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…

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…

To Retire

nautilus shell

There is a word in the Rig Veda, Nivartadhvam. It means to “twist within” or return or retire.   We retire from the world through samadhi or transcendence. Then we return to the world by retiring from transcendence. This is like the analogy of dying the cloth. To dye a fabric the old way, it was dipped in the dye to soak, then hung up in the sun to bleach. That cycle was repeated until the colour was fast. Too much time in the dye (practices) and the fabric will rot. Too much time in the sun (activity) and the … Continue Reading…

The Brahmasthan

Neutron Star 2004

The brahmasthan is a term from the Vastu Shastra or Sthapatya Veda, the guidelines for Vedic architecture. Vastu recognizes that a properly designed building will amplify the presence of the building and support its occupants. “The brahmasthan is a special central zone in a building. It is free from any obstructions in the form of a wall, pillar or beam, furniture or fixtures and is often well lit from above, by skylights for instance.” It is the silent center of a space. Every space has a center as I’ve illustrated here before. We can think of the brahmasthan as the … Continue Reading…

Styles of Teachers

feather

“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…

A Calling

feather

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…

Embodiment

There are several factors that influence how we move forward through the stages of development. – Preparation of the vehicle so it’s able to sustain new depth – Purification and refinement to allow higher clarity of more abstract values – Integration of what has opened so far – Cooperation with the process due to right understanding and OKness All of these are closely interrelated But a big one I’m seeing is the embodiment of the current stage. For example, if there has been a long spiritual practice and depth of presence but we’re averse to being in the body, around … Continue Reading…

Breaking a Bad Habit

I’ve spoken before in various ways about shifting out of our habitual response to life. We tend to resist what we don’t want, including what is arising from inside ourselves. While this is a subjective trick to avoid experiencing something, it is quite ineffective. Instead of resolving, the issue festers and grows In this TED talk from 2015, Judson Brewer talks about how to break a bad habit by shifting our approach to it. We move out of fighting it into simple curious noticing. On TED In the talk, he emphasizes the role of positive and negative reinforcement and how … Continue Reading…

Pilgrimage

Recently, I was asked about the role of pilgrimage. Generally, I’d place pilgrimage as a practice related to faith or devotion. However, some pilgrimages are more about an odyssey, perhaps having a therapeutic purpose. Sometimes they’re used in coming-of-age rites. And sometimes people talk of the spiritual journey itself as an inner pilgrimage. Difficulties are often associated with a pilgrimage, perhaps as a rite of purification. But care must be taken not to make it about “purity through suffering.” Humility and letting go are important lessons that may be difficult to learn but suffering is not the wise door home. … Continue Reading…

Adyashanti and Michael Rodriguez on Buddha at the Gas Pump

I quite enjoy Adyashanti’s pragmatic take on the awakening process. I’ve written various articles on his books like Falling into Grace or The End of Your World. Last fall, I posted a conversation Rick Archer had between Adya and Susanne Marie on the post-Self shift. Prior to the Science and Nonduality conference last month, Rick spent time with Michael and Adya, followed by a 3 hour recorded conversation. They explored a wide range of topics including how you can get stuck post-awakening in emotional avoidance, detachment, or meaninglessness. The latter topic came up several times, exploring how to recognize deeper … Continue Reading…

Atman and Sattva

One of the curious things about the spiritual journey is that the reality of one stage is not the reality of another. As each stage is a shift in being, it brings its own sense of self and the world. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi used to say, “Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness.” For example, we can easily compare waking and dreaming states. The reality in each is quite distinct. This also means that terminology that well-suits one stage doesn’t work as well for another. My book editor, for example, steered me away from a few phrasings like … Continue Reading…

Flavours of Bliss

It may seem ridiculous to say this but everything we experience and the movement and energy behind them can be experienced as bliss. By that I mean deep, resonant happiness. Life is like an ice cream store with a nearly infinite choice of flavours. There is nowhere to go to get there. It is right here in who is experiencing. If you’ve seen Gangaji give satsang, for example, she will guide a person suffering under their experience. Behind everything is always stillness or bliss. It’s deeply nourishing to know this directly, however we come to that experience. The difference between … Continue Reading…