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…
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…
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…
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…
At several points in my life, I’ve studied the work of Abraham Maslow, particularly around self actualization. He was one of the few then to study psychological well-being rather than illness, creating what he called Positive Psychology. His “hierarchy of needs” (and thus motivation) is widely known although not as supported by science now. This is partly because the higher needs vary somewhat by culture and personality.
Nonetheless, it is useful for broad understanding. We can only pursue personal development effectively when our basic needs are being met. Inquiry means little if we don’t have enough to eat … Continue Reading…
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…
The image of open hands is a common Christian icon. It’s an interesting symbol because cupped hands can illustrate an asking or even begging. They can also symbolize open offering, a giving.
In Eastern symbology, an upright hand symbolizes truth and the masculine. An open, downward hand symbolizes the feminine and giving.
This is the time of year when giving and receiving are prominent – the giving of gifts, the hosting of events, sharing with friends and family, services, and so … Continue Reading…
On my About page, I make brief mention of the blue feather icon. The feather is not actually blue but rather the blue is an optical effect, a visual illusion.
Turns out, the Morpho butterfly, common in butterfly exhibitions due to it’s vivid colour, uses a similar trick.
In another angle on blue, it took 3 decades to figure out how to make blue LED lights (I don’t mean blue tinted covers). That discovery netted a Nobel prize. By producing the final primary colour, we could make LED & LCD … Continue Reading…
Throughout the spiritual process, we find layers and layers of conflict between opposing impulses.
The desire to fall within and stay vs the call to come out into the world and act
Silent presence vs lively flow
Pleasure and escape vs self-care
Fear and the desire for security vs release and letting go
Personal control vs laws of nature
Habit vs conscious action
Appearance vs reality
Our ideals vs what is here
The divine vs the astral vs the physical
These polarities are known as duality. The key to duality is … Continue Reading…
The Seeker can be described as a stage of development in a spiritual process. It arises when we shift from being focused on our personal life to a focus on development beyond ourselves, to our higher nature.
This can develop gradually, such as goals shifting to a spiritual orientation or inner development. Or it may come on suddenly, with the impact of a profound experience. The profound may arise through an unexpected opening or out of trauma.
The Seekers dominance can vary over time. Some people grow weary of seeking but not finding or of ever looking, for … Continue Reading…
In some traditions, one child is sent for religious study, perhaps to be a pandit or priest. Sometimes, this is the oldest son, sometimes the one with the best chart – it depends on the tradition.
While this may have devolved into obligation or keeping the dogma going, its roots are in supporting the family. We’re in this together and having a family member focused on spiritual development enriches both family and community.
If you understand we’re not separate individuals, it soon becomes clear we have spiritual, energetic and even physical connections with a number of people we’re sharing the … Continue Reading…
Here and there, I’ve mentioned more to the picture than stages of development in consciousness. That enlightenment is not a goal but the platform for living and further growth.
When we understand the basics, we come to see the same pattern repeating itself in the layers of creation. For example, there is a one into three into 7 process of becoming. We have 7 primary chakras and there are 7 primary layers to creation, for example.
While it depends a little on how you count the colours in a rainbow, the principle holds.
We also … Continue Reading…