Archive for One True Self

Paradigm Shift: Higher Consciousness in a Changing World



The world is changing. The energy is currently low, and it can feel difficult to lift into higher consciousness when it’s a bit murky around us. It’s helpful to recall that we’re passing through a paradigm shift while moving into the Aquarian Age. Energy works differently, and the rules constantly change.

Below are a few of my observations.

  1. In the Piscean Age, spiritual love involved giving away all of the self—as a sacrifice—to help others. It was Divine, and the universe immediately replenished our energy. In the Aquarian Age, it’s important to fill our own cup before transmitting energy and/or love to others. When we are in a place of “pure” love, it’s easily sent. (It’s helpful to think of it as “my cup runneth over.” When we’re filled with light and love, we can share with others.)
  2. The Aquarian Age is increasing our intuitive ability on a group (and astral) level. We feel the thoughts and emotions of other people in crowded places. We may hear others’ thoughts and think they are our own. It’s very important to separate from this and learn which energies are own. (It takes strength to hold tightly to our emotions, thoughts, and dreams without being influenced by others, but it does teach about finding the right people in our lives.)
  3. The rules of energy work alter on a regular basis. Old techniques may work perfectly one day and fail on the next. It’s because the energy alternates on a regular basis. The solution lies in trying several techniques and staying disciplined with meditation and spiritual work. (Our light level, the planet’s light level, and other factors can affect our work, but remaining consistent with work relating to the heart will eventually provide the answer.)
  4. Loving and taking care of the self is important work. When we put self-care and spiritual work first, life often changes. When we love ourselves, we love life. When we love life, everything changes and takes on the spin of a higher motion.
  5. One of the most helpful actions is learning to recognize love and light in others. If we can feel, sense, or see light, it helps a great deal. If we base our relationships on a person’s ability to love, it opens the way for positive work.

Having More Energy in a Low Energy Time

  1. An universal connection gives more energy than anything else on this planet. The universe supports the planet with love and love, and the inner self is the point of connection. (All answers come from the inner self.)
  2. Visualize wonderful events in life. (It’s not selfish.) When we visualize wonderful things, we actually broadcast them out for others. When we create them, we create a path for others to follow.
  3. Send love as often as possible. It helps everyone and everything. When we send light, it’s important NOT to have outcome but to simply send light (pink light=love.)
  4. Exercise outdoors. Fresh air, plants, and nature refresh the spirit and open our eyes to endless beauty. We can open to the wonders of the planet and listen to the wind, the trees, and watch the clouds as they move through the sky.
  5. We can see ourselves as having more energy and moving easily through life. There’s a tendency to repeat the energy of the day on the following day unless we interrupt its flow with a positive visualization. Why not see tomorrow as an incredible, magnificent day?

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.



Full Moon Forecast: Odd Energy Ahead



December’s Full Moon came on Tues, Dec 13. It is another super moon, meaning it is close to the earth and exerts more influence on our emotions, the tides, and water levels of the earth. With a super moon, we feel the effect for several days.

If the world has felt heavy or tiring, there are good reasons for it. It’s an intense chart with Sun in Sagittarius, conjunct (close placement) Saturn, the ruler of time, old age, structure and limitation. It’s easy to feel both the limitations of our personal life and the world at large, but both signs are placed in Sagittarius, which brings hope and optimism. (The chart asks for a realistic look at life while imagining greater possibilities.)

The Sun (life), Moon (emotions, inner self), and Saturn (limitation) form a T-square (pressure) with Chiron, the wounded healer. Part of the equation involves healing and/or releasing the past to heal emotions when creating a new future. Spiritual work involves moving beyond our wounds, and it also involves releasing the past, which include a net of beliefs that limits our potential and spiritual power.

The Moon is in Gemini, an air sign denoting communication, and it opposes Sun (life) and Saturn (limitation.) The Moon rules emotions, which may feel overwhelming because the Sun/Saturn demands looking at the structure of our lives. Moon in Gemini loves socializing, traveling, and talking—which is confusing when scrutiny is required to take the next step. Fortunately, the Moon trines Mars (assertion) and Jupiter (good fortune), increasing the possibility of taking positive action to reap good outcomes.

