ABOUT GARY ZUKAV

Gary Zukav for years has conveyed the most complex insights in language all can understand. Over and over, he challenges us to see the depth of our potential in the world…
and act on that awareness.
He is the author of four consecutive New York Times Bestsellers. In 1979, The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics, plumbed the depths of quantum physics and relativity, winning The American Book Award for Science. In 1989, The Seat of the Soul led the way to seeing the alignment of the personality and the soul as the fulfillment of life and captured the imagination of millions, becoming the #1 New York Times bestseller over thirty times and remaining on the New York Times bestseller list almost three years. Soul Stories (2000), as well as The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness (2002) and The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice (2003), both co-authored with Linda Francis, also became New York Times Bestsellers.

His gentle presence, humor, and wisdom have endeared Gary Zukav to millions of viewers through his many appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, over six million copies of his books are in print, and translations have been published in twenty-four languages. Gary Zukav grew up in the Mid-west, graduated from Harvard, and became a Special Forces (Green Beret) officer with Vietnam service before writing his first book.

Soul to Soul:
Communications from the Heart

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The Seat of the Soul

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Soul Stories

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The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness

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The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice

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Self Empower-
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Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul

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Thoughts from the Seat of the Soul

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The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009
 
THE UPSIDE OF $TRESS



Change is not stressful. Resistance to change creates stress. It creates stress frequently and sometimes continually in millions of individuals – stress in the form of anger, jealousy, resentment, despair, and many other painful emotions. The global economic downturn/meltdown/ implosion/catastrophe has temporarily transformed the myriad diverse experiences of resistance to change in billions of individuals into a global shared experience of resistance to a change that no one wants.



It is, metaphorically speaking, a spiritual laser. A laser transforms light waves, such as those radiating from a light bulb,into a single beam of phase-coherent light. The global economic dysfunction has transformed countless simultaneous experiences of resistance to change in billions of individuals into a single phase-coherent experience of stress. We all feel it and we all attribute it to the same cause – the economy. This massive shared experience obscures the underlying cause of all stress – resistance to change.



Foreclosure, job loss, declining investment and home values, disruption of plans to retire, educate children, buy a home, or move are each stressful – changes that no one wants, painful experiences of stress that, shared simultaneously by billions, generate a painful collective consciousness of resistance to change. As stressful as resistance to these changes is, it is not as stressful as resistance to the ultimate change that no one wants and all will encounter. We are all on a journey toward death regardless of how much we resist it, and most of us spend most of our lives resisting it. That means that most of us spend our lives distracting ourselves from the work of bringing our full potential into being and enjoying ourselves.



The dynamic is the same whether the change appears minor, major, or ultimate – resistance to change, not change, creates stress. Every stressful experience – whether it is resistance to a divorce, failure of a business, an illness, economic dysfunction, or death – is an opportunity to heal an interior source of your pain instead of focusing your attention on the external circumstances that appears to be causing it. If you look closely (experience attentively) you will discover that every pain of resistance to change is familiar, an old agony returning yet again, activated by yet another external circumstance. In other words, the sources of your painful experiences, including resistance to change, are internal (not external) and are older than the circumstance that appears to cause them (such as losing your job, or the thought of losing your job).



Healing the interior causes of your pain and cultivating the interior causes of your joy is the creation of authentic power. It begins with directing your attention inward to your interior dynamics instead of outward to exterior circumstances. Every painful experience of stress can help you, if you choose.



That is the upside of stress.


Comments:
This comment has been removed by the author.
posted by Blogger Mer: May 7, 2009 at 4:08 AM Delete: 
That is very insighful Gary... Thanks...!!!!!
posted by Blogger Darren J Prior: May 7, 2009 at 10:01 AM Delete: 
Gary wrote: "Change is not stressful. Resistance to change creates stress."

~

This is SO true!!

Years ago, my secure (and unique) job, working in complete isolation in a warehouse for 7 years, came to an abrupt and dramatic end.

I sat in the loading dock, and literally watched the workers tearing down, piece by piece, my office and work area which I had been involved in designing and having built.

But the amazing thing was...I felt no fear - only a sense of exhilaration and joy.

I had loved the job, but my intuition had told me that it was time to move on.

I had no idea where I would move on to...but just went with the flow of what "felt right".

