The Four Dispositions

Swami Brahmananda Saraswati was a man who spent much of his life in seclusion. He left home at age 9 to find a guru and spent much of his life in remote forests of India. He only emerged in the later years of his life to take the role of Shankaracharya, the exponent of Shankara’s teachings in N. India. The seat had been vacant nearly 150 years.

Not only did he revive the tradition in the area but several modern teachers of high impact were his students. Millions of people around the world have taken up eastern philosophy and meditation … Continue Reading…

The Means of Liberation (Yogas)

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13
Verse 24
Some realize the Self by the Self in the Self through meditation, others through Samkhya yoga, yet others through Karma yoga.
Verse 25
Others, however, not knowing thus, sit near Me [Krishna], having heard from others, they also do cross beyond death, devoted to what they have heard.

This lays out the Yogas or paths to liberation.

The first is Dhyana Yoga, the path of meditation covered in Chapter 6 of the Gita. These days, it is often taught as Raja … Continue Reading…

Styles of Enlightenment

As readers of this blog know, I explore various ways of looking at how enlightenment or spiritual awakening is lived. Here, I don’t mean how the changes are experienced but rather the styles of embodying it. The container we experience those changes through.

In the past, I’ve discussed the distinction between an emphasis on consciousness as I do or an emphasis on energetic embodiment as Rose Rosetree does. But it soon becomes clear there’s several layers to the varieties of lived enlightenment.

Here is a brief list of some of the distinctions that come to mind:

1) Orientation – … Continue Reading…

Asana Is

There were 5 yoga studios within a few minutes walk of my old place. Did any of them teach actual yoga? Nope. Most of them were about fitness rather than union. Fitness is a good thing, but it’s misleading when presented as a branch of Indian philosophy. Few modern yoga teachers meditate. Most of it is a version of a version of a version out of strict Hatha Yoga and comes from only one of the 8 (ashtanga) limbs of Yoga, asana.

But is even that about stretching exercise? Asana refers to position or posture. The Yoga Sutra defines … Continue Reading…

Deep Yoga

Last year, I did a series of articles on the Yoga Sutra, emphasizing how Yoga (union) was much more than postures.

It’s also useful to be reminded that Yoga is much older than the commonly understood time of the author Patanjali. It’s been suggested the text itself is much older, likely from the Treta Yuga, based partly on how it describes awakening. But the knowledge itself goes back still further.

“Yoga is also a common subject in older texts of India before the Yoga Sutras like the Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, with reflections back to the Rigveda, … Continue Reading…

On Karma, Bliss, and Love

This came up in another non-spiritual forum. I was asked some questions about Yoga. This was the result.

You’re wise to focus on results rather than concepts. Too much of philosophy and religion is about concepts and beliefs and who’s right rather than how we’re actually living. The point is to support a better life.

I would suggest it’s not so much that we achieve understanding of the true nature of karma but rather that through transcendence/ samadhi, we detach our identification with our sense of personal “me” and experiences. This has the effect of us detaching from the flow … Continue Reading…

The Key Unlocks the Door

Veda is a Sanskrit word meaning knowledge. But it’s also a reference to the encoded intelligence that is deep within the roots of consciousness underlying all creations. These blocks of intelligence are progressively experienced by seers through the ages, enlivening them in our creation. This leads to the evolution of creation, both new expressions and integration with existing active laws. We might say they are the blueprints of creation but they are also the blueprint of how it unfolds: structure and sequence. The entire project management spec.

As the Manu Smriti (v2.6) put it “Veda is the root and … Continue Reading…