OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s Spiritual Fall Line-Up

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is planning a jam-packed fall premiere schedule, with new episodes of “Oprah’s Master Class,” “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Super Soul Sunday” and a seven-night landmark television event called “Belief.”

Below are the shows set to premiere, along with the dates and times:

“Iyanla: Fix My Life” premieres on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. with a three-part special. From pastors leading secret gay lives to a fallen Olympic star to a former model who risked her own health with dangerous butt injections for beauty, spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant tackles thought-provoking issues over eight emotional episodes.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, new episodes of the two-time, Emmy award-winning “Super Soul Sunday” premieres in its new time slot at 7 p.m. eastern/pacific. The series features all-new conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, visionaries and spiritual leaders exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, spirituality, conscious living and what it means to be alive in today’s world.

Episodes this season include President Jimmy Carter; television creator Shonda Rhimes; professor and TED speaker Dr. Brené Brown; women’s rights activist and humanitarian Zainab Salbi; pastor and education activist Wintley Phipps; human rights activist Bryan Stevenson; “Chicken Soup for the Soul” co-creator Jack Canfield; happiness expert Gretchen Rubin (“The Happiness Project”); groundbreaking psychologist Daniel Goleman (“Emotional Intelligence”); and more.

Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the television event series, “Belief,” airs Sunday, Oct. 18-24 at 8 p.m. eastern/pacific, and will explore humankind’s ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves. This groundbreaking original series invites viewers to witness some of the world’s most fascinating spiritual journeys through the eyes of the believers. Traveling to the far reaches of the world, and to places cameras have rarely been, “Belief” searches the origins of diverse faiths and the heart of what really matters.

Each episode presents stories of people on spiritual journeys, taking them to sacred spaces, including: the largest peaceful gathering in the history of the world as a group of believers seek redemption along the banks of a holy river; a free climber on the side of a mountain who believes there is no greater power than just being present as he climbs without rope; inside the ceremonies of the past as a 21st-century woman seeks to find a miracle cure using ancient ceremonial treatments; the quiet of the night as a culture seeks to hang on to its 50,000-year-old history by searching the stars for insight to share with future generations; and, a courtroom and prison where a grieving mother must grapple with forgiveness as she comes face-to-face with her son’s killer — all leading viewers to ask: “What do you believe?”

Returning for its fifth season, Sunday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. eastern/pacific is the Emmy-nominated and NAACP and Gracie award-winning series “Oprah’s Master Class,” with masters handpicked by Oprah Winfrey, including Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Duvall, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Smokey Robinson, Jeff Bridges, James Taylor and Patti LaBelle. Chosen for their unique impact on the world, these true modern masters share the greatest lessons they’ve learned along the way, including their successes, failures, triumphs, disappointments and heartbreaks.

Oprah Winfrey & Deepak Chopra Launch 8th 21-Day Meditation Experience

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are launching their eighth “Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience” titled “Manifesting Grace through Gratitude,” starting July 13.

Register for FREE here: Oprah.com/meditation

This all-new, free 21-day meditation experience will help participants stop chasing the things they think they need to be happy and start finding true joy in each present moment. Simultaneously, it aims to help alleviate stress and revitalize mind, body and spirit.

Originally launched in 2013, the “Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience” now features a catalogue of eight different programs with over 4.1 million participants from hundreds of countries around the globe.

“This meditation experience will be a heartfelt journey of discovering the grace already present in our lives through the eyes of gratitude,” said Deepak Chopra.

“Manifesting Grace through Gratitude,” led by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, will offer a 20-minute audio meditation each day and a series of thought-provoking reflection questions designed to anchor the teachings with a centering thought and mantra. Through a private, interactive journal feature, meditators are able to record and view their progress, giving them an invaluable picture of their personal growth and development. The meditations are easily accessible from a tablet, computer, or the mobile companion app available in iTunes or Google Play.

Below is an overview of what participants can expect throughout this experience:

Week One:  How Gratitude Changes Our Life
Week one will focus on transformation. Meditations feature learning about the power of positive emotions, being grateful for your life, finding and connecting with the source of your gratitude and bringing it alive in the present.

Week Two:  Beyond Emotion to Higher Gratitude
Week two delves deeper into the nature and meaning of gratitude, highlighting the importance of the mind-body connection.  These lessons will focus on changing your personal reality and tapping into the power of gratefulness in all aspects of your life.

