Enlightenment is Not Knowledge

Enlightenment is not knowledge for the mind nor will it make you knowledgeable. Enlightenment is a progressive series of shifts in being, in who we are and our relationship with the world. In my case, I was born with a knowledge orientation into a family of teachers. Deeper knowledge has been unfolding since my late teens, long before I woke up. For a while, this mystified me as it seemed unrelated to my life. We could say the training had to start well before the function. (laughs) Awakening has considerably enhanced those gifts. But I can guarantee it will be … 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…

The Origin of Fundamental Qualities (Gunas)

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One of the fundamental principles of the Vedic perspective is the three gunas or qualities. I described them in some detail in About the Gunas but here is a basic outline: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) Tamas: resistance or inertia, impediment to movement (blue) I’ve also explored them relative to awakening, karma, and emotions. A similar perspective is the cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction. (Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva) In fact, we may think of the gunas as coming from these principles. But they have a deeper, parallel … Continue Reading…

SAND 2018

SAND18

I’ll be speaking at the Science and Nonduality (SAND) conference again this fall. There was strong support to return. I’m moving more in the direction of the second book I’m working on about the nature of reality. But the constraints of time mean I’ll focus on stages again, the evolution of the observer or subject side of the equation. There is also the observed or object side and the layers of its construction. The kosha model is one way to look at that, from a more subjective view. A more object-oriented perspective outlines the stages of creation like that touched … 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…

Nature’s Support

I’ve worked with the concept of “nature’s support” since the 70’s and have come to perceive the mechanics. I’ve written on the topic before, but sometimes more obscurely. The subject came up on Choice and Surrender and it became clear I needed to say more. When you put your attention on something or act towards it, is this movement supported or not? Do you get smooth and easy results or obstacles? Where are results happening? In the direction intended or over to one side? Nature in this case refers to the world – the environment and others. How is what … Continue Reading…

The Third Element

As the process of Divinity has unfolded, it’s become clear there is a third element in play. Alertness and Liveliness have been discussed as the core elements of Divinity that give rise to consciousness and thus all experience and form. But just as the dynamics of consciousness unfold the process of experience itself, so too does Divinity reveal a third element. The best word I could come up with is intelligence. In consciousness, this is the devata value, that which structures form and phenomena, and the sense of unfolding experience we call time. In the second stage of Divinity it … Continue Reading…

The Source of Grace

There is a curious paradox in spiritual practice. On the one hand, awakening and progress in consciousness happens through grace, through the hand of the Divine. Awakening isn’t an experience or something a person does or has – it’s an awakening from the person. There is nothing we can do directly to make it happen. And yet, we are not separate from the Divine. The Divine moves though us to prepare the way and organize circumstances that allow grace to happen. This shows up as the opportunity for good practices, teachers, books, and so forth. As the renowned sage Vasishtha … Continue Reading…

The Great Shadows

While I’ve explored karma in several other posts, I thought it would be useful to take it another step into application. As the saying goes, we come into this life with a suitcase of karma to work through. There will be lots of little bits plus a few big ones. We might call the biggies life lessons or life challenges. They’ll show up in certain areas of our life and not in others. For example, we may have reasonable health and good work but relationship challenges and issues with money. These things seem to be ongoing or show up repeatedly. … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadows

I found a quote near the end of Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising à propos, considering the discussion over on The Challenges of Teaching. This closely relates to the development of Sattva. “If we have the good fortune of interacting with wise and skilled teachers who have both a strong, compassionate, ethical foundation as well as non-dual insight, we notice that they seem to know what is best for everyone involved, from a universal perspective that is unconditionally loving and impartial. Although it is tempting to assign their abilities to non-dual insight alone, this is usually not the case. Opening … Continue Reading…

What is Destruction?

We tend to see change as a loss, partly because the ego likes to feel in control. It’s also disturbing tamas, our inertia. And yet, the cycle of growth requires change: balance, disintegration, growth, integration, and repeat. Without disintegration, there is no growth, no transformation. Life is inherently change. Our very life depends on the transformation of food, water, and breath. And if we look around us we see that change is the order of the day. In fact, the world around us is being recreated in every moment. The only reason it doesn’t completely change every time is because … Continue Reading…

The Dasha Mahavidya

The Dasha Mahavidya

I touched on the Mahavidya in The Mahavidya Interview but needed more research to do a proper job. As I mentioned there, the Dasha Mahavidya (10 great knowledge) are from Tantra and are embodied by 10 goddesses. While the gods are embodiments of laws of nature, the goddesses are embodiments of the powers (Shakti) that drive them and all of creation. The first cannot function without the power of the second. These goddesses tend to be portrayed with a destructive or dark emphasis, like in the Wikipedia article on the topic. There also is an emphasis on their names, forms, … Continue Reading…