What is Mind?

Untitled by Joost Markerink

Mind is a big topic. Fundamentally, mind is a kosha or field around our body that is the medium for what we experience as thinking. But there’s a great deal more to it than that. Let’s explore my current take. This field surrounds the whole body but we feel mind is “in the head” because the senses are concentrated there. Mind is the hub that processes and integrates our senses. It also interfaces with the brain and nervous system and emotional body in one direction. And the other way with the intellect, memory, and cosmic mind. The cosmic mind is … Continue Reading…

Flavours of Karma

Halloween moon

Karma means action. Action or energy always seeks balance so for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we resist the consequences that flow from our actions, we can develop energetic sludge and knots. Resistance doesn’t stop the flow of action but can interfere with its smoothness and completion. This is much like a log can partly block a pipe. Water still flows but there can be a build-up and eddies. The log and the water both seek resolution and the disturbance shadows our daily experience. The cycles of time and the collective determine when older consequences … Continue Reading…

On Surrender

Sunset over W Courtenay

Surrender is a key part of enlightenment unfolding. A recent question has led me to explore the word in more detail. The surrender I refer to is not giving away our power. That is submission, keeping our control but giving responsibility for it to someone else. That is disempowering. True Surrender is allowing; it is letting go; it is permitting life to lead us; it is harmonizing with the Divine. Surrender is allowing our higher nature to lead, letting go of the controller, our ego identification. Once the controller falls way, we can begin to operate from our infinite source. … Continue Reading…

Transcending – The Means

bubble diagram

Regular readers know I frequently mention effortless meditation. This is because of the key role it plays in culturing the ground for enlightenment. Over time, I’ve come to see its value more and more deeply. Yet there’s a key point about practices to make. Enlightenment isn’t caused by anything we do. It arises from the grace of the Divine. The purpose of spiritual practices is not to get enlightened but to prepare the ground. Then when grace arises, the shift is more likely to be smooth and supported. If the ground is not ready, grace will come as a profound … Continue Reading…

The Fear of Joy

from Viva Arte Viva by Fred Romero

I talk here about bliss in articles like 100x the Bliss, Life is Bliss, Nested Bliss, and so forth. Joy is fundamental to our well-being and innate to life itself. When we experience pure life, it is pure bliss. And yet because bliss arises at a more subtle level, joy can be a difficult emotion to access. It requires openness and vulnerability. But opening can trigger fear of being hurt. Brené Brown calls this foreboding joy. That’s the catch. Even though we crave joy, we can also fear it as it makes us vulnerable. Feeling happiness can seem like tempting … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

La Petite Concierge painting by Francis Smith

This is one of life’s big questions. Most people identify with things like their name, work, background, nationality, skin colour, tastes, and so forth. But these are stories about ourselves or roles we’ve adopted. They have little to do with who we actually are. New Age approaches usually focus on upgrading the filters and stories we tell ourselves. A better story for a better life. Eastern paths can take this further with self-inquiry: who are we behind the stories? But as I’ve mentioned before, if there isn’t a practice that takes us beyond the mind into source, what is culturing … Continue Reading…

Maturation

Rejection by William Bromley

I talk here mostly about waking up and healing. But there is another key part for a rich and healthy life – maturation. If we look at standard models of human development, we can see there is an inner progression.   Stages of Development   Age Area (Alexander) Cognitive (Piaget) Kosha 0-2 Behaviour and Senses Sensori-motor Anna- 2-7 Desires and Emotions Pre-operations Prana- 7-11 Mind Concrete Operations Manon- 11-18 Intellect Formal Operations Vijnana- 18-25 Feelings and Intuition Post-Formal Ops a/a 25+ Individual Ego [Myness]     Universal [Amness, Iness] Ananda- As new-borns, we learn to operate physically, then emotionally, then … Continue Reading…

A Conversation with Andrew Hewson on the Stages of Enlightenment

feather

After our conversation with Dorothy Rowe earlier this month, Andrew Hewson suggested we have another conversation ourselves. We explored the stages of enlightenment and some variations in terminology around the topics. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did. On YouTube

A Conversation on Bypassing

feather

The Association for Spiritual Integrity (ASI) is holding a series of peer-to-peer discussions. In this conversation, Craig Holliday, a spiritual teacher and therapist, and I discuss how spiritual practices and concepts can be used to escape from the world or our unresolved trauma. Neither of us was happy with the quality of the recorded video so we may have a second conversation. I wrote about the ASI when they launched last fall. Other peer-to-peer discussions can be found on the ASI blog. Davidya

Mind Awareness

Sunday Morning Pleasures by Caroline

Most people experience awareness through the mind. We may well think our mind’s awareness and understanding is consciousness. Our daily experience can easily verify this impression. As the physiology cycles though the states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping, the mind is drawn along for the ride. This carries mind awareness too. Consciousness does seem to be a side-effect of brain functioning. The brain is an interface like a radio receiver – it doesn’t produce anything we experience. Our senses gather information and the brain filters the data for relevance and passes it on to the mind. The mind builds the … Continue Reading…

Preyas and Shreyas

Sunday morning pleasures by Caroline

Recently, I read an article by Kavitha Chinnaiyan M.D. on Preyas and Shreyas. It’s not an approach I’ve explored before but one that can shed some insight. Preyas means pleasing, desired, gratifying, a lover; what appeals to the senses. Shreyas comes from the root “shri,” which means auspiciousness or radiant and also support. In a spiritual path we seek the support of the auspicious like an enlightened master or natures support. In the opening of Krishna’s discourse to Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita or Song of God, he outlines the key: Contacts (of the senses) with their objects, O … Continue Reading…

Where is the Resistance?

Resistance by Monika

The experience of resistance can be a very useful flag. But it’s important to look into it and see where it’s coming from. Is it within us or from around us? Where do we feel it? If an event arises in life and we have a strong and sustained reaction, we know there is an inner resistance and an emotional charge here to be resolved. For example, someone makes an off-hand comment that dismisses something important to us. Do we roll our eyes or flame up in anger and resentment? The latter shows a past experience is influencing our present. … Continue Reading…