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The Great Misunderstanding
shows that you are not what you seem to be, what you have been conditioned to be. Believing we are a separate somebody, this great misunderstanding is the source of all our suffering. We believe all our experiences and emotions are caused by the world and by other people. This book explains how to develop awareness about ourselves, how to quieten the mind and become witnesses to our lives.

We can dive beneath the busy currents of our lives to find out what is real.We can ask, 'Why do I have an ego? Why do I struggle? Is it just the play of life?' We realise that we can connect deeply to the heart and trust in life as it is. We can experience expansion and openness beyond emotions and the thinking mind. We can see that ultimately, when we are simply quiet, we can dissolve into our true nature.Then life can be enjoyed in every moment, naturally expressing itself through us.

ISBN: 978-0-9570886-7-2
264 pages, 20 color pages

What is the Great Misunderstanding?

As human beings we have come to perceive ourselves as separate from the world around us. We are conditioned to believe in duality. This great misunderstanding is the source of all our suffering. If we believe we are separate then we believe that all our experiences and emotions are caused by the world and by other people. Deep inside of us we know what is true and what is not true - we only forgot it. In Truth there is just one, and in this one there is and never was any suffering.

Supporting Self Awareness

How much effort do we put into trying to change our lives to become more happy and content? It is not about changing anything. It is about becoming aware of what is, stepping back from our habit of separation, quietening the busy mind and becoming a witness to our lives. Spiritual practices such as meditation and Yoga - alone or with a group - support this awareness, and there can also be a powerful support in meeting and working with a spiritual teacher.

What is Real? Life is about Waking Up

Even with deeper awareness, we often still feel a strong sense of separation. We can ask ourselves why we have this sense of separation. Why do we struggle? What is in the way of happiness? What is the meaning of our lives? If we are not the body then who are we, and what is death? The answer to all these questions comes back to the same fundamental message - wake up to who you really are and see that nothing is separate.

The Way of the Heart

In the West we are very reliant on the mind and emotions to guide us through life. The Way of the Heart is about connecting to our inner navigation system, our intuition, and trusting in the flow of life. It is about living with an open heart, which means trust and surrender to what life brings. When you can trust in life as it is, from the heart, you experience an expansiveness and openness beyond emotions and the thinking mind.

How we Sabotage Ourselves

Life is flowing through us and we find ourselves losing touch with our old identity. We become open to life, but also we become vulnerable. The unknown mystery of life is opening, so a great fear can arise. We all have the longing to deeply meet ourselves, but at the same time it is what we most fear. We have very successful and subtle strategies to sabotage our own happiness, the meeting with our own Self. The most common is reverting to old patterns of thinking and behaviour. We fall into what we know, choosing relationships and familiar lifestyles instead of the mystery of living in the unknown.

Reminders to Stay Present

Even with a fairly quiet mind and an open heart, we can still experience that being present is not so easy. The greatest pointer to presence is simply to be quiet and find what is behind the mind, what is your true nature. This requires a strong focus and a decision to really stop and not touch the old thoughts any more. Above all, we can practise Self-enquiry, constantly questioning the 'I' that we always relate to in our lives. Self-enquiry is a powerful device because it questions the core of the false identification, the 'I'.

Awake and Free

In this space of stillness, you may come to a moment when the old perception of the world and yourself drops away and you have a deep insight into your true nature. If this glimpse becomes grounded in you, you can live constantly from your true nature. What will you do when daily life doesn't bother you anymore? Will you still be able to function? Life can be enjoyed as it is in every moment, expressing itself naturally through you in joyful creativity, peace and constant celebration of the moment.

John David
Open Sky Press
Open Sky House
Seminar House