As my practice has grown, so has my need to communicate with
my growing clientele. It is for this reason that I send out
a newsletter, usually once a month. It contains a "Thought
of the Week" and updates on upcoming group healings and
events. If you would like to be on my list, please subscribe
From Previous Newsletters
- "Dropping into
The funny thing about stillness is that it is everywhere,
silently pervading all that is. Even within the most violent
electrical storm or devastating personal drama, stillness
quietly observes. What is even more amazing is that we
are that stillness. During the retreat that I recently
attended, we spent seven days just dropping into stillness,
and in the beginning it was quite scary. A lot of fear
kept coming up, making it impossible just to be, without
drama. It felt like I would die if I fully dropped into
such deep emptiness, and then a thought occurred to me
- "But I am the stillness!" Suddenly I could see
that in effect I was afraid of myself, of being what I
already am anyway, and it was so absurd it made me laugh.
Now, without fear, I could let go completely and simply
Be, without any need for contraction or worry.
Since then, my experience of myself has completely changed.
Whereas until now it has seemed as if I were a Nathan
experiencing Awakeness, now it feels as if Awakeness is
experiencing Nathan. The boundaries of my sense of self
are dissolving, because the stillness is everywhere, and
I see myself in that stillness. I invite you to find the
stillness within your own being, and just Be with it.
It will blow your mind!
- "Giving Back"
For some time now, I have been feeling a tremendous amount
of gratitude for all the many blessings in my life. The
three things that I am most grateful for are my health,
the spiritual freedom that I've found, and all of my great
friends, family, and clients who support me every day
of my life.
On the spiritual side of things, suffering has largely
become a relic of my past, something that I remember experiencing
almost continuously, but now just seems like a quaint
way to have spent my time. But I remember something that
Adyashanti said a while back, which was that when some
people experience Awakening, they spend the rest of their
lives with an attitude of, "I've found my bliss -- good
luck with yours!" While there is nothing wrong with that
and there's no need to judge someone else's journey or
decisions, there is still something missing from such
an attitude. There is a selfishness there, a way in which
the Awakening has not fully taken hold. A spirit of service
is important in any Awakening process, because if you're
not serving others then you are only serving yourself,
and in Awakening it is seen that there is no personal
self to serve. Selfishness merely perpetuates the illusion
that a true Awakening will ultimately dispel.
So I have been thinking a lot about this topic. The truth
of the matter is that I only have what I have because
of all the tireless work that others have put into my
happiness and development, for which I feel incredibly
grateful. From the telecommunications technology that
allows me to serve clients around the world, to the spiritual
teachers who have paved the way for my spiritual liberation,
to my parents who gave me the best education anyone could
ask for, there are just too many people who have helped
me to ever possibly pay them back. So instead, I have
decided to express my gratitude by "paying it forward"
- by making myself available to uplift others. I do that
directly through my healing practice and the book I'm
hoping to publish soon, but I can still give to others
outside of a business context, which is why, for instance,
I've decided to help tutor underprivileged children in
math. As time goes on, I hope that I can give to others
what has so generously been given to me, because everyone
should have what I have, and the best way for me to show
my gratitude for what I've been given is to pass it along
- "Growing Up"
One of the things that still amazes me about my own process
is the fact that advanced age is not a sufficient condition
for being a "grown-up." There are still aspects of my
life in which I need more growth and maturity, and others
in which I remain a downright infant. How embarrassing!
And yet I don't think that I'm alone. To one degree or
another, many of us are struggling to become the adult
that we know we have to become.
A lot of that growing up has to do with very practical
matters, such as having a successful and satisfying job
or career, or being a good parent, or just dealing with
a traffic ticket. But there is also a growing up that
has to do with spiritual growth, and the parallels are
strikingly similar. For instance, being an adult in the
world means taking responsibility for your actions, accepting
the consequences for both good and bad behavior. The same
is true of one's spiritual self, where we must take personal
responsibility to an even deeper level so that Truth can
make a home in our hearts and souls.
More than anything, however, growing up means engaging
the world on its own terms, rather than retreating to
a mental palace of "the world should be like such and
so..." We stop trying to save the world because no one
person can save the world; instead, we do what we can,
and let Spirit take care of the rest. We stop telling
others that they should change who they are, and instead
accept them, compassionately, for who they really are.
We stop lying to ourselves and let the Truth wash over
and through us, until there is no possibility for deception
left in our souls. We grow out of our wounds and traumas,
let go of the past, and embrace the wonder of innocence
tempered by experience, and inner joy experienced through
- "Abiding In What
The peace and tranquility of what IS right now is truly
breathtaking. When the struggles and strivings of the
mind become quiet, all that is left is what is true right
now, and that truth is YOU. Slipping into that silence
is your birthright - even more, it is your "pre-birthright",
for it was there long before this incarnation, or even
time itself. It is what you are, and when you allow it
to take center stage in your awareness, you come home
in a way that is humbling in its intimacy. Abiding in
what you are is the deepest healing one could ever hope
- "You Can't Outsmart Yourself"
One of my favorite quotes from Adyashanti is that your life, today, is the perfect expression of what you truly value. This fits very well with the philosophy of my healing practice, which is that the problems in our lives are the result of unresolved issues playing themselves out, and the only way for those problems to go away is to truly resolve those issues.
