In the Big Picture

Milky Way from Big Bend by Vincent Lock

If we see our lives as small and insignificant, we may be excused for spending it on escape. If we see our efforts at spiritual progress as temporary and with limited benefit, we can be excused for drifting away. But this is thinking small. I’ve mentioned before how Atman and Sattva, consciousness and clarity, are cumulative through lifetimes. Let’s look at this more closely. With the right practices and circumstances, we very much have the potential to awaken in this lifetime. Not everyone will shift, perhaps because of karmic backlog. But none of it is a waste. When the body … Continue Reading…

Gathering the Means

Growth

On the recent Action and Support post, I talked about Natures Support. Rick Archer reminded me of an old Vedic saying: the means gather around sattva. Let’s discuss. The means here is the ability to get things done effectively. The ability to solve problems and fulfill desires. While we all have levels of skills and abilities, if we don’t have support from the environment to get things done, we’ll struggle and thrash. For example, no matter how great a runner you are, if nature turns the track into mud you won’t do well. We also see this when people move … Continue Reading…

Ways of Seeing, Modes of Living

stairs

The world around us can be perceived through several distinct lenses. Our past experiences certainly are a major influence, not to mention our dominant sense, our culture (group consciousness), our stage of development, and so forth. Through an appropriate spiritual practice that brings transcendence (Samadhi, Turiya), we not only touch into consciousness (presence) but we refine the physiology and our senses of perception. Refinement takes place through purification of the subtle layers of our physiology and a shift in the overall tone or dominant guna we carry. This combination refines our perceptual abilities. Each of us comes into this life … Continue Reading…

The Origin of Fundamental Qualities (Gunas)

feather

One of the fundamental principles of the Vedic perspective is the three gunas or qualities. I described them in some detail in About the Gunas but here is a basic outline: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) Tamas: resistance or inertia, impediment to movement (blue) I’ve also explored them relative to awakening, karma, and emotions. A similar perspective is the cycle of creation, maintenance, and destruction. (Brahma, Vishnu, & Shiva) In fact, we may think of the gunas as coming from these principles. But they have a deeper, parallel … Continue Reading…

The Platform for Refinement

One of the key factors missing from a lot of modern spiritual dialog is the role of sattva. Without that progressive shift of energy from tamas (inertia) through rajas (fire of transformation) and into sattva (purity, clarity), there is a major limitation in our style of development. However, it’s important to understand that the development of sattva is cumulative through lifetimes. Some people will be born with well-developed sattva and some will develop it more later through good spiritual practices and such. It’s a spectrum that’s not always clear to us because of karmic shadows and cycles in life that … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadows

I found a quote near the end of Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising à propos, considering the discussion over on The Challenges of Teaching. This closely relates to the development of Sattva. “If we have the good fortune of interacting with wise and skilled teachers who have both a strong, compassionate, ethical foundation as well as non-dual insight, we notice that they seem to know what is best for everyone involved, from a universal perspective that is unconditionally loving and impartial. Although it is tempting to assign their abilities to non-dual insight alone, this is usually not the case. Opening … Continue Reading…

Rose List Follow-up

I’ve been asked about recent events on Rose Rosetree‘s blog so it seems I need to speak to this. Back in the spring of 2013, I wrote my first article on Rose’s work. The Rose List discussed her curious Enlightenment Life List. Curious because it includes both people I’d agree were enlightened and surprises like famous people who probably didn’t consider themselves so. It would be hard for someone clearly awake not to know they were. As I said at the time, I’d keep an open mind and explore her work further. I went on to write a series of … Continue Reading…

About the Gunas

I’ve written or commented on the gunas in a variety of articles. This includes The Gunas and Emotions, Karma and the Gunas, and The Gunas in Awakening. I talk about them regularly because they play a key roll in our style of awakening. The gunas are the fundamental qualities of consciousness as it begins to express. As vibration arises, it has 3 qualities: Sattva: purity or clarity of the flow (golden) balance, harmony, goodness, purity, universalizing, holistic, constructive, creative, building, positive, peaceful, virtuous, light, buoyant – Jupiter, Moon, Sun Rajas: movement itself, energy or fire and transformation (red) passion, activity, … Continue Reading…

Energy and Matter

Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 was a revolution in its day. Even today we don’t really understand it. Most people still have a strong materialist world-view, putting their faith in what they can see and touch. Many physicists seek to find particles for any style of energy they discover. Does gravity really need a particle? And yet the equation tells us that energy and matter are just different states of the same thing. If we flip the equation, we can understand it in a different way. E/c2 = m The m stands for matter, which is a “substance that has mass and … Continue Reading…

The Soma Plant

Some old texts speak of rituals that “milk” the soma or they describe “flow soma through the filter” to create the nectar of the gods. Much of this is gestures that symbolize the real process that takes place right in our body. Samadhi happens, at first usually in meditation, when we go beyond the mind into pure consciousness. We settle into our true nature. This is often brief and foggy for a while. But at some point, we’ll have clear experiences of the process. We may also notice a wave of happiness when we cross in or out of pure consciousness … Continue Reading…

Why is there a Dark Side?

It’s good to consider – why does a world expressed by the Divine have evil? The answer is all about balance. In the Vedic perspective, there are 3 forces in creation: creation, maintenance, and destruction. Those 3 forces evolve into 3 qualities (gunas) which evolve into the 5 elements, 5 senses and so forth. The 3 qualities or gunas are: Sattva: creative, purity, clarity, smooth Rajas: fire, action, energy, transformation Tamas: inertia, rigidity, resistance Without inertia, we would have no form. In fact, nothing would last. As Dharma is that which sustains, tamas is required for the world to hang … Continue Reading…

Two Processes of Divinity

To embody Divinity post-Brahman, there may seem to be two distinct processes. This is akin to the 2 processes of development in consciousness – Atman and Sattva. One aspect is becoming where we recognize we gain a deeper relationship with consciousness. This is the Atman part of the equation. The other is Sattva, the refinement and polish that leads to deeper knowing and experience and  embodiment. Together, they are the primary purpose of spiritual techniques. But as is the way of all creation, this turns out to reflect deeper causal drivers. As above, so below. In embodying Divinity, the sense of divinity … Continue Reading…