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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 … Continue Reading…

Embodiment

There are several factors that influence how we move forward through the stages of development.

– Preparation of the vehicle so it’s able to sustain new depth
– Purification and refinement to allow higher clarity of more abstract values
– Integration of what has opened so far
– Cooperation with the process due to right understanding and OKness

All of these are closely interrelated

But a big one I’m seeing is the embodiment of the current stage.

For example, if there has been a long spiritual practice and depth of presence but we’re … Continue Reading…

The Dasha Mahavidya

The Dasha Mahavidya

mahavidyaI touched on the Mahavidya in The Mahavidya Interview but needed more research to do a proper job. As I mentioned there, the Dasha Mahavidya (10 great knowledge) are from Tantra and are embodied by 10 goddesses. While the gods are embodiments of laws of nature, the goddesses are embodiments of the powers (Shakti) that drive them and all of creation. The first cannot function without the power of the second.

These goddesses tend to be portrayed with … Continue Reading…

The Layers of Samadhi

I’ve written several articles before about the layers of samadhi or transcendence described in the Yoga Sutra. These are the settling into the waves, then surface of the ocean of being.

When we wake up or become Self Realized, that inner samadhi becomes ongoing. Inner peace becomes ever-present behind the usual day-to-day life. We’re essentially in activity and deep meditation simultaneously.

Some people consider this the end of techniques. We can feel done and awake. If we’re already there, what need is there for going beyond? In my case, there was no longer a person to meditate so … Continue Reading…

Forgetting

There is a curious experience we have as we grow into new stages of development. We forget what it was like to be in our prior stage. This is very simply because we remember prior experiences from where we are now, not from how we were when the experiences happened.

For example, when we think back to events when we were 12 years old, we remember from where we are now, not from how we were at the time. We recall our preteen experience as an adult. This is true throughout our life. We give our teen children advice from … Continue Reading…

Changes With Enlightenment

When we awaken, one of things many are surprised by is how ordinary and normal it is. How did I not get this simplicity sooner? It often changes little about our outer life as the primary shift is deep within – who we recognize ourselves as being.

For some, there can also be outer changes that come before or after the shift due to karma completing or shifts in life cycles. But for many, life just continues as before. The same goodness and struggles but now from a new perspective.

Here, for example, I was surprised how normal and ordinary … Continue Reading…

The Mahavidya Interview

Rick Archer recently interviewed Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D. on Buddha at the Gas Pump. The conversation revolved primarily around her first book, Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness

The interview opened with a short discussion on Direct vs Progressive, the topic of last fall’s SAND panel I was on. I found Kavitha’s approach sensible. Not sure why she was using a Buddhist term, but it seems a popular framing these days.

The 10 Mahavidya (great knowledge) are from Tantra and embodied by 10 goddesses. Key to understand … Continue Reading…

The Pace of Change

Many people experience the world speeding up. This is partly an effect of our perception of time. As we shift through the decades, our metabolism gradually slows and time seems to go by faster*. This causes the pace of change to seem to increase.

However, technology is also speeding up change. Many of us have seen the demise of steno pools, switchboard operators, typists, telex operators, and more. Contacting people in another city has shifted from “snail mail” and “long distance” to nearly instant global communications. Thomas Frey predicted 5 years ago that half of all current jobs will … Continue Reading…