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…

Drive into Flow

We have long lived under the ego-self and its claims of doership. Thoughts and emotions arise naturally from various stimuli and ego calls them mine. “I feel sad,” we say. Or “I’ve been thinking.” In fact, these are simply happening and we’re noticing.

Some people like artists culture a deeper sense of being to connect to creativity and intuition. They may speak of the muse or inspiration moving through them.

Similarly, spiritual seekers try to culture a deeper sense of being. As their perception refines, they notice that thoughts and emotions simply arise, mostly without their … Continue Reading…

Witnessing Sleep

As consciousness awakens within, we can have periods of time when we experience being a detached observer or witness of our life. Our life continues but we are no longer seen as the doer. We observe while life continues.

What I describe is not a disassociative state or escape from life’s problems. We don’t get there through avoidance or hanging out in the dreamy astral. This is a shift into consciousness itself, beyond all that. We find it through acceptance of what is here.

If we’re well-rested, this witness may continue throughout waking, dreaming and deep sleep. Alertness … Continue Reading…

Clarity vs Doubt

On a recent retreat, an important point came up about awakening. But first, a little background.

I’ve written before about the 3 parts of awakening – the actual shift, the experiences that may come with it, and the purification that may also take place. It’s not unusual for there to be a big release with the shift.

To help avoid confusion for the mind, it’s important to understand that the experiences of opening and purification are not it. They are effects and they are experiences. Awakening itself is not an experience. It is a shift … Continue Reading…

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…