Week Three:  Complete Life in Gratitude
The third week focuses on transforming your life into a state of grace – an effortless, more enjoyable and more vibrant way of life.  This final week of mediations will teach participants to open their hearts and minds and start on a path to accepting and embracing not only the good that life has to offer, but recognizing the resources and support that are there when we are met with challenges.

Register for FREE here: Oprah.com/meditation

Deepak Chopra & Oprah Winfrey Launch New 21-Day Meditation Challenge: Miraculous Relationships

Starting August 5, 2013, The Chopra Center, Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey are joining together for another FREE 21-Day Meditation Challenge – this time focused on “Miraculous Relationships.”

The three-week journey will take participants through guided meditations and journaling to embrace their true essence, expand their understanding of divine relationship and strengthen their connection to the people around them.

Throughout the course, participants will receive a daily email with a link to access the day’s 15-minute meditation, as well as an inspiring message and tips for creating a powerful practice. The audio meditations, voiced by Winfrey and Chopra, can be easily accessed from a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Here is what participants can expect:

1.  Find love where you least expect it. By turning your attention within and connecting to your essential nature, you can experience the unlimited source of love.

2.  Tap into your infinite potential. By paying attention to everyday acts of grace and seeing through the eyes of love and gratitude, you will release old, self-limiting beliefs and unlock your infinite potential.

3.  Fall in love yourself, fall in love with life. Experience transformation in all of your relationships as you practice and embody self-love and self-acceptance.

4.  Discover secrets to transforming your relationships, and your life. Cultivate present moment awareness by developing your ability to be present, listen deeply and communicate with compassion and clarity.

5.  Enhance your world experience. Focus on your heart’s intention, being the qualities of love, compassion, peace, forgiveness, gratitude and generosity, and watch the ripple effects shift the world around you.

Sign up free now!


Super Soul Sunday: Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul”

We listen to it all day, every day. The voice in our head that interprets, judges, thinks and basically talks to us about everything. Aside from getting quiet in meditation, this voice never really shuts off – and even during meditation it can be a challenge.

In the early 1970s, as an economic student studying for his doctorate, author of the book “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself,” Michael Singer had a realization about this voice, which literally changed the way he viewed it and everything else in his life. He realized it wasn’t really him that was talking. He was the observer of the voice, which was his “psyche and not his soul,” according to Oprah Winfrey, who interviewed him on a recent episode of Super Soul Sunday on the OWN Network.

“There is something we listen to on a regular basis. The problem is we think it’s us. For example you look at a vase and you say, ‘That is a very interesting shape, but I don’t like the color very much. It reminds me of my grandmother’s vase,’ and all of the sudden we have somebody narrating and talking inside your head. That’s not you,” he told Oprah. “You are not the thought. You are the one watching it.”

In the book, Singer encourages the reader to ask themselves two questions – “Who m I?” and “What is that voice in my head?” He believes this is a key step toward spiritual development.

The answer is, we are the one who notices our thoughts and emotions, or whatever is in front of our senses. “I am the seer. I am the one who sees,” he told Oprah, explaining what he calls “the lucid self.” Similar to a lucid dream, where we are dreaming, but are aware we are in a dream.

“You are more conscious in that dream then you normally would be. In a sense you are awake within the dream. That is what the lucid self is,” he explained. “Now do that in your real life … your mind is continuing, life is following in front of you, and you are aware that your mind is moving. the world is unfolding but your seat of consciousness is transcendent to that – its centered at a deeper level, and all of it just goes right by and you don’t have the same relationship with it that you used to have. It’s something your watching not something you are.”

So how do we handle problems in our life as they arise? We can do one of two things – lean into the problem and get involved or lean away from it, Singer said.

“The moment it starts with that chitter chatter in the mind, my first reaction inside is to relax and lean away from that,” he told Oprah. “What you will start to do is get some space, and you will learn over time that’s the smartest thing your ever did. Why? Because you gave it room to pass through, and it will pass right through.”

In doing this, we are operating from what he calls “the seat of the self.” We begin to realize we are causing the majority of our problems due to our own mental reactions to life. We have the right to choose not do this, he said.

“Still go to work. Still take care of the kids. But lean away from this mess that the mind is doing to amplify and overemphasis or over exaggerate whatever is going on … what will happen is when you let go of the noisy mind, you end up in the seat of quiet – because what is back there is quiet. My experience is that now you can look at reality and you will know what to do,” Singer noted.

