The Bliss of Sleep

When we settle into bed, we all enjoy at least 2 states of consciousness: sleeping and dreaming. If we have a history of samadhi (yoga) in meditation, that creeps into our sleep time too, with various periods of transcendence (turiya) in sleep. This is especially true after the witness is established and there is a value of awakeness 24/7.

Part of our night is spent in the mind and emotional bodies, processing the day’s and life’s experiences. This shows up as dreams, in many combinations.

In deep sleep, we settle into the bliss body and are deeply soothed. … Continue Reading…

Acceptance is Without Blame

There is a common idea in spiritual circles that enlightenment is “the solution” and it will make all our problems go away. This isn’t necessarily even taught or conscious. It is the mind’s tendency to interpret this way. For example, when I say “life is bliss” or “awakening is becoming infinite peace,” we can naturally assume this will wash away our old life.

However, our stage of development is a stage in our humanity, not a step out of it. The person ceases to be the center of our being, but we remain in the field of karma and … 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 … 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 … 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 … 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…

On Spiritual Materialism

I wasn’t going to write on this until I saw a glaring example on-line. As we grow on the spiritual path and clear some of our shadows, what remains becomes more subtle and elusive. We may emulate seekers around us who are actually spiritual materialists. These are people using spirituality in service of the I-self or me. Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising explores the issue.

“…we may take up yoga classes, change the way we behave and who we associate with, and learn to speak the language of spirituality. Although the original intent for liberation was genuine, the … 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…

Being in the Flow

Recently, I saw a TED talk on Flow by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He researches happiness and what makes people feel life is worth living

He found that work which brings us into a flow state is most rewarding. This state is beyond culture and education but usually comes when a skill is highly developed and practiced. We don’t have to think about the process but just step into it and go with it.

He outlines these common features of Flow:

1 – completely involved in what we’re doing
2 – a sense … 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…