True Samyama

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a short but potent text that describes Yoga or union. It also contains dozens of formulas to get specific results, like knowing past lives, getting great strength, or flying through the air. You can go into any spiritual bookstore and find many translations of this text. There are also many yoga studios. And yet most have little clue of what the simple contents are describing. This is because it’s experiential. It has to be taught properly so the experience can unfold. Right off the top, the text defines Yoga. 1v2-3: Yoga is the complete … Continue Reading…

Invocation

In ancient Indian tradition, a ceremony is performed prior to instruction. This is known as a guru puja. The ceremony recognizes the tradition from which the teaching comes. Such a puja typically has three parts: the lineage, offerings you would make to a guest in your home, and a celebration of the wisdom. It also serves to raise the consciousness of the teacher prior to instruction. At the beginning of the guru puja is an invocation: Apavitrah Pavitro va Sarva Vasthan Gatopi va Yah Smaret Pundari-kaksham Sa Bahya-Bhyantarah Shuchih “Whether pure or impure, whether all places are permeated by purity … Continue Reading…

Dosha Changes

Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of medicine. It focuses on maintaining balance of the body-mind as a whole to avoid health issues. It’s often better at handling systemic and chronic conditions than western allopathic medicine is. I’ve spoken before about how we’re born with a certain balance of laws of nature. We all have roughly the same principles but are each a unique combination of emphasis. One may do well at sports and be a natural public speaker who struggles with other languages. Another speaks multiple languages fluently but is uncomfortable with public speaking and only enjoys soccer. Both … Continue Reading…

Purest Divinity

First, lets explore what I mean by pure Divinity here. This is beyond form, beyond vibration, beyond silent being, beyond consciousness, and beyond Brahman. It is Divinity in its purity, unconstrained and uncreated. We can consider our experience of consciousness for comparison. We can explore the layers and dynamics of consciousness and consciousness aware of itself globally and at every point. But pure consciousness is just that: consciousness, quietly alert in its own nature. Pure Divinity is similar but deeper – beyond all forms and phenomena yet bathing everything in its presence. How we come to know it is by … 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 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…

Remaining Shadows

I found a quote near the end of Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising à propos, considering the discussion over on The Challenges of Teaching. This closely relates to the development of Sattva. “If we have the good fortune of interacting with wise and skilled teachers who have both a strong, compassionate, ethical foundation as well as non-dual insight, we notice that they seem to know what is best for everyone involved, from a universal perspective that is unconditionally loving and impartial. Although it is tempting to assign their abilities to non-dual insight alone, this is usually not the case. Opening … Continue Reading…

How Many Brains?

In some ways, the whole body can be seen as a “brain” in the sense that the brain is an interface with mind and consciousness. However, there are certain centers that are more focused as a nerve plexus. We could say they’re more connected. We usually think of the brain as being in the head between our ears but recent research has discovered other major centers of nerve concentration that have other specializations. The brain between the ears is composed of about 100 billion neurons. It behaves as the central processor, the place where most of our sensing is interfaced … Continue Reading…

The Importance of Actual Yoga

In Yoga, the key is settling the mind. Then the Self “behind” the noisy mind can shine through. 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. This state of quiet mind or yoga is known by many names like Samadhi, transcendence, or Turiya. Many techniques today try to force or control the mind to settle. But as this is not arising naturally, it is difficult to achieve. When it happens, a rare clear transcending may be seen as an awakening. But real Self Realization … Continue Reading…