All posts by Jeff Wilson

10 Must-Read Spiritual Books That Will Honor Your Soul

HEY! You clicked this link because your interested in getting smarter, living better, being more knowledgeable or simply passing an afternoon without Facebook? Well how are you do expect to finish a book if you can’t even give an article a try?

This list is a compromise between a few people who are important to me and my own searches. We hope to give you a list that will be practical and accessible, but most of all entertaining. If you don’t see something that you feel NEEDS to be mentioned please post it so everyone can see!

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism: Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Well known for his severely blunt attitude towards nonsense in every form, Rinpoche Trungpa writes in a similar but compassionate vein. This is a must read for EVERY modern spiritualist out there. When I read this my own perceptions were more finely tuned.

We can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spirituality when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Finding Freedom: Jarvis Jay Masters

Masters wrote this from death row, the entire time he claimed his innocence. A highly emotional read for anyone, I would recommend this for anyone incarcerated, whose been through the system, or facing irresponsible life elements. This debuts the side of Buddhism in action you’ve never thought of. Masters creates his mala from Tylenol and jean fabric.

The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi: Ramana Maharshi

This book is the varied conversations between Ramana and international spiritual seekers. Ramana’s style of teaching is famously non denominational. He asks’ Who am I’ repetitiously to convey his message. This book can be shared between religious groups with reliable ease.

Be Here Now: Ram Dass

Is probably one of the most famous western author of mindfulness and meditation. Be Here Now is the most commonly read of his books, but in seriousness you could pick up anything he wrote and find it alarmingly profound. He is one of a handful of authors that literally makes me smile or laugh with the beauty of his revelations. Covering a wide set of practices and stories of travel, you are bound to learn or laugh.

A Gradual Awakening:  Stephen Levine

Levine offers very practical and accessible meditative practices in this book. Many people I know started with this book to build their initial practice. From the ground up it is an excellent guide for the development and stages of mindfulness. As a fun tid-bit, if this bloke’s name seems familiar it may be because his son is Noah Levine (Dharma Punks, Against the Stream very good traveler’s reads)!

A Brief History of Everything:  Ken Wilber

This entertaining foray into key individual’s place in history. The focus sways over a staggering number of topics, everything from multiculturalism, ecology, gender wars, environmental ethics to equality. Wilber does a great job finding hidden connections and keeping audiences amazed.

The Places That Scare You: Pema Chodron

A student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Chodron definitely has no tolerance for bull. With out fear she will help readers grip the inherent wisdom and strength we already have. She aptly points out patterns and fear that keep us ‘where we are’.

The Awakening of Intelligence: Jiddu Krishnamurti

Not the most famous of his works, this book is a wider venue of ideas. He touches on ideas and concept that apply to ANYONE living in the modern world. He is a teacher if Vendata, and presents things in a non dualistic manner. This is probably not a beginner’s book as the content is very heavy. While I am always happy to to help a person start their path, I feel I neglect those further along. This one is for you my friends.

The Heart Of The Buddha’s Teachings: Transforming Suffering Into Peace And Joy  Thich Nhat Hanh

I love this man and his teachings more than any others! My bias is due to he was the first one to explain mental concepts to me, helping me grasp the nature of the mania that was destroying my life. This book is the most basic and fundamental aspects and view points into Buddhism. This former advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King has a way of inspiring compassion in ways that made me giggle. I handed my copies of his books to many a prisoner, who normally wasn’t Buddhist. They all, with out fail came back with new insights and desires to love. This book is highly recommended to anyone trying to figure out how to meditate or curious what Buddhism truly is.

The Self-Aware Universe:  Amit Goswami.
The Disappearance of the Universe: Gary Renard

This book covers a lot of scientific ground. While slightly outdated, it makes for an accessible read for most. Mainly focused on the Vedic side of science, it helps people understand concepts behind the nature of the universe and time, with the help of well written alterations.

8 Zen Stories That Will Entertain Your Mind And Grow Your Perspective

Zen is the Japanese practice of meditation and mindfulness. Here are some great, handpicked stories to bring joy to your sense of enlightenment.

The Buddha

There once was two instructors of the Buddha’s teachings. One, Tanzan, was strict in his life style, never drinking intoxicants or eating after 11 o’clock in the morning. The other, Unsho, was loose in his discipline, eating whenever and drinking whatever he pleased.

