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…

The Bull of Dharma

road in light

I’ve spoken before about dharma in the 4 areas of life. Also that dharma means that which sustains. In other words, dharma is actions (karma) in life that sustain it and the world in which we’re unfolding. I’ve also seen dharma described as 3 levels: Universal (Rishi), Vocational (Devata), and Personal (Chhandas) where rishi, devata, and chhandas are the 3 aspects of consciousness: knower, knowing, and known. This is like the 4 areas of life but leaves out time-of-life and shifts caste more into vocation. Dharma can also be framed as that which supports the degree of consciousness being expressed. … Continue Reading…