Working with practices in Adyashanti’s latest book “The Direct Way”

Our next Zoom meeting is on Saturday Feb. 26—the 4th Sat. in Feb. due to the 3rd weekend being a holiday weekend. We will work with a meditative exercise out of Adyashanti’s latest book “The Direct Way”.  If this appeals to enough of you, we will continue with this process during subsequent monthly gatherings.  I will outline the first exercise that is in Chapter 1 below, after I describe the other ATS group goals for the year.

2. I want to suggest a word for the month that you take some time to write about from your own inner knowing, without looking it up and seeing what anyone else has written about it.  It will be words like: Truth, wisdom, faith, honor. The idea is to see how much you innately, intuitlvely know about the word of the month, based on your experience with it. So go beyond your intellect and tune in to what it means at the deepest level for you. You can focus on the word in one sitting or multiple sittings.  Write about the word until you have exhausted your knowings about it’s true meaning. Adya used to do this exercise and found it was very helpful for him, and I have worked with it some and also found it valuable.

 The word “love” is the word to work with in Feb.

During the meeting, anyone who wants to share their writing is encouraged to do so.

3. Choose an activity you can do or do more of—ideally on a daily or at least weekly basis—to live in more harmony with the earth and the climate changes that are occurring: activities like reducing consumption, changing diet to be more vegetarian or vegan, recycling, composting, downsizing, greater awareness of packaging, writing to legislators, donating to nonprofits that work on climate change, using second hand clothes and other items, bartering–eg sharing work or gardening tools, etc.

3.  I will be sharing the exercise of the month that we will work on as a group and then check in about when we meet together. It will be Adyashanti’s book “The Direct Way”, which you are welcome to order and work with, or not.  Adya suggests you do each exercise 1-3 times per day when you can get quiet for a bit. He suggests you stick with each exercise until you feel you have achieved the experience of it. While you do the exercise or practice, you want to stay with your direct experience, rather than getting caught up in thoughts about the exercise and how you experience it. The first practice is essentially “awakening from mind, as awareness.”. Here is the practice, abbreviated a bit from what is in the book:

“Let your body relax. Allow your attention to transition from your thoughts and feelings to the sensation of your breath.

Notice you are already aware of this moment, without any intention or eftort. Notice that awareness is that which discerns each moment of experience. Bring attention to the fact that awareness is always and already functioning. It is the space in which thoughts and experiences appear.

Notice that thoughts, feelings, and sensations come and go but awareness remains. Even your idea of yourself, your passing memories, your self-judgments come and go within the conscious context of awareness. Notice your whole mentally constructed identity, your idea of yourself, is an ephemeral arising within the space of awareness. It is here one moment and gone the next.

Whatever you are beyond this ephemeral idea of yourself is always present.  You are always here, but as something far more fundamental than your idea of yourself.”

This exercise might sound familiar, since we have worked with it in ATS meditations, I-Rest sessions and discussion. Yet most of us do not stay with it as a practice to work with until we are resting –for the most part–as awareness, unidentified with the contents of awareness of thoughts and emotions.

Manifesting for 2022 your next steps for your spiritual unfoldment

For the first 2022 ATS Zoom meeting, scheduled for Saturday January 15, I will lead you through a guided meditation related to manifesting what your soul most wants for your spiritual growth, and then we will work with that creatively.  If you are up for it, you might consider taking some time between now and our next meeting to ask for a message from your dreams or sit in meditation and ask for a message of what next steps your soul wants you to manifest in 2022. Then if you feel up to it, you could create something that helps you connect with your next steps relating to the message you received, such as creating a poem, song, mandala, Zentangle, painting, collage, SoulCollage, piece of writing—anything that further elucidates your next steps.  I would also recommend creating a mantra for daily use to remind you of your new year focus.  During the gathering there will be an opportunity for you to share with the group what you created, but you will also have the opportunity during the gathering to do more manifesting and creating around your 2022 spiritual growth theme. 

As always, new folks are very welcome to join with us!

Using your dream wisdom to manifest spiritual unfoldment in the New Year

For our next Zoom gathering on Saturday December 18 from 10:30-12 PST, I will begin as always with a guided meditation.  After that we will continue exploring dreams–in particular exploring how to use your dreams to connect with a way you hold yourself back from spiritual growth and what you want to bring into your awareness and focus on in 2022 to help with your spiritual unfoldment. 

To prepare for this session, as you drift off to sleep, have the intention to learn about how you hold yourself back, until your dream(s) give you information about that.  Then ask your dream wisdom what within you wants to manifest in the New Year for next steps in your spiritual unfoldment. If you do not receive answers to these questions, join with us anyway.  You may get hits about answers to these questions during the session.  As always, I will begin the session with a guided meditation. 

Nov. 20 Zoom gathering: Exploring Spiritual Dreams

For our Nov. 20th ATS meeting, taking place as usual from 10:30 am -12 pm Pacific Time, we will share and discuss “spiritual dreams.” (Spiritual dreams are however you would define the phrase “spiritual dream.”) For this gathering, you may want to consider asking for such a dream right before you fall off to sleep each night or if/when you awaken in the middle of the night.  In this way, you are “seeding” your unconscious mind to bring the dream to your conscious attention. I suggest that when you awaken and remember your spiritual dream, try to stay in the same bodily position and review the details of the dream as best you can before you change your position in bed or get up to use the bathroom. Staying in the same position helps you to remember the details, which can and usually will be lost if you even turn your body to the other side or sit up. Then date the dream to remember when it occurred, and write about how it speaks to you. 


