Transcending – The Means

bubble diagram

Regular readers know I frequently mention effortless meditation. This is because of the key role it plays in culturing the ground for enlightenment. Over time, I’ve come to see its value more and more deeply. Yet there’s a key point about practices to make. Enlightenment isn’t caused by anything we do. It arises from the grace of the Divine. The purpose of spiritual practices is not to get enlightened but to prepare the ground. Then when grace arises, the shift is more likely to be smooth and supported. If the ground is not ready, grace will come as a profound … Continue Reading…

Moments of Awakening

sunrise

“Moments of Awakening” is a phrase in the following that refers to transcending, moments of pure consciousness when we briefly experience simply being, Amness, without content. Radical Brilliance is the title of Arjuna Ardagh’s upcoming book, apparently referring to the benefits of this. The below is quoted from an excerpt which also talks about burnout. “Dr. Fred Travis, the director of the Center for Brain Consciousness and Cognition at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, emphasizes, ‘I hope you can bring out in your book the importance of what moments of awakening do to rewire the brain. It’s not … Continue Reading…

Self Actualization

Abraham Maslow

About 70 years ago, Abraham Maslow proposed a theory of self-actualization and helped found a new branch of psychology. He suggested that if you meet more basic needs like physical and safety, you can address higher relational and esteem needs. Once you meet most of your needs, you reach a place of self-actualization – of self-acceptance, freshness, equanimity, authenticity, and so forth. Later in life, Maslow saw self-transcendence as a possibility post-self-actualization. Self-transcendence is the primary topic of this website. You’ve probably seen images of his Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow apparently didn’t use his model in this way. Recently, I … Continue Reading…

The Origin of the Senses, Part 1

Part 1 This article started from a simple question on the blog but things have deepened since I last explored the topic. First, by senses, I mean our abilities to experience qualities in and around us. We have physical sense organs for sensing physical qualities like the visible spectrum. But our ability to sense and experience is not at all limited to those organs. We have more subtle mechanisms for subtler levels all the way down to and including consciousness itself. Sensing is built in to the nature of reality. The world is created to be experienced and we’re here … Continue Reading…

The Void

neutron star 2004

The ancients talked of fundamental elements whose combination lead to the forms and phenomena we see around us. For example, fire element brings light, sight, colour, heat, and so forth. The elements have associations with the senses, the chakras, and the doshas (body types) of Ayurveda. We can also associate them with the valence groups of chemistry. Deepest of the 5 elements is space or ether. Space is more a container than a substance. And yet space behaves like a medium, hence the name ether. We see a similar idea in physics where space-time is modeled as a flexible sheet. … Continue Reading…

An Ayurvedic Cleanse

Many people treat their cars better than their bodies. They’d never consider putting a coke in their gas tank and yet all sorts of dubious things end up in their mouths. Even if we have good intentions, sludge builds up in the physiology over time. This gradually leads to chronic health issues. But that sludge can be flushed periodically. This flushing is known as a cleanse. Consider it routine maintenance. Want to know if you have crud buildup? Just look at your tongue. Is it perfectly pink? Or does it have a white overlay? Just in the middle back or … Continue Reading…

Being in the Flow

Recently, I saw a TED talk on Flow by Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He researches happiness and what makes people feel life is worth living He found that work which brings us into a flow state is most rewarding. This state is beyond culture and education but usually comes when a skill is highly developed and practiced. We don’t have to think about the process but just step into it and go with it. He outlines these common features of Flow: 1 – completely involved in what we’re doing 2 – a sense of ecstasy or joy, outside of everyday reality … Continue Reading…

How Many Brains?

In some ways, the whole body can be seen as a “brain” in the sense that the brain is an interface with mind and consciousness. However, there are certain centers that are more focused as a nerve plexus. We could say they’re more connected. We usually think of the brain as being in the head between our ears but recent research has discovered other major centers of nerve concentration that have other specializations. The brain between the ears is composed of about 100 billion neurons. It behaves as the central processor, the place where most of our sensing is interfaced … Continue Reading…

The Force

In the Star Wars films there is a fictional force that “binds everything together and maintains balance.” “The act of living generates a force field, an energy. That energy surrounds us; when we die, that energy joins with all the other energy. There is a giant mass of energy in the universe that has a good side and a bad side. We are part of the Force because we generate the power that makes the Force live. When we die, we become part of that Force, so we never really die; we continue as part of the Force.” – George … Continue Reading…

The Light Body

“The light body” is one of those almost meaningless terms that float around in spiritual circles. While experiencing inner light is very nice, what is it being experienced? And does that really have anything to do with other things you’ve heard? For example, all seven koshas (sheaths) can be experienced as “light bodies.” From the glow of consciousness right up to reflected light from physical bodies, all the sheaths can be perceived with light; from infinite and formless to cloud-like to solid form. Usually by “light body” people are talking about the prana (energy body) or an aura of it. … Continue Reading…

Balance of the World

As I have written about prior on Dharma, the world needs a balance of forces so it continues as a stable platform for learning and experience. We might call the world a forum for experiences. Even science has discussed ideas like the “Fine-tuned Universe“, suggesting that the dimensionless constants have very specific values that support the emergence of intelligent life. If we have acted against what is arising in the past, we may find that area of life blocked or sluggish. This is to prevent us from moving further toward imbalance. For example, if we have abused power, we may find … Continue Reading…

Brain Processing Space

Some interesting new research is finding that the brain [actually mind] creates virtual spaces into which it produces geometric forms as a way to process complex thinking. When the process is complete, the spaces are deleted. The graphic is of particular interest. R. Buckminster Fuller wrote the 2-volume Synergetics which he subtitled “Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking.” He mapped how the mind and the world were structured with “all-space filling geometry.” I’ve also talked about how form is created through vibration, then interrelated in geometric patterns with a form of call and response. These give rise to the qualities and … Continue Reading…