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The Shadow | Return with Elixir

Aug 01, 2020

The spiritual seeker sees our oneness with all and interconnectivity but it's only the true student of the mind that understands that if we're all one, we're also one with the ugly bits. Dr. Miles Neale explains in this clip from Return with Elixir.

We said that for each of the preliminary practices and the quality of mind that it exposes, you can go one step further into the shadow and there you will find lurking in the dark something else at the root. For example, the prostrations expose pride but pride is the obvious near enemy. What is the shadow reference? Unworthiness.

The other one was bodhichitta, the generation of the altruistic intent. That exposes the envy and underneath the envy is incompetence. Then there was the mandala offering which is designed to expose greed and grasping, then underneath that shadow, scarcity. Then we had the purification practice of Vajrasattva which exposes the anger. Underneath that, fear. Finally the guru yoga which exposes the delusion and...

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The Departure | Return with Elixir

Aug 01, 2020

The Hero needs to a find a mentor but they also need to know when to leave the mentor. In this clip from Return with Elixir, using the example of Jung's departure from Freud, Dr. Miles Neale discuss what that might look like.

This class is on the Departure. This dream I raise because it is a living example of what a catalyst for the Departure could look like. Maybe there are more, but I found at least three or four characteristics that are emblematic of Jung's departure.

First and foremost is his departure from his mentor. That is not a small thing because the archetype of the mentor along the Hero's Journey is absolutely critical and essential. It is the mentor that empowers the initiate and allows him or her to connect with the confidence that has been missing. For example, Luke in the Force has a great power that is revealed to him by the mentor. But there also comes a period depending on which chapter you find your hero, where they must also then transcend their mentor...

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Return with Elixir

Jul 31, 2020

In this excerpt from Return with Elixir, Dr. Miles Neale introduces Joseph Cambell's monomyth, how it can be applied in our own lives and what to expect from the course.

It became clear that another level was necessary the progression to rise above the personal and enter the transpersonal or the mythic. They complement each other because one of the potential shadows of introspection and deep therapeutic work is that you can get trapped in the ME complex. You don't want to deny trauma because trauma will repeat repeat itself if it's left in the shadow. You want to bring it out of the shadow. But you also don't want to get stuck in the one dimensionality of trauma. There are profundities available by the study of Buddhism but we don't want to just get stuck in an indoctrination of Buddhism. We want to add therapy. There are profundities about psychotherapy but we don't want to just get stuck in the personal attempt at healing.

At each step of the the path we're adding...

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Paradigm Shift

Jul 30, 2020

When we add this visualization system to the hero's roadmap that we'll unpack in the course, the two coming together is articulating the roadmap of your own development. You have to remember wherever you are right now, as an ordinary person, you and I, we both feel very stuck. To really get the benefit of this course you have to be brutally honest and articulate in front of your own mind and in the mirror, how stuck you are in some place. Then you have to look at why that is. There has been an unconscious process of prior experiences that you have internalized to be you and what you expect from reality, and you are unconsciously projecting that on reality.

In a way, you're just in a rut, bouncing up against reality with your prefabricated expectations of rejection or of missing out, of not being asked for and being neglected. That's already happening. The clearer and crisper and more vivid you are about how that's already happening, you can then plot out what it would be like to...

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Curriculum of Compassion

Jul 28, 2020

What are the main building blocks of Buddhahood? There is both the body and the mind of the Buddha. The mind of the Buddha is the mind that realizes complete and utter interdependence or emptiness and the body of the Buddha is of a compassionate, sensitive, capable, skillful agent of change or altruist.

That is where we are in this training for this year. This entire year we accept that we are budding, entry-level bodhisattvas-in-training. We assume the paradigm shift, the perspective of interdependence and of emptiness. We assume the quality of sensitivity for the plight of others as our training ground. We acknowledge the development of compassion as the very vehicle along the highway to Buddhahood and from that motivation there comes a set of very specific practices that will actually allow us to perform in certain ways to reach our objective.

That's why I'm saying if there was no pandemic we would have to construct a problem in our mind to attend to in order to motivate us. But...

