Favouring the Positive

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s good to favour the positive, to give more of our attention to what brings enjoyment than pain.

I don’t mean in the sense of faking it or resisting what is here. If we’re feeling anger or grief, we should feel them fully. This ensures they complete and resolve.

But at a certain point in all experience, we reach a place of choice where we can continue to dwell on the past or the feeling or we can let it go and move on. That’s when it’s good to choose joy.

By enjoyment here, I … Continue Reading…

The Irony of Seeking

At some point on our life journey we tend to become seekers. The desire for more, experiences, exposure to some teaching; something triggers a shift. We transition from a life focused on our individuality to something bigger and deeper.

Usually, a good part of the seeking process is framed as self-betterment or escape. In other words, we’re still very much personally oriented. The search is usually driven by aversion to pain or a grasping after more pleasure or both. As Yoga observes, both of these lead only to suffering.

At the same time, the seeking activity helps keep us … Continue Reading…

Two Processes of Divinity

To embody Divinity post-Brahman, there may seem to be two distinct processes.

This is akin to the 2 processes of development in consciousness – Atman and Sattva.
One aspect is becoming where we recognize we gain a deeper relationship with consciousness. This is the Atman part of the equation.

The other is Sattva, the refinement and polish that leads to deeper knowing and experience and  embodiment. Together, they are the primary purpose of spiritual techniques.

But as is the way of all creation, this turns out to reflect deeper causal drivers. As above, so below.

Continue Reading…

The Divine

When we come to the divine for the first time, it’s often through form. This can be a very profound experience. It may trigger major heart opening, insight, devotion, and/or deep humility. Yet it may also bring confusion, circumspection, or reconsideration. If we’ve developed an atheist philosophy, for example, that can certainly be disrupted. But even if we’re a person of faith, the divine won’t necessarily show up as expected.

Often people experience representatives of the divine first; what are commonly called angels or devas. (not to be confused with astral beings) But we may also experience the … Continue Reading…

Models of Development

Over the years, I’ve seen many models of spiritual development. Most of them follow a subjective process that one or a few people experienced that doesn’t reflect how it will unfold for many others. Fundamentally it is shifts in being – in who we recognize ourselves to be – that reflect the underlying process. This is why I’ve focused on that.

Yet it can be instructive to see some of the other things that can shift that are reflected in other models. Categories like this can give you a sense of where they’re coming from. But there can be … Continue Reading…

Lorne Webcasts

A few weeks ago, Lorne Hoff shifted to using YouTube for the Sunday evening webcast.
Among other advantages, the webcast is available for 12 hours if you’re not able to watch during. While live is the most potent, if you’re in Europe or work evenings, it gives you an option.

Be sure to bookmark the viewing page when you first visit.

When the calls first became more widely available in 2007, we were using a somewhat flaky Skype daisy-chain. It was easiest to listen in groups and I still recommend that.

I have … Continue Reading…

Together

In some traditions, one child is sent for religious study, perhaps to be a pandit or priest. Sometimes, this is the oldest son, sometimes the one with the best chart – it depends on the tradition.

While this may have devolved into obligation or keeping the dogma going, its roots are in supporting the family. We’re in this together and having a family member focused on spiritual development enriches both family and community.

If you understand we’re not separate individuals, it soon becomes clear we have spiritual, energetic and even physical connections with a number of people we’re sharing the … Continue Reading…

Enlightened Duality

The closing of the book Halfway up the Mountain by Mariana Caplan is a chapter on how enlightenment is only the beginning.

She correctly notes there is no “top end” or final state. From the perspective here, there is a final stage in consciousness but the potential of knowledge, perception and refinement is essentially endless. Enlightenment is to be lived, not achieved.

She describes how you have to come down out of the unitive state and live enlightenment in the world in a state of “enlightened duality.” This is what I’d call awakening, Self Realization … Continue Reading…

What is Clarity?

I talk a lot about the 2 primary aspects of awakening – Consciousness unfolding to itself and sattva or clarity. But what is it that becomes more clear?

I sometimes talk about clarity in terms of the awakening heart and refined perception. But these result from clarity in consciousness on the corresponding layers of being. So we have consciousness as awakening and clarity.

To explain the distinction we can think of consciousness awakening to itself as shifting our relationship with consciousness. We become it (awakening), recognize it in the objects of perception (Unity), and … Continue Reading…

Cosmic Consciousness

I thought it would be interesting to take the qualities mentioned in the song Cosmic Consciousness and relate them to the process.

– shining within
– awake during sleep
– witness the mind from “behind”
– unbounded
– beyond pain
– pleasure arises within
– unshaken by change
– silent being
– eternal
– life like a song or play
– immortal
– beyond the sky

– beginning to see the hand of divinity

Key to understand this list – it is subjective descriptions of being consciousness … Continue Reading…

On Truth

The “Truth about Reality” is way beyond the mind so cannot be found though reading or hearing. All we gain through the senses is information from which we build concepts about the world. This is neither truth nor reality. At best, we have a working hypothesis.

Philosophy and spiritual teachings can offer pointers and maps, like a route to deeper truth. But they are not truth in themselves.

Reality can only be known directly, by being.

We can describe experiences of reality, but it’s always through the lens of this physiology. How much of it we embody. But what we … Continue Reading…

Whose Reality?

“Those who play at being angels, end up as animals.”
— Blaise Pascal, The Ascent to Truth

I ran into this quote recently while reading Mariana Caplan’s book Halfway Up The Mountain. It rather succinctly spoke to the hazards of not living a human life most of the time.

The context of the quote was the various hazards of mystical experiences. Such experiences are largely in the category of subtle perception. Lovely, but not really “spiritual” at all. Plus, all too often, the motivation for chasing them is personal gratification or escaping our human experience rather than gaining skills … Continue Reading…