What is Mind?

Untitled by Joost Markerink

Mind is a big topic. Fundamentally, mind is a kosha or field around our body that is the medium for what we experience as thinking. But there’s a great deal more to it than that. Let’s explore my current take. This field surrounds the whole body but we feel mind is “in the head” because the senses are concentrated there. Mind is the hub that processes and integrates our senses. It also interfaces with the brain and nervous system and emotional body in one direction. And the other way with the intellect, memory, and cosmic mind. The cosmic mind is … Continue Reading…

Flavours of Karma

Halloween moon

Karma means action. Action or energy always seeks balance so for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we resist the consequences that flow from our actions, we can develop energetic sludge and knots. Resistance doesn’t stop the flow of action but can interfere with its smoothness and completion. This is much like a log can partly block a pipe. Water still flows but there can be a build-up and eddies. The log and the water both seek resolution and the disturbance shadows our daily experience. The cycles of time and the collective determine when older consequences … Continue Reading…

On Surrender

Sunset over W Courtenay

Surrender is a key part of enlightenment unfolding. A recent question has led me to explore the word in more detail. The surrender I refer to is not giving away our power. That is submission, keeping our control but giving responsibility for it to someone else. That is disempowering. True Surrender is allowing; it is letting go; it is permitting life to lead us; it is harmonizing with the Divine. Surrender is allowing our higher nature to lead, letting go of the controller, our ego identification. Once the controller falls way, we can begin to operate from our infinite source. … Continue Reading…

Nadi Leaf Reading

Nadi bundle

Thousands of years ago, in a higher age, there was a group of very enlightened seers known as the Saptarishi’s or seven sages. They lived much longer than we do now. A need was seen to support people in the future, especially in the current time of transition from the dark to light. They wrote descriptions of thousands of peoples’ lives along with remedies for the major blockages they faced. The rishis wrote by scratching letters on dried palm leaves. We know these leaves as Nadi leaves. They have been carefully maintained over the many centuries since. Originally written in … Continue Reading…

Transcending – The Means

bubble diagram

Regular readers know I frequently mention effortless meditation. This is because of the key role it plays in culturing the ground for enlightenment. Over time, I’ve come to see its value more and more deeply. Yet there’s a key point about practices to make. Enlightenment isn’t caused by anything we do. It arises from the grace of the Divine. The purpose of spiritual practices is not to get enlightened but to prepare the ground. Then when grace arises, the shift is more likely to be smooth and supported. If the ground is not ready, grace will come as a profound … Continue Reading…

Bliss Blunder

Bliss by Naim Fadil

Sanskrit itself is straightforward. Each letter is pronounced one way. Yet every letter is also a mantra with known effects. The grammatical rules are complex and often trip up scholars and teachers. Unlike Western languages, Sanskrit words flow together into unbroken phrases as they represent the flows of consciousness. We need some finesse when we break the flow up into word-ideas. Many grammatical rules revolve around the meeting of consonants in a flow. They may be combined, changed, or a vowel inserted to retain the flow. One example is Rig Veda, the core book of the Vedas. The first word … Continue Reading…

It’s All About Relationship

relationships are complicated by hojusaram

While historical spirituality has emphasized renunciation and withdrawal from the world, this camouflages a key detail. It’s All about Relationship. Who we are, everything we experience, and everything we know is all through relationship. Fundamentally, on the level of consciousness itself. In a pure Shiva way, alertness is simply alert. It is not alert to anything. For experience to arise, consciousness must be stirred awake and then recognize itself. It’s through the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness that all experience arises. Self-interacting means relating with itself. Some describe the self-interacting dynamics as the Shiva and Shakti aspects of consciousness, in relationship. … Continue Reading…

The Fear of Joy

from Viva Arte Viva by Fred Romero

I talk here about bliss in articles like 100x the Bliss, Life is Bliss, Nested Bliss, and so forth. Joy is fundamental to our well-being and innate to life itself. When we experience pure life, it is pure bliss. And yet because bliss arises at a more subtle level, joy can be a difficult emotion to access. It requires openness and vulnerability. But opening can trigger fear of being hurt. Brené Brown calls this foreboding joy. That’s the catch. Even though we crave joy, we can also fear it as it makes us vulnerable. Feeling happiness can seem like tempting … Continue Reading…

Four Flavours of Dharma

Saraswati

I’ve observed that while dharma is often translated to mean purpose, it more precisely means ‘that which sustains‘ – those actions which sustain the world so we can grow and evolve through experiences. Otherwise, entropy sets in and it all dissolves. I’ve also spoken of the 4 legs of the bull of dharma: Tapas – warming Saucha – purity Daya – compassion Satya – truth During a low age, only the leg of truth remains as a clear path. As the age rises, dharma is supported more and more. Thus a smoother and more roundly successful life can unfold. It … Continue Reading…

Brahman Plus

Brahman, photo by Drew Coffman

This article spins out of a discussion in comments on Is Brahman God, an article from November 2014. All experiences and the world arise from consciousness interacting with itself. For a materialist that sees consciousness as a byproduct of the physical brain, this may seem delusional and ridiculous. And yet if we undertake an experiential study of consciousness itself, we soon experience consciousness by itself. This is known as samadhi or turiya. It gradually becomes clear that consciousness is not a byproduct but is the source of experience. The mind and brain are vehicles for that process, supporting and functioning … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

La Petite Concierge painting by Francis Smith

This is one of life’s big questions. Most people identify with things like their name, work, background, nationality, skin colour, tastes, and so forth. But these are stories about ourselves or roles we’ve adopted. They have little to do with who we actually are. New Age approaches usually focus on upgrading the filters and stories we tell ourselves. A better story for a better life. Eastern paths can take this further with self-inquiry: who are we behind the stories? But as I’ve mentioned before, if there isn’t a practice that takes us beyond the mind into source, what is culturing … Continue Reading…

Maturation

Rejection by William Bromley

I talk here mostly about waking up and healing. But there is another key part for a rich and healthy life – maturation. If we look at standard models of human development, we can see there is an inner progression.   Stages of Development   Age Area (Alexander) Cognitive (Piaget) Kosha 0-2 Behaviour and Senses Sensori-motor Anna- 2-7 Desires and Emotions Pre-operations Prana- 7-11 Mind Concrete Operations Manon- 11-18 Intellect Formal Operations Vijnana- 18-25 Feelings and Intuition Post-Formal Ops a/a 25+ Individual Ego [Myness]     Universal [Amness, Iness] Ananda- As new-borns, we learn to operate physically, then emotionally, then … Continue Reading…