What is Mind?

Untitled by Joost Markerink

Mind is a big topic. Fundamentally, mind is a kosha or field around our body that is the medium for what we experience as thinking. But there’s a great deal more to it than that. Let’s explore my current take. This field surrounds the whole body but we feel mind is “in the head” because the senses are concentrated there. Mind is the hub that processes and integrates our senses. It also interfaces with the brain and nervous system and emotional body in one direction. And the other way with the intellect, memory, and cosmic mind. The cosmic mind is … Continue Reading…

Nadi Leaf Reading

Nadi bundle

Thousands of years ago, in a higher age, there was a group of very enlightened seers known as the Saptarishi’s or seven sages. They lived much longer than we do now. A need was seen to support people in the future, especially in the current time of transition from the dark to light. They wrote descriptions of thousands of peoples’ lives along with remedies for the major blockages they faced. The rishis wrote by scratching letters on dried palm leaves. We know these leaves as Nadi leaves. They have been carefully maintained over the many centuries since. Originally written in … Continue Reading…

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…

Bliss Blunder

Bliss by Naim Fadil

Sanskrit itself is straightforward. Each letter is pronounced one way. Yet every letter is also a mantra with known effects. The grammatical rules are complex and often trip up scholars and teachers. Unlike Western languages, Sanskrit words flow together into unbroken phrases as they represent the flows of consciousness. We need some finesse when we break the flow up into word-ideas. Many grammatical rules revolve around the meeting of consonants in a flow. They may be combined, changed, or a vowel inserted to retain the flow. One example is Rig Veda, the core book of the Vedas. The first word … Continue Reading…

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…

Preyas and Shreyas

Sunday morning pleasures by Caroline

Recently, I read an article by Kavitha Chinnaiyan M.D. on Preyas and Shreyas. It’s not an approach I’ve explored before but one that can shed some insight. Preyas means pleasing, desired, gratifying, a lover; what appeals to the senses. Shreyas comes from the root “shri,” which means auspiciousness or radiant and also support. In a spiritual path we seek the support of the auspicious like an enlightened master or natures support. In the opening of Krishna’s discourse to Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita or Song of God, he outlines the key: Contacts (of the senses) with their objects, O … 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…

Lokas and Patalas

Kapaleeshwarar Temple by Vinoth Chandar

I’ve previously talked a little about lokas, mainly for the 2 versions of the Gayatri mantra. One describes a 3-worlds model of physical, subtle, and Divine. The other, a more detailed 7-worlds model with the physical, 3 progressively more subtle layers, and 3 heavens. Same arena divided in more detail. How many colours in a rainbow? Loka means place or world. The Vedas define lokas ranging from the physical world up into various heavens in the celestial realm. Essentially lokas are a type of nested sub-space. Just as the described koshas often stop with the causal, heavens are not usually … Continue Reading…

The Yog Vasishtha

a cloud

As most readers know, I started my path through Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He’s had a strong influence on my perspective as he brought great clarity to ancient philosophy and enlightenment. Maharishi spent a great deal of time translating the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutra in the 60s and early 70s (they have not published most of it). But it turns out much of Maharishi’s later programs came out of the Yog Vasishtha. The Yog Vasishtha is an ancient text describing the teachings of the sage Vasishtha to prince Rama. It is the core text of the Ramayana, the story … Continue Reading…

Curving Back

mind spiral

I’ve talked regularly of how consciousness curves back on itself, becomes self-aware, and expresses. In my talk at this years Science and Nonduality Conference, I spoke of how the layers of expression unfold from that self-interacting consciousness. But there’s another detail I also (awkwardly) touched on there.  Consciousness folds back on itself over and over. That flow of consciousness curving back on itself continues, and it folds back on itself over and over. Each folding creates a smaller and smaller infinity and density until qualities of consciousness manifest. – On the level of the bliss body, Space manifests and vibration … Continue Reading…