Recently, I was asked about the role of pilgrimage.
Generally, I’d place pilgrimage as a practice related to faith or devotion. However, some pilgrimages are more about an odyssey, perhaps having a therapeutic purpose. Sometimes they’re used in coming-of-age rites. And sometimes people talk of the spiritual journey itself as an inner pilgrimage.
Difficulties are often associated with a pilgrimage, perhaps as a rite of purification. But care must be taken not to make it about “purity through suffering.” Humility and letting go are important lessons that may be difficult to learn but suffering is not … Continue Reading…
The Ramayana is an epic story of the life of Rama, a prince in a kingdom of ancient India and an avatar of Vishnu (god in form, sent to restore balance). There are many versions of the epic tale. The original was told by Valmiki using his yogic vision. While Valmiki was visited by Rama, their time together physically was brief. He later wrote this epic poem about Rama’s life and taught it to Rama’s sons, who Rama didn’t then know existed (it’s complicated).
To give a sense of the scale of the story, it took 300 episodes to … Continue Reading…
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…
May the long time sun shine upon you
all love surround you
and the pure light within you
guide your way home
In writing another article, I thought of this verse and it seemed appropriate. However, when I looked up its source, I found another curious mis-attribution.
The verse is often referred to as an Irish blessing or a Sikh or Kundalini closing prayer.
It’s actually from the closing section of the long A Very Cellular Song by The Incredible String Band. The song is a mixture of parts that include an ode to an … Continue Reading…
I’ve been getting quite a few queries about “technique time” from readers of Rose Rosetree’s blog.
She recommends a maximum of 20 minutes a day of “spiritual” practice. That includes anything that takes your attention away from your physical life.
I recommend an effortless meditation like TM, normally done 2 x 20 minutes a day. Other things would of course be on top of that.
My position is that 40 minutes a day is no problem when it’s balanced with normal daily activity in the world. Where it becomes a problem is if … Continue Reading…
This is a throwback song Paul McCartney wrote in an ashram in Rishikesh, India in 1968. Interestingly, 5 of the performers where also there, including Ringo Starr (briefly), Donovan, Mike Love (of the Beach Boys), and flautist Paul Horn. Singing it together again over 40 years later.
The course was historical in that it brought huge attention to eastern thought and lead to millions learning to meditate. It also lead to a blossoming of music like the White Album, Paul’s Inside series, and Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels and Essence to Essence. One song was later broadcast Across the … Continue Reading…
I often notice myself referring to writing here as “talking” or “speaking”, because this is how it is experienced – I am writing what is being said within. The best material is from documenting the flow.
I’ve written before about the 4 levels of speech. These are:
– Para – the beyond
– Pashyanti – the first impulse, flow
– Madhyama – thoughts, the mind ‘speaking’
– Vaikhari – spoken
We might call writing a 5th level of speech although it’s probably more true to call it a 6th level, after recordings of Vaikhari.
These … Continue Reading…
There’s an old saying in this part of the world – “You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” As is true of many such sayings, there are many variations like boy, city, and so on.
The basic truth is, our history informs our view of the world and the choices we make. This goes right into the cosmic memory that sustains the world allowing it, and us, to unfold.
Clearly, our history runs deep. We have our personal history from this life, our soul’s history through many lives, … Continue Reading…
You may think of Veda as the records of an ancient culture of the Indus valley that spread east across the Ganges plain and the rest of modern India.
You may think of the Veda as a bunch of old books – some of them the oldest surviving texts. But those where written down to save the loss of a much older oral tradition.
You may think Veda is the yagyas (prescribed performances) you see the pandits performing. But those are performances from the Veda, not the Veda itself.
You may think Veda is Sanskrit chanting, enlivening the old verses. … Continue Reading…
In the first year of this blog, I posted a summary of an article called Gandhi’s Top 10 Fundamentals for Changing the World. It was one of the more popular early posts here because it used all those keywords – a famous name, “top 10”, etc. But more importantly and why I posted it, the article also contained some key phrases from his teaching. Like “Without action, you aren’t going anywhere.”
Today, about 7 and a half years later, a friend send me a similarly titled article, 10 Reasons Why Gandhi Is My Hero. Where the first was … Continue Reading…
I’ve written before on the power of love and the distinction between an identified emotion we call love and the deeper Love that is the flow of life itself.
The Greeks classified love as having 4 kinds: Eros, Storge, Philia, & Agape
Eros is the flow of passion and desire, of sexual and sensual love. It is the flow between two lovers. Being more instinctual, it is driven more by the lower or instinctual brain in the Triune brain* model. Yet Plato defined it as the more detached love of Beauty.
Storge is the love between … Continue Reading…
On this site, I emphasize those two aspects of unfolding enlightenment called sattva and atman, clarity and consciousness. It was a prominent theme in my SAND talk. However, from the Ayurvedic source of this, there is Shadbhava – 6 houses.
Half are the 3 aspects we bring into this life from our prior development: Sattva, Atman and Rasa. Rasa means flavour or essence and relates to the style of body we’ll get.
The other half is the blood line. Father, Mother, and nutrition during pregnancy. This means our blood line is also a big player in our growth. … Continue Reading…