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Spiritual Awakening Radio

Author: James Bean

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Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean explores the world of spirituality, The Path of the Masters (Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), Gnostic Gospels, mystics, world scriptures, God, meditation, mystical experiences, the vegan diet, and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.
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Today we consult with not only Matthew 3:4 and Mark 1:6 with their references to "locusts and honey", but also explore the world of early Christian writings as well as scholarly texts. Some who know Greek and are affiliated with Eastern Orthodox Christianity believe that the mention of "locusts" in the New Testament actually refers to locust beans, also known as carob beans. Some describe "Saint John's bread" or "manna bread" as being made of locust bean flour, also known as carob flour, turned into a kind of Middle-eastern flat bread. "In ancient texts the references to 'honey' in antiquity can refer equally to honey produced by bees, or to any number of other sweet substances, including dates, figs, pods, or sap/gum from carob or other trees." (John the Baptist’s Wild Honey and Honey in Antiquity, by James A. Kelhoffer) There is a ‘vegetarian’ depiction of John’s diet in the Syriac Life and Martyrdom of John the Baptist supplying us with some context and it points to the sap in plants as being the natural sweet substance or "honey". The Life and Martyrdom of John the Baptist is attributed to Mark the Evangelist: "So, at once he [John the Baptist] was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he traveled into the wilderness. He was brought up in the wilderness, eating tips of plants and the sap in the plants." The Slavonic edition of the Book of Josephus actually contains a saying attributed to John the Baptist: "I am pure; [for] the Spirit of God has led me on, and [I live on] cane and roots and tree-food." Josephus also describes the desert or wilderness diet of John the Baptist. We also consult with, The Life of John the Baptist by Sarapion; The Gospel of the Ebionites, another name for the Jesus Movement. We learn of their cousins in the John the Baptist sect (Nasoraeans); also about Epiphanius. And we examine the historic record and scholarly analysis of Bart Ehrman; Robert Eisenman; James Kelhoffer; Keith Akers, James Tabor; E.S. Drower; and G.R.S. Mead. We conclude with a reading from the vegetarian Prayer of Thanksgiving from the Hermetica, as well as the parallel version about this agape love feast or communal meal found in the Nag Hammadi Library. 
In this labyrinth of existence we can become quite habituated into remaining as surface-dwellers living inundated by all the outward distractions that life on earth provides. We may ask of ourselves, “Am I availing myself of the spiritual direction and wisdom that comes from within?” Over the centuries contemplative souls have taught that the human body is a kind of temple, and that within this temple are portals that lead to other dimensions, that by looking within this microcosm we may access the macrocosm of the heavens. We are children of both worlds. We human beings are a Tree of Life with roots in the earth and branches rising into a mystic sky.  Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean -- Education For A More Peaceful Planet
There are Living Mystics with us now in the world today, the 21st Century. Sant Mat, the Path of the Living Masters, is quite respectful of the great teachers, the great Saints of the past and the scriptures or hymns they left behind, and you're hear more of them quoted on this podcast than just about any podcast out there. But, the focus of Sant Mat is in the living present. Sant Mat continues to exist because of living masters. Respect goes to past masters, yes... but the work's not done. The work that remains is the spiritual mission of the living masters of the present time keeping the torch, the Light of spirituality, lit for another generation. For Sant Mat, the age of truth and revelation has never ceased. What was true in the past remains true now. What enlightenment was available to others who once lived in the past is also available to us here in the living present.
The Vegetarianism of the Original Jesus Movement (Christian Vegetarianism), Jesus's Vegan Brother James (Who Became His Spiritual Successor), Former Fisherman Peter, the Other Apostles, Syriac-Aramaic Clementine Literature, and the Vegetarian "Yoke of the Lord" Mentioned in the The Didache (The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations) Yeshua said, "Come to me, for my yoke is easy and my mastery gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves." (Gospel of Thomas, Saying 90) One of the "peaceable kingdom" principles of the Jesus Movement leading to spiritual rest included a non-violent, compassionate vegetarian diet. 
