression, or action for that moment. Many who follow their intuition say that it feels like they have an internal guardian angel helping them through even the most mundane parts of their lives. Continue reading

Karma Yoga Decoded – Part 3

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

Imagine you’ve experienced a spiritual awakening. Maybe you’ve realized you are more than your body, and this has motivated you to change your life. Maybe your awakening is less metaphysical and more practical. You’ve realized you have a purpose and you now want to do something good in your short time on this planet.

Fortunately, spirituality and self-improvement can be whatever you make of them. Countless paths are available, but most people recommend you create your own path in which you incorporate the best ideas from each one.

As we’ve been learning, karma yoga is one such path that borrows from various beliefs. Hailing from Hinduism and the Bhagavad Gita, karma yoga is a unique path focused not on constant prayer or meditation, but on service as a form of worship. By helping others, we serve God. Continue reading

Karma Yoga Decoded – Part 2

If you like this article, check out the first episode of the Karma Yoga Podcast.

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

In this part, we’ll look at karma yoga from a biblical perspective. Because of this, I should make a disclaimer regarding the heavily religious nature of the things we’ll read here. In this article, we’ll read Bible verses that exemplify what religion could and should be.

I’m a little more comfortable with Buddhism, Hinduism (the religion that gave us karma yoga), and similar beliefs than Christianity or Catholicism. I think that the core of every religious teaching is to have empathy, help others, and be a good person; something Buddhism seems to encourage far more than Christianity. Despite this, the flaws of organized religion are obvious.

I could repeat them for the thousandth time, but you’ve heard it before. Religion has been responsible for war, hatred, and general nastiness throughout history. It’s not any better today. Continue reading

Introducing the Karma Yoga Podcast

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I’m excited to share something I’ve been working on for a while: the first episode of The Karma Yoga Podcast. This will be a scripted show in which I’ll discuss various topics including spirituality.

In this first episode, I share some interesting facts about cannabis and hemp. We also look at the life story of the man who created Buddhism. This is my first podcast, and admittedly, it’s a little cringey. It will get better!

You can listen to it at Anchor.fm.

If you like this episode, check out KarmaYogaDaily.com for articles related to everything discussed here. Also, check out Karma Yoga Daily and Aware Culture on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter @Wes_Annac and @love_rebellion. Continue reading

Karma Yoga Daily Is Circling the Drain: We Need Your Help

Karma Yoga Daily Is Circling the Drain: We Need Your Help

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

When I created Karma Yoga Daily, I had a vision for what the blog would be. I wanted it to be a haven for anyone who’s interested in spirituality, activism, alternative news, and protecting the environment, among other things. I wanted to have a dialogue with those of you who share these interests.

For me, the new blog represented a rebirth. I’d lost the inspiration to write after some things happened in my life that sent me crashing down to Earth from the clouds my head comfortably rested in. I became a little more pessimistic, especially regarding spirituality, but maintained my belief that love is the truth at the heart of all spiritual philosophy. I still believe it is; otherwise I wouldn’t still be writing.

More than once, I’ve come close to giving this up and getting a regular job. Sometimes the stress – mainly financial stress – doesn’t seem worth the freedoms you get when you work for yourself. Sometimes I wonder if I’d be happier exchanging these freedoms for the financial security I might get from a less meaningful job.

Every time I come so close to giving up, something pulls me back in. On one occasion, that “something” was karma yoga: a lifestyle centered on serving others. The idea that I could pursue writing as a purpose and a service kept me from shutting it all down.

It reminded me that plenty of people are living their purpose, helping others, and making enough of a living to survive. I then realized that I shouldn’t do this work for selfish purposes, but I should be able to survive while I do it. The only way I can pay the bills with writing, podcasting, or running a blog is to work so incredibly hard that things can’t help but fall in line.

In the couple months since Openhearted Rebel became Karma Yoga Daily, I’ve worked more than ever. I continue to believe that if you work hard with an unselfish spirit, it’ll enable you to at least survive comfortably.

Obviously, karma yoga is not meant to make you rich or famous. I don’t expect to make millions from writing articles, eBooks, or doing podcasts. I just need to survive.

In terms of wanting to give up, I hit one of my lowest points shortly before I created Karma Yoga Daily. I was all but ready to give up but thankfully found the inspiration to keep going. Recently, I hit what might be my lowest point. I’m not throwing in the towel, but if I’m being honest, things are harder than ever.

