Emptiness and Self-Awareness

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I wrote the following for the 317th 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).

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To some extent, we all want to fill the emptiness within. We fill it with anything we can find – food, material things, anything that brings even the slightest bit of pleasure – because for some reason, acknowledging and living with the emptiness is scary.

Why can’t we be content with the emptiness, explore it, and maybe let it teach us a thing or two? What if, instead of trying so hard to avoid the void, we try to see what’s in there? Nothing is in there, which is precisely what scares us so much about it.

Of all the aspects of spiritual life to discuss, spiritual teachers often emphasize getting comfortable with exploring the emptiness because in it, we find the answers we seek. For most of us, exploring it is the last thing we want to do. Continue reading

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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.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, Karma Yoga Daily) and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion)

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation by sending funds via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Karma Yoga Daily

Thanks for reading!

Featured image credit: Pixabay

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

I Know Nothing

By Wes Annac, Editor, Karma Yoga Daily

I used to love complicated ideas. I used to believe all kinds of things and entertain myself with grandiose concepts. If it was in the fringe category, especially in regard to spirituality, I loved it. The more detached it was from what we think is reality, the more it became my reality.

This isn’t a bad thing, because life is too short not to spend pursuing your interests. If you love tea or coffee, then enjoy them while you can. Run a mile every day if you love exercise. If you love the paranormal, new age spirituality, or anything society would make you feel crazy for, then dive headfirst into it.

I’ve long been unafraid to put my weirdness out there for everyone to see. Despite this, lately I’m not as interested in complicated ideas. I want simplicity. Everyone else can have their big ideas about angels, extraterrestrials, ascension, cities of light, 12th dimensional rainbow merkabas, etc. I’m not criticizing it – it’s just not for me anymore.

I’ve become aware that I know absolutely nothing. I cannot say with 100% certainty that I know how the universe functions, what happens when we die, or what the state of consciousness we access in meditation really is. Humanity as a whole knows very little about all this. Who am I to say I have the answers?

It’s humbling to realize you know nothing. To see that like everyone else, you’re feeling around in the dark grabbing at ideas that appeal to you. It’s easy to think these ideas are the truth. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice the dark backdrop behind them. This is the inescapable void of nothingness and uncertainty.

No matter what we believe, the reality of death and the possibility of nonexistence plague us. One day, we’ll either leave this world for something new or blink out of existence entirely. Just as there’s a probability that consciousness continues after death, there’s a probability that it doesn’t. To me, that’s the scariest thought of all.

When you start thinking in this direction, you realize how starved for truth you really are. It makes you see everything in a new light – including the beliefs you once subscribed to. This leads some people to become atheists and others to become more spiritual or connected with themselves. I’m somewhere in the middle.

I am by no means skeptical of spiritual ideas, but I approach them differently now. I’m more discerning and willing to question an idea before letting it in. Generally, I approach spirituality more objectively than before.

I have no interest in proving any of the spiritual or paranormal stuff I write about. If I write about ghosts, it’s purely for entertainment. Not truth. The purpose of the spiritual writings is to search for truth via metaphysical outlets. But I know that I can’t prove karma, kundalini, or other concepts are real.

We can measure the effect meditation has on the brain, but nobody has proven that it gives you access to other dimensions. Most spiritual concepts have not been proven, as by nature, they run against the materialist mindset that dominates mainstream science.

Although I’m not a skeptic, I no longer take any idea at face value. Along with this, I’m no longer on a quest to prove spirituality is legitimate. I’ve torn down my beliefs and peered into the void behind them, realizing death is inevitable and looking for something real beyond this world.

From scratch, I built a new, simple philosophy.

This is where karma yoga, and by extension, the new Karma Yoga Daily blog come in. Obviously, I did not invent karma yoga. But I take inspiration from the idea of service (in my case, writing) as a way of life and a way to progress spiritually. Even if “progress spiritually” just means to become a better person, I’m onboard.

I love the simplicity of karma yoga. Be kind, work hard, help others, and include yourself in your service. Take care of yourself by doing good, healthy things that help you feel better. Appreciate your opportunity to spend your days helping others, and beyond that, enjoy your life while it lasts. Treat every breath you’re fortunate enough to take as a blessing. If you believe there’s a creator and other worlds we will one day inhabit, thank them for the gift of life.

My path has not been easy, but neither has anyone else’s. I’m grateful that I had to tear it all down and start anew not as an atheist or skeptic, but as a person with a simple philosophy that works for me. You can believe whatever you want, as I have no interest in making you think you’re wrong. It feels great to admit that this is all I need.

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.

Follow me on Facebook (Wes Annac, Karma Yoga Daily) and Twitter (Wes Annac, https://twitter.com/love_rebellion)

If you enjoyed this post and want to support my work, consider a donation by sending funds via PayPal to wesremal@yahoo.com.

Recent articles and videos:

No copyright. Share freely with attribution to Wes Annac and Karma Yoga Daily

Thanks for reading!

Featured image credit

5 Ways Meditation Helps the Mind and Body

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

We don’t hear as much about the physical benefits of meditation as we do the spiritual. Fortunately, the scientific community is interested in it and has done a fair amount of research on it.

Scientists don’t see it as something that will enlighten you or fuel a spiritual journey; they see it as a simple effort to calm the mind using certain mental techniques. They’ve found that this helps the mind and body in notable ways.

In this article, we’ll learn about the physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Specifically, we’ll learn how it can help with creativity, dementia and Alzheimer’s, stress, anxiety, and addiction.

We’ll start with something the scientific and spiritual communities agree on: meditation can make you more creative. Continue reading

5 Pitfalls of New Age Thinking That Can Actually Help You

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 273rd 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. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The new age movement has produced a lot of interesting ideas, many of which have been criticized for being zany or outrageous. But beyond the zaniness, some truth exists in new age philosophy that can help us if we choose to see it.

How we approach these ideas will determine what we get out of them, and here, we’ll look at five common new age ideas from a different perspective.  Continue reading

It’s All Within

By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel

I wrote the following for the 268th 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. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).

The answers you seek live within you, in the consciousness that comprises who you are as a human and spiritual being.

We tend to search for fulfillment everywhere but the one place we find it in abundance: in ourselves. We accumulate external things in hopes that they’ll fill the void within, unaware that true fulfillment comes from exploring that sense of emptiness.

Spiritual seekers are no different, as we also avoid the emptiness with external things we believe will increase or enhance our spirituality. Crystals are a good example. We convince ourselves they help our spiritual growth, which they can if we don’t use them to avoid doing the difficult inner work that leads to evolution. Continue reading