However, while sitting with Ammachi last week, I came to see the truth of this with a newer, fresher perspective. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be Enlightened, in the sense that I would be okay with whatever happened in my life - I would allow my life to live itself, rather than always trying to control the parts that I don't like (and even the parts that I do like!). For a moment I slipped into a new place of consciousness, and suddenly it was clear to me just how insane it is for me to live my life the way I normally do!
What I mean is that from that brief moment of surrender, I could feel and experience how my "stuff" is constantly trying to express itself, and my normal reaction to this is to try to manage and control my external experiences - so on the one hand a deep part of myself is trying to create one kind of experience, and on the other hand another part of me is trying to create the opposite kind of experience. It's crazy, and the only way out that I can see is to be completely honest with oneself. If some part of me is trying to create an experience of fear and lack, then I need to admit it to myself, rather than try to outsmart my own inner ability to manifest fear and lack.
This is the flip side of any true healing journey - not only do you need to work through your past issues, but you also need to be completely honest about what is not yet resolved. This will help you to be present in life even when life is being very trying, and this Presence of consciousness is truly what heals, truly what brings about Enlightenment.
- "Sometimes It Just Sucks"
My thought for this week is that sometimes, despite what we might know in our minds about the perfection of all things, life just sucks! Or at the very least, this is what we really feel when we're being completely honest with ourselves.
The point of spirituality and spiritual healing isn't to be just another means of escaping our pain by imagining that life is better than it actually is. The point is to find the strength within ourselves to be with life just as it is - warts and all!
So next time you are feeling that life is not all it's cracked up to be, don't worry because you're right - it's not! Life on this planet is a hard existence, and there's no getting around that. Yet in being searingly honest about this fact, we come into a truer place within ourselves, and the "suckiness" of life can be felt from this deeper, truer place - and *that* is what spirituality is all about.
- "The Meaning of Laughter"
During one of the VortexHealing courses I just took, our teacher asked us to consider the following question: "What is the meaning of laughter?" I invite you to take a moment to consider this question for yourself. . .
For myself, I found that the more I considered the question, the more something inside me felt threatened. I couldn't seem to find any meaning within laughter - it's just laughter! It doesn't mean anything except what it is, and while there may be something that *makes* you laugh, the laughter itself has no story within it.
So if laughter - which is such a wonderful thing to experience in life - doesn't have any intrinsic meaning, then how important can my own "meaningful" stories and dramas be? How important can even *I* be, once laughter itself is seen to be meaningless?
Of course, it's easy to take an exercise like this to have a nihilistic edge to it, but the essential truth here is that life doesn't have to have meaning in order to be enjoyable, and in fact it is the "meanings" that we assign to our experiences that create the most suffering. If we can let our lives be as meaningful as laughter, then wouldn't life be an incredible joy?
Last night during meditation, something finally penetrated the walls of my very obstinate ego - the true nature of self. In that moment, I surrendered my self-concept and simply became aware of *awareness*.
There is a subtle, yet powerful shift that occurs when one sees one's essential nature not in form, but in that which is *aware* of form. To be sure, it is a scary thing to contemplate, because awareness is so ephemeral and apparently empty, yet the results of this simple surrender are tremendous:
The body is still sitting there, thoughts still run through the mind, but one's relationship to these things completely changes. Rather than taking one's body (or mind, or emotions, etc.) for granted, yet living in a state of fear of what might happen to the body, suddenly the body and its thoughts become a tremendous gift! If "this" isn't me, then how lucky am I to be able to experience it!
At this point, life can become a celebration, because even the pain and suffering that comes with experiencing humanness are rare gifts that formless awareness would not otherwise have. Life suddenly becomes fresh, exciting, a new exploration in every moment. The problems we face are still there, but that's just another form to be aware of, so there is no sense that there's something "wrong" that needs to be "fixed". Life will continue to unfold, and undying Awareness will always be there to enjoy it.
Recently I attended one of Adyashanti's satsangs (www.adyashanti.org), and he reintroduced to me the idea of self-inquiry. The idea is that you ask yourself, "Who am I?" over and over again. Whenever you get a sense of who you think you are, ask again. Are you really that person? If you can observe this person, how can that person be YOU? Who is doing the observing, and who is being observed?
Eventually, you will find that there is no one other than the observer. The person that you think you are, that familiar presence that gives you a (false) sense of stability, is a complete phantom - and also the source of your suffering. We struggle so hard against the world because we are trying to protect something that has no true basis in reality, and we suffer as a result of that struggle. So ask yourself, are you this person? Do you really need to protect that person from any particular experience? What would life be like if there was no one to protect, and therefore absolutely no struggle?
- "Expressing Love"
How does Love express itself through you? All that IS is God/Goddess/Divine, and the nature of this Divinity is pure Love, endlessly giving of Itself to all of creation. Many of us know this to be true, and yet we still criticize ourselves, finding fault wherever we can. Alternatively, we deny responsibility for our actions when there is no reason to do so - the Love of the Divine forgives all trespasses, so there is no reason to hide. Yet we let our minds be filled with stories of fault and defensiveness, rather than allow this Love to flow through us.
The Universe is created quite literally out of Love. All of Creation is this One Love expressing itself in every way possible. So how does Love express itself through you? What is your unique gift to share? Do you take delight in this sharing, or do you hide it out of fear of rejection? Do you let it flow out of you like a river, or do you keep it under control?
Look for it inside yourself. What does your special Love feel like, when it flows without inhibition? Look for it, feel it, trust it, and give it away at every opportunity. Sit within that Love and know that you are THAT, that you are Love.