Responsibility

Magic Wand - 4th of July 06 fireworks, altered in Photoshop

The Bhagavad Gita tells us we have control over action alone, not over results. Thus we should focus on doing our best and know this will feed the best results. We allow those results to unfold how it’s best for the whole. It’s not our burden to make things happen like we think they’re supposed to. However, even deeper, we’re not the doer either. We’re the experiencer. Everything happens as an evolutionary movement or a rebalancing. It’s our job to have and digest experiences. From this perceptive, it’s how we’re responding to what is unfolding that is more important than … Continue Reading…

Offer it Back

prayer of the frog

If we’re struggling in some area of life, it may be due to the cycles of time, the collective, or unfolding karma. But it’s also useful to look at how we are with circumstances. If we’re resisting or responding with depression or other heavier emotions, we may be offering a sinkhole to the energy of growth. This is not a suggestion of blame. It’s natural to feel bad when things go poorly. But soon, it’s time to move on. What are we bringing to life? What are we feeding? What is supported now? An early example for me was Maharishi … Continue Reading…

The Power of Belief

Gods grace

Bruce Lipton wrote a book some years ago called The Biology of Belief. He describes how our beliefs influence our physiology, including gene expression. This came out of early research on epigenetics (gene expression). We can describe beliefs as mental structures. They’re a framework on which we hang our stories about the world. The mind likes to have explanations for whatever happens so it can feel comfortable and in control. But how well do these stories and beliefs serve us? We receive a massive amount of information through our senses. Our stories and beliefs become part of a pre-filter to … Continue Reading…

The Balance Point

Wonder is the Beginning of Wisdom

I recently wrote on Balance. Various other points have come up to expand on the topic. In spiritual circles, there can be the tendency to emphasize transcendence and demonize the world. There is an overemphasize on being perfect and pure. But living in the world is not about perfection, it’s about living fullness within and taking that into the fullness of the world. The two come together through balance. On the one polarity we have dissolution. This includes all the processes of purification, normalization, and letting go. On the other, we have growth. This includes openings, insights, and realizations. We’ve … Continue Reading…

Discrimination

Choices

Discrimination is a curious word. It means the act of distinguishing or making fine distinctions; discernment. But we often use it today to mean treatment based on category rather than merit; for example racial discrimination. I view the latter as ego-driven judgment that separates self and other. This is not discernment. Rick Archer wrote an article on ethics & spiritual teachers as an introduction to his panel at the Science and Nonduality conference this fall. He highlights the importance of discrimination on the spiritual path: in our choice of teachers, in what we accept as truth, in how we live … Continue Reading…

Love That Problem

photo by Simona Dumitru

When a challenge shows up, it can annoy us, disappoint, or trigger fear. It may cause a fight/ flight/ or freeze stress response. This is natural. Just allow this to come up and pass. Don’t try to solve the problem while you’re still reacting. Let things settle out first. If we dwell on our reactions, we’re creating resistance to the circumstance. This does not encourage resolution – of the emotion or the problem. Problem solving means creativity, big picture, and stepping back. I wrote previously about Mark’s approach. It’s always more difficult if we’re constraining ourselves. If we can accept … Continue Reading…

The Value of Routine

feather

It can be really hard to break bad habits, especially if they have positive rewards. But there are other habits that are very desirable. Automatically being able to talk, walk, and ride a bicycle, for example. We may not remember, but it took a lot of practice to develop those skills. Now they just run as programs. The interesting angle here is the value of routine. If we don’t have good daily habits, we leave our conscious mind in full control of our day-to-day needs. We have to decide to brush our teeth and make breakfast rather than just doing … Continue Reading…

The Depth of Witnessing

Kamal Gad

In previous articles on witnessing, I’ve explored how a sense of detached observer can arise. This may come before awakening, with awakening, or even develop post-awakening as it becomes more established. The degree of sattva v.s. rajas can also influence how distinctive it is and how separate we feel. But we can also look at witnessing from another angle – it’s depth. Witnessing can come on fully with a bang but it also may arise more slowly. It can also come and go until the kundalini stabilizes at makara. If it’s coming on gradually, we may first witness the body. … Continue Reading…

The Origin of the Senses, Part 1

Part 1 This article started from a simple question on the blog but things have deepened since I last explored the topic. First, by senses, I mean our abilities to experience qualities in and around us. We have physical sense organs for sensing physical qualities like the visible spectrum. But our ability to sense and experience is not at all limited to those organs. We have more subtle mechanisms for subtler levels all the way down to and including consciousness itself. Sensing is built in to the nature of reality. The world is created to be experienced and we’re here … Continue Reading…

Unity vs Duality

Early on, silence and expression can seem opposed. For example, in a meditation practice, we may seek Yoga. 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. Seeking a silent mind, we may rail against the mind’s constant expression. And yet that railing is the mind wanting to control. Or as Yoga puts it, aversion that leads to suffering rather than liberation. In an effortless practice, we allow the mind to do its thing – partly because the practice causes the physiology to settle and … Continue Reading…

Karma Collecting

feather

To feel in control and secure, we identify with experiences of what is here. I experience through this body-mind so it is me. This is my job. These are my possessions. These are my friends, partner, etc. This expands into stories for the mind that support the agenda. This identification emphasizes two qualities: inertia and sustaining. These maintain the experience as it is, even when life is changing. Yet the only constant in the world is change. Things are always changing, dissolving, and growing. When we resist change, we experience pain. Pain is a signal something is wrong. And yet … Continue Reading…

The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy

Adya @ SAND17

Adyashanti gave an excellent talk @ SAND17 called The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy. I heard this live. A friend sent me the link as it’s now on-line. In the first part, he goes over the early stages of enlightenment (head, heart, gut) and the importance of the awakening heart. He then uses this as the platform to talk about how our old drivers fall away with awakening. How it’s important to go deeper and open the heart so higher drivers can come on-line. Then he talks about some of the paradoxes of Unity – how we can be … Continue Reading…