On Trust

A reader sent me this excellent talk by Brené Brown on The Anatomy of Trust:

On YouTube

A few notes:
Trust is built in small moments – do you avert and betray or connect and build trust.
What is trust? Choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.
Distrust – what I have shared with you that is important to me is not safe with you.
Acronym “BRAVING” – when we trust we are braving connection with someone.
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The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13
Verse 24
Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.
 
Verse 25
Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard.

This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation.

The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja … Continue Reading…

The Soma Plant

Some old texts speak of rituals that “milk” the soma or they describe “flow soma through the filter” to create the nectar of the gods.

Much of this is gestures that symbolize the real process that takes place right in our body.

Samadhi happens, at first usually in meditation, when we go beyond the mind into pure consciousness. We settle into our true nature. This is often brief and foggy for a while. But at some point, we’ll have clear experiences of the process. We may also notice a wave of happiness when we cross in or out of … Continue Reading…

Healing Compensation

Dharma is that which sustains. This gives us a stable platform for life and growth. Life itself is about balance for similar reasons.

When something goes out of balance, the system will seek to restore it. If what is off doesn’t respond, then other things compensate. For example, if we have an injured foot, we’ll lean more on the other one. This will sometimes overtax the healthy side.

We also talk about compensatory behavior. We may have habitual psychological responses to some kinds of events. For example, a partner needing downtime may trigger our fear of abandonment. That … Continue Reading…

What is Silence?

When we settle into deep meditation or find ourselves deep in the forest, we may experience a moment of deep silence. Not just silence outside, but silence within, a quieting of the monkey mind. This is the goal of Yoga.

At first, inner silence may be pretty unclear, like a blank spot when nothing was noticed. Without content, it’s just empty.  

As that silence becomes more familiar, we’ll notice it has a sense of presence and of being. It Is. We may find that sometimes, as we settle into silence or come out after, there is a … Continue Reading…

Digesting Contraction

There’s a take on purification I realized I’d not covered. Unlike some psychological approaches, we don’t have to dig up every trauma and challenge we’ve ever faced to clear it’s impact. That would make it essentially endless.

The vast majority of our contractions can be handled by samadhi. By stepping deep into pure being, we get a rest deeper than sleep and gradually ground ourselves in presence. With the increased rest and peace, our layers can shed baggage as a matter of course.

We’ll also probably have more robust contractions that have been deeply reinforced or … Continue Reading…

For the Brave

The spiritual path is not for the faint of heart. It’s all about becoming more conscious. But this means everything – not just the Divine and the heavens but the suffering and darkness too. And everything in between.

Anywhere we’re not willing to look is a place we’re not accepting and is not conscious. It is thus a place of shadow.

For most people, the inside of their body is unseen, only occasionally felt, and largely unknown. And what of their emotional and mental bodies? Within that we’ll each have places of deeper shadow. It takes time … Continue Reading…

How We Are with Life

Much of our life experience is not about what is here, it’s about how we’re responding to it. Our relationship with ourselves and our life determines how we react. Are we accepting life as it is? If not, how are we fighting it?

Do we resist some of what arises, leaving unresolved impressions or samskaras? Or do we react and try to control events and others? Are we driven by unresolved desires or experiences (vasanas)? Does our life have a little too much drama?

We all have life experiences that becomes memories. And the play of action unfolds in our … Continue Reading…

Managing Anxiety

We live in a world where the dials are gradually being turned up. This brings us great opportunities for growth but also the stress of almost constant change. Globalization has made our world smaller but has exposed us to the breadth of human suffering.

As a result, hypertension, PTSD, and anxiety disorders have become normal. The most common illnesses are either directly caused by stress or deeply influenced by it.

If we want to enjoy life and grow in healthy ways, we need to learn how to be in the world the way it is now. Aversion and escapism are … Continue Reading…

Favouring the Positive

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s good to favour the positive, to give more of our attention to what brings enjoyment than pain.

I don’t mean in the sense of faking it or resisting what is here. If we’re feeling anger or grief, we should feel them fully. This ensures they complete and resolve.

But at a certain point in all experience, we reach a place of choice where we can continue to dwell on the past or the feeling or we can let it go and move on. That’s when it’s good to choose joy.

By enjoyment here, I … Continue Reading…

Clearing Dark Beings

As science has discovered, our bodies are made of trillions of cells, each their own life form. We also carry an even greater number of other life forms. Some of the second type are very beneficial, like those in our gut biome that help with digestion. Others are less so and the body has a defense system to keep them under control.

When the body falls out of balance, less desirable things like bacteria and viruses can get the upper hand and we experience being sick. To help clear the problem, the body will do things like raise its temperature, … Continue Reading…

Healing Trauma

In the west, we often spend our time in our heads or devoted to distractions like television or games. Some people and cultures are more OK with emotions but may get caught in the drama more instead. It’s not easy being human.

All of us have experienced illness, death, violence, and abuse in one form or another. How we respond to such experiences makes a big difference in the consequences for us. But our response is natural and often automatic. It’s not something we control – however hard we might try.

This is especially true when we’re young and the … Continue Reading…