Dealing With Fear
One of the biggest things many people fear is change. This is because we have gone to the mind and said to ourselves, “I’m not OK. How does everything need to be for me to be OK?” Singer said. Then we devote ourselves to creating the situations we need in order to be OK. When things start changing around us that don’t match what we believe let’s us be OK, then we get scared.

“People don’t realize fear is a thing. You can either push it away and avoid it and be scared of it, or you can let it go and let it pass right through,” Singer said. “Fear comes up out of your heart. It’s a very natural thing. It’s human. You’re watching and you see it. You have the right to relax and let it pass right through you. If you don’t do that, you’re going to try and fix it. You’re going to try and control situations outside so you don’t ever feel the fear, and it all starts to bother you.”

The alternative is to not fight with life by learning “how to interface and interact with life in a wholesome, participatory way. Fear doesn’t let you do that,” he said.

Removing Your Inner Thorn
In a chapter with the above title, Singer explains how to let go or remove what he calls inner thorns. These are triggers or situations that cause us pain. Comparing these to actual thorns, he asked if we had a thorn directly on a nerve, where anything that touched it caused pain, what would we do?

“You have two choices. One is you could try to avoid everything thing in your life that touches that thorn, or you could take it out,” he said. “That is the game that we play. ‘How do I build a life that avoids touching all this stuff that happened to me that I can’t handle. When it happened to me I couldn’t handle it and now its caused all these soft spots inside of me – thorns – so now I have to train everybody around me so they don’t ever touch it.’”

But we can choose instead to remove these thorns the same way we would remove an actual thorn from our body. This is the spiritual journey, said Singer. When we are disturbed by something in life, we can become aware of our thorns.

“Just like pain happens when you hit the thron outside, disturbance happens inside,” he said. “When something hits it, you will feel a disturbance pop up inside of you. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be disturbed? Do I like being disturbed?’ No, so you have a choice. An event happened outside and [you] can deal with it without being disturbed. In fact I can promise you that [you] can deal with it better without being disturbed. Disturbance isn’t helping you. Disturbance is hurting you. And so you are way better off learning how to deal with the disturbance. That is also how you remove the throne. They are directly related. The fact that the situation outside stimulated this disturbance inside of you means that you’ve uncovered something stored inside of you that needs to come out.”

It is our problems in life that help us on our spiritual path, the same way pain in the body alerts us to an issue that something needs attention, he told Oprah.

“It’s like if your body started to hurt, you don’t say ‘shut up,’ you say ‘I wonder what’s wrong.’ It’s trying to talk to you,” he noted. That is your heart trying to tell you something is wrong inside of you. How do you get it out? You relax and it will work itself out. That is my experience. Relax and don’t touch it. Relax behind it, and it will come up and push its own way out. It’s almost as if your heart doesn’t want that inside, and so just like the body pushes splinters out, it will try to push itself out but you won’t let it because the moment it tries to push it out, you push it back down.”

When we lean back and relax enough times, eventually the spirit or soul within us begins to grow and take over that voice in our head. This spirit is God, and we grow closer to it each time. Then our issues will begin to fall away, he explains.

Singer learned this first-hand when, as the founder of a multi-million dollar software company, he found himself in a corporate scandal and being investigated by the government. He was the CEO, and the entire executive team was accused of fraud because of one employee who was guilty.

“From the moment that took place, peace came over me, and I just rested back into it and my attitude was, ‘My god this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to let go of anything that is left of me.’ There was a part of me that would never want to be in that situation because I didn’t do anything. [But] I let go of the whole personality of Michael Singer. I felt that God was reaching down to pull whatever was left of me ego out.”

His executive team and he defended themselves, and the charges were dropped before a trial, but it dragged on for six years, he told Oprah. It was during this time that he wrote the book “The Untethered Soul.”

“You must die to be reborn. You must be willing to let go of your personal self, of your psychological self, of the complaining voice … in order to be who you are. You must let go of who you think you are. That is what is meant by that [quote]. You meditate so that you will have the center so you can let go of what life is doing. The real growth is letting go,” he said.


Super Soul Sunday: Marianne Williamson on “A Return to Love”

It was 20 years ago that best-selling author Marianne Williamson appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with her book “A Return to Love,” based on the principles in “A Course in Miracles.” Since then, it has sold more than a million and a half copies, been published in 23 languages, and spent 39 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

And today, the book remains “as timely now as ever,” said Oprah on a recent Super Soul Sunday discussion with the author.