Mercury (communication) is placed in Capricorn, a practical earth sign. It moves into retrograde on Thursday, December 15, and retrogrades in earth signs can feel particularly slow and heavy. Attempt completion of errands and shopping before December 15, then plan to take a needed rest to renew body and soul. (Retrogrades are about rest, review, and rethinking projects. Mercury will also conjunct Pluto, the underworld, so expect to learn secrets and hidden knowledge.)

Mars (energy, assertion) and Venus (beauty, femininity) are both placed in Aquarius, which brings a sparkly, electrical quality. In this position, Venus is a bit detached about love, but Mars’ trine with Jupiter (good fortune), meaning it’s possible to bring about wonderful happenings by focusing on harmony and higher consciousness.

Outer Planets

Jupiter (expansion, good fortune) sextiles Saturn and opposes Uranus. Jupiter’s sextile with Saturn (time, karma) can pull in resources, but the opposition (two ideas/thoughts in opposite directions) suggests focusing on new directions and ideas for income.

Saturn (time, karma, structure) trines Uranus (sudden change, quantum field), indicating the possibility of clearing karma by uniting with our true self and the universe-at-large. Saturn squares (tension) Neptune (mysticism, illusion), creating confusion about structures, truth, and religion.

Uranus and Pluto (resources, underworld) are squared once more; it’s the last tight square of the four year dance between the 2 planets, which appeared as a dive into the underworld, followed by realizations, which come from the light. Overall, it’s often acted as a wrecking ball. Perhaps, we’ll move into more light as the square fades in the coming year.


  • Two distinct equations influence the chart. One involves moving into the light and embracing the quantum field. The other side of the equation accentuates the need to release the past and its structures while making a “new” place to allow the light to enter.
  • The placement of Venus in Aquarius can open our hearts to potential, change, and New Age methods of thinking and feeling. For example, we might gain a deeper understanding of healing with sound and color—or the unity of group consciousness when focused on the heart.
  • The chart suggests the importance of innovation when creating success. Think out of the box and float out into the universe when reviewing ideas for work and life.
  • Mercury retrograde in Capricorn along with Sun conjunct Saturn suggests a heavy energy for the next week or so. Work to remain focused on good things like universal power and love.
  • There’s a sliding motion between the heaviness of human life and the potential of the quantum field. Observe both and meditate on the inner self.

Sabian Symbols (based on Lynda Hill’s Sabian Symbols)

Sun is on Sagittarius 23, A Group of Immigrants Fulfilling Requirements before Entering a New Country. On a higher level, the symbol could refer to proponents of the New Age and meeting the requirements of light—the measurement of the heart.

Moon sits on Gemini 23. Three Fledglings in a Nest. This symbol denotes the concept of a stage from dependence to independence. In this case, it may refer to the growth needed by light workers before joining together to shift reality. (No one is quite ready to leave their “home” or comfort zone.)

Mercury is placed on Capricorn 13, A Fire Worshiper Meditates on the Ultimate Realities of Existence. In metaphysics, fire represents passion for the spiritual world—the burning away of the ego. It doesn’t work unless we’re centered on the divine. (Fire can also represent burn-out and anger. It’s about how constructively we use or don’t use our inner fire.)

Venus is on Aquarius 8, Beautifully Gowned Wax Figures on Display. This symbol asks to look beyond the creation of appearances and illusion and see if the figure and inner beauty match.

Mars sits on Aquarius 26, A Garage Man Testing a Car’s Battery with a Hydrometer. With Mars on this placement, it asks for matching our emotions with a higher level of consciousness before taking action. (Water is emotion. Mars is action, and a battery gives energy to the car. The hydrometer tests the water or emotion of the vehicle.)

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.


Staying Connected



It’s challenging to stay centered, peaceful, and balanced when the energies of the world change several times each day. Empaths and healers feel the world turn and surge with global events and strong emotions of mass consciousness. We also feel the people around us.

