Shankara – Before and After

Adi Shankara was a renowned Indian sage who consolidated Advaita Vedanta or non-dualism. He lived from roughly 788 to 820, travelling throughout India and re-establishing non-dualism and the value of monasticism. He wrote extensive commentary on the Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita and won epic debates with other philosophers. His 4 primary students founded the 4 Shankaracharya seats (maths) in the cardinal directions of India. They operate to this day.

The core tenet of non-duality is that Atman and Brahman are one and the same. Ayam Atma Brahma.

The world is unreal
Only Brahman is real
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On Bliss

I’ve spoken here before about how Life is literally Bliss – the very flow of life itself is profoundly blissful if we’re open to that. The Upanishads tell us we’re born of bliss. I’ve also indicated that the 5th kosha or sheath that surrounds our body is pure bliss, always present.

And yet if you read much current spiritual literature, you’ll hear about a lot of other features of awakening. Often bliss is missing. No talk of nirvana or ananda, except perhaps as a passing experience.

Some of … Continue Reading…


Sometimes you have a light-bulb moment. Perhaps as an aha! Or a forehead-slapping duh! And then quickly it seems obvious – why didn’t I notice this before? It was staring me in the face!

Even with spiritual awakening itself, many have this reaction after the shift – it’s that simple? Why didn’t I get this sooner??

Clarity, of course, which they now have more of. The Sanskrit word for clarity? Sattva.

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Karma and the Awake

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on Karma Post-Enlightenment. Since then, it’s become a very popular article but also the subject has come up several times in life events. I thought it worth going further into the subject.

Firstly, there’s a key aspect to understand in the dynamics of karma aka action or energy. To get from inertia (Tamas) to clarity (Sattva), you have to go through transformation (fire, Rajas).

People in transformation can sometimes have a lot of fire and can be attracted to chaos and conflict or drama. … Continue Reading…

Healing the Past without Being the Past

When looking at healing modalities there’s an important distinction to be made between practices that help you become conscious of unresolved emotions and those that take you into them.

Becoming conscious of them helps you see them and if you’re OK, allow and resolve them. They can wash over you in a brief wave and be done. It may trigger sensations of physical release too. This ends the burden or at least whacks off a big chunk. I’ve talked before how I facilitated that by culturing gratitude but there are many ways Continue Reading…

The Gunas and Emotions

There are a number of ways the sages of old describe the three-way structure of consciousness and creation. Creation, maintenance, and destruction. Observed object, process of observing, and observer. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.

But by the time you get down into our universe and the universal mind (aka unified field), the principles become known as the three gunas. These we could call forms of energy or qualities. This is the field of action or karma. We find these principles throughout nature. On their own level, we can see them directly as the primary colours.

They are:
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Empath and Unity

In a forum I mentioned the distinction between Empath gifts and Unity Consciousness. I was asked to clarify further. I updated the response here.

An empath will experience one or more ways of what it’s like to be another person, depending on their empath gifts. It may be someone’s physical sensations, their emotions, or their thinking tone, etc. They won’t experience all of what that person experiences – just those aspects they have gifts for. And it will only be to the degree of their skill, intention, clarity, and so forth. Mainly they pick … Continue Reading…

Is Brahman God?

A question came came up in correspondence I’d not thought much about – Is Brahman God?

It’s an interesting consideration. We might simply say yes, in the impersonal sense of God.
After all, in God Realization when we merge with the divine, we transcend Atman and become Brahman.

But to say Brahman is God is a bit of a generalization.

To explain, the Vedas describe Brahman in several ways. There is ParamBrahm, the one non-dual totality. But this is total unmanifest nothingness. Myself, I don’t equate that with God although it’s not distinct from God.

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Dance of the Mystery

This Sunday, I heard a talk that put a lot of emphasis on “The Mystery”. This, out of the rising tide of interest in mysticism in New Age and New Thought circles – even in some traditional churches.

At first, my response was that nothing was a mystery. Everything is knowable if we give it our  attention. I have an early teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, to thank for that expectation. As he used to say, Knowledge is Structured in Consciousness. If you expand consciousness, you expand the container of knowledge and thus allow it’s growth.

But in chatting with a … Continue Reading…

Progress & Embodiment

Several times recently, the subject of embodiment has come up. That is, not just spiritual awakening or enlightenment but living that in the world.

I’ve spoken before about the masculine and feminine aspects of the stages of enlightenment, of Atman and Sattva.

From Atman comes the flowering of consciousness itself. We have the classic rise of the kundalini Shakti to the crown to join Shiva. But that is essentially just opening the door, the kindergarten of enlightenment. We then bring Shakti and Shiva together down into the … Continue Reading…

The Next Stage

A fun video. I would just make 2 adjustments to the message:
1 – it’s not “about to go”, it’s already happening. It is only that it is an inside out process so it has not shown up on the surface too much yet. What we see is more what has not been resolved being pushed to the surface instead. Are you working to resolve it or are you turning up the drama?

2 – Love is not the next step. The first step is always Know Thyself. Once you know who you are, beyond your mind and ego, … Continue Reading…

Awakening from Awakening

In a conversation About Adyashanti’s book Resurrecting Jesus, Adya and Francis Bennett touch on (at about 18 min) the integration of awakening where it becomes more inclusive of the world, being both fully human and fully divine. Francis used the term “awakening from awakening“. To paraphrase, it’s common that after awakening, we can get a little stuck in the transcendent and deny our humanness and emotion. See the world and body-mind as illusion. Then we come full circle to bring them together in union. The return. Spirit giving itself back into existence.

They used the term enlightened … Continue Reading…