Update

feather

Recently, a generous supporter of the blog donated funds to develop the podcast. I’ve taken a podcasting course and there is new recording gear and software. The new microphone changes the acoustics of my voice and reduces background noise. You’ll hear some changes in coming posts, including an updated intro and closing. Further updates are in the works. I have several articles close to completion but they’ll have to wait until next week, after the latest retreat. Topics include Who Am I?, Brahman, and The Fear of Joy. Of course, voice quality will also evolve as I get more practice. … Continue Reading…

The Digesting Fires

Mush by Caroline

Primordial Agni is the fire or driving force and light of creation. In essence, it is intelligent flow. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called it Creative Intelligence. It shows up on every level as transformation – the fires of dissolution and of creation. The key with transformation is balance. Balance sustains the universe while allowing transformation. Too much fire and too much gets destroyed. Anger, frustration, acid reflux, and Pitta imbalance are some ways this manifests. Too little fire and things are not digested properly. They go toward too much air and ungroundness (Vata) or an excess of sludge and inertia (Kapha). … Continue Reading…

Austerity

Emaciated Siddhartha, photo by Akuppa John Wigham

In spiritual traditions the world over, austerities have been considered a key requirement for spiritual progress. Shankara, for example, revived the monastic tradition in India and there has been a clear lineage since. Buddha gave up his royal role and withdrew to the forest. St. Francis of Assisi did similar. However, a large part of this has been because of the age or Yuga we’ve been in. We needed to withdraw from the thick mud of the world to go within. Our age has changed. In the 60s and 70s, millions of people took up meditation, gradually clearing theirs and … Continue Reading…

Mind Awareness

Sunday Morning Pleasures by Caroline

Most people experience awareness through the mind. We may well think our mind’s awareness and understanding is consciousness. Our daily experience can easily verify this impression. As the physiology cycles though the states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping, the mind is drawn along for the ride. This carries mind awareness too. Consciousness does seem to be a side-effect of brain functioning. The brain is an interface like a radio receiver – it doesn’t produce anything we experience. Our senses gather information and the brain filters the data for relevance and passes it on to the mind. The mind builds the … Continue Reading…

Preyas and Shreyas

Sunday morning pleasures by Caroline

Recently, I read an article by Kavitha Chinnaiyan M.D. on Preyas and Shreyas. It’s not an approach I’ve explored before but one that can shed some insight. Preyas means pleasing, desired, gratifying, a lover; what appeals to the senses. Shreyas comes from the root “shri,” which means auspiciousness or radiant and also support. In a spiritual path we seek the support of the auspicious like an enlightened master or natures support. In the opening of Krishna’s discourse to Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita or Song of God, he outlines the key: Contacts (of the senses) with their objects, O … Continue Reading…

Where is the Resistance?

Resistance by Monika

The experience of resistance can be a very useful flag. But it’s important to look into it and see where it’s coming from. Is it within us or from around us? Where do we feel it? If an event arises in life and we have a strong and sustained reaction, we know there is an inner resistance and an emotional charge here to be resolved. For example, someone makes an off-hand comment that dismisses something important to us. Do we roll our eyes or flame up in anger and resentment? The latter shows a past experience is influencing our present. … Continue Reading…

The Utah Talks – 2

Lake Powell, Utah

< Talk 1 This talk started with a 10 min meditation that was not recorded. I start with a bit about listening from silent presence rather than the mind. As one participant said, they didn’t understand any of it but really enjoyed listening. (laughs) Theres a bit of breakup towards the end of this talk. Links to Topics: Doership Free Will and Determinism Natures Support Association of Spiritual Integrity The Humanity of a Teacher Right Action Wake Up, Grow up, Clean Up Dorothy Rowe Hypnosis Sanskrit vs English Name and Form Stages of Becoming The Structure of the World Cognition … Continue Reading…

The Utah Talks – 1

Salt Lake City

Traveling into Utah was a distinctive experience. The altitude is over 4,000 feet and the air dry. The plain by a salt lake is surrounded by large mountains. Salt Lake City has no apparent apartment towers and is spread wide. This is Mormon country. The entire county has streets and addresses laid out on a grid starting from the main temple. The group consciousness has a curious constraint and unsettledness. The talks took place in a private residence, about 2 dozen chairs spread through the living and dining rooms. Attendees were a very diverse group – in age, stage, background, … Continue Reading…

The Backlog

Filing Pile by Cas

The old texts tell us we have mountains of unresolved experiences (karma) in our catalogue. When we learn how to heal and accept experiences that arise, it can seem like an endless task. And that’s just the “suitcase” we came into this life with. What the heck is the point of doing all this work when we have such an endless backlog? It’s important to understand that the purpose of practices of acceptance and healing are not to fix ourselves. We couldn’t possibly process every unresolved experience from innumerable lives. The point of such practices is to shift how we … Continue Reading…

The 10 Bulls

Longhorn Bull by Larry Smith

There is a famous series of 10 panels (below) portraying the stages of enlightenment from a Zen Buddhist perspective. They are known as the 10 Bulls or Oxen. I’ve touched on these before but it’s come up a few times recently so I thought it worth doing an article on the topic. I am not a Buddhist scholar nor practitioner but have studied the basics. The approach has never appealed because of the style of experience here. Self has been conscious since I was 20 so I don’t relate to a no-self or emptiness approach. I also see modern Buddhism … Continue Reading…

The Maaya of Maya

1e by Masbt

On this blog, I’ve been arguing that the Sanskrit “maya” comes from the root “to build” and means creation, not illusion. We may see the world as an illusion at a certain stage but the reality is deeper than this. It turns out we have lost some detail in transliteration from the larger Sanskrit alphabet to English. There’s three different words in play: maya, maaya, and maayaa (aa meaning long A). Maya means “made of”, from the root “to build.” We see this in words like annamaya kosha, the “body made of food” or physical body and in the name … Continue Reading…

More on Death

Death Valley by Peretz Partensky

Over the years, I’ve written surprisingly often about death. This is because there is a lot of fear and misunderstanding around the topic. Yet we’ve all been there before. Recently a good friend sent me a site on the Vedic approach to death. I wasn’t born into the culture in this life so I don’t follow the rituals much. However, there are useful points we can draw from that understanding to support ourselves and others through this process. Settled Space It’s useful to create a settled environment for the dying. Prayers and meditation are more supportive than expressions of grief. … Continue Reading…