The Bliss of Sleep

When we settle into bed, we all enjoy at least 2 states of consciousness: sleeping and dreaming. If we have a history of samadhi (yoga) in meditation, that creeps into our sleep time too, with various periods of transcendence (turiya) in sleep. This is especially true after the witness is established and there is a value of awakeness 24/7. Part of our night is spent in the mind and emotional bodies, processing the day’s and life’s experiences. This shows up as dreams, in many combinations. In deep sleep, we settle into the bliss body and are deeply soothed. However, this … Continue Reading…

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

When we’re young, we try to make sense of the world and those around us. As we shift into our teen years, our sense of self and the world shifts markedly. For some, this shift happens quite quickly. For others, more slowly. As we become adults, our worldview is transformed yet again. This is much the same with post-personal shifts. The change in stages can be sudden or slow. But at some point, we realize the change in our sense of self and world-view. Life shows us how markedly we’ve changed and in ways we couldn’t previously have understood. Enlightenment … Continue Reading…

Acceptance is Without Blame

There is a common idea in spiritual circles that enlightenment is “the solution” and it will make all our problems go away. This isn’t necessarily even taught or conscious. It is the mind’s tendency to interpret this way. For example, when I say “life is bliss” or “awakening is becoming infinite peace,” we can naturally assume this will wash away our old life. However, our stage of development is a stage in our humanity, not a step out of it. The person ceases to be the center of our being, but we remain in the field of karma and humanity. … Continue Reading…

Awakening After-Effects

An interesting article recently appeared in Psychology Today on “The After-Effects of Awakening.” Nice to see it being researched and discussed in mainstream literature. However, the outline still lacks the context of post-personal development. The “awakening” described is largely a passing experience – one that may alter the subjects world-view, but is a passing experience nonetheless. I would describe this as an opening rather than an awakening. The difference is critical as what they describe is not the permanent change in self-sense. True awakening is a change in being and thus changes the entire context of experience. Not that an … Continue Reading…

The Source of Grace

There is a curious paradox in spiritual practice. On the one hand, awakening and progress in consciousness happens through grace, through the hand of the Divine. Awakening isn’t an experience or something a person does or has – it’s an awakening from the person. There is nothing we can do directly to make it happen. And yet, we are not separate from the Divine. The Divine moves though us to prepare the way and organize circumstances that allow grace to happen. This shows up as the opportunity for good practices, teachers, books, and so forth. As the renowned sage Vasishtha … Continue Reading…

The Platform for Refinement

One of the key factors missing from a lot of modern spiritual dialog is the role of sattva. Without that progressive shift of energy from tamas (inertia) through rajas (fire of transformation) and into sattva (purity, clarity), there is a major limitation in our style of development. However, it’s important to understand that the development of sattva is cumulative through lifetimes. Some people will be born with well-developed sattva and some will develop it more later through good spiritual practices and such. It’s a spectrum that’s not always clear to us because of karmic shadows and cycles in life that … Continue Reading…

Divinity – The Power and The Glory

Before awakening, we engage in self development. This is a person getting to know its strengths and limitations and moving towards self-actualization. Most people are oblivious to their own cosmic nature. After awakening and throughout the development of the stages of Self Realization (Cosmic Consciousness) and Unity, the focus shifts to infinite and eternal consciousness. This is discovering our deeper nature and its dynamics. It is consciousness getting to know itself in essence, then in forms and phenomena. And yet, just as the person obscured our deeper nature, the screen of consciousness acts as a covering (Chhandas) for what is … Continue Reading…

The Great Shadows

While I’ve explored karma in several other posts, I thought it would be useful to take it another step into application. As the saying goes, we come into this life with a suitcase of karma to work through. There will be lots of little bits plus a few big ones. We might call the biggies life lessons or life challenges. They’ll show up in certain areas of our life and not in others. For example, we may have reasonable health and good work but relationship challenges and issues with money. These things seem to be ongoing or show up repeatedly. … Continue Reading…

Depth of Awakening

The initial awakening of Self Realization is key to what follows. But because it’s a new thing for which we have no experiential reference points, there is a lot of confusion about what it is and isn’t. a) there are people who think understanding concepts of it is it. This is just mind thinking it knows. This is related to spiritual materialism. b) There are people who have a nice opening or experience and think this is it. We can have lots of nice experiences but experience is not being. The give-away is that is goes away like all experiences … Continue Reading…

On Spiritual Materialism

I wasn’t going to write on this until I saw a glaring example on-line. As we grow on the spiritual path and clear some of our shadows, what remains becomes more subtle and elusive. We may emulate seekers around us who are actually spiritual materialists. These are people using spirituality in service of the I-self or me. Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising explores the issue. “…we may take up yoga classes, change the way we behave and who we associate with, and learn to speak the language of spirituality. Although the original intent for liberation was genuine, the I-self stealthily … Continue Reading…

Entrenched Habits

Some habits can be very difficult to change. Even if we successfully get around them for a time, they can rear their head again. They can be like a petulant child who always wants its way. This is a flag of resistance and of karma. Because of its shadow nature, it is often hard for us to see, even if it’s obvious for others around us. We can call this a blind spot. This is especially true of fundamentals, like food, relationships, and money. This is because these habits can be started very early in life when our mental style … Continue Reading…

Being in the Flow

Recently, I saw a TED talk on Flow by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He researches happiness and what makes people feel life is worth living He found that work which brings us into a flow state is most rewarding. This state is beyond culture and education but usually comes when a skill is highly developed and practiced. We don’t have to think about the process but just step into it and go with it. He outlines these common features of Flow: 1 – completely involved in what we’re doing 2 – a sense of ecstasy or joy, outside of everyday reality … Continue Reading…