The Power of Speech

The spoken word is sounds that represent conceptual symbols that have a somewhat shared meaning. For example, if I speak the word “apple”, you’ll have a good idea of what I’m referring to but not a lot of detail. While misunderstanding is common, the spoken word remains an effective way to communicate between two people who experience themselves as separate. The written word, like this article, uses letters to symbolize sounds that symbolize meaning. Some languages use word symbols instead of sound symbols, like Chinese. But either is another step removed and thus a little less powerful. In a sense, … Continue Reading…

A Calling

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As I wrote about recently, many things in life require action. Life is movement and flow. It requires activity to be sustained. We need to breathe, to eat, to consume, to move to live. If we want to move forward, more is required. We often need to experiment and seek advice for best ways of doing to get a certain result. But if we’re planning to express higher values into life, we need a different approach that’s not driven by action. Spirituality is about being rather than doing. If we come to spiritual teaching as a person wanting results and … Continue Reading…

Troublesome Themes

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Many people I know on a spiritual path have discovered a recurring theme in their life. They may even discover it goes back thousands of years. They find ongoing reason to feel angry or abandoned or guilty or unheard or similar. The odd thing is, this comes from a story that’s driven by unresolved trauma going back to an ancient fall in consciousness. We’re finally in a time where that story can be seen and released. Meantime, we continue to inflict ourselves with this theme. We may find ourselves amplifying circumstances that arise normally but relate to the story. See! … Continue Reading…

Styles of Action

The world is as you are. The way we experience life has a lot to do with how we experience who we are. When we’re ego-identified, we’re often in an adversarial relationship with others and the world. They respond in kind. We often don’t even realize we’re doing this until it begins to stop. We have few experiential reference points for anything else. What’s arising has a purpose – perhaps to show you what you’re resisting, to bring an opportunity for resolution, to learn, or to move forward (or all of the above). As we become more conscious, the role … Continue Reading…

Nature’s Support

I’ve worked with the concept of “nature’s support” since the 70’s and have come to perceive the mechanics. I’ve written on the topic before, but sometimes more obscurely. The subject came up on Choice and Surrender and it became clear I needed to say more. When you put your attention on something or act towards it, is this movement supported or not? Do you get smooth and easy results or obstacles? Where are results happening? In the direction intended or over to one side? Nature in this case refers to the world – the environment and others. How is what … Continue Reading…

The Awakening Intellect

On a recent retreat, Lorne Hoff spoke of the role of the intellect in awakening. I thought the point valuable to share. When we first wake up, there is often an unknowing. We step into a place we’ve never been in many lifetimes. It is Self that wakes up to itself, well beyond the mind and any concepts we may have about it. We shift from experiencing ourselves as an egoic me to infinite and eternal being. It is like nothing changes and everything changes, both. It feels perfectly ordinary and normal. We can be surprised how simple the shift … Continue Reading…

Choice and Surrender

There is a curious dance in the progression of life between choice and letting go. A key feature of early childhood is separation from mother and establishing a sense of personal self. As we approach spiritual awakening, we learn a new process of surrender, of letting go of those old habits of personal self. This allows the deeper cosmic Self to emerge from behind our constructs. With awakening, the process of surrender deepens into more subtle layers of being. But it also deepens right on the surface. We discover the ego has been laying claim to our thoughts and actions … Continue Reading…

Acceptance is Without Blame

There is a common idea in spiritual circles that enlightenment is “the solution” and it will make all our problems go away. This isn’t necessarily even taught or conscious. It is the mind’s tendency to interpret this way. For example, when I say “life is bliss” or “awakening is becoming infinite peace,” we can naturally assume this will wash away our old life. However, our stage of development is a stage in our humanity, not a step out of it. The person ceases to be the center of our being, but we remain in the field of karma and humanity. … Continue Reading…

The Great Shadows

While I’ve explored karma in several other posts, I thought it would be useful to take it another step into application. As the saying goes, we come into this life with a suitcase of karma to work through. There will be lots of little bits plus a few big ones. We might call the biggies life lessons or life challenges. They’ll show up in certain areas of our life and not in others. For example, we may have reasonable health and good work but relationship challenges and issues with money. These things seem to be ongoing or show up repeatedly. … Continue Reading…

On Spiritual Materialism

I wasn’t going to write on this until I saw a glaring example on-line. As we grow on the spiritual path and clear some of our shadows, what remains becomes more subtle and elusive. We may emulate seekers around us who are actually spiritual materialists. These are people using spirituality in service of the I-self or me. Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising explores the issue. “…we may take up yoga classes, change the way we behave and who we associate with, and learn to speak the language of spirituality. Although the original intent for liberation was genuine, the I-self stealthily … Continue Reading…

How Many Brains?

In some ways, the whole body can be seen as a “brain” in the sense that the brain is an interface with mind and consciousness. However, there are certain centers that are more focused as a nerve plexus. We could say they’re more connected. We usually think of the brain as being in the head between our ears but recent research has discovered other major centers of nerve concentration that have other specializations. The brain between the ears is composed of about 100 billion neurons. It behaves as the central processor, the place where most of our sensing is interfaced … Continue Reading…

What is Destruction?

We tend to see change as a loss, partly because the ego likes to feel in control. It’s also disturbing tamas, our inertia. And yet, the cycle of growth requires change: balance, disintegration, growth, integration, and repeat. Without disintegration, there is no growth, no transformation. Life is inherently change. Our very life depends on the transformation of food, water, and breath. And if we look around us we see that change is the order of the day. In fact, the world around us is being recreated in every moment. The only reason it doesn’t completely change every time is because … Continue Reading…