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 … 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) … Continue Reading…

Entrenched Habits

Some habits can be very difficult to change. Even if we successfully get around them for a time, they can rear their head again. They can be like a petulant child who always wants its way.

This is a flag of resistance and of karma. Because of its shadow nature, it is often hard for us to see, even if it’s obvious for others around us. We can call this a blind spot. This is especially true of fundamentals, like food, relationships, and money. This is because these habits can be started very early in life when our mental … 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…

Our Drivers

Becoming self-aware and learning to recognize where we have work to do can be a difficult process. But the difficulty is only in the complexity and the discomfort of seeing our shadows. It also requires a degree of letting go of control and protective stories.

The complexity arises partly because we’re built in layers so there’s layers to what moves us. And partly because many dynamics are layered in themselves. For example, we have unresolved trauma from a nasty experience in our childhood. We didn’t have good skills for healing so we learned to suppress it instead. When experiences … Continue Reading…

Adyashanti and Michael Rodriguez on Buddha at the Gas Pump

I quite enjoy Adyashanti’s pragmatic take on the awakening process. I’ve written various articles on his books like Falling into Grace or The End of Your World. Last fall, I posted a conversation Rick Archer had between Adya and Susanne Marie on the post-Self shift.

Prior to the Science and Nonduality conference last month, Rick spent time with Michael and Adya, followed by a 3 hour recorded conversation.

They explored a wide range of topics including how you can get stuck post-awakening in emotional avoidance, detachment, or meaninglessness. The latter topic came … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadow

As we move through the higher stages in consciousness, we notice more areas that require remedial clean-up.

The process of opening itself cleans out a good deal of the past and if we’ve been proactive with healing, a lot of baggage will have been shed. But there can still be various things to clean up. And once we shift to the cosmic, we have all the shared to work with too.

And yet, because of our own history and gifts, we’ll be more aware of and good at facilitating certain kinds of clean-up. We’ll be more aware and effective … Continue Reading…

The Wisdom of Heartbreak

A friend of mine sent me this video by Michael Rodriguez. I’ve spoken similarly about the 2 kinds of love and the opening of the heart but I enjoyed his wording. I agree that the heart must be broken open. The refined stages won’t get far without that.

For most, our heart is deeply defended and encrusted and our emotions not smooth flowing. I would not say this opening must be through pain and heartbreak but that’s not unusual. The dance here is a willingness to be open without too much expectation of what should happen. This allows … Continue Reading…

Unity in God Consciousness

In his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi describes the stages of Cosmic Consciousness, God Consciousness (GC), and Unity in God Consciousness. In the early 70’s he added Unity Consciousness to the line-up. By the mid-80’s he stopped talking about “higher states” and only talked about Brahman.

For a long while I equated “Unity in GC” with Unity itself. However, I later realized it was more about what I call Refined Unity. This is the God Consciousness stage continuing into the Unity stage.

What this term likely speaks to is the way the process unfolded for him. … Continue Reading…

The Four Dispositions

Swami Brahmananda Saraswati was a man who spent much of his life in seclusion. He left home at age 9 to find a guru and spent much of his life in remote forests of India. He only emerged in the later years of his life to take the role of Shankaracharya, the exponent of Shankara’s teachings in N. India. The seat had been vacant nearly 150 years.

Not only did he revive the tradition in the area but several modern teachers of high impact were his students. Millions of people around the world have taken up eastern philosophy and meditation … Continue Reading…

Emotional Healing

We digest everything we consume: food, drink, sensations, and experiences. Some of our thoughts and emotions are a symptom of this background processing, although more is done at night in dreams. However, it’s batch processing so we can only vaguely associate the activity with the prior experiences. You can see this clearly with dreaming.

If we’re under stress, energy is diverted from digestion and the higher forebrain to ready the body for fight, flight, or freeze. We also fall into resistance, grasping at what we want to keep and resisting what we don’t want. This resistance further impedes digestion. … Continue Reading…

How Many Hearts??

I’ve begun to lose track of how may hearts there are to open. (laughs) A few years ago, I wrote about the 4 hearts, then added one to it:

1 – the physical heart in the left chest
2 – Anahata, the heart chakra we meet on the rise of kundalini Shakti
3 – Hrit, the heart sub-chakra above the physical heart.
4 – the “high heart” or “soul thrill” sub-chakra behind the clavicle, between heart and throat.
5 – Hridaya, a higher octave of the heart chakra that opens during the … Continue Reading…