The “light” energy amplifies everything. The energy is challenging, and it’s important to tap into the inner self on a regular basis to find our way.  Otherwise, we lose touch with the inner self, which acts as a light on the path.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Part of the influx of light is known as the acceleration and amplification. It makes time seem to pass more quickly, and we feel everything more—if we continue our soul work. There is a good reason for it. When we feel ourselves and others more, it amplifies everything in our system—the positive and the negative. When our negative emotions and thoughts feel stronger, we want to change them. When our positive emotions become more intense, we seek this state. In other words, the strong currents of emotions and thought can lead to our higher self.
  2. When we choose the inner self, we automatically move into a higher vibration. Higher vibrations displace lower vibrations. When we focus on love and peace, the emotions flow through every level of our consciousness; they flood body, mind, and soul. (This teaches persistence and devotion because the impact and level of higher emotion increases with significant work.)
  3. Every few hours, there is a surge and ebb of global emotion and thought. If we know the surge or ebb of energy and emotion comes from the outer world, we can seek the solace of the inner self. We can focus on love, forgiveness, or simply see a better world. (Anything with a higher vibration will do.) Becoming conscious of the input of lower consciousness helps in understanding how our emotions and thoughts are influenced by others.
  4. We are touched by everyone’s energy. As we gain awareness of this, we can shield, alter our relationships, or choose to release specific people in life. Ultimately, we have to choose people who help lift our vibrations and/or look at others with compassion.
  5. Freedom comes from moderating our impulses and emotions by becoming incredibly aware of energy. Our true source of energy comes from the inner self and the universe. It’s necessary to cultivate it to have the strength and insight to navigate through life.

NOTE: If you are practicing meditation daily, you’ve probably noticed how moods and emotions alter throughout a given day. The lower moods appear, disappear, and return during the day, and it’s helpful to accept and observe them. You also learn that the inner self brings stability, grounding, and focus—as well as peace and love.


Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.


New Moon Forecast: Inspiration and Practical Work



The New Moon appeared on November 29, influencing the energy for the next 7-10 days. The New Moon marks the beginning of a new cycle of energy, making it a good time for inner contemplation. The chart focuses on aspirations, dreams, and manifestations, but there is a significant emphasis on moving through illusion (Neptune) and finding the inner strength to move through karma (Saturn.)

Many of the planets are placed in fire, which can bring spiritual inspiration or a flare of emotion. Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Saturn sit in Sagittarius, a fire sign that symbolizes the “quest”, courage, frankness, and impatience. Sagittarius is a mutable sign and can move into many—sometimes too many—directions at once.

The challenge of the New Moon chart lies in remaining optimistic while seeing the truth about others and life. On a larger scale, we may love people or our country—for example—but it’s necessary to look at problems while finding solutions.  These are not easy solutions; these are the type of answers that come from soul searching and inner work—and are rooted in personal growth.

Sun (outer life), Moon (inner life) and Saturn (karma, discipline, time) square Neptune (illusion, mysticism). Squares cause tension between two sets of thoughts and inclinations; they are not comfortable. This square demands a different kind of spirituality, which is not related to personal adherence to the role of light worker. It demands “real” work and sifting through illusion to find universal truth.

Sun, Moon, and Mercury are conjunct (close to) Saturn in Sagittarius, bringing a somber note to the chart. Saturn takes life seriously, and it demands work and commitment to higher principles. These energies can be helpful in bringing projects into fruition and finding dedication to inner pursuits.

Venus sits in Capricorn, bringing focus on financial matters, the material world, and coolness to relationships. Venus (love, beauty, material belongings) squares Jupiter (good fortune) and Uranus (new beginnings, quantum field). With this placement, it’s important to focus on unconditional love occasionally because Venus in Capricorn can obscure “warm” feelings.

Mars (overall energy, masculine) is placed in Aquarius, placing a focus on individuality and creativity—which is another theme of the overall chart. Aquarius loves change, humanity, and brotherhood; it is a fixed sign can also act with a strong will, which does not always leave room for other points of view. (Remain open to the ideas of others and allow for their point of view.)

Mars also trines (harmonious) Jupiter, and both planets are in air signs. Air is thought, giving the opportunity to align with our higher mind and to create abundance in many forms.

