The Challenges of Teaching

There is a common idea that awakened people automatically become teachers. But teaching is a skill, one that allows us to speak to the student at their level. Many don’t have this skill. They speak from their understanding and others hear from theirs. Mixed results ensue. A traditional spiritual teacher also adopts their dedicated students, guiding their way home. This is a large, long-term responsibility not to be taken lightly. Often what triggers the start of teaching is an inner call to share the revelations of a major experience or stage change. It feels so profound and important we want … 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…

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…

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 Trinity of Self

Atman or the Cosmic Self has a three-fold nature. It has a subject or observer aspect, the process of observation, and the object or observed aspect. I illustrated this here. As consciousness is aware of itself both globally and at every point, it can observe its own dynamics and experience this directly. “Locally” or personally, we experience this as the ego or I-sense, the intellect, and the mind. Samkhya describes how Buddhi (intellect) recognizes self as different from other, creating Ahamkara, the I-sense or ego. This arises in early childhood as a baby distinguishes itself from mother. Manas or mind … Continue Reading…

A Natural Pulsation

Recently, I’ve been corresponding with Jerry Freeman, another BATGAP interviewee. He sent me a few of his essays. I’ve quite enjoyed them and asked if I could share this one – There is a natural pulsation. (PDF 180k) The article explores the natural ebb and flow of all things and an approach to bring to that. He then explores the 2 aspects of ego: – Ahamkara or I sense that is required to be a human – Asmita is the overlay of conditioning that shadows the ego. What I refer to as our stories and baggage. This is what falls … Continue Reading…