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 Two Trees

There can be said to be two trees of life.

The first tree is the one most of us know better. It is rooted in the “world of men.” The roots originate in action, born of attachment to its fruits. We act to achieve a desired result. Seems natural, right?

Yet by grasping at what we want and avoiding pain, we impede the smooth flow of life. We build a web of unresolved energy that ties us to our past and others around us. It gets much harder to fulfill desires and action often leads to undesired consequences. … Continue Reading…

The Gender of Divinity

Many religious and spiritual traditions describe God with a specific gender. For example, although there are those who worship Mother Mary, Christianity is dominated by a Father God. A lot of modern Hinduism is also directed at male deities like Shiva or forms of Vishnu.

Some modern faiths speak in terms of a Father-Mother God, likening it to a personal choice or a genderless or androgynous divinity.

What this is leaving out is direct experience. When the means to direct experience is lost, traditions devolve into systems of belief. This has happened repeatedly throughout the ages.

However, … 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…

Shiva’s Inertia

From a Brahman perspective, the world was never created in the first place. And yet here it is, appearing to the senses. As we shift into ParaBrahman and notice the Divine Shaktis, we can gain the sense of creation as a tapestry of consciousness. It’s created as a kind of after-image of the threads (shaktis) of Divinity. Consciousness tries to mimic Divinity. From that perspective alone, it seems a little pointless. Divinity is fully self-aware and profoundly networked. Why would consciousness try to make an appearance out of that?

Here we can explore the nature of Shiva. Shiva … Continue Reading…

The Refinement of Unity

In Self Realization (Cosmic Consciousness), the unbounded consciousness or Self within wakes up to itself through this apparent body-mind. The subject or observer value of consciousness awakens to itself here. The point wakes up to its wholeness.

With the Unity shift, the Self within recognizes itself in the world. The subject wakes up to itself in the objects of experience. I am that, and that, and that.

This develops in stages as we live life and experience everything as mySelf. Gradually, it deepens through the layers of experience, including memory and aspects of creation beyond experience. In other … 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…

Flavours of Bliss

It may seem ridiculous to say this but everything we experience and the movement and energy behind them can be experienced as bliss. By that I mean deep, resonant happiness. Life is like an ice cream store with a nearly infinite choice of flavours. There is nowhere to go to get there. It is right here in who is experiencing.

If you’ve seen Gangaji give satsang, for example, she will guide a person suffering under their experience. Behind everything is always stillness or bliss. It’s deeply nourishing to know this directly, however we come to that experience. … Continue Reading…

Drive into Flow

We have long lived under the ego-self and its claims of doership. Thoughts and emotions arise naturally from various stimuli and ego calls them mine. “I feel sad,” we say. Or “I’ve been thinking.” In fact, these are simply happening and we’re noticing.

Some people like artists culture a deeper sense of being to connect to creativity and intuition. They may speak of the muse or inspiration moving through them.

Similarly, spiritual seekers try to culture a deeper sense of being. As their perception refines, they notice that thoughts and emotions simply arise, mostly without their … Continue Reading…

Witnessing Sleep

As consciousness awakens within, we can have periods of time when we experience being a detached observer or witness of our life. Our life continues but we are no longer seen as the doer. We observe while life continues.

What I describe is not a disassociative state or escape from life’s problems. We don’t get there through avoidance or hanging out in the dreamy astral. This is a shift into consciousness itself, beyond all that. We find it through acceptance of what is here.

If we’re well-rested, this witness may continue throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Alertness … Continue Reading…

Clarity vs Doubt

On a recent retreat, an important point came up about awakening. But first, a little background.

I’ve written before about the 3 parts of awakening – the actual shift, the experiences that may come with it, and the purification that may also take place. It’s not unusual for there to be a big release with the shift.

To help avoid confusion for the mind, it’s important to understand that the experiences of opening and purification are not it. They are effects and they are experiences. Awakening itself is not an experience. It is a shift … Continue Reading…

The Structure of Divinity

The unfolding of the ParaBrahman stage could be said to be a progression of embodiment.

I’ve touched a little on the 7-layer structure of Divinity. The trick is – the “structure” of Divinity reflects the form that is being used to know it. Divinity doesn’t have a “structure” but is known through a structure.

And yet, the structure of the form comes from Divinity and is not separate from it.

We can say the body reflects the cosmic which reflects the Divine. Or we could say the body mirrors the “structure” of the … Continue Reading…