Jupiter in Libra favors positive partnerships, fairness, peace, and harmony. Venus squares Jupiter, and Jupiter is opposite Uranus (new age principles) and Pluto (the underworld.) These aspects indicate good fortune relies on balancing love in the material world (Venus), underlying beliefs and hidden information (Pluto) and balancing desires with the energies of the New Age (Uranus)—if we want true success and the manifestation of our dreams.

Uranus (new age principles, sudden change) and Pluto (underworld, subconscious) move more tightly into the square, experienced since 2012. This square continues to reveal our individual and global darkness for cleansing and transformation. It’s not an easy journey, but it clears the underground rivers of darkness and brings light to the planet in a strange, subtle way,

Neptune is in Pisces rules the water, washing away boundaries and the structure of life as we’ve known it. Neptune in this position also rules emotion—the unity of consciousness and the mysticism of love, pointing to the possibility of creating life in higher sense.

Sabian Symbols

Based on readings by Lynda Hill

Sun and Moon are on 8 Sagittarius, Deep within the Earth, New Elements Are Being Formed. The symbol could relate to physical changes based on our spiritual growth. It indicates changes, which are not obvious on the surface.

Mercury is on 26 Sagittarius, A Flag Bearer in a Battle. It represents a position of honor and risk, the person who goes ahead of the troops and carries the flag. With Mercury (communications) on this degree, it could refer to journalism, blog posts, or radio communications that depict the state of the nation—or practical application of light in the outer world.

Venus is placed on 21 Capricorn, A Relay Race. This symbol implies a group effort based on timing and cooperation. On a larger level, it could refer to light workers and their collective energy. It’s important to share, acknowledge others, and exhibit with our personal part of the endeavor.

Mars sits on 16 Aquarius, A Big Businessman at His Desk. The business man represents responsibility, order, and control. Success with business can indicate achievement and accomplishment, or it can denote unethical procedures.

Jupiter is on 17 Libra, A Retired Sea Captain Watches Ships Entering and Leaving the Harbor. It refers to quiet contemplation of the past with an eye on creating another adventure or journey in life. The Sea represents water and emotion; the retired captain has completed his task with the trials of emotion.


Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.



Creating More Blessings



It’s interesting to note that it is possible to expand your blessings by altering the flow of your mind. When you learn to focus on universal connection, the direction of life often changes.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Imagine blessings as a gentle, soft wind. If you stand in the wind, it lifts your hair, brings warmth, and makes delightful sounds. Imagine this as an energy, which you can feel and touch. It is moving gently through your life, and you receive its loveliness. (In general, people tend anticipate or feel anxiety about future. In this case, you are simply receiving.)
  2. When you meditate, think about the feeling of blessings in your life. Imagine the sensation expanding and growing. Feel the universal connection as it flows through this feeling.
  3. Send love and light to everything good in your life. Practice seeing more of it. When you focus on anything, you expand it. This includes material objects, love from people, and success in life. (Think of the mind as a magnifying glass. Look at the good things!)
  4. When you desire change, bless what exists. Give thanks for the good things while visualizing new ones. If you work with light, you will always desire expansion and growth. Part of light work involves dealing with duality and finding interesting solutions.
  5. Open to larger blessings than you’ve imagined in the past. (I like to use the image of an open door with light flowing through it. The light represents blessings and love.)
  6. Take a few moments daily to grasp the loveliness of your light and the power of your inner being. Direct your light to a higher level on a daily basis.
  7. Expect blessings and look for life to turn and change its direction in a wonderful way. It’s said that the universe knows what you want before it is voiced. (It’s the dance between the spirit world and physical world that brings beautiful things to life.)

Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.


Planetary Change: A Change in the Weather



The past few months have been filled with unnerving astrological aspects such as the Uranus/Eris conjunction (new beginnings and changes combined with discord and upset) and Saturn/Neptune square (confusion, difficulty with decisions about right action), and Uranus/Pluto square(the periodic descent into darkness followed by regeneration.) These aspects remain but have weakened–and changes in the weather provide new tools  to better deal with them.

