Beyond Experience

While settling into a deep samadhi or transcendence with a silent mind and very still breath could be called “beyond experience”, the dynamics of consciousness are still very much at play.

Much more deeply, when we transcend the dynamics of consciousness into Brahman, we can move into a placeless place beyond experience, yet still simultaneously use the dynamics of consciousness to experience the world.

Brahman is known only by Brahman. It contains the seeds of consciousness – alertness and liveliness – and can be said to be conscious, but it doesn’t use the dynamics of consciousness to … Continue Reading…

On the Falling Away of Self – Adyashanti and Susanne Marie

Adyashanti and Susanne Marie in conversation with Rick Archer. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation for some months.

Join Susanne Marie and Adyashanti in an exploration with Rick Archer about an often misunderstood subject. Beyond the traditional landing places that mind creates (commonly discussed in non-dual circles), lies an indescribable landscape of living as pure, direct experiencing. Prior to this opening, the habitual subjective filter creates a veil of separation of which one is not even aware. This is true even within expanded, unified states of consciousness. Once … Continue Reading…

The Mahavakya – Updated

When I previously wrote an article on the Mahavakya (great sayings), I used an old understanding, informed by a 70’s talk by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (before he was differentiating the Brahman stage) and common English translations. It’s time for an update.

The common translations are “I am That, Thou art That, All this is That, and That alone is.” These are lovely and sound both like realizations of Unity Consciousness and of the stages to it – if we take That to be equivalent to Atman. Or as Brahman where Atman = Brahman.

But … 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…

The Divine Power Shakti

Describing post-consciousness stages is profoundly abstract. Even this article has been waiting over a month for it to “gel”. There is the hazard of people making odd concepts from this material. But some do find the pointing very valuable. When it’s the experience, pointing to other aspects brings out nuances that might otherwise not have been discovered.

With the Brahman shift, we move out of stages in consciousness and into an arena of great profundity the mind cannot fully grasp. We don’t know Brahman as an individual or Self (Atman). Brahman is known by itself. It combines opposites in one totality, resolving … Continue Reading…

The Coverings

We can also view the awakening process as the gradual removal of coverings or veils. While there can be various specific hindrances to deeper sensing like the noise of unresolved emotions, there are 2 broad categories of coverings.

The first is known as tamas, the guna or quality of inertia. When prominent, it gives the world a sense of solidity and reality and leads us to become identified with it. I am this body and these are my possessions and my thoughts, etc.

That leads to a tendency to try hold on to or control experiences and to resist … Continue Reading…

Eternal Divinity

One of the challenges of progress on a spiritual path is the falling away of what has unfolded. In other words, our apparent gains can be lost again. Several times.

Yet surrender remains a key part of the process. We have to be willing to release the old so the new can arise. Then what is of value in the old can be restored in the new context. This means nothing is ever really lost but does have to be released periodically. Having vs Holding.

One of the big places this happens is with the stage changes themselves. While … Continue Reading…

Liberating the Person

While awakening is about liberation, it is liberation FROM the person. It is loosing our identification with being an individual ‘me’ that things happen to.

Both before the shift and for awhile afterwards, there can be a fair bit of unpacking of old baggage: old resistance and incomplete experiences.

There is also a forward progression into higher stages in consciousness.

Part of that forward movement is what can be described as a descent of source into our local experience. Adyashanti described a process of head, heart, gut. This continues to the root.

The effect of this process is … Continue Reading…

Qualifying to Understand Vedanta

Vedanta means “End of the Veda” or the end of knowledge. It relates to the Unity through Brahman stages of development. As this places it several stages ahead of the average person, it is not comprehended as intended by most people.

And yet, there are many teachers and even conferences devoted to Advaita or Non-duality. I spoke at such a conference last fall. Advaita is the approach to Vedanta emphasized by Shankara. I’ve written elsewhere about some of the issues with more common ideas about what nonduality is.

Certainly, some of the stories from the Upanishads are … Continue Reading…

Our Natural Potential talk @ SAND

In October, I gave a Stages in Consciousness talk at the Science and Nonduality conference. Here is the talk synopsis.

I was introduced by Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump fame. His talk had preceded mine and, on agreement, ran partly into the break between our talks. This meant people where still transitioning in and out as my talk began.

My opening reference to Rick’s style is because he read his large talk to cover the content while mine was unrehearsed. I had a lot to cover so also rolled quickly.

There … Continue Reading…

The Divinity of Brahman

How does one describe a quality of divinity that is beyond consciousness, beyond existence, beyond even the subtlest division?

We can use the word Divinity itself. True Divinity. Totality. A profoundly “exquisite delicacy” that is prior to differentiation or distinction as Lorne Hoff put it. It is uncaused and can only be known by collapsing the dynamics of consciousness and merging with it. Brahman is the knower of Brahman.

As the sage Shankara framed it:
“Brahman is real
the world is not real [the half truth]
Brahman is the world”

Put another way:
Continue Reading…

Brahman is Conscious

As the saying goes, Brahman is the knower of Brahman. And as I’ve noted, consciousness arises in Brahman. But Brahman is also beyond consciousness.

The key here is the distinction between conscious and consciousness. Conscious in this context is that quality of lively alertness. It knows itself.

However, when that lively alertness flows and becomes aware of its nature as consciousness, it creates the dynamic of self-aware consciousness – knower, process of knowing and known (aka subject, process, and object). Self-aware consciousness (Atman) looks in on itself, creating what might be called a virtual space into which … Continue Reading…