“In a Course in Miracles it says the thought system of the human race is dominated by fear, and it has been for ages and so enlightenment is an unlearning of the thought system based on fear, and instead the acceptance of a thought system based on love,” Williamson explained. “Love is about letting go of the fears that stand in front of our hearts and letting in the love, and then acting from that.”

Reading from book Oprah said: “The reason so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is because we are not yet starring in our own lives. The cosmic spotlight isn’t pointed at you, it radiates from within you,” which sparked a discussion about the law of attraction and obtaining what we want in life. Williamson had an answer for her.

“A lot of this talk of ‘if you think it you can get it’ … the difference between magic and miracles is that magic is when you use your mind to tell the universe what you want. Miracles are when you ask the universe what it wants and how you can serve it,” she said, explaining every one of us has an individualized curriculum for their lives, and we are constantly learning – even when we are waiting for the next thing that we believe will make us happy.

“A lot of times people think, ‘I want another relationship or another experience or another job,’ in order for ‘it’ to be happening, but ‘it’ is our being the people that we are capable of being, and the perfect lesson for us to practice being who we are capable of being is whatever is happening now … people think some day my path will start, but whatever is happening in this moment is the path,” she told Oprah.

The Course says a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love, but when our hearts are closed off, we are “deflecting the miracle which would otherwise be happening,” said Williamson.

A practice she shared with Oprah is for us to open our hearts is to ask, “Who do I need to forgive? Where am I holding a grudge? Where am I not giving? Because only what I’m not giving can be lacking in any situation. Where am I showing up with attitude? Where am I showing up with unkindness?”

In her workshops, she often sends people home with the homework of praying for whomever they consider an enemy or someone who betrayed them or hurt them. She asks they do this for 30 days, every morning for at least 5 minutes if they can.

“The course says your greatest power to change the world is your power to change your mind about the world,” she explained. “Our minds are joined. There really is no place where you stop and I start, so if I pray for you, if I pray for your happiness, either you will behave differently or I won’t care.”

She also explained what she called “Divine Compensation,” (she has a new book based on this coming out in November) where if anyone does something to harm us, the universe jumps right on it because it is “self-organizing and self-correcting.” This means the universe will make sure that if something is taken from us from another person in the material world, it will be given back us. But if our hearts remained closed, we won’t be open to receive it.

“Just like the embryo turns into a baby and the bud blossoms, your life is already programmed in the mind of God to its highest creative possibility,” she said. “Everything fabulous that could happen is already programmed in the ethers of the universe. The blueprint is already there.”

Oprah asked, “So does it matter then what I do?” and Williamson said it matters that your heart is open and that you are coming from a place of love and not fear.

“It’s like a file in a computer. If my heart’s not open, I don’t download the possibility on earth as it is in heaven. It’s a file – an undeletable file – but if I don’t bring it down to the screen, if I stay in bitterness, what I’ll get on the screen is bitter. That doesn’t mean it’s not on the computer. And the title of this file is “God’s will.”

It’s not the circumstances in life that make us unhappy, it’s that we are looking at them through the filter of fear, Williamson told Oprah. The prayer she uses from the Course is “Dear God, I am willing to see this differently.”

Another practice she recommended is to “blast them with love.” This means, before we go into a meeting, on a job interview, or anything else in life, we send love in our minds to the people and the situation. We can say, “the only thing going on here is, I am going to bless that person, they are going to bless me. I don’t know if I’m supposed to get that job. My only agenda is that God’s will be done – the downloading of the file,” she said.

For more on Marianne Williamson, see our coverage of her live workshop in Los Angeles called “Enchanted Love,” looking at “A Course in Miracles” view of intimate relationships, which is the cover story of our June 2012 issue.

Oprah Explores How to Navigate Life Purpose With Caroline Myss

Born in Chicago and raised catholic, best-selling author Caroline Myss discovered she was an intuitive at the age of 8, and today is a well-known medical intuitive, teacher and author of books including “Anatomy of the Spirit” and “Sacred Contracts.”

Myss recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday where the two discussed intuition, life purpose, and navigating our own spiritual path. Oprah started off the discussion by by asking Myss to define “spirit.”

“Your spirit is the part of you that is seeking meaning and purpose,” Myss told Oprah. “Another way to understand spirit is that it’s the part of you that is drawn to hope … that will not give into despair. The part of you that has to believe in goodness, that has to believe in something more.”

