The Source of Grace

There is a curious paradox in spiritual practice. On the one hand, awakening and progress in consciousness happens through grace, through the hand of the Divine. Awakening isn’t an experience or something a person does or has – it’s an awakening from the person. There is nothing we can do directly to make it happen. And yet, we are not separate from the Divine. The Divine moves though us to prepare the way and organize circumstances that allow grace to happen. This shows up as the opportunity for good practices, teachers, books, and so forth. As the renowned sage Vasishtha … Continue Reading…

Divinity – The Power and The Glory

Before awakening, we engage in self development. This is a person getting to know its strengths and limitations and moving towards self-actualization. Most people are oblivious to their own cosmic nature. After awakening and throughout the development of the stages of Self Realization (Cosmic Consciousness) and Unity, the focus shifts to infinite and eternal consciousness. This is discovering our deeper nature and its dynamics. It is consciousness getting to know itself in essence, then in forms and phenomena. And yet, just as the person obscured our deeper nature, the screen of consciousness acts as a covering (Chhandas) for what is … 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…

The Dasha Mahavidya

The Dasha Mahavidya

I touched on the Mahavidya in The Mahavidya Interview but needed more research to do a proper job. As I mentioned there, the Dasha Mahavidya (10 great knowledge) are from Tantra and are embodied by 10 goddesses. While the gods are embodiments of laws of nature, the goddesses are embodiments of the powers (Shakti) that drive them and all of creation. The first cannot function without the power of the second. These goddesses tend to be portrayed with a destructive or dark emphasis, like in the Wikipedia article on the topic. There also is an emphasis on their names, forms, … Continue Reading…

The Christian Meaning of Enlightenment

In “The Christian Meaning of Enlightenment”, Franciscan priest Richard Rohr gives a Catholic perspective on western faith and the loss of its non-dual perspective. He refers to his teaching as a “Franciscan alternative orthodoxy.” He makes many excellent points though I’d disagree experiencing a “unitive” experience once will do the job. It may certainly change one’s perspective. But actual non-duality is not an experience. It is a lived reality with the resulting seeing he speaks of. For example, he spoke about us not having the software to see – right after making a statement about the exclusive uniqueness of Christianity … Continue Reading…

The Mahavidya Interview

Rick Archer recently interviewed Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D. on Buddha at the Gas Pump. The conversation revolved primarily around her first book, Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness The interview opened with a short discussion on Direct vs Progressive, the topic of last fall’s SAND panel I was on. I found Kavitha’s approach sensible. Not sure why she was using a Buddhist term, but it seems a popular framing these days. The 10 Mahavidya (great knowledge) are from Tantra and embodied by 10 goddesses. Key to understand is that the gods are embodiments of features … Continue Reading…

The Light Body

“The light body” is one of those almost meaningless terms that float around in spiritual circles. While experiencing inner light is very nice, what is it being experienced? And does that really have anything to do with other things you’ve heard? For example, all seven koshas (sheaths) can be experienced as “light bodies.” From the glow of consciousness right up to reflected light from physical bodies, all the sheaths can be perceived with light; from infinite and formless to cloud-like to solid form. Usually by “light body” people are talking about the prana (energy body) or an aura of it. … Continue Reading…

Rose List Follow-up

I’ve been asked about recent events on Rose Rosetree‘s blog so it seems I need to speak to this. Back in the spring of 2013, I wrote my first article on Rose’s work. The Rose List discussed her curious Enlightenment Life List. Curious because it includes both people I’d agree were enlightened and surprises like famous people who probably didn’t consider themselves so. It would be hard for someone clearly awake not to know they were. As I said at the time, I’d keep an open mind and explore her work further. I went on to write a series of … Continue Reading…

Everything Awakens

I’ve spoken in several ways about the dynamics of consciousness. Fundamentally, there are three aspects – the observer, the object of observation, and the process of observation. We can even map the enlightenment process to those aspects being realized as Self; the first in Self Realization, the second in Unity, and the third in Refined Unity into Brahman But we can also notice a fourth aspect – that of global awareness, able to observe the above process. This isn’t really another aspect: it’s the other three united as one lively alertness or fundamental awareness. This carries forward into post-Unity stages … Continue Reading…

Outside Inside

Kristin’s talk brought thoughts about the way “finding the outside within” can evolve. During our voyage of self-discovery, this process can be a key theme in our subjective experience of reality. We often start out experiencing only the outside as real. This is one reason that we look for answers, needs, and solutions outside of ourselves – that’s where it seems real. There’s a very distinct boundary between that and our inner experiences. For many, the inner experience is unpredictable, foggy, and painful. And blamed on things outside of us. After we take up a spiritual practice or through an awe-inspiring experience, … Continue Reading…

Will Everyone Become Enlightened?

“Do you think it is possible for everyone to get enlightened in this life?..” In a word, no. However, it is possible for everyone to experience life “as-if” enlightened, potentially in this life. To explain… Some people’s lives are built for enlightenment. It’s their destiny and can be seen in a jyotish chart. They’ve done the preparation and awakening will naturally flower in life when the time (grace) comes. Some of those will also move quickly into higher stages. Others come in with greater or lesser potential. Because of the nature of the times, more people with strong potential were … Continue Reading…