The Dalai Lama’s Atlas of Emotions

Recently, a friend sent me news of a unique collaboration. The Dalai Lama had asked an American scientist to help him form an Atlas of Emotions. Dr. Paul Ekman surveyed scientists in related fields the world over to find some consensus on the nature of emotions and the moods and states they produce. The Dalai Lama said the concept of mood is missing from the Tibetan worldview so he was delighted by it. The research led to 5 categories of emotions:  anger, fear, disgust, sadness and enjoyment. You may recognize the 5 characters in the Disney film Inside Out. Ekman … Continue Reading…

Styles of Enlightenment

As readers of this blog know, I explore various ways of looking at how enlightenment or spiritual awakening is lived. Here, I don’t mean how the changes are experienced but rather the styles of embodying it. The container we experience those changes through. Here is a brief list of some of the distinctions that come to mind: 1) Orientation – Householder or Renunciate 2) Emphasis – Consciousness and Energy 3) Path – Intellect, Heart, and Body 4) Dominant Sense – sight, hearing, touch 5) Lifestyle and Philosophy – how we apply the above 6) Stage & Cycle – our current … Continue Reading…

Self Validation

Our sense of being separate arises historically with a loss of a sense of the divine. We respond in fear by grasping at what is still known. This grasping creates a sense of separate identity leading to the me-sense. Because fear and our individuality then dominates our sense of self, the mind makes stories to feel more secure and “in control”. It then filters all the incoming information, rejecting what doesn’t align with the story and magnifying what does. We thus feel safe, justified, and right. But all of this is validated by external circumstances. We use appearances to validate … Continue Reading…

Forms of Love

I’ve written before on the power of love and the distinction between an identified emotion we call love and the deeper Love that is the flow of life itself. The Greeks classified love as having 4 kinds: Eros, Storge, Philia, & Agape Eros is the flow of passion and desire, of sexual and sensual love. It is the flow between two lovers. Being more instinctual, it is driven more by the lower or instinctual brain in the Triune brain* model. Yet Plato defined it as the more detached love of Beauty. Storge is the love between a parent and child. … Continue Reading…

The Shadows of Awakening

Recently, I made a point to watch the Craig Holliday BATGAP interview. It’s something I’d intended prior but after meeting him at the panel discussion, became a greater priority. He’s both a Nondual teacher and professional Counsellor. His interview illustrated another variation on the theme, his stages unfolding at slightly different chakras and a major kundalini process later in the game than usual. But of particular interest was his mention of the shadow side of awakening. In other words, each stage of development can bring with it problems if there is lack of integration or an unresolved barrier to it. … Continue Reading…

Sofia Panel Discussion

During the Science and Nonduality pre-conference, Rick Archer organized a large panel discussion at Sofia University. From the left: Laurie Moore, Susanne Marie, Mariana Caplan, Dana Sawyer, Francis Bennett, Craig Holliday (speaking), Kristin Kirk, Rick Archer (moderator), Clare Blanchflower, myself, Chuck Hillig, David Ellzey, Kiran, and Jeffery Martin (host). Canela Michelle Meyers arrived during the afternoon session. She was seated on the left. Most of the group are prior BATGAP interviewees and many where speaking at SAND. The panel was too large and long to do at SAND itself so Jeffery offered us Sofia in nearby Palo Alto. For links … Continue Reading…

Efforting

There is a subtle but profound difference between simple acting and efforting. Hawkins called this Power vs Force. Our culture celebrates individual effort but does not discriminate between these. The result is many people trying to control and force things, largely leading to frustration, anger, and other forms of suffering. The key is action, but learning to be in the flow or current. Learning to work with nature rather than against her. Sometimes we have to dial up the power, but only to move through. If we instead try to force our way through nature, we push against an obstacle … Continue Reading…

Kristin on Release

Finally got a chance to listen to Kristin Kirk‘s talk from last years SAND conference. Called “Dissolving the Substance of the Conditioned Self”, she explores the awareness and release process she adopted. My own process has been similar and thus what I’ve described on this site. But here you can hear a simple refreshing clarity in her words, from her experience. She also has a very refreshing take on how to see your yourself through this process. While her skill level is much higher than most peoples, the process she describes is possible for everyone. And each knot of “substance” … Continue Reading…

Merciful God

[Maharishi asks himself this question] “How do you know that God has been merciful in creating Man? “God has created eternal bliss in the innermost area of Man’s personality.  In the innermost region of Man, He has filled that with infinite happiness, infinite energy, infinite intelligence.  In the outer aspect of Man’s personality, He has created the desire to go that way – the desire to go to more happiness, more energy, more intelligence.  This nature of the outside life, to flow in the direction of more and more and more and more, this is the nature.  So Man’s outer … Continue Reading…

On Karma, Bliss, and Love

This came up in another non-spiritual forum. I was asked some questions about Yoga. This was the result. You’re wise to focus on results rather than concepts. Too much of philosophy and religion is about concepts and beliefs and who’s right rather than how we’re actually living. The point is to support a better life. I would suggest it’s not so much that we achieve understanding of the true nature of karma but rather that through transcendence/ samadhi, we detach our identification with our sense of personal “me” and experiences. This has the effect of us detaching from the flow … Continue Reading…

Beyond Good and Bad

Most of us carry around large loads of energetic debris, also known as karma. Karma means action, in this case what physics might call potential energy. Only this energy is “loaded”. It has an agenda. It is seeking to return to balance and resolve it’s polarity. It has a direction it wishes to take, based on the energy that threw it out of balance in the first place. When it becomes active, we have experiences and events in our life, be they physical, emotional, or mental. You may also have noticed that such events don’t tend to be neutral but … Continue Reading…

How Does it Feel?

While many people are averse to noticing how they really feel, this is actually related to emotional noise rather then our deeper feeling values. This noise is about unresolved anger, fear, insecurity, and so forth. We could call it emotional inflammation. If we can learn to resolve some of that drama, we can discover the rich feelings beneath that. These feelings are also called things like intuition, the still small voice, our compass, and so forth. Whenever we’re facing difficult or big decisions in life, we can struggle with expectations or doubts or fears. But if we can settle some, … Continue Reading…