Pilgrimage

Recently, I was asked about the role of pilgrimage.

Generally, I’d place pilgrimage as a practice related to faith or devotion. However, some pilgrimages are more about an odyssey, perhaps having a therapeutic purpose. Sometimes they’re used in coming-of-age rites. And sometimes people talk of the spiritual journey itself as an inner pilgrimage.

Difficulties are often associated with a pilgrimage, perhaps as a rite of purification. But care must be taken not to make it about “purity through suffering.” Humility and letting go are important lessons that may be difficult to learn but suffering is not … Continue Reading…

The Solar Plexus

I was thinking about the irony of some old names. A common name for the upper gut is the Solar Plexus, for example. That term can also refer to an autonomic nerve plexus behind the stomach, scientifically known as the Celiac Plexus.

Plexus come from the Latin for braid. Celiac is from the Greek for belly. They concluded that Solar comes from the radiating pattern of nerve fibers at this plexus.

Personally, I find the last explanation suspect as the plexus has little resemblance to the sun. It looks more like a highway interchange. But it does have a relationship … Continue Reading…

A Sacrificial Offering?

“I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion. All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood, for which reason I precede my work, through a pure and simple way of life that is free from irritants and stimulants, as with an introductory prelude, so that I cannot be deceived over the true spiritual joy that consists in a concord, happy and as if transfigured, with the whole of Nature.”
– Rainer … Continue Reading…

Adyashanti and Michael Rodriguez on Buddha at the Gas Pump

I quite enjoy Adyashanti’s pragmatic take on the awakening process. I’ve written various articles on his books like Falling into Grace or The End of Your World. Last fall, I posted a conversation Rick Archer had between Adya and Susanne Marie on the post-Self shift.

Prior to the Science and Nonduality conference last month, Rick spent time with Michael and Adya, followed by a 3 hour recorded conversation.

They explored a wide range of topics including how you can get stuck post-awakening in emotional avoidance, detachment, or meaninglessness. The latter topic came … Continue Reading…

Rest is the Basis of Activity

The title was an old saying of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s, adapted from the Shankaracharya tradition. Everything we experience in the world and within ourselves arises out of silent being, alert presence. Silence is the foundation of all. This becomes clear with Self Realization when we become a silent observer of life as it unfolds around us, even more when refined perception develops.

This points to the importance of rest. If we don’t get enough rest (silence), fatigue gets stored as a backlog. We experience this as an inner fog. It reduces clarity, bliss, quality of life, and adds more to … Continue Reading…

Quiet Clarity

For much of our lives, we’ve been having experiences and confirming stories that explain those experiences. While this is a normal part of living life, we need a different approach to awaken.

Awakening is a shift that happens in consciousness, in our very being. We go from an individual experiencing the world to consciousness experiencing the person experiencing the world. It’s like we take a step back into what is experiencing itself and gain a more universal perspective.

To get there, we take a step out of the mind and ego to touch into source, into our universal nature. We … Continue Reading…

Outside Inside

Kristin’s talk brought thoughts about the way “finding the outside within” can evolve.

During our voyage of self-discovery, this process can be a key theme in our subjective experience of reality.

We often start out experiencing only the outside as real. This is one reason that we look for answers, needs, and solutions outside of ourselves – that’s where it seems real. There’s a very distinct boundary between that and our inner experiences. For many, the inner experience is unpredictable, foggy, and painful. And blamed on things outside of us.

After we take up a spiritual practice or through an awe-inspiring … Continue Reading…

Being Conscious

One of the defining factors of being human is our potential to reflect and embody consciousness to quite profound levels. This isn’t exclusive to humans but it might be called one of our greater potentials – to live reality right in form.

Many of the things we’ve often considered “human” can also be discovered in plants and animals, although the expression varies considerably. For example, some cats are very present, some live in their own world, and some are thick as a post. Trees have senses and emotions but experience very differently.

Our path isn’t about “getting enlightened.” It’s better to … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadow

As we move through the higher stages in consciousness, we notice more areas that require remedial clean-up.

The process of opening itself cleans out a good deal of the past and if we’ve been proactive with healing, a lot of baggage will have been shed. But there can still be various things to clean up. And once we shift to the cosmic, we have all the shared to work with too.

And yet, because of our own history and gifts, we’ll be more aware of and good at facilitating certain kinds of clean-up. We’ll be more aware and effective … Continue Reading…

Will Everyone Become Enlightened?

“Do you think it is possible for everyone to get enlightened in this life?..”

In a word, no. However, it is possible for everyone to experience life “as-if” enlightened, potentially in this life. To explain…

Some people’s lives are built for enlightenment. It’s their destiny and can be seen in a jyotish chart. They’ve done the preparation and awakening will naturally flower in life when the time (grace) comes. Some of those will also move quickly into higher stages.

Others come in with greater or lesser potential. Because of the nature of the times, more people … Continue Reading…