Sustained Awakening

Sometimes there can be a moment, an opportunity to shift. These can happen at any time but are most rich in places where there is an intensity of alertness. A gathering of the awake on a retreat is an optimum place for intensity of attention and awakeness.

If a recognition happens, the question then becomes – can this be sustained by this physiology out in the world beyond that circumstance? Is there enough sustained clarity to support the shift?

Was the recognition clear enough to know That unmistakably? Mind will grasp any doubt and run with it.

Was the surrender … 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…

The Heart and The Gut

While we all have seven primary chakras and various sub-chakras, each of us can have a somewhat difference emphasis. Yet the heart and solar plexus chakras typically have significant roles in the post-awakening process.

We usually grow up around people with poor energy skills and hygiene. We may take on the same patterns to fit in and thus learn anxiety, fear or control. Or we may rebel with anger. None of this serves us well though.

With greater awareness, those unhealthy habits become conscious and can be resolved, freeing us from the massive energy drain that sustaining them takes.

The … Continue Reading…

More on Stages of Witnessing

There are many nuances in the approach to awakening and in awakening itself. Self Realization is a watershed moment in the history of our soul. A new birth into a new way of being.

I’ve written many articles on the approach including Gradations of Awakening, What is Witnessing?, and The Stages of Witnessing.

In the later article, I talked about non-abiding witnessing, abiding witnessing and actual Self Realization as 3 possible stages in the approach to awakening. Recently, Lorne Hoff spoke of the steps in another way. I realized this added a fourth possibility.

1) The … Continue Reading…

What is a Soul?

The topic of souls came up in conversation with friends. In the west, we debate if animals have souls and talk of loosing one’s soul, splitting the soul, and so forth. A lot of that is confusing a sense of self driven by mind with the eternal, untouchable soul.

The Vedas contain several philosophies with some variation on this topic. But generally, soul is seen as equivalent to jiva, a living being with life force. In other words, a dog and a plant have a soul but a chair does not. Even though everything arises in and of consciousness, it … Continue Reading…

Perspective and Perception

I talk a lot here about stages of development in consciousness aka stages of enlightenment. This is to offer context for the various experiences and teachings out there and help us gain a better understanding of the path.

But sometimes, it’s useful to hear it all said a different way. On a recent retreat, Lorne Hoff spoke of Purusha and Prakriti. These are terms used by the Indian philosophy of Samkhya, a dualistic outlook that enumerates how the world comes into being.

In Samkhya, Purusha is the cosmic spirit and Prakriti is nature. Together, they are the origin … Continue Reading…

The Side Effect

There is irony in the modern idea that consciousness is an accidental side effect of brain complexity.

Actually, it’s the other way around. The impression we are a body comes from identification with the appearance of it. We could refer to the body as a side effect of the dynamics of consciousness.

Our first liberation in Self Realization is liberation from that identification with the body-mind, with the idea of a local me.

The second liberation is that of the heart and senses in God Consciousness.

The third liberation in Unity is a deeper freedom from the local … 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…

An Avatar of the People

On a recent retreat with Lorne and Lucia, we discussed the embodiment of divinity. They observed that nobody alive today fully embodies Divinity. If they did, we’d be in a different age.

Lucia mentioned Kalki (an avatar) as a collective. That triggered an understanding here.

To explain, you may recall an article from 2014 called The Second Stage where I was observing a new stage of development in consciousness or the collective.

The first stage is when a law of nature that had long been dormant is awakened by a human capable of living … Continue Reading…

Is Enlightenment a Choice?

Awakening and deep shifts in consciousness are driven by grace, the movement of Divinity. That is not a personal choice. Enlightenment is post-personal development so why would personal choice have a say?

Because there is a process of participation that happens before and after the main shifts. Opportunities arise like practices, study, satsang, sangha, integration, and so forth. Do we engage them or not?

For some people, this process feels like a choice. Or rather a series of choices that move us into position and prepare the ground. We become seekers and choose a spiritual practice, teacher, community, and … Continue Reading…

Atman and Sattva

One of the curious things about the spiritual journey is that the reality of one stage is not the reality of another. As each stage is a shift in being, it brings its own sense of self and the world. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” For example, we can easily compare waking and dreaming states. The reality in each is quite distinct.

This also means that terminology that well-suits one stage doesn’t work as well for another. My book editor, for example, steered me away from a few phrasings … Continue Reading…