Relatively speaking, the planets are quieter after the super moon. It feels as if they settled after taking on material form in the outer world—at least for the moment. As we pass through periods of intense growth, it’s likely that we’ll continue to feel strong emotions, conflicts, and challenges because it’s how we gain mastery.

Currently, more developed souls are working with collective by learning methods of sending light to larger groups and developing their personal calling. Other light workers have identified their calling and are putting into form on an individual level. But everyone is working on the development of their personal life as well as the perception of energies in the outer world. (We cannot change everything, but we can send light and work together in the achievement of a higher frequency.)



This week’s astrology offers an interesting and easier walk on the path. Sun in Scorpio (intensity, magnetism in outer life) trines the Moon (emotions, inner self, maternal energies) in Cancer. Sun and Moon trine in water signs can help to create harmonious emotions and positive feelings about life. Both Sun and Moon trine Chiron, the wounded healer, bringing power to heal the inner and outer life.

Mercury (mind, communications) in Sagittarius conjuncts Saturn (structure, time, karma) and gives insights about long term plans and structure in life, particularly in relationship to philosophy and the spiritual journey. Saturn gives perseverance and patience, and Mercury can give connection to the Higher Mind. (Mercury also squares Neptune (mysticism, idealism, illusion), meaning it’s important to see through the idealism and illusion of New Age spirituality to find a greater truth.)

Mars (overall energy, male, assertion) helps in realizing our inner potential. It sharpens the body and the higher mind; it can bring us back into alignment with universal ideals. It gives power to move more deeply into spiritual realization, and it helps with positive group endeavors. Mars trines Jupiter (good fortune), which can bring success in a harmonious sense.

Venus (love, beauty, feminine) sits in Capricorn, which bring feelings of rejection and loneliness to the surface. It also squares Jupiter (good fortune.) With this aspect, it’s important to think encouraging thoughts about love—and to know lower thoughts and fears about love and/or relationships are only temporary. This, too, will pass.

Jupiter in Libra balances energy, focuses on partnerships, and harmony. Currently, Jupiter is opposite Uranus, which doesn’t favor new endeavors. Plan to finish or work on projects planned in the past. Jupiter also squares Pluto and brings tension around our hopes and desires, but Pluto can reveal the blocks and hidden issues, which slow the progress of plans.

On the positive, Saturn (karma) trines Uranus (new beginnings), and both planets are in fire, which rules the heart. It indicates the possibility of creating an entirely new structure based on the voice of the heart and interests of the soul. It’s a beautiful opportunity.


Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.



10 Reasons to Send Light



  1. When we send light to a situation or worry, we no longer think about it. We must focus on light as well as the sensation of sending it. In general, light holds a higher frequency than a problem, so the sensation of the light lifts us into a higher place. (We also refrain from sending negativity to a negative situation, which expands it.) Over time, we learn the habit of switching the focus of the mind from a lower to a higher vibration.
  2. Light is love. It leads to unity, connection, and oneness. It’s said we’re at the end of Kali Yuga, the darkest time on the Earth, and it will be followed by a great Golden Age. The Golden Age will likely appear when we learn to join together and create through a place of love and light.
  3. Choosing light means the preference of a higher frequency. It drives away lower thoughts and emotions; it nurtures compassion. It aligns us with others who feel the same light, and it mitigates karma—the repetition of negative thoughts and feelings.
  4. Particles of matter respond to light. It brings healing, growth, and insight. (Light is the fabric that underlies particles of matter; it is the invisible force, which inhabits every form of life.)
  5. Light is one of the highest frequencies on the planet. Higher frequencies are uplifting, invigorating, and healing. Light holds the opposite frequency of fear, pain, anger, and doubt.
  6. Light is the only thing that leads out of the dark wilderness of difficulties. Life may not change immediately, but our attitude alters. Through light, we find strength to overcome obstacles.
  7. Sending light to the self clears karma, stills the mind, and opens the heart to love, which allows true universal communion.
  8. Repeated meditation on light leads to truth about the self. It may not be the truth that we want to see, but it is freeing—and it takes us to new fields of opportunity and exploration. (Light finds solutions where there are none.) It also brings truth about other people, relationships, and the unseen world. When we understand why and how events take place, we have many more alternatives–or the courage to take action–at least.
  9. Light awakens our gifts, leading to the expression of our talents. It gives courage to step into our calling and power of expression.
  10. For those who truly want change, there is no alternative. Each time we step into the light, we illuminate the world with a higher vibration. (It doesn’t mean that we don’t move back and forth as we master our thoughts and feelings. It involves learning how to return to light and love, the natural state of our inner being.)






Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.


The Lightness of Being


Article Reprint/Courtesy of Spirit of Maat


It was a great joy and privilege to speak with Lama Surya Das, one of the West’s foremost teachers of Buddhist meditation and one who is uniquely qualified by his own inner convictions to speak about Lightness of Being.

As a long-time friend and student of the Dalai Lama, Surya Das tells the story of how he received his first teaching about Being Light from this great spiritual leader:

In the early 1970s, I was fortunate enough to be present when the Dalai Lama was teaching at Bodh Gaya, the town in northern India where the Buddha became enlightened. Tens of thousands of people came to hear the Dalai Lama speak. … When the Dalai Lama was finished, he asked if there were any questions, and one long-haired American guy stood to ask the Dalai Lama the following question: “What is the meaning of life?”

The Dalai Lama answered, “To be happy and to make others happy.”

At first, Surya Das admits, this seemed a superficial answer. Today, he appreciates the wisdom of those simple words.

“Think of what it would mean,” he says, “if we were always able to be happy and to make others happy — truly happy and fulfilled, not just paying lip service to happiness and wearing a facile smile. … What an amazing goal! What amazing lives we would have! What amazing people we’d be! What amazing spirits we are.”[1]

Julia: For many of us, the spiritual path has been difficult. And yet we know there must be a place where it becomes lighter — where the struggle becomes less arduous and we begin to experience that lightness of spirit we knew as children. Can you speak about this, please?

Lama Surya Das: Part of lightening up is letting go of some of the burden. We take spirituality, religion, identity, and the big questions in life very seriously. And they are serious. But they shouldn’t be too serious. It’s important to wake up to the funny sides of things, and not believe so much in our self-importance, our prejudices, our heavy opinions, perspectives, and beliefs.

Buddhism teaches the eightfold path, the eight steps to enlightenment. I always say that if Buddha were alive today, he would say that the ninth step was good humor (and the tenth step would be good health and exercise). If we take ourselves too seriously, life isn’t much fun.

Julia: I hear you saying that our beliefs and opinions are part of the burden we need to release in order to be Light.

Lama Surya Das: The Buddhists say to cherish the truth, but not to cherish your opinions.

Of course, we all have opinions and preferences. That’s only human. But we don’t have to hold them so heavily. We can wear them more lightly. For example, I’m a Buddhist, but I don’t take it that seriously. I’m sure that Buddhism is not the final word.

We need to realize that we will lose some of our opinions as we travel the path. We need reality and truth, not just opinions. And truth has to be personal experience. Whether or not we decide to believe or join or sign on to some outside system, we have to find reality and truth within ourselves.

Julia: And what about the opinion we have of who we are?
Lama Surya Das: We need to let go of that. The lightness of being or joy begins with authenticity, and this means letting go of who we think we are, leaving more room in present time to find out who we really are — and letting that new identity emerge.

The extra baggage from the past is something we have to pay for, just as we have to pay for every extra kilo of baggage on a flight. Living in the moment is really the ultimate, and when we can get into the moment we can free ourselves from the burdens of the past.

In Eastern mysticism, there is a lot of thought about returning home — coming back to who we really are, finding something outside of ourselves, or even within the next life after we die. But it is important to realize the joy or buoyancy of being right now, here in this world. There is an updraft of joy and buoyancy to the spirit of Being Here Now.

This awareness of the moment frees us from our karma. It actually frees us from our karmic conditioning, and then we can let go of who we used to be. This is the subject of my book, Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be. By doing this, we make room for authenticity, for who we are in the present. We are actually free from the voices of the past and past conditioning.