“Hello, brother,” Tanzan greeted him. “Won’t you have a drink?”

“I never drink!” exclaimed Unsho solemnly.

“One who does not drink is not even human,” said Tanzan.

“Do you mean to call me inhuman just because I do not indulge in intoxicating liquids!” exclaimed Unsho angrily. “Then if I am not human, what am I?”

“A Buddha,” answered Tanzan.

A Mother’s Advice

There was a Shogun master that was also famous Sanskrit scholar known through the lands. He would often give lectures to students and travelers. One day his mother wrote to him and said,

“Son, I do not think you became a devotee of the Buddha because you desired to turn into a walking dictionary for others. There is no end to information and commentation, glory and honor. I wish you would stop this lecture business. Shut yourself up in a little temple in a remote part of the mountain. Devote your time to meditation and in this way attain true realization.”

How To Write A Chinese Poem

A famous Japanese poet was once asked how to compose a Chinese poem.

“The usual Chinese poem is four lines,” he explains. “The first line contains the initial phase; the second line, the continuation of that phase; the third line turns from this subject and begins a new one; and the fourth line brings the first three lines together. A popular Japanese song illustrates this:

Two daughters of a silk merchant live in Kyoto.
The elder is twenty, the younger, eighteen.
A soldier may kill with his sword.
But these girls slay men with their eyes.”

How The Trees And Grass Became Enlightened

One day a fifty year old student of the Tendai school came to the master Shinken. The master rarely received visitors and almost never answered their questions.

“I have studied the Tendai school of thought since I was a little boy, but one thing in it I cannot understand. Tendai claims that even the grass and trees will become enlightened. To me this seems very strange.”

“Of what use is it to discuss how grass and trees become enlightened?” asked Shinkan. “The question is how you yourself can become so. Did you ever consider that?”

“I never thought of it in that way,” marveled the old man.

“Then go home and think it over,” finished Shinkan.

Every Minute Zen

Zen students must learn under their masters for at least ten years before they may teach others. Tenno was recently made a master and visited his friend Nan-in, who was also a master. The day they greeted each other was rainy, and Tenno was wearing wooden clogs and had an umbrella. Later, while taking tea Nan-in asked, “I suppose you left your wooden clogs in the vestibule. I want to know if your umbrella is on the right or left side of the clogs.”

This confused Tenno and he had no immediate answer. He realized in that moment he had lost his Zen. He studied for sic more years to find and keep his Zen.

Fire-Poker Zen

An old master used to tell his students about an old woman that owned a teashop. He praised her deep understanding of Zen. He encouraged them to seek her out. When she saw the students coming, she could immediately tell if they had come for tea or not.

If they came for tea she would serve them delicious tea with grace. If they came for teachings she would take them around the back. There she would strike them with a red hot poker. Nine out of ten could not escape her beatings.

Flower Shower

Subhuti was a disciple of the Buddha. He comprehended emptiness, the view point that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,” the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,” responded the gods. “This is the true emptiness.” And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain.

Everything Is Best

When Banzan was walking through a market, he happened to hear a butcher talking with his customer.

“Give me the best piece of meat you have,” said the customer.

“Everything in my shop is the best,” replied the butcher. “You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best.”

At these words Banzan became enlightened.

8 Spirit Crushing Things Confident People Don’t Do

I wanted to make a list of traits for confident people. I see the general feeling boost getting pushed in with other personality aspects. Most of these are fairly negative. There is nothing inherently negative about confidence. Some people use negative means to bring about other feeling boosts, that can mirror confidence. Or put insane canotations on the meaning of confidence and use it as tool for their crazy plots.

Confidence is the feeling you get when you can recognize an element of truth with in yourself or the world around you, and use it to a specific goal. that uplifting feeling of accomplishment and self assuredness. If you can see what a great, capable and intelligent person you are and not feel any confidence, I’d suggest you use the list below to fake it till you make it.

Lie Themselves

A person who lies to themselves can never see the truth. They craft information in a way that looks identical to truth, in their heads. They willing disable their ability to tell the difference. A person who lies to themselves may have bravado but not simple confidence. A person who can’t see the truth of anything won’t have many of the traits on this list.

It is important to a confident person to know the difference between wrong and right, truth and illusion. This knowledge gives them the ability to boldly stroll forward into the potential unknown.

