Saoirse

Freedom by Josef Grunig

No, not the actress. What she’s named for. “Of all the treasures a person can possess, she says, the most valuable is saoirse [pronounced sear-sha “like inertia”], the Gaelic word for freedom.” Andrew Nikiforuk, interviewing Biologist Diana Beresford-Kroeger “Saoirse, an ancient concept, comes from the original Brehon laws of the Celtic world before the time of Christ. In those days the idea of freedom could not be separated from the community or nature, because it was embedded in the medicine, language and culture of the Celts whose ancient ways influenced people all the way to Russia and Central Asia.” “You … Continue Reading…

Mind and Cognition

Shiva

A question came up I thought would be useful to share here. How do we give words to cognitions if they arise from beyond the intellect? First: what do I mean by cognition here? A cognition is a style of experience that is total knowledge about the object of experience, all at once. It tends to be about some fundamental aspect or law of creation. While everyone can use ritam* to experience what a rishi or seer has cognized, only some people have the gift of cognition. I define the types of cognition here. Quite a few kinds of experience … Continue Reading…

Bhedābheda Vedānta

Vedanta Temple Bell by Ray Sawhill

Vedanta means the end of the Veda or final knowledge and is the last of the 6 systems of Indian Philosophy (Yoga is the 4th). We also know these systems as the Vedanga or subordinate limbs (to the core books of the Veda) and as the Darshana. The core text of Vedanta is the Brahma Sutra of Bādarāyaṇa. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita are also generally considered Vedantic texts. But like any older philosophy, it has drifted into mind and concepts and then to distinct schools of interpretation. There are three primary schools of Vedanta with many sub-branches. The … Continue Reading…

Mental Activity

Samara by quapan

One of the curious features of being human is that we assume others experience the world the same way we do. We may expect people to see things the same way also, considering them mistaken if they don’t. We do typically run from the same collective experience of the world around us. But the variations in how we process and interpret that can vary significantly. For example, do you experience the world as dangerous and fearful? Or full of opportunities? Do you have any colour blindness? What about hearing range? Do you have a large social life or live like … Continue Reading…

Wu Wei or Flow

Wu Wei by Cea

I ran into a Zen quote the other day and thought about how flow unfolds. But first, some background. I’ve only studied a bit of Zen in my time, so am not an expert. But the principles are universal. Zen is a branch of Buddhism that was strongly influenced by Taoism. The word Zen was originally derived from the Yoga term Dhyana (meditation) but the practices now differ greatly from the original Yoga. The focus of Zen is on direct experience rather than book learning. One influence from Taoism (the Way) has been the idea of Wu Wei. Wu Wei … Continue Reading…

Divisions

Division by Candi

In the unfolding of creation, awareness becomes self-aware in every layer. This leads to spaces within spaces as the process steps forward into the world of form and phenomena. Like a set of Russian dolls, only the outer layers are progressively more subtle and diffuse. However, this process gets exaggerated by the sense of separation, of being a distinct individual. It’s natural to recognize our distinctions from others. It’s part of our maturation as a person and the function of the intellect. However, when that is all we recognize as self, it leads to greater division and the mayiya mala, … Continue Reading…

Guilt

Guilt by Durera Toujours

I’ve previously discussed the importance of truth. How can we expect knowledge and understanding if we distort the truth or favour stories and delusion? There are diplomatic ways of being truthful. We need not use it like a hammer. Use the “sweet truth,” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say. A friend recently sent me an article on trust research. They found a difference between feeling guilty, being “guilt-prone,” and being guilt-free. The article observed that people who are guilt-prone “feel more responsible for others.” “guilt-proneness… captures the anticipation of guilt over wrongdoing, [causing] people to avoid transgressing in the first … Continue Reading…

Mind and Intellect

Wing by AJC1

A reader asked me to speak more on the distinction between our mind and our intellect. Basically, mind is a field that processes sensory input, gives meaning and words to experiences via memory, and contains thoughts and ideas. It is the associator. This experience means this. Intellect is the discriminator. Right and wrong, good and bad, etc. It works behind the mind, discriminating what is valuable to notice, what has meaning, and what we can ignore (most of it). Some experience the intellect as intuition or fine feelings. When it’s clear, it can bring knowingness. Ego, ahamkara or I-sense is … Continue Reading…

Types of Vasanas

Plug by Gideon Tsang

I had a recent insight into Vasanas I wanted to share. Let’s define some terms as we go. The “pain body” is our unresolved emotions. The vasana are more subtle than this. After we’ve resolved a lot of old, previously incomplete emotions, we become more conscious of our deeper drivers behind that. Vasana means unresolved desire or driver. These can express as addictions or latent tendencies. This energy can drive much of our behaviour, seeking resolution. For example, we may fall in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate. If it’s mild, our interest will fade and we’ll move on. If … Continue Reading…

Knots or Granthi

Knot by Blondinrikard Froberg

Granthi is a term from the Vedas that describes contractions in the physiology. These are places where there’s been a trauma, an unwillingness to experience something, or a grasping. They may be stored at the site of the trauma or contraction or may be placed somewhere else. Granthi means knot but these contractions are also called stresses or impurities. They are essentially incomplete experiences yet to be resolved. Another way of framing them? The seeds of karma or action. We carry quite a load. I was reading an article by Kavitha Chinnaiyan. She described the 3 primary knots in Tantric … Continue Reading…

KXCR Interview

Blue feather

My conversation with Craig Holliday led to an interview with Larry Bloomfield on the Spiritual Unity Today show. They broadcast and live-stream this from KXCR Community Radio in Florence, OR. I came into the interview expecting a conversation on spiritual bypassing. Instead, he wanted to talk about this person and how I got started spirituality. The conversation was broad and basic exploring meditation, East and West views of God, what I’m doing now, and what’s unfolding in the world. I tried to avoid the usual terminology in addressing a general audience. It closes with an extended music track. Davidya

Primary Impurities

Tree Avatar by LastHuckleBerry

Kavitha Chinnaiyan wrote an article on the Tantric model of the 3 primary impurities or Malas. These are very subtle, on the level of the self-sense. 1) Anava mala: the sense of incompleteness 2) Mayiya mala: the sense of separation 3) Karma mala: the sense of doership She describes the first as the primary impurity that leads to the others. It is the root of suffering. In a more purely Vedic model, the sense of separation, of being a distinct person comes first. But we could argue either way. Do we feel incomplete because we feel separate? Or vice versa? … Continue Reading…