"There is nothing more important than meditation. Increase this practice from day to day; never decrease it." (Baba Jaimal Singh)  Teachings of Baba Jaimal Singh of the Radhasoami (Radhaswami) Faith of India today on the Sant Mat Satsang Podcast, a production of Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean.
From Darkness to Light -- Guidance About Meditation Practice -- the Sant Mat Satsang Podcast, a production of Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean Today, an introduction to meditation for beginners that also provides a glimpse into the world of advanced practice, inner Light and Sound, the realm of the saints and mystics, East and West, in the various schools of spirituality. "Darkness is no longer dark to me." "There is a sound emanating from beyond the silence."  
In Sant Mat spirituality, meditation is successfully practiced when we keep the proper meditation posture, leave behind all our burdens, thoughts, worries, and worldly distractions behind, and focus all of our undivided attention on going within by way of the third eye center so that we may reach that Sacred Secret Place of the Most High where Divine Grace is flowing. Rising to THE PLACE WHERE GRACE IS FLOWING is a great way of describing the benefit of Surat Shabd Meditation, Inner Light and Sound Meditation, as being a kind of inner baptism or letting the waters of Divine Grace flow over the soul.  The Sant Mat Satsang Podcast is a production of Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean.
Today a treasure-trove of pro-vegan, pro-vegetarian, pro-compassion passages, mostly from Buddhist sources, ancient and contemporary, along with quotes from Supreme Master Ching Hai, including: "From Crisis To Peace, The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer"; also a couple of passages from Pythagoras, Apollonius of Tyana, as well as Darshan Singh. Spiritual Awakening Radio (and Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), with James Bean, heard on various community, public radio stations and the web, explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, world scriptures and other books, East and West, God, meditation, out of body or near death experiences (inner space), the vegan diet and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.  
Rules For Being Guru, By Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj -- The Living Spiritual Path of Sant Mat Based in Bihar, India, Part 4 -- Sant Mat Satsang Podcast, a Production of Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean Program Outline: Mystic poetry of Sant Tulsi Sahib, then Kabir verses along with satsang commentary by Baba Ram Singh, followed by selections from, The Inward Journey of the Soul, the first book in English by Swami Vyasanand, on the Rules For Being Guru. And I close with another reading from the mystic poetry of Sant Tulsi Sahib. "Spiritual seeking has the not-so-modest goal of revealing nothing less than the Divine, the Truth or Ultimate Reality. For far less modest goals than this we would not dare attempt their achievement without a qualified teacher. Our universities and the degrees they confer bear witness to this fact. For example, we would never attempt to acquire the skills of a professional airline pilot with mere reading, nor would we dare take instructions from someone who himself had never flown. Common sense requires that we approach subjects such as aviation or any number of other technical subjects with the help of skillful teachers and tried and true curricula. Why then would we assume that the highest and arguably the most difficult of all goals could be achieved without a teacher or guide?" (Don Howard, Evaluating Spiritual Teachers -- In Search of a Worthy, Genuine, Competent, Qualified Spiritual Teacher)
Reincarnation in Gnosticism, and... Let the Gnostics Be Gnostic -- Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean Spiritual Awakening Radio (and Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), with James Bean, heard on various community, public radio stations and the web, explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, world scriptures and other books, East and West, God, meditation, out of body or near death experiences (inner space), the vegan diet and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.
