What is Silence?

When we settle into deep meditation or find ourselves deep in the forest, we may experience a moment of deep silence. Not just silence outside, but silence within, a quieting of the monkey mind. This is the goal of Yoga.

At first, inner silence may be pretty unclear, like a blank spot when nothing was noticed. Without content, it’s just empty.  

As that silence becomes more familiar, we’ll notice it has a sense of presence and of being. It Is. We may find that sometimes, as we settle into silence or come out after, there is a … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

This comes out of an on-line discussion on the Falling Away of Self interview. Someone asks if Rick was referring to the individual soul. Rick responds “It seems to persist from life to life, some say forever. Is that the self?”

My response, edited slightly for this context:
That depends. What do we subjectively relate to as “who I am”?

I find the Vedic perspective useful. They describe layers to it. The ego-self (Ahamkara) or sense of being a separate self. It is identification with this that leads to the sense of a personal, separate me. It is … Continue Reading…

More on Further Stages

Here and there, I’ve mentioned more to the picture than stages of development in consciousness. That enlightenment is not a goal but the platform for living and further growth.

When we understand the basics, we come to see the same pattern repeating itself in the layers of creation. For example, there is a one into three into 7 process of becoming. We have 7 primary chakras and there are 7 primary layers to creation, for example.

While it depends a little on how you count the colours in a rainbow, the principle holds.

We also … 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…


I’ve written periodically about the term “no-self”. It’s a prominent term in Buddhism but its meaning is used somewhat variably in the larger spiritual community. For example, as in not-me or post ego. Or as a reference to emptiness.

In a PhD research project interviewing people who had had an awakening, they were obliged by the university to frame it as “the experience of no-self” even though awakening is not an experience (though it may be accompanied by experiences) and only a minority framed the shift as “no-self”. Even there, it was partly due to their traditions terminology.

Continue Reading…

The Three Stages of Brahman

There are a lot of three’s in this process of awakening.
There is the observer, the process of observation and the observed.
There is the purification, the refinement and the embodiment.
There is the 3 stages of consciousness awakening to Itself. (Cosmic, Unity and Brahman, although Cosmic, Refined Cosmic, and Unity align better with the above patterns)
There is the rise of kundalini, the descent in higher stages, and the final rise of embodiment.

The Brahman (third) stage itself has three aspects:
The initial Brahman shift, often in 2 main … Continue Reading…

The Illusion of Consciousness

In the process of shifting from being a me, identified with a body-mind, and becoming Atman, the cosmic Self, there is a series of stages. I typically describe this in terms of stages of development in consciousness. Shifts in how consciousness is self-aware locally.

Adi Shankara described this process in a slightly different way that I’ve mentioned here several times. That is in terms of the dominant guna of our body-mind. This is more about the Shakti or feminine side of the process, unlike the more masculine consciousness-based approach. More of an emphasis on … Continue Reading…