You will have the opportunity to share the dream with the group and to share whatever meaning you have derived from it.  Or you can ask the group to help you with interpreting the dream.  I will say more about that process when we meet.  As well, you can share any spiritual dreams from the past that have deeply inspired you.


If you don’t have any dreams to share or you don’t want to share them, you are welcome to join with us anyway.
I will, as always, start us off with a guided meditation.

As always, I will lead you through a guided meditation for the first 20 minutes of our ZOom gathering.

Please let me know if you plan to attend and I will email you the Zoom link. Newcomers are welcome!

October 16 Zoom gathering: Exploring daily resistance to aceepting what is

For our October meeting, the theme will be accepting life as it is and noticing where your resistances to this are manifesting.

Some preparation for the session is important.  If you plan to attend and feel up to it, I am requesting that you keep a record of when and how you are resisting the things you cannot control in life as they arise, each day, as best as you are able.  You may notice there are themes to your resistances.  And related triggers.  You may also notice that life will present you with more and often larger challenges as you go along. Ideally, you would set an alarm on your phone to remind you to document the day’s resistances, with the goal of documenting a minimum of one each day. You might want to set a reminder alarm or some way to remind you around mid-day and around bedtime.

Are you up for this? It is a very eye opening and worthwhile exercise. 

Please let me know if you plan to attend.  As always, I will lead you in a theme-related guided meditation to start us off.

We always welcome newcomers so please consider joining with us!

September 18th Zoom gathering: learning to create Zentangles

For our next monthly Zoom gathering on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10:30 am, we will have a special treat.   After I lead you through a 15-20 minute meditation, Analisa Bevan will be facilitating us in learning how to create “Zentangles.”  These are meditative patterns that we can create and enjoy.  You do not need to be artistic at all.  It is all about mindfully enjoying the process.

The cost for this will be $16 each–$10 for Analisa and $6 for the Zentangle kit that you will order. 

From the Zentangle.com website:  https://zentangle.com/  (I recommend you check out the website and look at some Zentangles):

About the Zentangle Method

Through the Zentangle Method of drawing, you can

  • Relax
  • Focus
  • Expand your imagination
  • Trust your creativity
  • Increase your awareness
  • Respond confidently to the unexpected
  • Discover the fun and healing in creative expression
  • Enter a vibrant and supportive world-wide community
  • Feel gratitude and appreciation for this beautiful world and all that you can do
  • And perhaps most importantly . . . Have fun!

The Zentangle Method offers all this and so much more.

I hope you can join with us. We welcome newscomers!Just email me to lte me know: debcohen@hotmail.com

August 21’st Zoom gathering: Discussion of Alan Watt’s “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are”

For our August Zoom gathering, I will start us off with a 20 or so minute guided meditation.  After that, we will be discussing Alan Watt’s The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are.  You are welcome to read as much or as little of The Book as you’d like in order to participate.  Even reading one chapter is fine.  I myself have not yet read The Book but have heard for years that out of all of Alan Watt’s books, this one is one of the best.

A Description of The Book:  “The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are explores an unrecognized but mighty taboo – our tacit conspiracy to ignore who, or what, we really are. Alan Watts, key thinker of Western Zen Buddhism, explains how to reconsider our relationship with the world.”

If you haven’t heard of him, here’s a Wikipedia description about Alan Watts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts

If you want to join with us, please email me and I will email you the Zoom link.

Zoom gathering on July 24 from 10:30-noon, PDT: tools and techniques that have helped us navigate through difficult times

As usual, I will lead the group through a 15 to 20-minute meditation. This will be followed by a discussion of some of the tools and techniques you have found valuable in getting through challenging times. I will share some of my tools/techniques as well. 
You are invited to do a bit of show and tell—up to 5-10 minutes of leading us through your technique—such as a mantra, a meditation process, guided visualization, movement, prayer, song, etc.  If you would like to do that, please email me to let me know and give me an idea of the amount of time you would like to present.

If you are new to our group and checking us out, please email me to introduce yourself and feel free to ask any questions you’d like. Also email me so I know to email you the Zoom session link.

On June 19 we’re back with monthly Zoom gatherings!

The ATS Group has been “offline” for a number of months as my husband and I packed up our house and bought a new house in PA to be close to my family. Now we are back to our monthly gatherings. As usual, I will start us off with a guided meditation, followed by a discussion about life at the (hopefully) tail end of Covid 19. More specifically, we will explore our transition to socializing, hugging, reconnecting with people and with live in-person events, as well as what all of that means for us regarding self-care and our spiritual connection with Spirit/Source. We will also explore how the Covid experience and the last 15 or so months since March 2020 have changed us at a deeper level.

I will update you about my moving process and related challenges and blessings and how they have deepened my connection with Spirit/Source.

Please join with us if you are new. We love having newcomers!

I will update you about my moving process and related challenges and blessings and how they have deepened my connection with Spirit/Source.

Please join with us if you are new. We love having newcomers!