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…
There is a curious paradox in spiritual practice.
On the one hand, awakening and progress in consciousness happens through grace, through the hand of the Divine. Awakening isn’t an experience or something a person does or has – it’s an awakening from the person. There is nothing we can do directly to make it happen.
And yet, we are not separate from the Divine. The Divine moves though us to prepare the way and organize circumstances that allow grace to happen. This shows up as the opportunity for good practices, teachers, books, and so forth.
As the renowned sage Vasishtha … Continue Reading…
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…
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…
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…
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…
There are several factors that influence how we move forward through the stages of development.
– Preparation of the vehicle so it’s able to sustain new depth
– Purification and refinement to allow higher clarity of more abstract values
– Integration of what has opened so far
– Cooperation with the process due to right understanding and OKness
All of these are closely interrelated
But a big one I’m seeing is the embodiment of the current stage.
For example, if there has been a long spiritual practice and depth of presence but we’re … Continue Reading…
We tend to see change as a loss, partly because the ego likes to feel in control. It’s also disturbing tamas, our inertia.
And yet, the cycle of growth requires change: balance, disintegration, growth, integration, and repeat.
Without disintegration, there is no growth, no transformation. Life is inherently change. Our very life depends on the transformation of food, water, and breath.
And if we look around us we see that change is the order of the day. In fact, the world around us is being recreated in every moment. The only reason it doesn’t completely change every time is … Continue Reading…
I touched on the Mahavidya in The Mahavidya Interview but needed more research to do a proper job. As I mentioned there, the Dasha Mahavidya (10 great knowledge) are from Tantra and are embodied by 10 goddesses. While the gods are embodiments of laws of nature, the goddesses are embodiments of the powers (Shakti) that drive them and all of creation. The first cannot function without the power of the second.
These goddesses tend to be portrayed with … Continue Reading…
I’ve written several articles before about the layers of samadhi or transcendence described in the Yoga Sutra. These are the settling into the waves, then surface of the ocean of being.
When we wake up or become Self Realized, that inner samadhi becomes ongoing. Inner peace becomes ever-present behind the usual day-to-day life. We’re essentially in activity and deep meditation simultaneously.
Some people consider this the end of techniques. We can feel done and awake. If we’re already there, what need is there for going beyond? In my case, there was no longer a person to meditate so … Continue Reading…
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…
The title was an old saying of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s, adapted from the Shankaracharya tradition. Everything we experience in the world and within ourselves arises out of silent being, alert presence. Silence is the foundation of all. This becomes clear with Self Realization when we become a silent observer of life as it unfolds around us, even more when refined perception develops.
This points to the importance of rest. If we don’t get enough rest (silence), fatigue gets stored as a backlog. We experience this as an inner fog. It reduces clarity, bliss, quality of life, and adds more to … Continue Reading…