The Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers

APST Panel

Through the cycle of descending ages, most spiritual traditions came to overemphasize the masculine – both in approach and in domination by men. This has led to drier, more austere forms of spirituality and issues with repression. Those traditions cultured well-prepared teachers though. Teaching did not begin until they were trained and deemed ready by their mentors. Rising consciousness is bringing a gradual restoration of the feminine. This means healing emotions, relationships, and raising women into leadership roles. It also leads to a much richer unfolding when both our masculine and feminine aspects are supported. Today we see many independent … Continue Reading…

How Far, How Fast

awake

On a recent post, questions came up about why some seem to move quickly and some slowly on the spiritual path. Also, why some seem to go further than others. The biggest thing to note up front is that it’s very difficult to gauge progress subjectively. Much of the progress and preparation takes place out of conscious awareness. We’re not conscious of changes the crown chakra is making, for example. We also have no idea how much work there is to do. But there are milestones on the journey. I can’t suggest every variable but there are some typical factors … Continue Reading…

Troublesome Themes

feather

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…

The Pace of Change

Many people experience the world speeding up. This is partly an effect of our perception of time. As we shift through the decades, our metabolism gradually slows and time seems to go by faster*. This causes the pace of change to seem to increase. However, technology is also speeding up change. Many of us have seen the demise of steno pools, switchboard operators, typists, telex operators, and more. Contacting people in another city has shifted from “snail mail” and “long distance” to nearly instant global communications. Thomas Frey predicted 5 years ago that half of all current jobs will disappear … Continue Reading…

Perspective

A worthwhile read in the New York Times Sunday Review: Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History. I’d change that to “known history” but he touches on some important points. Things are, for people the world over, getting better. The news media focuses on the lowest common denominator – an identified ego that wants to know what’s wrong and who’s to blame. Then it can feel better about itself and confirm inner fears about the world. However, the author says “That’s because most of the time, quite rightly, we focus on things going wrong.” The “quite rightly” is … Continue Reading…

Pilgrimage

Recently, I was asked about the role of pilgrimage. Generally, I’d place pilgrimage as a practice related to faith or devotion. However, some pilgrimages are more about an odyssey, perhaps having a therapeutic purpose. Sometimes they’re used in coming-of-age rites. And sometimes people talk of the spiritual journey itself as an inner pilgrimage. Difficulties are often associated with a pilgrimage, perhaps as a rite of purification. But care must be taken not to make it about “purity through suffering.” Humility and letting go are important lessons that may be difficult to learn but suffering is not the wise door home. … Continue Reading…

The Ramayana

The Ramayana is an epic story of the life of Rama, a prince in a kingdom of ancient India and an avatar of Vishnu (god in form, sent to restore balance). There are many versions of the epic tale. The original was told by Valmiki using his yogic vision. While Valmiki was visited by Rama, their time together physically was brief. He later wrote this epic poem about Rama’s life and taught it to Rama’s sons, who Rama didn’t then know existed (it’s complicated). To give a sense of the scale of the story, it took 300 episodes to tell … Continue Reading…

Power

In the mists of ancient time, group consciousness was in a downward cycle and took a somewhat distinct fall. There was a great deal of confusion and discord as cultures collapsed. Some entities took control over many people energetically and physically. It was a short, messy time but until recently, consciousness was not high enough to clear the residual effects of that time. It has cast a shadow for centuries. Current world events are partly about bringing those old power and control dynamics to the surface to be seen and released. As always, the desire for power and control is an … Continue Reading…

The Long Time Sun

May the long time sun shine upon you all love surround you and the pure light within you guide your way home In writing another article, I thought of this verse and it seemed appropriate. However, when I looked up its source, I found another curious mis-attribution. The verse is often referred to as an Irish blessing or a Sikh or Kundalini closing prayer. It’s actually from the closing section of the long A Very Cellular Song by The Incredible String Band. The song is a mixture of parts that include an ode to an amoeba (hence the title) that … Continue Reading…

Amount of Practice

I’ve been getting quite a few queries about “technique time” from readers of Rose Rosetree’s blog. She recommends a maximum of 20 minutes a day of “spiritual” practice. That includes anything that takes your attention away from your physical life. I recommend an effortless meditation like TM, normally done 2 x 20 minutes a day. Other things would of course be on top of that. My position is that 40 minutes a day is no problem when it’s balanced with normal daily activity in the world. Where it becomes a problem is if we’re spending much of our attention on remembering … Continue Reading…

Cosmically Conscious

This is a throwback song Paul McCartney wrote in an ashram in Rishikesh, India in 1968. Interestingly, 5 of the performers where also there, including Ringo Starr (briefly), Donovan, Mike Love (of the Beach Boys), and flautist Paul Horn. Singing it together again over 40 years later. The course was historical in that it brought huge attention to eastern thought and lead to millions learning to meditate. It also lead to a blossoming of music like the White Album, Paul’s Inside series, and Donovan’s Cosmic Wheels and Essence to Essence. One song was later broadcast Across the Universe. On YouTube … Continue Reading…

Forms of Speech

I often notice myself referring to writing here as “talking” or “speaking”, because this is how it is experienced – I am writing what is being said within. The best material is from documenting the flow. I’ve written before about the 4 levels of speech. These are: – Para – the beyond – Pashyanti – the first impulse, flow – Madhyama – thoughts, the mind ‘speaking’ – Vaikhari – spoken We might call writing a 5th level of speech although it’s probably more true to call it a 6th level, after recordings of Vaikhari. These levels also reflect the age. … Continue Reading…