The Humanity of a Teacher

Humanity by Bryan Ledgard

I’ve written a few articles about modern issues with spiritual teachers. Students often see enlightenment as a superhuman perfection. We see the teacher as beyond mistakes. If a teacher buys into such ideas, they can create a large blind spot. Unresolved identity or unconscious needs are bound to be acted out with students. Expecting perfection, students may excuse the behaviour as “crazy wisdom” or similar. The Westernization of spiritual teaching has meant that most teachers are now independent, sometimes affiliated with a lineage and sometimes not. They’re often outside of any peer-support structure and often lack understanding of relationship power … Continue Reading…

Nested Dharma, Nested Karma

Nest by Furtwangl

Down on the level of Buddhi, the intellect and intuition, the interactions of the fine devata create relationships. These structure the subtle or sacred geometry that defines the forms of our world. These subtle structures are composed of sutras or threads of light. We can describe them as structured flows of light, feeling, and sound. Those fine threads are sustained by tubes, like insulation on a wire. Flowing attention curves back on itself in a spiral down the thread, creating a tube. These tubes are embodied as subtle life-forms known as nagas. These are ancient and benevolent beings, quite different … Continue Reading…

The Sex Chakra

bears kiss

Sex is fundamental to our nature as humans. We have an imperative to reproduce. Most cultures set expectations around sex to ensure healthy outcomes. For example, a committed relationship. This ensures the resulting off-spring are cared for and people are treated respectfully. Too often, expectations become rules that lead to suppression. The powerful energies of creativity are distorted by unnatural guidelines. For example, in the grand cycles of time, spirituality came to emphasize renunciation and celibacy. Yet only a small percent of the population is suited to long-term celibacy. Adopting it inappropriately leads to it leaking out in unhealthy ways. … Continue Reading…

Vulnerability

Vulnerability by Rabiem22

The third chakra or power center in our upper belly shows up in several ways. In the first style, it operates in a mode of forced protection. We seek to control, to influence others, to compete or dominate, to get what I want, to be the fittest, and so forth. We grasp at what we want and resist and suppress what we don’t want. In the second style, we fall into a more passive protection. We feel powerless, submissive, and have difficulty making choices. We seek others to help us but they are often the first type who victimize us … Continue Reading…

In the Big Picture

Milky Way from Big Bend by Vincent Lock

If we see our lives as small and insignificant, we may be excused for spending it on escape. If we see our efforts at spiritual progress as temporary and with limited benefit, we can be excused for drifting away. But this is thinking small. I’ve mentioned before how Atman and Sattva, consciousness and clarity, are cumulative through lifetimes. Let’s look at this more closely. With the right practices and circumstances, we very much have the potential to awaken in this lifetime. Not everyone will shift, perhaps because of karmic backlog. But none of it is a waste. When the body … Continue Reading…

Healing Mind, Healing Emotion

velvet cross

In a discussion on Healing Trauma, the subject of talk therapy came up. While I’m not a psychologist, I can see the value of related therapies in digesting difficult experiences. Being able to talk it out with someone accepting can be valuable. That may be all it takes. However, if the issue has any depth, talking it out will only resolve it for the mind. If we don’t heal the deeper energetic source, that experience will come around again and shadow our life. Similarly, if there is a need to keep talking about it, the source or driver hasn’t been … Continue Reading…

Fixing Ourselves

1950 Ford Convertible

On this blog, I regularly speak of the value of healing and cleaning up to support our spiritual journey and quality of life. However, when we have an identified ego, we’re driven by a mind and intellect who see themselves as separate and in need of protection. The intellect divides and the mind judges, often as bad. You see this in spiritual circles in insisting on the “one truth,” the “nonduality manscape,” spiritual materialism, and so on. When the ego co-opts the healing process, there is the tendency to see ourselves as broken and needing repair. Ego knows it’s not … Continue Reading…

Action and Bliss

Turtle.

Another conversation brought out further points around action.  They mentioned the “Law of Reversed Effort” in this short article*. “The harder we try the less we shall succeed.” “The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent unknown quantity may take hold. We cannot make ourselves understand; the most we can do is to … Continue Reading…

Action and Support

Kalani.

The recent article Natures Support lead to some further questions and discussion that are worth exploring. Karma is an eastern word that means action. It is energy with a motivator in it. For every action there is an equal reaction, a consequence. Usually, when people are talking about karma, they’re talking consequences. When we resist what is arising in our life, we can prevent the flow of energy from completing. Thus it cycles around again in the future. This is the wheel of karma. If there has been a history of resistance, which is typical, a backlog builds up. This … Continue Reading…

Awakening Attitude

Jack-Jack.

Recently, I saw an excellent article by John Welwood in Tricycle magazine called The Psychology of Awakening. Too often, awakening and psychological health are seen as different worlds even though they’re closely entwined. “…even among advanced spiritual practitioners, certain islands — unexamined complexes of personal and cultural conditioning, blind spots, or areas of self-deception — may often remain intact within the pure stream of their realization.” This is very true. They can remain unseen until events trigger them. Yet even then, if we see ourselves as separate from our humanity, we may excuse our bad behaviour or blame others. I’ve … Continue Reading…

Nature’s Support

ocean of love

I wrote about Nature’s Support last spring but the topic has come around again from a different angle.   There is an idea in eastern philosophy known as the support of nature. As we stop resisting life and instead learn to work with what is arising, we cooperate with the flow of life in and around us. Our desires are then fulfilled more easily, we can work out problems faster, and what we need just shows up.   Keep in mind that everything that happens is being done. Our cooperation allows those who support us to support us more easily. … Continue Reading…

Dreaming Awake

rainbow lcd

Last month, Lori Ann Lothian posted an article about her awakening process. In it she described how she recently woke up, then realized she had lost her prior awakening during a 2-year series of difficult events. She’d been living in a kind of dream or memory of being awake but didn’t realize it until she’d woken up again.   As is typical of Lori, it is an open, honest, and direct sharing. I agree that some spiritual teachers who consider themselves enlightened have fallen into a similar boat. For example, having to come back to Self to refresh it is … Continue Reading…