The Humanity of a Teacher

Humanity by Bryan Ledgard

I’ve written a few articles about modern issues with spiritual teachers. Students often see enlightenment as a superhuman perfection. We see the teacher as beyond mistakes. If a teacher buys into such ideas, they can create a large blind spot. Unresolved identity or unconscious needs are bound to be acted out with students. Expecting perfection, students may excuse the behaviour as “crazy wisdom” or similar. The Westernization of spiritual teaching has meant that most teachers are now independent, sometimes affiliated with a lineage and sometimes not. They’re often outside of any peer-support structure and often lack understanding of relationship power … Continue Reading…

Nested Dharma, Nested Karma

Nest by Furtwangl

Down on the level of Buddhi, the intellect and intuition, the interactions of the fine devata create relationships. These structure the subtle or sacred geometry that defines the forms of our world. These subtle structures are composed of sutras or threads of light. We can describe them as structured flows of light, feeling, and sound. Those fine threads are sustained by tubes, like insulation on a wire. Flowing attention curves back on itself in a spiral down the thread, creating a tube. These tubes are embodied as subtle life-forms known as nagas. These are ancient and benevolent beings, quite different … Continue Reading…

The Sex Chakra

bears kiss

Sex is fundamental to our nature as humans. We have an imperative to reproduce. Most cultures set expectations around sex to ensure healthy outcomes. For example, a committed relationship. This ensures the resulting off-spring are cared for and people are treated respectfully. Too often, expectations become rules that lead to suppression. The powerful energies of creativity are distorted by unnatural guidelines. For example, in the grand cycles of time, spirituality came to emphasize renunciation and celibacy. Yet only a small percent of the population is suited to long-term celibacy. Adopting it inappropriately leads to it leaking out in unhealthy ways. … Continue Reading…

Depression

borg

The heavier emotions are “heavier” because they’re more tamas, more inertia. This doesn’t make them bad – inertia gives us a consistent physical form, for example. The key is balance. Life is a continual dance of homeostasis, of re-balancing the creative and destructive flows. Too much inertia and we get sluggish and lean towards dissolution. Dissolution helps resolve things but we don’t want the whole thing falling apart. That tamas aspect also ties those emotions more into our bodily state. Fear, for example, is closely tied to the fight, flight, freeze response. We experience a perceived threat, and the body … Continue Reading…

Feelings vs Emotions

princess pout

On this blog, I use Emotions and Feelings to mean different things, although English is a little limiting. For example, we “feel emotions,” we don’t emote them (although some sure do (laughs)). I use this classification because of how I subjectively experience them. Your experience may vary.   The first thing to understand about emotions is they’re not concepts. Trying to figure them out with the mind is an exercise in futility. This also means we’re not actually feeling, we’re thinking. We may have learned to avoid emotions by staying in the head. And that means we’re repressing how we … Continue Reading…

The Power of Speech

The spoken word is sounds that represent conceptual symbols that have a somewhat shared meaning. For example, if I speak the word “apple”, you’ll have a good idea of what I’m referring to but not a lot of detail. While misunderstanding is common, the spoken word remains an effective way to communicate between two people who experience themselves as separate. The written word, like this article, uses letters to symbolize sounds that symbolize meaning. Some languages use word symbols instead of sound symbols, like Chinese. But either is another step removed and thus a little less powerful. In a sense, … Continue Reading…

Troublesome Themes

feather

Many people I know on a spiritual path have discovered a recurring theme in their life. They may even discover it goes back thousands of years. They find ongoing reason to feel angry or abandoned or guilty or unheard or similar. The odd thing is, this comes from a story that’s driven by unresolved trauma going back to an ancient fall in consciousness. We’re finally in a time where that story can be seen and released. Meantime, we continue to inflict ourselves with this theme. We may find ourselves amplifying circumstances that arise normally but relate to the story. See! … Continue Reading…

Our Drivers

Becoming self-aware and learning to recognize where we have work to do can be a difficult process. But the difficulty is only in the complexity and the discomfort of seeing our shadows. It also requires a degree of letting go of control and protective stories. The complexity arises partly because we’re built in layers so there’s layers to what moves us. And partly because many dynamics are layered in themselves. For example, we have unresolved trauma from a nasty experience in our childhood. We didn’t have good skills for healing so we learned to suppress it instead. When experiences remind … Continue Reading…

Emotional Healing

We digest everything we consume: food, drink, sensations, and experiences. Some of our thoughts and emotions are a symptom of this background processing, although more is done at night in dreams. However, it’s batch processing so we can only vaguely associate the activity with the prior experiences. You can see this clearly with dreaming. If we’re under stress, energy is diverted from digestion and the higher forebrain to ready the body for fight, flight, or freeze. We also fall into resistance, grasping at what we want to keep and resisting what we don’t want. This resistance further impedes digestion. Combine … Continue Reading…

We’re Growing

If we check the news, we may well see the world appearing to be going down hill. If you follow jyotish trends, you’ll known that the UK, EU and now US have moved into more challenging and unpredictable Rahu periods. However, understanding the larger trends requires taking a bigger perspective. In the late ’60’s, you could probably count the number of awake people you’d heard of on one hand. On long retreats, you had to go to places like India and would spend the vast majority of the day in rounds of yoga and meditation. By the mid-70’s time in … Continue Reading…

Passing Shadows

Recently, the subject of being shadowed, veiled or overshadowed has come up a few times. We all have places we avoid going that will become more conscious. This is a wonderful opportunity to heal and to put down old baggage. Until we put it down, sometimes we don’t realize how much we carry and how much energy we waste keeping a cap on it. A shadowed experience can be due to a number of things. But key in this is recognizing what is ours and what is not. One way we deflect is to blame or place the cause outside … Continue Reading…

Follow the Feeling

If we sit quietly for a moment, we may well notice the noisy mind blabbing on about something. We then have a few choices. We can pay attention to what’s around us instead. We can listen to the mind. Or we can invest in the mind, take it seriously. Unfortunately, most people do the later. And then they share that with others, spreading it around. The trouble is, a great deal of what comes out of the mind has nothing to do with the content. Hence “noise” or “monkey mind”. The real dynamic is there is an activated, unresolved emotion(s) … Continue Reading…