This led me to spending a few years doing very little (in an outward sense), but cultivating much (in an inner, spiritual sense).

I discovered a deep truth about integrity and honesty.

Up until, and including that job...I had been untrue to myself and others by hiding the extent and effect of my health restrictions on my ability to work.

I had bluffed my way into jobs, and covered up the fact that I was unable to perform a full day's work.

As I worked alone, I was able to manipulate the situation so as to make myself appear more productive than I actually was.

My period of solitude led to the decision to become more truthful...and not make dishonest committments to prospective employers in order to secure a well paying job.

I have also realised that this honesty and integrity was important for me in other areas of my life.

These days, I love to try new things, and experiment with new ideas, and new ways of relating and interracting...but I am also mindful not to over commit to things.

When a opportunity presents itself...I now stop and feel what is going on inside myself.

I consult my intuition for guidance.

Sometimes, when the logic of the head says..."Take this opportunity", the heart may say "There are many and varied ways for you to contribute to Life. For now, it is time to slow down and do less"

Society tends to resist the impulse to "slow down and do less"

We are programmed to perform, to achieve, to produce.

Resisting the inner guidance to "slow down and do less" is stressful.

But not resisting this change can be an unexpected pathway to freedom and joy!


bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: May 7, 2009 at 11:00 PM Delete: 
It was Seat of the Soul that taught me to look for the spiritual message attached to painful feelings. Prior to this awakening I numbed that pain in many different ways--through sexual promiscuity, gambling, co-dependency...the list is endless. That same energy now goes into spiritual growth--the pursuit of joy and love. It's hard work! As you said, "It's the work you were born to do."

Thanks Gary and Linda.
posted by Blogger Cole: May 8, 2009 at 4:50 AM Delete: 
Leaning into the pain, and appreciating the opportunity to transcend fear is something we can all do during this time of rapid change. We are all learning the lesson of letting go, on a global scale. Not necessarily a bad thing, that's for sure. Maybe we are moving rapidly toward an awakening.

Thanks for this post, Gary.
posted by Blogger Lover of Life: May 9, 2009 at 7:45 PM Delete: 
Sometimes stress is caused by wanting to help eleviate suffering in someone.When helping crosses the line of healthy,when your oen joy is becoming drained,and in turn you are effecting others around you -it is time to walk away.In fact feeling stressed out is your signal to walk away and deal with your own emotions that are causing your pain.Are you really helping this person,or are you trying to help yourself in some way-appease your loneliness,insecurities,anxiety,
fear or any other painfull emotion.The person experiencing the pain is so for their own authentic spiritual growth,on their own time,and they have free will to choose to act for themselves out of fear or out of love.You can not do their growth for them,or take away their pain.
Empathy in authentic understanding in spiritual terms follows the path of clarity that will alow the person to experience their own spiritual growth.
You can not force into being what will not be.Release your own desire for the result you would like to transpire,and with that you may feel a great burden lifted of your shoulders-in terms of your own painfull emotions such as(fear,anxiety,depression,addiction etc).
posted by Blogger leila: May 13, 2009 at 6:17 PM Delete: 
Thank you Leila for such profound, wise words! They speak to my very soul!

As I have been following my inner urge to "slow down"...amazing things have been happening, helping me to see that my resistance to slowing down was MUCH greater than I had thought.

Recently, everything around me seems to be supporting my intention to slow down...

Almost every public computer I have gone to over the past week or so seems to have slowed down...forcing me to wait for ages to access sites and forums.

The other day, when my turn came to use a certain computer, the man sitting at it just kept sitting there using it. As I waited, he said "You are getting restless. You need to be more patient"!!

My initial reaction of resistance to being more patient led me to thinking all sorts of unmentionable thoughts! But I quietly "bit my tongue" and gently said "Thank you" when he finally finished using the computer.

As I began to "let go" into slowness, my anxiety and impatience lessened.

The other day, I took an hour long train trip to a quiet beach, and walked slowly by the seaside.

I felt myself returning to the present - and the awareness of my senses felt reactivated. The soft touch of the wind on my face, the gentle lapping sound of the water on the sand, the grandeur and beauty of the vision of clouds drifting across a blue sky...all melded together as if parts of a magnificent symphony. The reflection of the sun on the water danced and sparkled like diamonds.

