The Digesting Fires

Mush by Caroline

Primordial Agni is the fire or driving force and light of creation. In essence, it is intelligent flow. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called it Creative Intelligence. It shows up on every level as transformation – the fires of dissolution and of creation. The key with transformation is balance. Balance sustains the universe while allowing transformation. Too much fire and too much gets destroyed. Anger, frustration, acid reflux, and Pitta imbalance are some ways this manifests. Too little fire and things are not digested properly. They go toward too much air and ungroundness (Vata) or an excess of sludge and inertia (Kapha). … Continue Reading…

Austerity

Emaciated Siddhartha, photo by Akuppa John Wigham

In spiritual traditions the world over, austerities have been considered a key requirement for spiritual progress. Shankara, for example, revived the monastic tradition in India and there has been a clear lineage since. Buddha gave up his royal role and withdrew to the forest. St. Francis of Assisi did similar. However, a large part of this has been because of the age or Yuga we’ve been in. We needed to withdraw from the thick mud of the world to go within. Our age has changed. In the 60s and 70s, millions of people took up meditation, gradually clearing theirs and … Continue Reading…

Mind Awareness

Sunday Morning Pleasures by Caroline

Most people experience awareness through the mind. We may well think our mind’s awareness and understanding is consciousness. Our daily experience can easily verify this impression. As the physiology cycles though the states of waking, dreaming, and sleeping, the mind is drawn along for the ride. This carries mind awareness too. Consciousness does seem to be a side-effect of brain functioning. The brain is an interface like a radio receiver – it doesn’t produce anything we experience. Our senses gather information and the brain filters the data for relevance and passes it on to the mind. The mind builds the … Continue Reading…

Where is the Resistance?

Resistance by Monika

The experience of resistance can be a very useful flag. But it’s important to look into it and see where it’s coming from. Is it within us or from around us? Where do we feel it? If an event arises in life and we have a strong and sustained reaction, we know there is an inner resistance and an emotional charge here to be resolved. For example, someone makes an off-hand comment that dismisses something important to us. Do we roll our eyes or flame up in anger and resentment? The latter shows a past experience is influencing our present. … 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…

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 Sex Chakra

bears kiss

Sex is fundamental to our nature as humans. We have an imperative to reproduce. Most cultures set expectations around sex to ensure healthy outcomes. For example, a committed relationship. This ensures the resulting off-spring are cared for and people are treated respectfully. Too often, expectations become rules that lead to suppression. The powerful energies of creativity are distorted by unnatural guidelines. For example, in the grand cycles of time, spirituality came to emphasize renunciation and celibacy. Yet only a small percent of the population is suited to long-term celibacy. Adopting it inappropriately leads to it leaking out in unhealthy ways. … 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…

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…

Action and Support

Kalani.

The recent article Natures Support lead to some further questions and discussion that are worth exploring. Karma is an eastern word that means action. It is energy with a motivator in it. For every action there is an equal reaction, a consequence. Usually, when people are talking about karma, they’re talking consequences. When we resist what is arising in our life, we can prevent the flow of energy from completing. Thus it cycles around again in the future. This is the wheel of karma. If there has been a history of resistance, which is typical, a backlog builds up. This … Continue Reading…

Awakening Attitude

Jack-Jack.

Recently, I saw an excellent article by John Welwood in Tricycle magazine called The Psychology of Awakening. Too often, awakening and psychological health are seen as different worlds even though they’re closely entwined. “…even among advanced spiritual practitioners, certain islands — unexamined complexes of personal and cultural conditioning, blind spots, or areas of self-deception — may often remain intact within the pure stream of their realization.” This is very true. They can remain unseen until events trigger them. Yet even then, if we see ourselves as separate from our humanity, we may excuse our bad behaviour or blame others. I’ve … Continue Reading…