The Value of Routine

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It can be really hard to break bad habits, especially if they have positive rewards. But there are other habits that are very desirable. Automatically being able to talk, walk, and ride a bicycle, for example. We may not remember, but it took a lot of practice to develop those skills. Now they just run as programs. The interesting angle here is the value of routine. If we don’t have good daily habits, we leave our conscious mind in full control of our day-to-day needs. We have to decide to brush our teeth and make breakfast rather than just doing … Continue Reading…

The Depth of Witnessing

Kamal Gad

In previous articles on witnessing, I’ve explored how a sense of detached observer can arise. This may come before awakening, with awakening, or even develop post-awakening as it becomes more established. The degree of sattva v.s. rajas can also influence how distinctive it is and how separate we feel. But we can also look at witnessing from another angle – it’s depth. Witnessing can come on fully with a bang but it also may arise more slowly. It can also come and go until the kundalini stabilizes at makara. If it’s coming on gradually, we may first witness the body. … Continue Reading…

The Collective

flower

A true spiritual teacher has the realization, the understanding, the aptitude, and the effective means to support others. That combination is rare even among teachers. My first spiritual teacher of consequence was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I had what had become a rare opportunity to ask him a few questions at the end of a 6 month retreat. It was a powerful experience because his direct attention was like standing in a high wind. This took my mind off-line so there was no one to hear his response. (laughs) Maharishi’s goal was to awaken the world. To enable that, he set … Continue Reading…

Healing by Attention

In a lot of energy healing practices, you learn to move energy to places you feel resistance or where there is a complaint. In a few more specialized techniques you learn to work more directly with the issue by developing subtle perception and techniques to work specifically with the problem. In a still smaller group, you learn to heal on the structural and causal levels where the dynamics and patterns themselves arise. These are what express into form and possibly imbalance and illness. No matter how directly you treat some issues, if the causal pattern or program isn’t changed, the issue … Continue Reading…

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

feather

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…