The Fear of Silence

In the face of fear by Fan D

Occasionally, someone will mention their fear of silence, of self-annihilation, or of spiritual practices. Such dread isn’t a quality of silence. Silence is infinite, eternal and deeply peaceful. Alive silence is also blissful. However, that deep settledness we get in silence gives the body deep rest. That’s an opportunity for healing that can trigger purification. One type of purification is bringing old, incomplete emotions to the surface like fear. This is actually desirable. If we’re willing to allow the emotion to arise, it will quickly peak and be resolved. It was just waiting for a chance to complete. Then we’ll … Continue Reading…

Huston’s Yogas

Hindu Wedding Card by Parekh Cards

I’ve been reading Huston Smith’s World Religions for ordination studies. The book is well-written but dominated by recent academic perspectives of the topic. It offers a general overview of the larger faiths, but I wouldn’t base my practices on it. In the Hindu section, Houston outlines the primary Yogas or paths to union.     In brief, these are: – Hatha yoga is the path of the body – Karma yoga is the path of action and perception – Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion – Gyana or jnana yoga is the path of the intellect When I first … Continue Reading…

A Third Conversation with Andrew Hewson

Blue feather

Andrew and I first had a conversation with Dorothy Rowe last fall, then followed up with just the two of us in conversation on the stages of enlightenment. In December Andrew and I had a second conversation. And now, we’ve had another wide-ranging discussion. The focus was primarily of the refinement of perception, healing, and the unfolding of the layers of Divinity (the topic of my 2nd dissertation). On Youtube

The Image of God

Divine Light by Andrew Kudrin

Just like stages in consciousness, there are stages in knowing the Divine. The first stage is the most common, a stage of belief or disbelief. God as an idea we believe in or don’t, often from what we’ve read or been told. A mental concept. Every faith has their own image of the Divine. What does God look like? What is God called? How many names do we give That? Many Westerners carry an odd picture of an old man in a throne in the sky, probably derived from Sunday-school children’s books. That is so limited, it’s good to toss … Continue Reading…

The Backstory

Remember When by Normalityrelief

On this blog, I’ve talked about past lives and karma many times. I started remembering prior lives back in the early ’80’s during a period of major challenges (karma). In the Shadbhava article, I talked about the 6 houses or influences we bring into this life: 3 from the bloodline, 3 from prior lives. Yet I hadn’t quite put together that we can carry energetic burdens from both lines. Most discussions on karma relate only to prior lives. Dorothy Rowe talks about ancestral healing of the family baggage passed down, sometimes for generations. You can recognize family “inheritances” through repeating … Continue Reading…

Respect for the Personal

On articles like The Power of Mantra, I’ve mentioned the personal mode of experiencing the world through the heart. I thought we should take the point a little further. First, when we talk about experiencing angels, gods, and the Divine in form, we want to understand some distinctions. There is the level of belief and of following established rituals. These are usually based on someone’s prior experience, often passed down for hundreds of years. Those who are not “believers” may sensibly dismiss such things as superstition. Yet just because you’ve not been to Marrakesh doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If … Continue Reading…

The Power of Mantra

Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Wheel by Jay Galvin

Back on Transcending, I explored right mantra for a meditation practice. I’ve also talked about the language of mantra and how they’re often used. Yet there is a much deeper understanding about mantra that’s largely been lost. But first, some background. People talk today about choosing mantras like they’d choose a chocolate. On Transcending I mentioned the importance of proper instruction so the seed is properly planted and we can connect with the tradition of masters for long-term support. To understand this more, we can go back to fundamentals. Consciousness arises from three fundamental Divine qualities: alertness, liveliness and intelligence. … Continue Reading…

Indifference

Indifference by Damian Gadal

“…The unmanifest Being [pure consciousness, Self] coming to direct experience establishes the reality of oneness of eternal existence: That is the pre-eminent path of gaining knowledge (of reality). “There is no effort, no individual inception of the doer on the path to the experience of the unmanifest Being: Being can only be gained by making use of the thinking process without any reference to any existing thing, without meaning. “With complete indifference (during meditation) to the thoughts relating to activities in the relative world, the direct experience of the Self is gained by one who turns away from all distractions. … Continue Reading…

Awareness of Becoming

Becoming! by Janice Marie Foote

A reader asked me to comment further about the field of becoming where manifestation first begins. From the larger context of this blog, there is pure Divinity, the source of the source. The afterglow of Divinity is Brahman. In Brahman, the first Shakti’s express as alertness, liveliness, and intelligence. When liveliness stirs alertness, it becomes conscious, then becomes self-aware and self-interactive. Alive self-aware consciousness is often considered the source. It is the beginning of becoming and the first kosha or “sheath.” It’s self-interaction creates the subtle space of creation. But this space of consciousness is still too abstract for manifestation. … Continue Reading…

The Range

San Bernardino National Forest

First a brief review of the natural ranges of each level of experience, the koshas or energy bodies: a) physical, etheric b) energy, emotional c) mental, sensory d) intellect, Buddhi, intuition, fine feelings e) bliss, celestial, causal f) qualified or moving consciousness, flow, the “gap” g) atman or cosmic Self, sat, pure consciousness Understanding the function and dynamics of each level is useful due to the fundamental principles in play: 1) Itself or Denser: Each layer or kosha recognizes what it contains and what is more expressed. For example, mind can recognize its thoughts and incoming sensory information. And if … Continue Reading…

Mind and Cognition

Shiva

A question came up I thought would be useful to share here. How do we give words to cognitions if they arise from beyond the intellect? First: what do I mean by cognition here? A cognition is a style of experience that is total knowledge about the object of experience, all at once. It tends to be about some fundamental aspect or law of creation. While everyone can use ritam* to experience what a rishi or seer has cognized, only some people have the gift of cognition. I define the types of cognition here. Quite a few kinds of experience … Continue Reading…

Bhedābheda Vedānta

Vedanta Temple Bell by Ray Sawhill

Vedanta means the end of the Veda or final knowledge and is the last of the 6 systems of Indian Philosophy (Yoga is the 4th). We also know these systems as the Vedanga or subordinate limbs (to the core books of the Veda) and as the Darshana. The core text of Vedanta is the Brahma Sutra of Bādarāyaṇa. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita are also generally considered Vedantic texts. But like any older philosophy, it has drifted into mind and concepts and then to distinct schools of interpretation. There are three primary schools of Vedanta with many sub-branches. The … Continue Reading…