The Person

Rory by Randen Pederson

There was a time in India when the householders approach had become universal. The sage Shankara revived the path of renunciation for that small percent who are naturally monks. But then the pendulum swung to the other extreme and the householders path became obscured in many teachings. Practices came to emphasize renunciation, even for householders. Inquiry is prominent, for example, even though it is primarily a monk’s approach. This is because close inquiry into reality is difficult when we have worldly responsibilities. We have to pay attention to appearances. 🙂 Extracting oneself from ego identification is key for Self Realization … Continue Reading…

Types of Self

When people use the English word “self” or any of its variations (myself, himself, etc.), they may refer to one or several things. Most commonly, they’re talking about the personal self or me. Yet if you ask them who they are, they’ll offer their name and profession: what I’m called and what I do – not what I am. If you ask them who they experience themselves as being, they’ll probably think the question odd and be unable to answer it clearly. They may drop into stories to explain who they are. But if they explore the question, by default … Continue Reading…

What is a Soul?

The topic of souls came up in conversation with friends. In the west, we debate if animals have souls and talk of loosing one’s soul, splitting the soul, and so forth. A lot of that is confusing a sense of self driven by mind with the eternal, untouchable soul. The Vedas contain several philosophies with some variation on this topic. But generally, soul is seen as equivalent to jiva, a living being with life force. In other words, a dog and a plant have a soul but a chair does not. Even though everything arises in and of consciousness, it … Continue Reading…