Practical Doing

There is a tendency in spiritual circles to blame things on karma. “It didn’t work out because of my karma.” Or “My karma made this a bad experience.”

But this understanding is poor. Karma means action. While action has consequences, we can’t blame everything on that.

For example, we can’t expect waiting for something to happen will cause action to take place. If we want results, we have to act.

As a friend recently commented, until you’ve done everything you can, you can’t blame lack of results on karma. It’s in God’s hands only after you’ve done all … Continue Reading…

Types of Self

When people use the English word “self” or any of its variations (myself, himself, etc.), they may refer to one or several things. Most commonly, they’re talking about

the personal self or me. Yet if you ask them who they are, they’ll offer their name and profession: what I’m called and what I do – not what I am.

If you ask them who they experience themselves as being, they’ll probably think the question odd and be unable to answer it clearly. They may drop into stories to explain who they are. But if they explore the question, by default … Continue Reading…

Consciousness Goes Deeper Than You Think

Consciousness Goes Deeper Than You Think is an essay by Bernardo Kastrup posted in Scientific American. It’s based on a paper published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology.

I met Bernardo at SAND15 2 years ago. I’ve posted related articles like his talk on panpsychism and a discussion on BATGAP. He approaches the nature of consciousness from logic.

In the article, he makes an excellent point that scientific research is leaning on our subjective experiences of reflection on consciousness to define what consciousness is. In other words, they’re using content to define the container. … Continue Reading…

Karma Time

Recent events with getting the book out have brought some very old resistance to the fore. I recognized the old lifetime in play. And that lead to a useful insight about karmic stores. I’m a little surprised I didn’t clue into this sooner.

Back on the past (10 years ago!), I wrote about the mesh. How we have karmic, energetic nodes of unresolved experiences. We can experience them in the present or in the past, along a timeline or all in the present. We can experience the lines (threads) that connect nodes of the past with the present, giving the appearance … Continue Reading…

The Four Dispositions

Swami Brahmananda Saraswati was a man who spent much of his life in seclusion. He left home at age 9 to find a guru and spent much of his life in remote forests of India. He only emerged in the later years of his life to take the role of Shankaracharya, the exponent of Shankara’s teachings in N. India. The seat had been vacant nearly 150 years.

Not only did he revive the tradition in the area but several modern teachers of high impact were his students. Millions of people around the world have taken up eastern philosophy and meditation … Continue Reading…

Selfish Mindfulness

An interesting article in The Washington Post on how Mindfulness is being “diluted and distorted by the prevailing narcissism of our time.”

Mindfulness would be good for you. If it weren’t so selfish.

Similar things have happened to yoga and meditation. A watering down and a shift to making it about me. This is natural in an ego-centered culture. But it is useful to know so we’re not lead astray in our practice.

My perspective is that mindfulness arises naturally with culturing yoga. If there is sufficient presence, we can favour it here and … Continue Reading…

Emotional Healing

We digest everything we consume: food, drink, sensations, and experiences. Some of our thoughts and emotions are a symptom of this background processing, although more is done at night in dreams. However, it’s batch processing so we can only vaguely associate the activity with the prior experiences. You can see this clearly with dreaming.

If we’re under stress, energy is diverted from digestion and the higher forebrain to ready the body for fight, flight, or freeze. We also fall into resistance, grasping at what we want to keep and resisting what we don’t want. This resistance further impedes digestion. … Continue Reading…

Two Kinds of Resistance

As Yoga describes, there are two basic kinds of resistance to what is.

The first is Grasping. This is trying to hold on to what passes through our lives. We try to hold on to passing experiences, perceptions, possessions (good word), memories, and so forth. We try to keep things we like from changing. When this fails, we experience loss and grief.

Similarly, desires for future possessions can be a grasping at wants, often with an expectation of satisfaction that never lasts. (cue Rolling Stones)

Grasping at the past (memories) and grasping at the future … Continue Reading…

Fear of Flow

Stillness is needed for awakening. Not just the deep stillness we notice in meditation, but a stillness even in activity. When alertness and clarity of stillness are at a peak, seeing happens.

As Yoga (1v2-3) puts it:
Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind
Then the observer is established in the Self [in its own nature]

Yet after the shift, if someone doesn’t understand the larger picture, they can cherish the peaceful stillness and try to hold onto it. This impedes further progress. You see people who have been awake for years … Continue Reading…

Polishing

Refined perception results from polishing the physiology on each level and increasing clarity.

I’ve spoken of how purification helps bring clarity and soma refines the structure of the body. But what causes polishing?

Daily experiences of life. Sometimes, the hardest experiences can burnish the most.

If we’re resisting those experiences, we create noise and sludge that hinder our ability to see. This impedes refined perception. But it doesn’t stop the polishing.

However, we won’t recognize the polishing until we clear those windows of perception.

We can call learning a polishing of the mental “body,” Emotions refine the emotional “body,” … Continue Reading…

The Conflict of Ego

Awareness is aware of itself both globally and at every point within itself. It is simultaneously fully aware and collapsing to a point at every point. And further, that point is expanding back out again in every moment. This collapsing and expanding in every moment is the very breath of life. Our natural growth process reflects this too. We collapse into a point of apparent individuality and then expand back out again in enlightenment.

From the perspective of a body or person, we experience from one of those points. The intellect then distinguishes here from there and the I-sense arises. … Continue Reading…

The Kavach

Kavach is a Sanskrit word that means armor. It refers to protection from subtle negative influences. If you read about it on-line, you’ll find many references to a medallion or amulet with astrological symbols, numbers, or mantras chosen to protect the specific wearer.

However, what value does an engraved piece of metal have against anything subtle?

The texts prescribe that the item has to be properly “charged” by a person properly prepared. For example, they’re supposed to have a strong Jupiter and be spiritually developed. How do you verify that through an on-line store? It’s also worth noting the original … Continue Reading…