How do we live more in the Now? This is the question. Of course, the Now is where we are. But we need to be aware of this, and for that we need practices — like meditation or exercise (see Four Meditations near the end of this article). We need a place in which we are aware of the time and space we are in now, but simultaneously aware of the timeless Now.

We have to connect the eternal Now with the present now — not the spaced-out presence of watching television, or mindlessly completing tasks like parking our car and not remembering afterward where we parked it.

We need to be connected in a sane, healthy way to the timeless Now — the moment — as well as the past, present, and future. I’m talking here about clarity and balance, and not going over the deep end.

In this place, we are free. We are of the world and living in it. We don’t have to negate the world, we don’t push anything away — but we are also not overly vested in it, either. We become One with it. This is the Buddhist teaching of the Middle Way.

There is a balance, a freedom, a lightness, a joy in this place. Spirit is joy, Spirit is freedom, and Spirit is bliss. It is not a chore, a dogma, or a mental belief. It is like rest, because it is born every minute.

And there is joy in the transparent quality of Light, not just in its degree of brightness. Instead of just seeing things “out there,” we begin to see through things. And when we reach this point, we start to see that everything — not just human beings, but all beings, all parts of creation in every moment, every molecule of the Universe — takes on the appearance of Light.

Lightness is joy. Life is a delight. Life is a joy.

Julia: I think for me the greatest heaviness comes when I focus on the need to change someone else in order to be happy. Can you give us some advice about this habit of thinking?

Lama Surya Das: There is something that we never learn in school, an incredible secret teaching: Whenever we change, everything changes.

Just realize that when we fight with reality as if we are going to change it, all we do is stir up more dust. The situation wouldn’t be there if we weren’t supposed to see the Divine in it. If we can’t see the Divine — or the joke — in it, we have to keep living through it and be reborn until we get it.

We always want to change our mates, change our present circumstances, change our child or colleague. But when we change ourselves, the world looks different.

Moreover, the more we love and accept ourselves, the more others will love and accept us. And when we accept our mate, for example, this creates a transformational magic that completely changes our relationship.

It’s counter-intuitive, but we should accept this as a great spiritual magic.

Julia: Why is it so difficult to hold on to our profound realizations? Sometimes we “see” in a way that makes us believe everything is going to be Light from now on — and the next thing we know, we are back in duality.

Lama Surya Das: The problem with profound realizations is that they are not enough to overcome the conditioning around us. That’s the problem. We may have a real epiphany or awakening or satori, but our habits, conditioning, and the world around are so strong that we cannot be changed by it. We fall back into our ordinary way of thinking.

We have to develop our realizations into a spiritual life, a mystical life, on a day-to-day basis — just the experience itself is not enough. So we obtain spiritual guidance from outside teachers and texts. But we also can obtain spiritual guidance intuitively from our inner guru, guides, and allies, and through prayer and introspection.

Julia: My own feeling is that we cannot really accomplish this lightness of being until we change our habits.

Lama Surya Das: That’s absolutely correct. Spiritual practices come into play here, because they help us ultimately detach ourselves from our conditioned responses. Starting new spiritual practices and better eating, exercise, and work patterns definitely makes us more joyful and brings wonder and lightness into our lives. This is the way we connect to the Divine on a daily basis.

The bad news is that we really are heavily conditioned with the old habits, patterns, or karma. But the good news is that these habits, patterns, and karma are just ruts we are in, and new, lighter ruts can be made through spiritual practice and discipline. So we can recondition ourselves through better habits and thus detach from our old conditioning.

There is a great deal of freedom and joy in changing our habits and doing spiritual practice, a lot of wonder and joy in freeing ourselves from our old patterns. There is re-invigoration and refreshment from this. It is actually like having a second or third youth!