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The Mentor

Jul 12, 2020

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the mentor or teacher is seen as being the living embodiment of the Buddha. In this clip from Return with Elixir, Dr. Miles Neale discusses the reason behind this and when finding a guru may or may not be appropriate.

I thought that we should talk about the mentor in the Tibetan tradition. The Tibetans are very unique in their approach to the Buddhadharma. For thousands of years the Buddhadharma was discussed in terms of taking refuge in the three jewels, the Buddha himself as the historical figure, his teachings, the Dharma and those aspirants committed to the path, the Sangha.

In the Tibetan tradition, as the Vajrayana teachings, the diamond teachings or the tantric teachings become more prevalent or prominent, all three jewels are embodied in the principle of the guru, the mentor. You can think about the development of Buddhism in terms of several centuries. After the Buddha's death there emerges the emptiness teachings and with them at the...

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Solve et Coagula

Jul 12, 2020

The motto of the alchemical tradition, solve et coagula, is the transformation of base metals into gold. It is also the heroic transformation of ordinary life, through trials and adversity. Dr. Miles Neale explains in this clip from Return with Elixir.

Solve et coagula is very encapsulating of the three threads of the psychology, the myth, and the practice. 

What does solve sound like to you? Dissolve. Which is exactly what it is.

What does coagula sound like to you? Coagulate. 

This is the the motto of the alchemical tradition. The alchemical tradition is what what Damian [Echols] might say he represents the magic of. The magical or the alchemical tradition comes out of the attempt to literally transform base metals through a process of purifying them in order to reconfigure them so that they would create gold. That is on the physical level. What it is spiritually or metaphorically, is deconstructing something so that it's essential ingredients can be...

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Quantum Activism in Challenging Times | Free Event

Jul 03, 2020

For millennia the contemplative traditions of India and Tibet have taught that the ultimate nature of reality is empty of inherent existence, and thus insists on social engagement based on love and compassion. This paradox is known as nonduality and understood correctly avoids the extremes of absolutism and nihilism, allowing for creative agency in the world.

Join visionary thinker Dr. Amit Goswami for this talk on quantum activism, and discover the transformative aspects of quantum physics, such as nonlocality (communicating without signals); discontinuity (taking quantum leaps without going through intermediate steps); and tangled hierarchy (the capacity for causally circular relationships). Learn how these quantum principles relate to ancient, sacred wisdom and how they can be applied to conflict resolution and reshaping society.


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Jul 03, 2020

Visualization is a powerful meditation technique that many people give up on because they think it's too hard and that they can't do it. In fact, we're visualizing all the time. Dr. Miles Neale explains in this clip from Return with Elixir.

You'll get people who say 'I can't visualize' or 'visualization is so hard for me, I can't do it. It's much easier for me to just follow my breath.' The counter to that is that we are actually visualizing all the time. That sometimes catches people off guard because they take for granted the fact that what they're seeing and experiencing is the way reality is when in fact, from a from a brain based point of view, there is a very small window of data input that's happening.

Images, sights and sounds are coming in the doors of perception and actually being fused by the right brain, memory, association and emotion and creating a kind of storyline that we take for granted. That the things we're perceiving are actually out there, when mostly, not...

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Contemplations on Death

Jul 03, 2020

Like many many spiritual traditions, the lam rim (gradual path) tradition of Tibetan Buddhism teaches how to prepare for death. This is done by three contemplations, designed to evoke a sense of the preciousness of life and a sense of urgency to make it meaningful. Dr. Miles Neale explains in this excerpt from Return with Elixir

I think we all can agree that our culture isn't going to prepare us for death yet that's an inevitability that awaits all of us. From the Lam Rim point of view, the gradual stages of the path, the teaching on death has three levels of contemplation. The first one is the inevitability, the fact that death is certain. No matter how much our culture or family system, evolutionary instinct or habit wants to convince us to be in denial about it, from the gradual stages of the path training it becomes essential at the outset of the path to include the reflection, the constant reminder that death is certain and inevitable.

It's not just in the Buddhist...

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