"The teachers of the worldly sciences can teach those subjects, but when we come to the SCIENCE OF SPIRITUALITY, only the accomplished spiritual teacher can give these teachings of the spiritual path. All the wisdom in the sacred texts points to the importance of a teacher. This mysterious path is described in the holy books, but it cannot be found simply by the study of sacred texts. It is found by the grace and guidance of an accomplished teacher." (a quote from: Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Book of Sarvadharma Samanvy/Harmony Of All Religions) The Science of Spirituality According to Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj -- The Living Spiritual Path of Sant Mat Based in Bihar, India, Part 3 -- Sant Mat Satsang Podcast, a Production of Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean 
The Goal of Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation: Our Path Back to the Source -- The Inward Journey Back to GOD, by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Today on the Sant Mat Satsang Podcast, a Production of Spiritual Awakening Radio with James Bean
Today we explore the various stages of Sant Mat meditation practice according to Beloved Sant Satguru Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, describing the transition from separation from God in the material outer world of the five senses to the world of Within "Sitting Near God" (Upasana), the ascension of the soul through Stillness or Silence, Manas Jap (Simran, Repetition of Sacred a Sacred Name or Names of God), Manas Dhyan (Visualization of the Form of the Master), Dristi Sadhana (Inner Vision Piercing the Darkness Contemplating the Inner Light at the Third Eye Center), and Nadanusadhana (Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Sound Meditation, the Yoga of the Audible Life Stream). PODCAST (7-23-2020): The Living Spiritual Path of Sant Mat Based in Bihar, India, Part 2: Meditation Practice According to Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj -- Sant Mat Satsang Podcast Edition of Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean.
The Gospel of Thomas as a Kind of 'Second Coming' of Christ -- Some New Observations About the Gospel of Thomas Today On Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean Fascinating examples of mysterious non-canonical orphan or stray sayings attributed to Jesus in the writings of early Christianity in Syria, Rome, and Egypt that are part of this Other or "Thomasonian" tradition of the sayings of Jesus emanating from Syria... in circulation around the Mediterranean world and Middle East.
Often Westerners lack clarity about the teachings of the Masters. The goal of this spiritual awakening satsang project always is to bring greater access to the teachings and better understanding about traditional, rural, no-nonsense Sant Mat spirituality AS IT IS. Today, a presentation exploring a lesser-known living, contemporary branch of Sant Mat based in Bihar, India (also Nepal) associated with the lineage of Sant Tulsi Sahib, Maharshi Mehi Paramhans and his spiritual successors, with readings about the spiritual journey and meditation practice from Tulsi Sahib, Maharshi Mehi, Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, Shir Bhagirath Baba, Swami Achyutanand Baba, Swami Vyasanand Ji Maharaj, and there's an excerpt from a new paper by Professor Veena Howard titled, Divine Light and Melodies Lead the Way: The Santmat Tradition of Bihar.
Today on this Sant Mat Satsang Podcast edition of Spiritual Awakening Radio we explore a spiritual discourse of Baba Somanath on successfully reaching our spiritual goals, not being talked out of our hopes and ideals, not giving up on our meditation practice, but rather, finding our life purpose following the spiritual path and being a successful practitioner of inner Light and Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga). This particular satsang discourse of Baba Somanath, based on mystic verses of the Sar Bachan Poetry, is quite informative about the role of the mind or ego acting as an extension of universal mind given the name Kal Niranjan by some, and the Demiurge by others, the negative power, great deceiver or lord of illusion. The quest of the true disciple (satsangi, initiate) is to remain focused in a realm of endless distractions, to be spiritually awake in a culture of slumber or negligence, to always remember God and our spiritual practice in this world of forgetfulness (maya, illusion, samsara). 
"Kal (time, limited mental perception) has entangled people in illusions to such an extent that they have totally forgotten their Real Home." (Anurag Sagar) An Outline of Today's Sant Mat Satsang Podcast: The Story of Ants in a Burning Log -- The mysterious figure of Kabir made his entry into the life of Dharam Das; The Ethical Foundation of Sant Mat -- Ahimsa Values -- The Five Precepts -- Moral Requirements to Qualify For Initiation; Seven Key Practices of Sant Mat Mysticism; Selections from the mystic poetry of Kabir from several sources; Readings from the Anurag Sagar and Baba Kehar Singh's commentary on the Anurag Sagar (Ocean of Love), a spiritual classic of the Sant tradition of India: God is Just Behind Our Eyes at the Third Eye Center; Initiation Into Inner Light and Sound Meditation (Surat Shabd Yoga) and Protection from Above Following the Path of Sants; A Book of Sant Mat Ethics: "1008 Kabir Vani" -- One of the Most Important Books of Kabir, a review of the book followed by selections: the Guru Verification Process; the Kal Niranjan (Negative Power): "This mind is like an intoxicated elephant;" The Repetition of God's Name; Meditation, Prayers of Guru Kabir; and, closing thoughts.
