The Memory of Awakening

At a recent satsang, Igor Kufayev raised a useful point. Awakening is not a discovery of something new. It is the rediscovery of what you already are. Many people awakening recognize they have always been awake – they had simply not remembered it until then. As Igor observed, this recognition or realization requires memory in consciousness. We remember what we are. This remembering brings with it a knowing that removes all doubt. I’ve noticed that it’s similarly common for people to forget what it was like to not be awake in due course, much as teen forgets what it was … Continue Reading…

Prakasha & Vimarsha

Recently, Igor Kufayev has been speaking of the central Tantric idea of Prakasha & Vimarsha. This is very similar to the idea of the dynamics of Shiva and Shakti in the Vedic canon. It has, however, a slightly different perspective, so it’s important to look at it clearly. None of what I found on-line described it very well. Igor translated Prakasha as Luminance and Vimarsha as the power of self-awareness. Now, using the way Shiva and Shakti are typically used, you would associate consciousness with Shiva and luminance (expression) with Shakti. However, in this case it is the reverse: the … Continue Reading…

What is Mind?

I was discussing the relationship between mind and consciousness in correspondence and posted a summary of that here. I then realized I was talking about cosmic mind and not how most people would relate to it. I added an update but further points kept arising so I’ve unusually decided to replace the original article with this overhauled version. Same points plus much more. “Mind” is a rather curious subject. Like consciousness, it is not a concrete object we can point at. Western science sees mind as a side effect of brain function. But while brain functions influence mind, it’s better … Continue Reading…

Recent Research on the Physiology of Initial Enlightenment

I’ve been writing articles on basic practices that support awakening here for some time. Key among them: on the different types of meditation, the difference between actual meditation and “guided meditation” (hypnosis), and the value of effortless meditation. At a conference last year, 2 long term TM researchers discussed a little history, the differences between types of meditation (as above), one physiological marker for witnessing sleep (a possible sign of cosmic consciousness), and how those results correspond to the markers of high achievers in sports, music, and business. The talk was recently posted online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gr3mFFNjek

The Value of Darshan

Recently, Rose Rosetree had a 2-part conversation with Jeffrey Chappell on enlightenment. Part of the debate was that they use the term slightly differently. Jeffrey relates more to the awakening of Self Realization. Rose, to enlightenment as being clear of energetic debris, balanced chakras, and the divine shining through – broadly a more established version of it. In the second part of the conversation, Jeffrey brought up the value of entrainment, what is typically known as darshan. I sometimes call it resonance here. After that article, Rose posted another discounting the value of darshan in her experience. Again, part of … Continue Reading…

Belonging

While we may emphasize our independence in the west, humans are social animals. We relate to ourselves and others through our community interactions, where we feel connected. This brings us meaning, purpose, and value. That need to be part of a pack or tribe is behind many drivers: the identification with our work roles, the drive for close relationships, our social life – our personal tribe. When you meet someone, they will usually describe themselves in terms of their roles in their tribes. Their work, their parenting, their social groups. Where they belong and thus what brings them meaning. It … Continue Reading…

An Intellectual Approach to Consciousness

Yesterday, I posted an article on David Chalmers talk at TED on the Hard Problem of Consciousness. Waiting in my browser was an interview with Bernardo Kastrup. Turns out Chalmers was one of the influences that had him take a hard, discriminating look at his own experience. Quite enjoyed the interview. Though you may find it a little heady at times, it does nicely debunk a number of materialist tenants. It points to the primacy of consciousness by following the logic. A few points I can add to the discussion: What is the cut-off point between sentience and non-sentience? The … Continue Reading…

Theft

In our culture, we take a dim view of theft. Stealing from another is unjust but because many also identify with their possessions as an aspect of themselves, they feel violated and fearful as a result of theft. Although there is other factors, most people are driven to steal through addiction or not having a place in the community. Disenfranchised, they are also easily exploited. But when you steal, energetically you steal from yourself. The typical karmic balance to theft is loss, so a thief will tend to feel less and less supported. But as is all too human, the … Continue Reading…

Possession

It’s a revealing thing that we refer to our belongings as “possessions”. (even “belongings” is revealing) The meaning is what we possess but in many ways, it is they who possess us. The stuff we fulfil our desires with can actually be the greatest barrier to happiness and self-awareness. It is in disengaging from that possession or attachment to our stuff that the reality of who we are and what is real unfolds.* 2:39 When non-possession is steadfast, knowledge comes regarding the questions of existence. This is the last of the 5 Yamas or observances in the Yoga Sutra. This … Continue Reading…

Refined Brahman

Writing about Brahman in an intelligible way is a little fraught. It’s so beyond most peoples frame of reference that words can be entirely misleading. How do you describe something that is nothing, that is beyond consciousness, beyond existence, and is without qualities or form? And yet for someone in Brahman stage of development, that’s all there (is). To say it is nothing is to completely misrepresent it. To say it is something even more so. To confuse it with the emptiness of early Self Realization is a complete error. This is much deeper than an empty infinity. Maharishi Mahesh … Continue Reading…