In that walk, I reconnected with a part of myself that had been neglected over several years of being active through working, writing, contributing to forums, creating and maintaining blogs etc

I realised how much of my life was being spent in my "head" - planning things to do, planning my next blog or forum post - too much "thinking" instead of letting myself also "feel" the present moment.

As I relaxed into the Present, I felt reconnected to the Divinity pervading all of life.

It was as if my activity and speed had me running away from all that my heart was seeking; while that which my heart was truly seeking was behind me all along...just waiting for me to slow down and relax into It!

And as I continued to slow down to merge with the Flow, things began working like clockwork. The "waiting" seemed to disappear, and it felt as if everything was working to perfection....

...a train arrived just at the moment my beach walk was finished. A tram arrived just as I reached the tram stop to return home.

Wherever this "slowing down" may lead me...the important thing for me is that I listened and paid attention to my intuition...rather than being untrue to myself by ignoring it, and instead, listening to and following the expectations of others.

For had I done that, I would not have been able to share this comment post with you...

I would have been too busy planning what to write next!


bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: May 16, 2009 at 8:45 PM Delete: 
Here are some beautiful words from Eileen Goble's "Gift from an Angel" that I'd love to share with you. I find them very inspiring in the midst of uncertainty and change...



"Your feet will be guided on the right path, fear not for love surrounds you. Be tranquil of mind as you surrender to the light, have confidence and let your heart be full of love, for peace is yours. Let wisdom be your guide"bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: May 18, 2009 at 7:03 PM Delete: 
Here is a beautiful story from "Passionate Presence" by Cathrine Ingram.

It illustrates how richness and depth can emanate from periods of slowness, silence and quietude...states that can be found even in the midst of the busyness of life.

It also illustrates that "less" can be just as valuable a contribution as "more".


A young man was taking a religious studies exam at Cambridge University nearly two centuries ago. He and his fellow classmates had been asked to write about the spiritual significance of the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine.

For two hours, all the other students busily filled page after page with their thoughts. The young man, however, just gazed out of the classroom window.

Near the end of the period, the proctor came over to him and insisted that he start writing or fail the exam.

The young man, who happened to be Lord Byron took up his pen and wrote only one line: "The water met its Master, and blushed"
bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: May 21, 2009 at 7:59 PM Delete: 
Well said. I resist quite a bit myself. I've heard that letting go of resistance is like free falling down a giant cavern. You never know what's next. But, it's better than clinging to the edge while your arms grow weary.

If you're interested, I've created an intimate YouTube video with an awakened teacher named Jim Dreaver. In this video, is a completely improvised scene to show how an awakened person deals with stressful situations. I hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLC0bfkG24k
posted by Blogger Cameron: May 24, 2009 at 5:52 PM Delete: 
Gary wrote: "Healing the interior causes of your pain and cultivating the interior causes of your joy is the creation of authentic power. It begins with directing your attention inward to your interior dynamics instead of outward to exterior circumstances."

~

This morning, as I went about my cleaning work for the elderly...I realised what a wonderful opportunity this simple type of work affords me. Not only am I able to serve others and exercise my body at the same time...I can also take advantage of the inner silence and stillness that accompanies such work...and use it for inner contemplation and reflection.

It is a joy for me to share with you today the fruits of my morning's reflections.

I have been thinking about a story in Gary and Linda's book "The Mind of the Soul - Responsible Choice", in which a large house party is described. The house represents the personality, and the guests different parts of the personality.

The piece talks about the different parts of the personality as being "they"...but there is also a "you" mentioned.

I've been wondering who that "you" might be, what characteristics it might have, how I might visualise it, and how it would feel within me.

As I pondered on this, a quote from the bible popped into my head..."Unless you become as little children, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

From this, a memory came to me from my childhood. As a 12 year old boy, a school friend had given me a parchment on which were written the following words from George Eliot...

"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

In a flash I realised who the "you" in the "large house party" piece could be!

It felt just like the "faithful hand" described in the George Eliot piece!!...

It felt like that kind, gentle, non-judgemental, compassionate wisdom that discerns and guides within us, if we choose to let it.

How many of us look externally for that wise elder for guidance and inspiration? We can spend a lifetime searching.

Or we can look within.

Sitting serenely in the midst of the large house of our personality, is our "faithful hand", our wise elder...gently sifting through the wants and demands of the many parts of the personality...keeping what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blowing the rest away.