They Don’t Share Ideas

I know these headline seems cold hearted and selfish but think about it. Ideas shared get stolen and warped. Can you blame someone for having a clear idea, then doing everything they can to achieve it? Minus anyone else’s input?

Ignore Aspects Of Themselves

They acknowledge their strengths, weaknesses and gut feelings. There is no focus or hype surrounding these aspects, they are what the are. The confident person knows when they are good at something and accepts compliments. They don’t hype the experience into an ego fueled mania rage, they accept it as a nicety and truth.

Confident people know their weaknesses. They are working or beefing that aspect up or hunting crutches to help them with the weight. Gut feelings are important. this second brain is a mystery, but it has fair warnings and intuitions that should be payed attention.

Aren’t Ashamed Of Their Failures

If anything, they might be ashamed they didn’t try harder. Confident individuals learn from failure and keep striving to new and better goals. It’s that simple, learn from your mistakes and move on.

Compromise On What They Believe In

This isn’t to say that these people don’t change their stance as required, it means that they won’t change simply for changes sake or for the happiness of others. While confident people may try to better life for others they will not people please on any deeper level.

Focus On Negative Or Unchangeable Aspects Of Life

This is makes or breaks the essence of a confident person: the ability to mentally leave aspects alone and accept what can not change. Look into the negative element in your life name it, love it, accept it and put it down. If it still wants to rage and be separate from the rest of your entity, that’s its business.

Ignore Body Language

So much of our intent and personality is stored in our body language but most just pass it over as ‘she’s standing there’. The ability to look more deeply and see the irritation or impatience and realize that everything isn’t quite ok gives people a feeling. That feeling is confidence. The ability to read body language or even between the lines of what a person is saying provides more information. That excess of information can be used to better maneuver the world, that sounds like confidence doesn’t it.

Never Believes They Know Everything

A confident person isn’t a know-it-all, though know-it-all’s frequently exhibit bravado. Any intelligent confident person is truing to learn more about the world around them, not standing about waxing on. The confident person has nurtured the feeling of self assurance from information to fight insecurities. There are always more insecurities or forms of madness that everyone has to deal with.

5 Signs Your Third Eye Is Opening And How To Help It Along

The third eye is more than a metaphorical or alliterative phrase for intuition. It refers to the very real anja chakra. This particular energy center stems from your pineal gland. For a more in depth summary of the pineal gland and its effects read and watch my summary here. This organ is known as the psychic gland, and from its physical placement in the center of our gray matter, the anja chakra spirals out. This chakra is the center of our intuitions. This chakra is made more powerful through repetition.

This video goes over the common traits and changes of your third eye opening. There are more than just these aspects but these are not only the most common but the most readily noticed.

Heightened Senses

All of your senses will be given a noticeable boost. It will be like living in high definition. Not only will the physical input will be more detailed, but your ability to comprehend this upgraded information will be reformed as well.


You will start to hear sounds and tasting sounds. No you are tripping, but you are now able to experience a sense and feel the other attributes tied to that particular sensation. You will see the kitchen has been cleaned and will be able to ‘hear’ your roommate’s comments on the task.

Dietary Changes Are Desired

As you can taste intention and have a heightened sense of taste and smell, the quality of you desired foods will be bettered. When I eat a burger from a fast food chain, I can ‘taste’ the impartial and loveless environment the burger was made in. I can ‘smell’ all of the corners that were cut to provide me an unnecessarily convenient and fast meal. You will be able to feel the ‘negativity’ in certain foods poorly fuel your body and weaken your spirit.

You Notice The Connections Between Life

All of these newly recognized aspects of life will fuel your raised intuition into making new connections you’ve never before realized. This high level of understanding, in both a mental and spiritual capacity, will lead to higher levels of empathy, respect and compassion.

Check Out This Abandoned “Psychedelic Salt Mine” In Russia

Yekaterinburg is the industrial and cultural center of Ural Federal District, Russia. Its sprawling, rich cultural metropolis has been hiding a beautiful geologic formation. A couple hundred feet below the city is a mine rich in the mineral carnallite, giving the caves an insane psychedelic collision of colors. Carnallite is an active ingredient for plant fertilizer and is normally a yellowish red color. Most of the mine is abandoned but Mikhail Mishainik, photographer and spelunking enthusiast,  and his friends explored the caves and corridors now abandoned and forgotten. What he found was astonishingly beautiful.

