What Awakens?

Cat by Iezalel Williams

Fundamentally, consciousness is simply aware. Then it becomes self-aware and interacts with itself, causing the appearance of forms and phenomena to arise. This self-interacting dynamic is true both cosmically and locally. We can say consciousness is nested or in layers. With a transcending practice like effortless meditation, we go beyond the mind and emotions, settling into simple awareness without content, pure consciousness. In its pure form, it is beyond time and space, infinite and eternal. This is usually how people come to know consciousness itself – simply resting in their own nature. And yet, often we only notice a pause … Continue Reading…

A Second Conversation with Andrew Hewson

Blue feather

In September, Dorothy Rowe, Andrew Hewson and I spoke about Perspectives of Awakening. Andrew and I followed that up with a conversation on the stages of enlightenment. We both enjoyed the conversation so had another one. This time we explored the dismissal of stages, the value of understanding the bigger picture, issues with a masculine / renunciate emphasis, healing, surfacing, right action, integrating after awakening, and talking to the family about the changes. On YouTube

Breath Stopping

Being There by Cattan2011

Breath stopping came up on Transcending so I thought it worth breaking the points out into an article. In a transcending meditation practice we quickly settle within. As we settle the mind, the body also settles. Oxygen consumption and other metabolic indicators drop. In a typical session, this can be 30-60%. When we transcend the practice into samadhi (also called turiya or pure consciousness), we may notice a brief period of inner silence or no thoughts along with very deep relaxation. But when we notice, the mind starts to think about it and the metabolism rises some again. Or the … Continue Reading…

A Second Conversation with Craig Holliday

A Second Conversation with Craig Holliday

The Association for Spiritual Integrity (ASI) is holding a series of peer-to-peer discussions. In August, Craig Holliday and I conversed on spiritual bypassing. That was posted here. The video quality wasn’t great, so I just posted the audio. Later the same month, we had another conversation along the same lines. At last it’s available. We spoke to a wide range of topics around healing, ethics and challenges in spiritual groups, bypassing, and the nature of the current time. The conversations are on spiritual integrity so there is some overlap with the first conversation. But much of it is distinct. For … Continue Reading…

What is Mind?

Untitled by Joost Markerink

Mind is a big topic. Fundamentally, mind is a kosha or field around our body that is the medium for what we experience as thinking. But there’s a great deal more to it than that. Let’s explore my current take. This field surrounds the whole body but we feel mind is “in the head” because the senses are concentrated there. Mind is the hub that processes and integrates our senses. It also interfaces with the brain and nervous system and emotional body in one direction. And the other way with the intellect, memory, and cosmic mind. The cosmic mind is … Continue Reading…

Flavours of Karma

Halloween moon

Karma means action. Action or energy always seeks balance so for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we resist the consequences that flow from our actions, we can develop energetic sludge and knots. Resistance doesn’t stop the flow of action but can interfere with its smoothness and completion. This is much like a log can partly block a pipe. Water still flows but there can be a build-up and eddies. The log and the water both seek resolution and the disturbance shadows our daily experience. The cycles of time and the collective determine when older consequences … Continue Reading…

On Surrender

Sunset over W Courtenay

Surrender is a key part of enlightenment unfolding. A recent question has led me to explore the word in more detail. The surrender I refer to is not giving away our power. That is submission, keeping our control but giving responsibility for it to someone else. That is disempowering. True Surrender is allowing; it is letting go; it is permitting life to lead us; it is harmonizing with the Divine. Surrender is allowing our higher nature to lead, letting go of the controller, our ego identification. Once the controller falls way, we can begin to operate from our infinite source. … Continue Reading…

Transcending – The Means

bubble diagram

Regular readers know I frequently mention effortless meditation. This is because of the key role it plays in culturing the ground for enlightenment. Over time, I’ve come to see its value more and more deeply. Yet there’s a key point about practices to make. Enlightenment isn’t caused by anything we do. It arises from the grace of the Divine. The purpose of spiritual practices is not to get enlightened but to prepare the ground. Then when grace arises, the shift is more likely to be smooth and supported. If the ground is not ready, grace will come as a profound … Continue Reading…

It’s All About Relationship

relationships are complicated by hojusaram

While historical spirituality has emphasized renunciation and withdrawal from the world, this camouflages a key detail. It’s All about Relationship. Who we are, everything we experience, and everything we know is all through relationship. Fundamentally, on the level of consciousness itself. In a pure Shiva way, alertness is simply alert. It is not alert to anything. For experience to arise, consciousness must be stirred awake and then recognize itself. It’s through the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness that all experience arises. Self-interacting means relating with itself. Some describe the self-interacting dynamics as the Shiva and Shakti aspects of consciousness, in relationship. … Continue Reading…

Brahman Plus

Brahman, photo by Drew Coffman

This article spins out of a discussion in comments on Is Brahman God, an article from November 2014. All experiences and the world arise from consciousness interacting with itself. For a materialist that sees consciousness as a byproduct of the physical brain, this may seem delusional and ridiculous. And yet if we undertake an experiential study of consciousness itself, we soon experience consciousness by itself. This is known as samadhi or turiya. It gradually becomes clear that consciousness is not a byproduct but is the source of experience. The mind and brain are vehicles for that process, supporting and functioning … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

La Petite Concierge painting by Francis Smith

This is one of life’s big questions. Most people identify with things like their name, work, background, nationality, skin colour, tastes, and so forth. But these are stories about ourselves or roles we’ve adopted. They have little to do with who we actually are. New Age approaches usually focus on upgrading the filters and stories we tell ourselves. A better story for a better life. Eastern paths can take this further with self-inquiry: who are we behind the stories? But as I’ve mentioned before, if there isn’t a practice that takes us beyond the mind into source, what is culturing … Continue Reading…

Maturation

Rejection by William Bromley

I talk here mostly about waking up and healing. But there is another key part for a rich and healthy life – maturation. If we look at standard models of human development, we can see there is an inner progression.   Stages of Development   Age Area (Alexander) Cognitive (Piaget) Kosha 0-2 Behaviour and Senses Sensori-motor Anna- 2-7 Desires and Emotions Pre-operations Prana- 7-11 Mind Concrete Operations Manon- 11-18 Intellect Formal Operations Vijnana- 18-25 Feelings and Intuition Post-Formal Ops a/a 25+ Individual Ego [Myness]     Universal [Amness, Iness] Ananda- As new-borns, we learn to operate physically, then emotionally, then … Continue Reading…