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… →
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… →
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.
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.
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… →