On Trust

A reader sent me this excellent talk by Brené Brown on The Anatomy of Trust:

On YouTube

A few notes:
Trust is built in small moments – do you avert and betray or connect and build trust.
What is trust? Choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.
Distrust – what I have shared with you that is important to me is not safe with you.
Acronym “BRAVING” – when we trust we are braving connection with someone.
Continue Reading…

The Trinity of Self

Atman or the Cosmic Self has a three-fold nature. It has a subject or observer aspect, the process of observation, and the object or observed aspect. I illustrated this here.

As consciousness is aware of itself both globally and at every point, it can observe its own dynamics and experience this directly.

“Locally” or personally, we experience this as the ego or I-sense, the intellect, and the mind.

Samkhya describes how Buddhi (intellect) recognizes self as different from other, creating Ahamkara, the I-sense or ego. This arises in early childhood as a baby distinguishes itself from mother.

Manas … Continue Reading…

Atman and Sattva

One of the curious things about the spiritual journey is that the reality of one stage is not the reality of another. As each stage is a shift in being, it brings its own sense of self and the world. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” For example, we can easily compare waking and dreaming states. The reality in each is quite distinct.

This also means that terminology that well-suits one stage doesn’t work as well for another. My book editor, for example, steered me away from a few phrasings … Continue Reading…

Power

In the mists of ancient time, group consciousness was in a downward cycle and took a somewhat distinct fall. There was a great deal of confusion and discord as cultures collapsed. Some entities took control over many people energetically and physically. It was a short, messy time but until recently, consciousness was not high enough to clear the residual effects of that time. It has cast a shadow for centuries.

Current world events are partly about bringing those old power and control dynamics to the surface to be seen and released.

As always, the desire for power and … Continue Reading…

Supporting Delusion

In the process of becoming more conscious, we’ll discover deep, long-held delusions. Some of them will be carefully defended and stashed in unconscious corners. Yet they’ll continue to influence our choices and behaviour.

For example, we may seek enlightenment as an escape from our problems. Or think I, personally, will get enlightened. Or the right partner will meet all of our unmet needs. Or  money is a solution. Or money is evil. Or I’m a sinner. Or I can be perfect. The list goes on and on.

The key feature of a delusion is that it’s something we hold against what … Continue Reading…

Drive into Flow

We have long lived under the ego-self and its claims of doership. Thoughts and emotions arise naturally from various stimuli and ego calls them mine. “I feel sad,” we say. Or “I’ve been thinking.” In fact, these are simply happening and we’re noticing.

Some people like artists culture a deeper sense of being to connect to creativity and intuition. They may speak of the muse or inspiration moving through them.

Similarly, spiritual seekers try to culture a deeper sense of being. As their perception refines, they notice that thoughts and emotions simply arise, mostly without their … Continue Reading…

Witnessing Sleep

As consciousness awakens within, we can have periods of time when we experience being a detached observer or witness of our life. Our life continues but we are no longer seen as the doer. We observe while life continues.

What I describe is not a disassociative state or escape from life’s problems. We don’t get there through avoidance or hanging out in the dreamy astral. This is a shift into consciousness itself, beyond all that. We find it through acceptance of what is here.

If we’re well-rested, this witness may continue throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Alertness … Continue Reading…

Intervention

We are currently in an upward cycle of time, so evolution is naturally moving things along. But we often get distracted from dharma by the vagaries of karma, ego, and so forth.

What really keeps things moving is the divine. From the perspective of being in the world, we might call this intervention. Sometimes these flows are obvious, like when the divine takes form as an avatar (such as Rama or Krishna) or creates flashy events.

But much more often, interventions are small and subtle. For example, experiences often show up in our lives to help process … Continue Reading…

How We Are with Life

Much of our life experience is not about what is here, it’s about how we’re responding to it. Our relationship with ourselves and our life determines how we react. Are we accepting life as it is? If not, how are we fighting it?

Do we resist some of what arises, leaving unresolved impressions or samskaras? Or do we react and try to control events and others? Are we driven by unresolved desires or experiences (vasanas)? Does our life have a little too much drama?

We all have life experiences that becomes memories. And the play of action unfolds in our … Continue Reading…

Clearing Dark Beings

As science has discovered, our bodies are made of trillions of cells, each their own life form. We also carry an even greater number of other life forms. Some of the second type are very beneficial, like those in our gut biome that help with digestion. Others are less so and the body has a defense system to keep them under control.

When the body falls out of balance, less desirable things like bacteria and viruses can get the upper hand and we experience being sick. To help clear the problem, the body will do things like raise its temperature, … Continue Reading…

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

At several points in my life, I’ve studied the work of Abraham Maslow, particularly around self actualization. He was one of the few then to study psychological well-being rather than illness, creating what he called Positive Psychology. His “hierarchy of needs” (and thus motivation) is widely known although not as supported by science now. This is partly because the higher needs vary somewhat by culture and personality.

Nonetheless, it is useful for broad understanding. We can only pursue personal development effectively when our basic needs are being met. Inquiry means little if we don’t have enough to eat … Continue Reading…

Why is there a Dark Side?

It’s good to consider – why does a world expressed by the Divine have evil? The answer is all about balance.

In the Vedic perspective, there are 3 forces in creation: creation, maintenance, and destruction. Those 3 forces evolve into 3 qualities (gunas) which evolve into the 5 elements, 5 senses and so forth.

The 3 qualities or gunas are:
Sattva: creative, purity, clarity, smooth
Rajas: fire, action, energy, transformation
Tamas: inertia, rigidity, resistance

Without inertia, we would have no form. In fact, nothing would last. As Dharma is that which sustains, tamas is … Continue Reading…