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…

The 10 Bulls

Longhorn Bull by Larry Smith

There is a famous series of 10 panels (below) portraying the stages of enlightenment from a Zen Buddhist perspective. They are known as the 10 Bulls or Oxen. I’ve touched on these before but it’s come up a few times recently so I thought it worth doing an article on the topic. I am not a Buddhist scholar nor practitioner but have studied the basics. The approach has never appealed because of the style of experience here. Self has been conscious since I was 20 so I don’t relate to a no-self or emptiness approach. I also see modern Buddhism … Continue Reading…

The Maaya of Maya

1e by Masbt

On this blog, I’ve been arguing that the Sanskrit “maya” comes from the root “to build” and means creation, not illusion. We may see the world as an illusion at a certain stage but the reality is deeper than this. It turns out we have lost some detail in transliteration from the larger Sanskrit alphabet to English. There’s three different words in play: maya, maaya, and maayaa (aa meaning long A). Maya means “made of”, from the root “to build.” We see this in words like annamaya kosha, the “body made of food” or physical body and in the name … 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…

Nested Dharma, Nested Karma

Nest by Furtwangl

Down on the level of Buddhi, the intellect and intuition, the interactions of the fine devata create relationships. These structure the subtle or sacred geometry that defines the forms of our world. These subtle structures are composed of sutras or threads of light. We can describe them as structured flows of light, feeling, and sound. Those fine threads are sustained by tubes, like insulation on a wire. Flowing attention curves back on itself in a spiral down the thread, creating a tube. These tubes are embodied as subtle life-forms known as nagas. These are ancient and benevolent beings, quite different … 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…

Chitheads Interview

Chitheads

On December 11, I chatted with Jacob Kyle on the Chitheads* podcast from Embodied Philosophy. He suggested we’d chat for about 45 minutes but we went an hour and a half. Even there, we skimmed a lot of the territory he wanted to cover.   They list these topics: – Davidya’s continual journey of awakening – 7 stages of consciousness – Awakening inside and outside of a tradition – Chasing experience – “Feeling value” and its role in the process of awakening – Personal and impersonal – changing focus – Ethics and awakening – three folds of the ego – Rising … Continue Reading…

BatGap Second Interview Live

Rick Archer and I sat down for a second Buddha at the Gas Pump interview shortly after I arrived in California for the SAND18 Conference. In the first part, I shared updates since the first interview in 2015. But that required an extended preamble to review the prior stages in consciousness so the updates had some context. Then we explored ParaBrahman and how that is activating influences that are supporting and accelerating global awakening. (Update: Changes since the interview are mentioned in comments below. The aspects are waking up in their universal nature now.) If you haven’t already, you can … Continue Reading…