On Surrender

Sunset over W Courtenay

Surrender is a key part of enlightenment unfolding. A recent question has led me to explore the word in more detail. The surrender I refer to is not giving away our power. That is submission, keeping our control but giving responsibility for it to someone else. That is disempowering. True Surrender is allowing; it is letting go; it is permitting life to lead us; it is harmonizing with the Divine. Surrender is allowing our higher nature to lead, letting go of the controller, our ego identification. Once the controller falls way, we can begin to operate from our infinite source. … 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…

It’s All About Relationship

relationships are complicated by hojusaram

While historical spirituality has emphasized renunciation and withdrawal from the world, this camouflages a key detail. It’s All about Relationship. Who we are, everything we experience, and everything we know is all through relationship. Fundamentally, on the level of consciousness itself. In a pure Shiva way, alertness is simply alert. It is not alert to anything. For experience to arise, consciousness must be stirred awake and then recognize itself. It’s through the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness that all experience arises. Self-interacting means relating with itself. Some describe the self-interacting dynamics as the Shiva and Shakti aspects of consciousness, in relationship. … Continue Reading…

Brahman Plus

Brahman, photo by Drew Coffman

This article spins out of a discussion in comments on Is Brahman God, an article from November 2014. All experiences and the world arise from consciousness interacting with itself. For a materialist that sees consciousness as a byproduct of the physical brain, this may seem delusional and ridiculous. And yet if we undertake an experiential study of consciousness itself, we soon experience consciousness by itself. This is known as samadhi or turiya. It gradually becomes clear that consciousness is not a byproduct but is the source of experience. The mind and brain are vehicles for that process, supporting and functioning … Continue Reading…

Who Am I?

La Petite Concierge painting by Francis Smith

This is one of life’s big questions. Most people identify with things like their name, work, background, nationality, skin colour, tastes, and so forth. But these are stories about ourselves or roles we’ve adopted. They have little to do with who we actually are. New Age approaches usually focus on upgrading the filters and stories we tell ourselves. A better story for a better life. Eastern paths can take this further with self-inquiry: who are we behind the stories? But as I’ve mentioned before, if there isn’t a practice that takes us beyond the mind into source, what is culturing … Continue Reading…

A Conversation with Andrew Hewson on the Stages of Enlightenment

feather

After our conversation with Dorothy Rowe earlier this month, Andrew Hewson suggested we have another conversation ourselves. We explored the stages of enlightenment and some variations in terminology around the topics. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did. On YouTube

Perspectives on Awakening

feather

Dorothy Rowe organized an on-line conversation with Andrew Hewson and I on a range topics around awakening. This included chasing experiences and hallucinogenics, integration, consciousness, healing, and refinement. Dorothy is an energy healer who works from pure Being. Andrew is a Non-dual teacher with a strong heart emphasis. On YouTube

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…

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…

The Utah Talks – 1

Salt Lake City

Traveling into Utah was a distinctive experience. The altitude is over 4,000 feet and the air dry. The plain by a salt lake is surrounded by large mountains. Salt Lake City has no apparent apartment towers and is spread wide. This is Mormon country. The entire county has streets and addresses laid out on a grid starting from the main temple. The group consciousness has a curious constraint and unsettledness. The talks took place in a private residence, about 2 dozen chairs spread through the living and dining rooms. Attendees were a very diverse group – in age, stage, background, … 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…