The Origin of the Senses, Part 2

< Part 1 Part 2 Why 5? But why are there 5 senses? Our senses are mechanisms for awareness to pick up a specific range of qualities. And actually, there is 7 senses but 2 of them are too subtle to express physical sense organs. Our world is structured in a 1 into 3 into 7 process. There are 7 koshas or primary layers of creation. There are 7 chakras or primary energy centers in our physiology, each attuned to one of those layers. And there are 7 primary sensory channels, each attuned to specific qualities, including those layers and … Continue Reading…

The Origin of the Senses, Part 1

Part 1 This article started from a simple question on the blog but things have deepened since I last explored the topic. First, by senses, I mean our abilities to experience qualities in and around us. We have physical sense organs for sensing physical qualities like the visible spectrum. But our ability to sense and experience is not at all limited to those organs. We have more subtle mechanisms for subtler levels all the way down to and including consciousness itself. Sensing is built in to the nature of reality. The world is created to be experienced and we’re here … Continue Reading…

The Grief of Loneliness

Burning Man '06

When we identify with the content of experience and see ourselves as individuals, we lose touch with the bigger picture of who we are. This affects our entire world-view and sense of self. Infinite I Am is constrained to a me: a me that is separate from others, can be hurt by others, and depends on others for our sense of self. As we’re rooted in wholeness and love, we long for a return to that connection and feel its absence as loss, grief, and loneliness. This isn’t a happy place, so we’ll chase external connection to restore inner connection, … Continue Reading…

Unity vs Duality

Early on, silence and expression can seem opposed. For example, in a meditation practice, we may seek Yoga. Yoga Sutra 1 v2-3: Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind. Then the observer is established in their own nature. Seeking a silent mind, we may rail against the mind’s constant expression. And yet that railing is the mind wanting to control. Or as Yoga puts it, aversion that leads to suffering rather than liberation. In an effortless practice, we allow the mind to do its thing – partly because the practice causes the physiology to settle and … Continue Reading…

The Void

The ancients talked of fundamental elements whose combination lead to the forms and phenomena we see around us. For example, fire element brings light, sight, colour, heat, and so forth. The elements have associations with the senses, the chakras, and the doshas (body types) of Ayurveda. We can also associate them with the valence groups of chemistry. Deepest of the 5 elements is space or ether. Space is more a container than a substance. And yet space behaves like a medium, hence the name ether. We see a similar idea in physics where space-time is modeled as a flexible sheet. … Continue Reading…

Silence is the Basis of…

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I’m not much of a poet, but occasionally verses show up. Over a decade ago, I posted this short poem that arose in 1977. Silence Silence is the basis of all existence Complete, Perfect, Absolute. To let yourself go, absolutely, completely, To be silent throughout your whole self, being, existence, Is to be Perfection, Complete, Fulfilled. I’d been witnessing for a while then and the silence was often very loud. This is a very Shiva orientation, common to transcendence and awakening. The completion mentioned is a completion unto itself. This is a profound experience, but it’s not actually complete. That … Continue Reading…

Karma Collecting

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To feel in control and secure, we identify with experiences of what is here. I experience through this body-mind so it is me. This is my job. These are my possessions. These are my friends, partner, etc. This expands into stories for the mind that support the agenda. This identification emphasizes two qualities: inertia and sustaining. These maintain the experience as it is, even when life is changing. Yet the only constant in the world is change. Things are always changing, dissolving, and growing. When we resist change, we experience pain. Pain is a signal something is wrong. And yet … Continue Reading…

The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy

Adya @ SAND17

Adyashanti gave an excellent talk @ SAND17 called The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy. I heard this live. A friend sent me the link as it’s now on-line. In the first part, he goes over the early stages of enlightenment (head, heart, gut) and the importance of the awakening heart. He then uses this as the platform to talk about how our old drivers fall away with awakening. How it’s important to go deeper and open the heart so higher drivers can come on-line. Then he talks about some of the paradoxes of Unity – how we can be … Continue Reading…

Styles of Teachers

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“Spiritual teacher” is a generic term used to describe many types of offerings. It’s useful to be clearer on the differences so you understand what’s there. As usual, I base this on my own observations. Some who use the term are not “spiritual” per se. They teach energy work, healing, concepts, and other modalities related to more subtle but not-yet-spiritual levels. Perhaps they consider themselves spiritual in orientation but even that can be muddy. To me, spiritual means related to source, consciousness, being, and enlightenment. Let’s explore a few related Sanskrit terms first. Guru: many people equate “spiritual teacher” with … Continue Reading…

We Are A Community

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In the west, our culture has been very focused on individuality. This is a step up from tribal mode but, like being a teenager, should be seen as a transitional step. We live in a very interdependent community we often take for granted. But our homes, food, roads, cars, water, power, everything has to be planned, made or grown, distributed and made available to us. It all has to be maintained too. Any yet many people live separate lives, disconnected from those around them. Connecting to a community can be very enriching although it can take time to find the … Continue Reading…

Wanting Something Else

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When we don’t know who we are, it’s natural to chase things outside of ourselves. The senses tell us satisfaction comes from the world around us so we follow the senses and chase experiences. But nothing they bring us ever lasts. Real satisfaction comes from stepping into the qualities of our deeper nature. We can have tastes of eternal qualities like love, peace, and happiness, but until we awaken there isn’t the stable platform for them to become ongoing. When their presence becomes ongoing, it addresses deep unmet needs, even those we may not be conscious of. This helps heal … Continue Reading…

Simplicity

The most potent things in life are very simple. Love, happiness, peace, sleep. But the mind likes to grasp and control things. Simplicity confounds it. Yet simplicity is a marker of universal principles. Karma or action would be a good example. The rules of action are very simple. For example, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The energy of nature is always seeking a balance of forces. Balance keeps the world sustained. But in its expression, karma is complex beyond imagining. Unfathomable, as the Bhagavad Gita puts it. Simplicity is also the hallmark of the most … Continue Reading…