In life, we are given choices, and our intuition or inner guidance system, is there to help us navigate these choices. “We have an intuitive voice with us. We are all born intuitive,” said Myss, explaining in every moment, with every choice, we can either choose to enhance our life or drain it.

Oprah read the following from the author’s best-selling book “Anatomy of Spirit:” “From a spiritual perspective, in fact, the entire physical world is nothing more than a classroom, but the challenge to each one of us in this classroom is will you make the choices that enhance your spirit or those that drain your power.”

We need to view everything in our life as a learning lesson as we seek to find our truth, purpose and path in life – and then stay on that path once we find it. Are you enhancing or draining because “there is nothing in between,” these two, said Myss. It’s either a choice of fear or a choice of love.

“Even if your in a grocery store and your thinking ‘Should I buy this or not?’ and your gut says ‘You know you can’t eat that!’ and you decide ‘I’m not going to listen to that voice.’ Right there, even in that tiny thing, you’ve walked toward fear because you blocked your intuitive voice,” she explained.

Myss believes each person is born with a purpose for being alive in this physical world and she calls these “sacred contracts.” This is not a literal document, but a “spiritual document” our soul recognizes, she said. Many people say: “I just have to be true to myself” or have a knowing that they just have to do something. That “knowingness” is the soul recognizing its path, she noted.

“You have fundamental agreements that you simply feel and you can’t put your finger on them because they reveal themselves to you within the context of your life, through coincidence, through synchronicity, through obligations you can’t get out of, through mad love you can’t stop no matter what you do,” Myss told Oprah. “These are all parts of your sacred contracts that form the whole of your contract.”

Despite these contracts, many people remain confused about their purpose for being here, or wonder if they are truly on the right path. In her book “Anatomy of Spirit,” Myss says: “People suffer when they pursue a life or chase a dream that doesn’t belong to them.”

She told Oprah we often become fixated on something and believe we have to have it, when in actuality, the dream or goal doesn’t belong to us. “In society we are taught to imitate what doesn’t belong to us,” she said, explaining that knowing if we are on the right path is not as difficult as many people think.

“Have no judgments about your life, no expectations, and give up the need to know what happens tomorrow,” Myss said. “Be fully present and appreciate all that is in your life now.”

However, for many who are suffering after losing a job, struggling to pay a mortgage, or getting over a breakup, this can be difficult to embrace. When Oprah asked what she would say to these people, Myss replied:

“I need to say to you, you had your life focused on something that didn’t belong to you, and a path that didn’t belong to you … or you wouldn’t be here [now]. You locked in on something that did not belong to you, or someone that didn’t belong to you. You didn’t let go of a yesterday that didn’t belong to you. You hung on to a rage that did belong to you, and you wouldn’t let it go. You lost track of being here or something happened to you and you said this to yourself – ‘it shouldn’t have happened’ and you never got over it.”

Additionally, many people assume when they go through troubled times it’s a sign they are on the wrong path, but often things we deem “bad” can turn out to be exactly what we needed, she said. It’s about remaining true to who we are and making choices that enhance not drain our spirit.

“There is a lot more pain that comes from answered prayers then unanswered ones,” Myss noted. “If people really got what they wanted, they would be in deep grief. This is why they say ‘be careful what you pray for, you might get it.’ There is a lot of wisdom to say just trust. I don’t [always] know what it in my own best interest.”

She also explained we are never really on the “wrong path,” there are just times when we are not navigating or “managing” our path well. “Your making choices that are harming you, and that is why it’s hurting you right now. You are making unwise choices. When your lifepath begins to harm you, then we have to sit back and say – we’ve taken a detour.”

You know you are managing your path well when you don’t put yourself in a position to betray yourself, she told Oprah. If we are in a situation that we feel we are giving away our power, draining our psyche or compromising our integrity, we need to reevaluate.

“You can be physically tired, but not psychicly drained. If you are, you are betraying yourself in some way,” she said, explaining we are all aware – if we are honest with ourselves – when we are betraying our true self.

“It’s that voice that says, ‘You shouldn’t have said that.’ It’s the voice of your conscience, consciousness and gut instinct. It’s the voice you don’t want to hear that never turns off. When you follow this voice and push, it’s the part that keeps us moving and turning the wheel of our life. It will guide you.”

Watch the full episode with Caroline Myss online, and tune in this Sunday for a new episode with Deepak Chopra and bishop T.D. Jakes on the OWN Network, online and on Facebook.

And read our coverage of Oprah’s interview with Devon Franklin and Sarah Ban Breathnach!