Vegetarian Sayings of Jesus, Rumi, Rabia & Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in Sufi Islamic Sources Today on Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean You might assume Islamic and Sufi literature would portray Jesus as following a meat-eating halal diet, and that famous Sufi poet-mystics such as Rumi and Rabia would have followed a halal diet too. And yet the surprising reality is Jesus is clearly described as a vegetarian. I also show some noteworthy parallels between certain saying of Jesus preserved in Islamic sources and the Gospel of Thomas. There are actually vegan poetry verses from Jalaluddin Rumi, and Rabia of Basra is described as being vegan as well. Today we explore veg and vegan sayings of Jesus, Rumi, Rabia of Basra, and hear the pro-vegetarian Sufi message of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. Note: Bawa Muhaiyaddeen was the spiritual teacher of Coleman Barks, the famous translator of all those books of Rumi poetry still popular after all these years.   Spiritual Awakening Radio (and Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), with James Bean, heard on various community, public radio stations and the web, explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, world scriptures and other books, East and West, God, meditation, out of body or near death experiences (inner space), the vegan diet and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.
The Clementine scriptures are surviving Jewish-Christian writings from antiquity that represent the teachings of the Ebionites, a movement founded by Christ, and eventually lead by James the Just and his spiritual successors during the first few centuries AD. I was expecting this group to be very legalistic and tribal, believing that only they have access to the true God and spiritual Truth, but the reality turned out to be rather surprising! In Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 20, "Brahmans", an Ebionite author has very nice things to say about their brothers and sisters in India who worship the One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan. Ebionite One Love. Clearly he sees parallels between his own religion and those like-minded devotees and disciples residing “in the Indian countries.” (India was divided into many separate states or kingdoms 2,000 years ago.) It's one of the most amazing passages I know of in the extra-canonical apocryphal scriptures, as it is a rare example of one religion (Ebionite Christianity) recognizing “Truth” in another religion from elsewhere (Hinduism in India). Imagine that! A rare inter-faith moment in human history. And I just know the Ebionites would have really loved Kabir and the Sants of India that emerged during the medieval period. So I also share some key teachings of the Sant tradition, the Way of the Saints (Sant Mat), the Path of the Masters, very much in agreement with the Ebionites: 1) belief in, and meditation upon, the One God, 2) opposition to the worship of idols (all forms of idolatry), 3) opposition to ritual animal sacrifice in various religious temples, and 4) strictly adhering to a vegetarian (or even vegan) diet as part of their peaceful (ahimsa) ethical foundation for living.  
Today I provide a brief introduction to the Gospel of Thomas... where it came from, what it is, describing it as a wisdom gospel or 'Christ Upanishad', a collection of the sayings of Jesus to be contemplated, leading to revelations and insight. Between a third and half of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas are also included in the regular or orthodox New Testament. The rest however are not. Yet some of those sayings of Jesus associated with the Gospel of Thomas also were quoted, far and wide, in other early Christian writings too. I list some of the other texts, scriptures and authors that have quoted these "Thomasonian" sayings of Jesus that got left out of the New Testament. We focus on one such saying, in what other gospels and writings it's also appeared, AND how it even got included in the scriptures of other religions of the East & West! Yeshua says: "I will give you what eye has never seen, and what ear has never heard, and what hand has never touched, and what has never entered into the heart of man." (GoT # 17) This verse also was directly quoted by Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians. This is an axiom of wisdom about being initiated by a living teacher into the Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens, so other sources are shared exploring what initiation is: The Mystical Theology of Dionysius the Areopagite, The Testament of Our Lord (a Syriac gospel), The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life, and there are readings from the Sant Mat satsang or spiritual discourses of Sant Kirpal Singh, also Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj, on initiation as well as about inner seeing and hearing during meditation practice. "This 'Single' or 'Third Eye' provides an ingress into the spiritual worlds -- the Kingdom of God -- now a lost realm to most of us... Of this inlet or ingress little is known by the people at large." (Kirpal Singh)
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