It is the aware "you"...that calm inner guide that listens to all, loves all, and responds consciously, if we but allow it.

Some may call this inner consciousness, Moment Awareness.

Others may call it Present Awareness.

But, I prefer to use affectionate, abbreviated nicknames, that give heart and soul to this image of a wise inner elder.

I prefer to call it...


Ma or Pa!


*Coincidently, I've just looked in wikipedia to see what George Eliot's first real name was

It is listed as "Mary Anne (Mary Ann, Marian) Evans"...or...


Ma Evans!



bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: June 17, 2009 at 12:00 AM Delete: 
I have been thinking about the seeming paradox inherent in the following of two seemingly opposite ways...

...the way of effort and doing, and the way of non-effort, and non-doing.

I opened one of my spiritual books and found on a page some words that spoke of this paradox.

The simple message that best sums up the heart of this apparent contradiction is this...

"Both ways are best"

As I thought about this, I visualised the action and passion inherent in much western spirituality. It could be described as HOT spirituality.

And then I visualised the meditation and contemplative prayer inherent in much eastern spirituality. This could be described as COOL spirituality.

As we seek to find balance and harmony in this world...we draw on the wisdom of both.

We temper the heat of action with the coolness of prayer and meditation.

We temper the coolness of inaction with the heat of mindful action.

And as we do, we come to a natural balance in our lives.

When we are too hot, we learn to cool down. When we are too cool, we learn to heat up.

In doing so, we arrive at a place where the temperature is not too hot, and not too cold.

It feels just right.

Inner WARMTH radiates from within, and our action and non-action become harmoniously balanced.

We are free to choose to do, or not do...depending on the situation.

Our activism, and non-activism is no longer compulsive. It becomes a balanced choice.

We recognise in ourselves the need to slow down and recharge. In harmony with nature, we become dormant at times, so that the fruit we bear can become even richer in flavour, texture and quality.

We also recognise within ourselves the need to speed up and act when it is time for the fruit to be harvested and shared.

As I apply this truth to myself...I now also begin to understand the need for both willpower and inspiration in my life.

When I am "off-track" - and become too hot or too cold in areas of my life, I need to draw on the strength of the will to bring me back to where the warmth of inspiration can be felt.

If I tried to journey without using the will, I would soon become lost.

And if I never taste the warmth of inspiration, I would never be found.



Both ways are best.



bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: June 21, 2009 at 8:12 PM Delete: 
Thank you Gary, great post!

The following statement of yours especially resonated with me:
"That means that most of us spend our lives distracting ourselves from the work of bringing our full potential into being and enjoying ourselves."
posted by Blogger marconegro: June 25, 2009 at 5:33 PM Delete: 
Thanks for this blog, Gary. I love your work.
posted by Blogger Kelly Magovern: June 27, 2009 at 3:21 AM Delete: 
marconegro said...The following statement of yours especially resonated with me:

"That means that most of us spend our lives distracting ourselves from the work of bringing our full potential into being and enjoying ourselves."

~

These are very beautiful words!

Here is a great suggestion from Dr Wayne Dyer as to how we can go about finding such "work" that enables us to "bring our full potential into being and enjoy ourselves."...

How May I Serve?

I have found that when I find work I love to do (whether it is paid work, voluntary work, or "less conventional work", such as contributing to forums and blogs), the work takes on a special feeling.

It becomes more like "play" than work.

There is also a magical quality to helping others that transcends all expectations and limitations. Even the most seemingly menial tasks can take on a sacred feeling when seen through the eyes of the soul.

Through the eyes of the soul, we can view the world afresh...as if through the eyes of a child discovering life's wonders for the first time.

Tasks which may seem menial, trivial and unimportant suddenly take on a freshness and urgency that we may have missed due to our minds and hearts being dulled by years of unconscious living.

Here is a beautiful story that illustrates this point...



One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any of the beautiful creatures. Since the animals still seemed to be alive, he considered picking some of them up and putting them back in the water, where they could resume their lives.

The man knew the starfish would die if left on the beach's dry sand but he reasoned that he could not possibly help them all, so he chose to do nothing and continued walking.

Soon afterward, the man came upon a small child on the beach who was frantically throwing one starfish after another back into the sea. The old man stopped and asked the child, "What are you doing?"