At the time of writing this, a lot of things are piling on – bills, a lack of transportation, expensive home repairs, less income – and I need to step back and think about it all. As someone who has a family to support, I need to question if I’m doing the right thing. It’s a depressing question but one I must ask.

I’d rather create content without asking for anything in return, but I’ve been forced to ask readers for help more and more lately. I know that this is a give-and-take, and I can’t spend so much time working toward something if I’m doing it for free. But I deeply despise asking for financial help. To me, it contradicts karma yoga (selfless service) and negates everything I’m doing.

Now, with bills/expenses piling up and no end in sight, I can’t be ashamed to need help. As much as I believe in karma yoga and will continue to, I can’t work for free. I wish the world operated differently and I could write without charging a dime or asking for help at all. Some days I feel like I can, but reality is showing me that it doesn’t work this way.

I have no sponsors, and the ads on the blog generate chump-change at best. I don’t have an incredible social media following, as sites like Facebook are making it harder to reach people if you’re lucky enough that they don’t delete your page.

What little income I have comes directly from the couple hundred people or less who read my articles. I say this not to be negative, but because it’s the truth: if the blog is going to continue, we need your support. Financially, we’re circling the drain. We need help from our readers.

I could repeat that I’m working harder and making more content, and despite the lack of results from that work so far, I can promise you it’s true. I’ve never been so far out of my comfort zone in terms of working more and approaching this work in difficult yet creative ways. I’m excited to share the results if/when possible.

If I put out this and other appeals for financial assistance with no response, I’ll take it as a sign that it’s not meant to be. I won’t shut down the blog, but I certainly won’t be around as often if I’m back in the rat race. I can say that we’ll need support sooner rather than later or we’ll be without internet, making it impossible to post or be around at all.

Despite these very real threats looming, I’m hopeful about the future. I feel inspired again, and for me, that’s a big deal. I want to work harder, create more, and give you incentive to support us over these rough next few months. If that support doesn’t materialize, then I’ll have no other option.

If you can’t help financially, we could use some good vibes right now. I’m a believer in the power of positive energy, and if our spiritual/lightworker friends can send some our way, we’d love you for it.

I don’t want to draw a line in the sand; I want to keep writing and sharing informative content. If you believe in the future of Karma Yoga Daily and you can support us, it would help ensure the blog doesn’t fade away.

I’ll keep writing for now, and the universe will decide if I sink or swim. It’s out of my hands.

How you can help:

There are a few ways you can support us. One is by subscribing to the Weekly Awareness Guide for $11.11 a month. The guide isn’t much in terms of content; just a few extra articles exclusively available to subscribers and compiled into a neat, readable format (sent via email). The purpose of the subscription is to support the blog, with the extra articles being a perk.

Weekly Awareness Guide $11.11 monthly subscription

Another way you can support us is by checking out my first and (so far) only eBook: Enlightened Afterlife. I wrote it because I was fascinated with the religion known as Spiritualism and wanted to explore its history and philosophy with an open mind. I figured my friends in the spiritual community would be interested as well. Kindle owners can purchase the book here. Or, you can purchase the PDF version with the button below and receive it via email.

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PDF of Enlightened Afterlife for $7.99

Lastly, you can support us by donating via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com. Short of subscribing to the guide, this is the best and most direct way you can help.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone who’s supported us through the years. We’re able to continue through your support alone, and we most certainly would not have come this far without it. By helping us, you are ensuring Karma Yoga Daily has a long, productive future.

Much love,

Wes Annac & family

Karma Yoga Decoded – Part 1

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

Described in the Bhagavad Gita, karma yoga is a spiritual path centered on helping others as a form of meditation and a way to achieve enlightenment. Students of this path live a life of service, which balances their karma and gives them a purpose to pursue.

It might sound simple, but it’s a tough path meant only for those who can put their heart and soul into it. Meditation is easy once you get the hang of it; going out of your way to help people is not so easy.

Could you imagine the impact of millions of people doing something that even slightly resembles karma yoga? What do you think would happen if for one day, we stopped hating each other and tried to help each other thrive?

In my opinion, this is what we need. Not war, hatred, or political, racial, or religious division. We need love and selfless service on a global scale. Continue reading