Four Meditations

  1. One of the shortest and most effective meditations is to take a short breath and smile. This only takes five seconds, but it can be repeated for one minute. This can be done either sitting or standing, eyes open or closed. This is one of my favorite American meditations. It’s short, easy, and you can do it anywhere.
  2. Another traditional Tibetan exercise that I like is called “sky gazing.” You simply lie on the grass and look at the sky. We all did this as children. As children we may have tripped out looking at the clouds and finding faces or shapes, but we don’t want to do this in our meditation, because that’s more like daydreaming. There is a real difference between daydreaming and meditation.
  3. A third easy meditation consists of the last pose of Hatha yoga, the corpse pose or sivasana. This is a natural meditation we all know how to do. You lie flat with your legs slightly apart, hands at the side slightly away from the body, with natural breath and energy. Believe it or not, this pose is a great natural meditation. You can do this and the “sky gazing” meditation at the same time.
  4. More formally, if you want the yoga or Buddhist style, you sit up with crossed legs and relax the breath, energy, body, and mind, breathing in the physical sensation and coming into the present moment. You observe the breath while inhaling, and observe breathing out while exhaling. You notice the physical sensations as an anchor to the present moment. You let everything be as it is, without reaction. This is mindfulness, rather than mindlessly sleepwalking through life. When we can observe our state without reaction, this is meditation.

Mindfulness means attentiveness, vigilant alertness. Awareness becomes like a mirror.

Julia: Thank you. That’s great. One more question. I know that at some point on the path, everyone realizes that the Universe is One. But we move back and forth in and out of polarity. How can we stay grounded in Oneness?

Lama Surya Das: The whole question of duality and non-duality is a very deep metaphysical, mystical question. It is addressed in many religions and philosophies. We have to move from the mere knowledge of it to some kind of experience and, ultimately, a realization about it.

Just talking about it is not enough. But generally, our human nature is the tip of the iceberg of the Buddha nature. Our mind, our neuroses even, our body, are just reflections in the Cosmic Mind of God. So reality appears to be two, although it is not really two. We appear to ourselves to be separate from our Buddha nature, just as a rainbow appears to be separate from the sky. The rainbow is part of the sky. It is not separate.

So our thoughts and our mind seem separate from our Buddha nature, but they are not. We have to be able to see the unity in the diversity, the One or the Divine in everything in order to realize Oneness in everything. Yet we still must use discernment, discerning right from wrong and left from right. That’s seeing the One in the many. That’s the secret of non-duality.

There really is non-duality. Everything is God or Buddha nature. Everything is as it is. Everything is radiance. It takes different forms. There is a whole spectrum of color, but all the colors are in white light, and the spectrum of light has not changed — it is merely contained in the whole. We see the many shapes of the vessels made of clay, but they are all clay. The creation is not separate from the creator.

Everything takes different forms, like the colors in the rainbow, transparent and luminous, yet all contained in the One light.

The true source of Light, the true nature of Light, is not changed in its diversity or separation. It is One and more than One. It is about seeing the One in the Many.

There is no fall from Grace. There may be a change in the state, just as water may be ice, fluid, or steam, but they are all H20. There are different levels of vibration, but they are all the same essence.

This is really a dance of the universe. All of the movement of the universe is the undulation or dance of the universe. Everything is One with the dance.

Lama Surya Das says that he was “born Jewish” as Jeffrey Miller before studying with Tibetan gurus in the Himalayas, including the Dalai Lama, and with the great masters of Asia. His parents now call him the “Jolly Lama.”

Today, he lectures and teaches around the world. With the Dalai Lama, he founded the Western Buddhist Teachers Network, and is the founder of the Dzogchen Center and Foundation in Massachusetts and California.

A prolific writer, in addition to his new Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be: Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation, Surya Das is the author of the “Awakening Trilogy” (Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment; Awakening to the Sacred: Building a Spiritual Life from Scratch; and Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning and Connection into Every Part of Your Life) and The Snow Lion’s Turquoise Mane: 155 Wisdom Tales from Tibet, and is coauthor of Natural Great Perfection: Vajra Songs and Dzogchen Teaching.

For more information about Lama Surya Das, or about his workshops, books, and classes, please visit his website at


Julia Griffin, intuitive healer and owner of One True Self, began her work fifteen years ago under the tutelage of real wolves. Following their direction, Julia sees and reads energy, including animals, plants, and people. She works with people in session to find their resonance with the soul, clearing patterns and creating alignment with their inner path.


  1. See Awakening to the Sacred, Part IV.