"If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others."— His Holiness the Dali Lama

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to transcend your ego?

Many teachers tell us that “ego” is a problem, something to be overcome, outgrown, or transformed. Without meaning to, they make “ego” into something negative. In the world of Live Conscious we view “ego” as a necessary stage of development. We do not view it as negative, or even something to overcome. We do not believe people should try to get rid of parts of themselves—this only leads to internal conflict and suppression. Instead, we advocate the need to accept and integrate all parts of ourselves.

Do you always have the freedom to choose?

We are often told that we always have choice in our lives. This is meant to help people feel empowered. The concept is fundamentally helpful, but not 100% true to our experience. Live Conscious suggests that there are times when we don’t have choice in our lives. It may be that we suffered a trauma early in life—and when we are around a certain kind of stimulus—our physiology responds before we have any choice whatsoever. Such realities need to be respected as part of our personal truth. Does this mean we aren’t responsible for how we respond in those situations? No, it means that we need to take responsibility to avoid situations that are re-stimulating in potentially harmful ways.

How do you live a spiritual life?

There are many spiritual practices, but how do we know we’re on a spiritual path unless we can clearly and simply define what we mean by spirituality? Live Conscious defines spirituality by acknowledging that the word “spirit” means “breath.” Breath is the essence of all living beings. So, if we live our lives in such a way that we respect breath—living beings—we are living a spiritual life. To read more about this click here.

Have you learned how to live in the present moment?

People often speak of their desire to live in the present. They read books on the subject, practice various meditations, and other forms of mindfulness training. But what about the simplest thing of all— speak in present tense. Talk about what’s happening now. Using present tense language we bring ourselves into the present moment. This is but one unique aspect of Live Conscious, we teach people how to use language in a new way. The language is called Perception Language.

How can you avoid being judgmental?

So much pain and hiding results from of our fear of being judged—by others and ourselves. Judgments boil down to people making “dualistic” distinctions, like “good/bad,” or “right/wrong.” Since we fear being seen as bad or wrong, we hide and hold back. Live Conscious suggests that duality is part of the human experience, but teaches us another way to be human. It teaches us to use Perception Language so that we are less judgmental and less fearful of other people’s judgments. This radically alters our consciousness and reduces our anxiety. Perception Language is the only non-dual (non-judgmental) language we know of.

Are your most intimate relationships easy?

Are challenging relationships the way to fuel our growth? Many paths suggest this is the case. In the world of Live Conscious, we advocate that intimate relationships can be easy—and that when they are easy, we grow and evolve more quickly because we feel safer to reveal ourselves. Freeing ourselves to reveal who we are in the moment, and appreciating our differences, is the key to true intimacy.

Can you unilaterally forgive others?

Forgiveness is often heralded as the solution to conflict. In the world of Live Conscious, we appreciate the healing power of forgiveness, but we also believe that unearned forgiveness, or premature forgiveness, or forcing ourselves to forgive can result in denial of one’s personal truth. We teach people to have adult/adult conversations, a necessary ingredient for true forgiveness. Such forgiveness is born out of actions, such as heartfelt apologies or learning or understanding, not out of unilateral decisions to forgive.

Is unconditional love a realistic goal?

Unconditional love is promoted as a goal in many personal growth workshops. In Live Conscious we suggest that unconditional love is both unrealistic and the cause of much confusion—particularly in intimate relationships. We believe that healthy relationships are based on having healthy boundaries and conditions. To live in partnership without conditions is the cause of much anxiety. Instead of encouraging people to seek unconditional love, we encourage people to maturely express their conditions and be appropriately flexible.

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