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…

Mental Activity

Samara by quapan

One of the curious features of being human is that we assume others experience the world the same way we do. We may expect people to see things the same way also, considering them mistaken if they don’t. We do typically run from the same collective experience of the world around us. But the variations in how we process and interpret that can vary significantly. For example, do you experience the world as dangerous and fearful? Or full of opportunities? Do you have any colour blindness? What about hearing range? Do you have a large social life or live like … Continue Reading…

Mind and Intellect

Wing by AJC1

A reader asked me to speak more on the distinction between our mind and our intellect. Basically, mind is a field that processes sensory input, gives meaning and words to experiences via memory, and contains thoughts and ideas. It is the associator. This experience means this. Intellect is the discriminator. Right and wrong, good and bad, etc. It works behind the mind, discriminating what is valuable to notice, what has meaning, and what we can ignore (most of it). Some experience the intellect as intuition or fine feelings. When it’s clear, it can bring knowingness. Ego, ahamkara or I-sense is … Continue Reading…

Types of Vasanas

Plug by Gideon Tsang

I had a recent insight into Vasanas I wanted to share. Let’s define some terms as we go. The “pain body” is our unresolved emotions. The vasana are more subtle than this. After we’ve resolved a lot of old, previously incomplete emotions, we become more conscious of our deeper drivers behind that. Vasana means unresolved desire or driver. These can express as addictions or latent tendencies. This energy can drive much of our behaviour, seeking resolution. For example, we may fall in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate. If it’s mild, our interest will fade and we’ll move on. If … Continue Reading…

Food and Ethics

That Way by Justin Baeder

Yoga and Buddha tell us to do no harm. Gandhi and Martin Luther King spoke of non-violence. But how do we apply this in our daily lives? It can be tricky territory in practice. For example, when we breathe, our body kills the bacteria in the air. When we walk, we step on things we can’t see. Our physical body requires the life-force of other life forms to survive. We might set a standard not to eat mammals, for example. But the line is pretty gray. One of the curious experiences that can arise in Unity stage or a bit … Continue Reading…

Choice

Choices by Mafo Souza

One of the curious aspects of being human is the sense of free will. This sense varies over a large range, depending on our life experiences and stage of development. But there is always some value of choice. Higher beings live a life in service to the whole and can easily fulfill desires. Choice isn’t prominent then. Animals experience life more instinctively so again, choice isn’t prominent. Humans sit in a range that can vary quite a bit. Some experience little choice and may feel life is fated or even feel trapped. Others celebrate their self-determination or get overwhelmed by … Continue Reading…