Unity vs Duality

Early on, silence and expression can seem opposed. For example, in a meditation practice, we may seek Yoga. Yoga Sutra 1 v2-3: Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind. Then the observer is established in their own nature. Seeking a silent mind, we may rail against the mind’s constant expression. And yet that railing is the mind wanting to control. Or as Yoga puts it, aversion that leads to suffering rather than liberation. In an effortless practice, we allow the mind to do its thing – partly because the practice causes the physiology to settle and … Continue Reading…

Karma Collecting

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To feel in control and secure, we identify with experiences of what is here. I experience through this body-mind so it is me. This is my job. These are my possessions. These are my friends, partner, etc. This expands into stories for the mind that support the agenda. This identification emphasizes two qualities: inertia and sustaining. These maintain the experience as it is, even when life is changing. Yet the only constant in the world is change. Things are always changing, dissolving, and growing. When we resist change, we experience pain. Pain is a signal something is wrong. And yet … Continue Reading…

The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy

Adya @ SAND17

Adyashanti gave an excellent talk @ SAND17 called The Paradox of Unity and Spiritual Autonomy. I heard this live. A friend sent me the link as it’s now on-line. In the first part, he goes over the early stages of enlightenment (head, heart, gut) and the importance of the awakening heart. He then uses this as the platform to talk about how our old drivers fall away with awakening. How it’s important to go deeper and open the heart so higher drivers can come on-line. Then he talks about some of the paradoxes of Unity – how we can be … Continue Reading…

Styles of Teachers

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“Spiritual teacher” is a generic term used to describe many types of offerings. It’s useful to be clearer on the differences so you understand what’s there. As usual, I base this on my own observations. Some who use the term are not “spiritual” per se. They teach energy work, healing, concepts, and other modalities related to more subtle but not-yet-spiritual levels. Perhaps they consider themselves spiritual in orientation but even that can be muddy. To me, spiritual means related to source, consciousness, being, and enlightenment. Let’s explore a few related Sanskrit terms first. Guru: many people equate “spiritual teacher” with … Continue Reading…

Wanting Something Else

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When we don’t know who we are, it’s natural to chase things outside of ourselves. The senses tell us satisfaction comes from the world around us so we follow the senses and chase experiences. But nothing they bring us ever lasts. Real satisfaction comes from stepping into the qualities of our deeper nature. We can have tastes of eternal qualities like love, peace, and happiness, but until we awaken there isn’t the stable platform for them to become ongoing. When their presence becomes ongoing, it addresses deep unmet needs, even those we may not be conscious of. This helps heal … Continue Reading…

Simplicity

The most potent things in life are very simple. Love, happiness, peace, sleep. But the mind likes to grasp and control things. Simplicity confounds it. Yet simplicity is a marker of universal principles. Karma or action would be a good example. The rules of action are very simple. For example, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The energy of nature is always seeking a balance of forces. Balance keeps the world sustained. But in its expression, karma is complex beyond imagining. Unfathomable, as the Bhagavad Gita puts it. Simplicity is also the hallmark of the most … Continue Reading…

The Power of Speech

The spoken word is sounds that represent conceptual symbols that have a somewhat shared meaning. For example, if I speak the word “apple”, you’ll have a good idea of what I’m referring to but not a lot of detail. While misunderstanding is common, the spoken word remains an effective way to communicate between two people who experience themselves as separate. The written word, like this article, uses letters to symbolize sounds that symbolize meaning. Some languages use word symbols instead of sound symbols, like Chinese. But either is another step removed and thus a little less powerful. In a sense, … Continue Reading…

The Appearance of the Doers

The deeper you go, the less localized and more universal you get. For example, most experience their body, emotions, and thoughts as local and personal. But as you touch deeper into fine feelings, intuition, and bliss you find them more expansive and less personal. And yet, these more universal values may also feel more intimate as they’re closer to your true Self. We can also look at this another way, through the elements. Earth is very specific, water has a little less distinctive edges, fire even more so. Each is less localized. Ditto the lower 3 chakras. But as you … Continue Reading…

A Calling

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As I wrote about recently, many things in life require action. Life is movement and flow. It requires activity to be sustained. We need to breathe, to eat, to consume, to move to live. If we want to move forward, more is required. We often need to experiment and seek advice for best ways of doing to get a certain result. But if we’re planning to express higher values into life, we need a different approach that’s not driven by action. Spirituality is about being rather than doing. If we come to spiritual teaching as a person wanting results and … Continue Reading…

Troublesome Themes

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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 Right Time for Right Action

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Things happen when it’s time. Not time for you but time for the whole. Time for challenges to unfold, time for benefits, time for birth, time for awakening, time for peace. When it’s time, the circumstances and people show up to help catalyze events. We can do our best to feel into this process and cooperate. Or we can resist and fall into a drama and suffer. For example, people can search for years for the right teacher to awaken. Then they show up when it’s time. The form they arise in may vary from our expectations though. On the … Continue Reading…

Styles of Action

The world is as you are. The way we experience life has a lot to do with how we experience who we are. When we’re ego-identified, we’re often in an adversarial relationship with others and the world. They respond in kind. We often don’t even realize we’re doing this until it begins to stop. We have few experiential reference points for anything else. What’s arising has a purpose – perhaps to show you what you’re resisting, to bring an opportunity for resolution, to learn, or to move forward (or all of the above). As we become more conscious, the role … Continue Reading…