After exploring for twenty some hours and spending the night on a couple of occasions, Mishainik found superb content for photos. While typically earth toned, the carnallite in these caves has taken on all the possible variations of colors, from vibrant reds, stark white, fluorescent oranges, emerald greens and rusty purples.

“It is easy to get lost as many of the passageways look the same, we navigate our way around very carefully.Many people know about the mines but it is very difficult to access them if you don’t have an official permit,” Mikhail said. “We take our safety very seriously, but of course there are always dangers. There is the possibility of a gas leak from chemicals such as methane, hydrogen sulphide carbon dioxide as well the risk of a landslide. The danger element is part of the fun and it’s a special feeling being somewhere very few people have seen.”

The Russian explorer has other adventures that he has graciously documented on his website. The Internet and the Spirit Science crew were blown away the naturally psychedelic formations. Its a great reminder have how grand the world we live in is.








This Is What Your Chinese Zodiac Has In Store For You This Year

The 4,713th Chinese Year is here! As we enter the year of the ‘Red’ or ‘Fire’ Monkey, take a moment to see what this means for you. The Chinese Zodiac runs off a twelve year cycle with a year for each symbol. The system is based off the Chinese lunar calendar.

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  • Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  • Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  • Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  • Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  • Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  • Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  • Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  • Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  • Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  • Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

While this year will favor anyone born under the monkey sign, there will also be benefits to everyones’ sign. The Chinese horoscope is based off the five elements and every animal has a different composition of elements.  By knowing the compositions of the animal signs, how they interact and the image of the I-Ching, spiritualists can project probabilities and influences of the signs. The Monkey is associated with metal and water, so this will be a year filled with money opportunities, wisdom and danger.


This looking like a great year for your love affairs. Those who are single will have a great many option to choose from. If you are in a relationship there will be opportunities to build on the foundation of what you two already share. Temptation will be present frequently so keep strong and have faith! Your career path will be on the up and up so be sure to keep an eye on opportunities.


Last year wasn’t the greatest for Oxen, but your trend is on the rise my friend. The perfect year for dreaming big, any mistakes this year will be quickly rectified. All aspects of your life (love, professional, and personal) will be recovering rapidly from last year’s issues. Use the momentum to your advantage.


A word of caution, monkeys are the tiger’s natural enemies so avoid conflicts with them this year. Besides that its going to be a great year for your love life. Whether finding someone new or appreciating whoever is in your life, the universe smiles on your adventures. This year is going to be the perfect time for bug changes but you’ll need to keep your head on straight. Think before you act this year.


Rabbits will be the luckiest sign this year, so what ever goes will get better. Plant your seeds carefully, so you can enjoy the harvest for years to come. Let this year ignite your passions, desires and adventures this year.


This won’t be the most romantic year for you, my fair dragon. The cosmic wisdom being imparted on all creatures will benefit you more than others. Use your powerful intuition to glean more opportunities and routes to success.


Longterm relationships are about to get more serious for snakes and they are advised to not be too fickle with new romances. This will be a lucky year but there will be financial hang ups if your not careful.


This year will be a struggle for your romantic affairs.  Single horses will have a hard time finding sustainable company and attached horses should try to be more understanding and compassionate this year. This will be a great year for your career though. Follow your instincts and the will help you flourish like never before.


As long as you let the little things slide this will be a great year for the romantic goat. This success will be felt with your intellectual pursuits so start creating something you’ve been putting off. The will be a rise in your productive energies so cut out bad habits or take up new interests.


This is your year, the key will be to keep a sense of balance as each of aspect of your life will be on the rise. Make sure you spend time with those important to you. Make sure you take the time to rest and enjoy life outside of your work and hobbies. If something goes wrong for you realize it is opening unseen doors so keep an eye out.


A great year for romance, dear rooster. Declare to the world how you feel and chase after your desires. Its going to be a grandiose year so try to keep your goals realistic and you wits about you.


A challenging year awaits dogs. Romantically the single members of this sign will have to keep their professional goals and personal growth for consuming all their time. Those in relationships will have lots of miscommunication and experience the feeling of abandonment. Keep trying and keep faith in your loved one. Trust your instincts this year because not all is as it seems.


The single boar will have an easier time than the attached boar. Single boars will have lots of opportunities and encouragement. Attached boars will have to actively work against misunderstandings and wild emotions on both sides. Keep you passions in check and you’ll get through it.