"I'm saving the starfish," the child replied.

"Why waste your time?... There are so many you can't save them all so what does is matter?" argued the man.

Without hesitation, the child picked up another starfish and tossed the starfish back into the water... "It matters to this one," the child explained.




When I clean the home of an elderly client, and am tempted to think that my work does not matter, I remember the words of that young boy...




"It matters to this one"





bhdt
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: June 27, 2009 at 8:05 PM Delete: 
"most of us spend our lives distracting ourselves from the work of bringing our full potential into being and enjoying ourselves."


~


Over the past 3 days, I have been contemplating and meditating on 3 words from the above quote...

"our full potential"

Over these 3 days, I have been drawn to 3 seemingly disconnected pieces.

When I put these 3 pieces together in the following order, and read them in a contemplative way...I find they emit a powerful, transformative energy.

For me, they give a clear vision of what "we" will look like when "our full potential" is realised.

I believe that the "age" to which Chuang-tzu refers all those years ago...is now upon us.

To reach our full potential, all we now need do is embrace it!



~~~~~~~~~~~



From "The Seat of the Soul"...

"We are coming to the end of a phase of evolution that was written long before we existed. When the learning and evolution of our species was designed, it was designed to complement cycles, great cycles that work within the Universe, within our galaxy and within others. These cycles move within physical form at certain speeds, serving certain purposes and balances of energies.

The cycle that we are ending, and, therefore, beginning, is of a moment in which 3 cycles come to conclusion and begin again."




~~~~~~~~~~~



From "The Dancing Wu Li Masters"...

"Imagine that a group of young artists have founded a new and revolutionary school of art. Their paintings are so unique that they have come to share them with the curator of an old museum. The curator regards the new paintings, nods his head, and disappears into the vaults of the museum. He returns carrying some very old paintings, which he places beside the new ones. The new art is so similar to the old art that even the young artists are taken aback. The new revolutionaries, in their own time and in their own way, have rediscovered a very old school of painting."



~~~~~~~~~~~



From "Soul Food" – by Jack Kornfield & Kristina Feldman – Chapter entitled "Here and Now: Simplicity with What Is"...

"In the age when life on earth was full, no one paid any special attention to worthy men, nor did they single out the man of ability. Rulers were simply the highest branches on the trees and the people were like deer in the woods. They were honest and righteous without realizing that they were "doing their duty". They loved each other, and did not know that this was "love of neighbor". They deceived no one but did not know they were "men to be trusted". They were reliable and did not know that this was "good faith". They lived freely together giving and taking and did not know they were generous.

For this reason, their deeds have not been narrated. They made no history."

- Chuang-tzu



~~~~~~~~~~~
posted by Blogger ...being here, doing this...: July 2, 2009 at 8:13 PM Delete: 
For me, "bringing full potential into being" means allowing Love to flow through me, as unobstructed and as unimpeded as is humanly possible.

The fuller the flow, the greater the joy!

Sometimes that flow guides me to rest.

Other times, it guides me to activity.

Today, it had inspired me to share the link to my latest blog...

Soul Food

Enjoy!

SD
posted by Blogger SD: July 25, 2009 at 9:36 PM Delete: 

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AUTHENTIC POWER

Authentic power is the experience of fulfillment, gratitude, and meaning. It is the alignment of your personality with your soul – with harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. Creating authentic power is the evolutionary requirement of a new, emerging multisensory humanity – a species that is not confined to the perceptions of the five senses. We are becoming a highly intuitive, heart-centered species, and our previous understanding of power as the ability to manipulate and control now produces only violence and destruction.

From our new perspective, external circumstances are symbolic and provide us information about our intentions, individual and collective, so that we can change them and create healthy and inspiring symbols rather than unhealthy and debilitating symbols. The symbols that surround us – our systems of governance, commerce, education, health care, science, and military, among others – reflect the pursuit of external power and are disintegrating. This disintegration of social (and interpersonal) structures is the product of a profoundly positive process, not a pathology. This is important to understand.

The thoughts that you will read here will always support you in viewing our collective experiences and your personal experiences as opportunities to create authentic power – to become emotionally aware, choose responsibly, consult your intuition, and contribute the gifts that you were born to give to this new and unprecedented phase of human evolution.

Authentic Power Coaching