The Utah Talks – 2

Lake Powell, Utah

< Talk 1 This talk started with a 10 min meditation that was not recorded. I start with a bit about listening from silent presence rather than the mind. As one participant said, they didn’t understand any of it but really enjoyed listening. (laughs) Theres a bit of breakup towards the end of this talk. Links to Topics: Doership Free Will and Determinism Natures Support Association of Spiritual Integrity The Humanity of a Teacher Right Action Wake Up, Grow up, Clean Up Dorothy Rowe Hypnosis Sanskrit vs English Name and Form Stages of Becoming The Structure of the World Cognition … Continue Reading…

The Utah Talks – 1

Salt Lake City

Traveling into Utah was a distinctive experience. The altitude is over 4,000 feet and the air dry. The plain by a salt lake is surrounded by large mountains. Salt Lake City has no apparent apartment towers and is spread wide. This is Mormon country. The entire county has streets and addresses laid out on a grid starting from the main temple. The group consciousness has a curious constraint and unsettledness. The talks took place in a private residence, about 2 dozen chairs spread through the living and dining rooms. Attendees were a very diverse group – in age, stage, background, … Continue Reading…

The Backlog

Filing Pile by Cas

The old texts tell us we have mountains of unresolved experiences (karma) in our catalogue. When we learn how to heal and accept experiences that arise, it can seem like an endless task. And that’s just the “suitcase” we came into this life with. What the heck is the point of doing all this work when we have such an endless backlog? It’s important to understand that the purpose of practices of acceptance and healing are not to fix ourselves. We couldn’t possibly process every unresolved experience from innumerable lives. The point of such practices is to shift how we … Continue Reading…

More on Death

Death Valley by Peretz Partensky

Over the years, I’ve written surprisingly often about death. This is because there is a lot of fear and misunderstanding around the topic. Yet we’ve all been there before. Recently a good friend sent me a site on the Vedic approach to death. I wasn’t born into the culture in this life so I don’t follow the rituals much. However, there are useful points we can draw from that understanding to support ourselves and others through this process. Settled Space It’s useful to create a settled environment for the dying. Prayers and meditation are more supportive than expressions of grief. … Continue Reading…

The Humanity of a Teacher

Humanity by Bryan Ledgard

I’ve written a few articles about modern issues with spiritual teachers. Students often see enlightenment as a superhuman perfection. We see the teacher as beyond mistakes. If a teacher buys into such ideas, they can create a large blind spot. Unresolved identity or unconscious needs are bound to be acted out with students. Expecting perfection, students may excuse the behaviour as “crazy wisdom” or similar. The Westernization of spiritual teaching has meant that most teachers are now independent, sometimes affiliated with a lineage and sometimes not. They’re often outside of any peer-support structure and often lack understanding of relationship power … Continue Reading…

Vulnerability

Vulnerability by Rabiem22

The third chakra or power center in our upper belly shows up in several ways. In the first style, it operates in a mode of forced protection. We seek to control, to influence others, to compete or dominate, to get what I want, to be the fittest, and so forth. We grasp at what we want and resist and suppress what we don’t want. In the second style, we fall into a more passive protection. We feel powerless, submissive, and have difficulty making choices. We seek others to help us but they are often the first type who victimize us … Continue Reading…

How Does Infinity Become Lost in a Person?

Sir Kenelm Digby

One of the more curious paradoxes of living life as a human is that we experience ourselves as limited, separate beings. It’s natural for separation to be part of our development. We have to recognize we’re separate from our mother to become a person, for example. And to recognize how we’re different from others to know what we have to offer. But once we know the platform for our life, it’s important to explore who it is that is having these experiences and return to our more universal nature. We’ll do this from a point value or specific perspective. We … Continue Reading…

In the Big Picture

Milky Way from Big Bend by Vincent Lock

If we see our lives as small and insignificant, we may be excused for spending it on escape. If we see our efforts at spiritual progress as temporary and with limited benefit, we can be excused for drifting away. But this is thinking small. I’ve mentioned before how Atman and Sattva, consciousness and clarity, are cumulative through lifetimes. Let’s look at this more closely. With the right practices and circumstances, we very much have the potential to awaken in this lifetime. Not everyone will shift, perhaps because of karmic backlog. But none of it is a waste. When the body … Continue Reading…

Healing Mind, Healing Emotion

velvet cross

In a discussion on Healing Trauma, the subject of talk therapy came up. While I’m not a psychologist, I can see the value of related therapies in digesting difficult experiences. Being able to talk it out with someone accepting can be valuable. That may be all it takes. However, if the issue has any depth, talking it out will only resolve it for the mind. If we don’t heal the deeper energetic source, that experience will come around again and shadow our life. Similarly, if there is a need to keep talking about it, the source or driver hasn’t been … Continue Reading…

Gathering the Means

Growth

On the recent Action and Support post, I talked about Natures Support. Rick Archer reminded me of an old Vedic saying: the means gather around sattva. Let’s discuss. The means here is the ability to get things done effectively. The ability to solve problems and fulfill desires. While we all have levels of skills and abilities, if we don’t have support from the environment to get things done, we’ll struggle and thrash. For example, no matter how great a runner you are, if nature turns the track into mud you won’t do well. We also see this when people move … Continue Reading…

Fixing Ourselves

1950 Ford Convertible

On this blog, I regularly speak of the value of healing and cleaning up to support our spiritual journey and quality of life. However, when we have an identified ego, we’re driven by a mind and intellect who see themselves as separate and in need of protection. The intellect divides and the mind judges, often as bad. You see this in spiritual circles in insisting on the “one truth,” the “nonduality manscape,” spiritual materialism, and so on. When the ego co-opts the healing process, there is the tendency to see ourselves as broken and needing repair. Ego knows it’s not … Continue Reading…

Action and Bliss

Turtle.

Another conversation brought out further points around action.  They mentioned the “Law of Reversed Effort” in this short article*. “The harder we try the less we shall succeed.” “The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent unknown quantity may take hold. We cannot make ourselves understand; the most we can do is to … Continue Reading…