Dr. Michael Beckwith

January 31, 2011

Dr. Michael Beckwith is a very inspiring character. He is a New Thought minister and head of the mega-church Agape. New Thought is American Vedanta.

I recently read a little about Dr Beckwith in American Veda by Philip Goldberg: “Small in stature ad huge in presence, Beckwith is as engaging one on one as he is when speaking to a thousand people, only slightly less exuberant.”

Dr Beckwith says, “I had a spontaneous spiritual awakening, and my life as i knew it changed dramatically. Any sense of worry and anxiety dissipated. I just had this awareness that all was well and a divine intelligence governed everything.”

“Affirmations don’t make something happen; they make something welcome.”

A Boy With Spirit

January 31, 2011

Perception is Blind

January 27, 2011

“Perception is projection.”
Janak Geoffrey Neill

We see things not as they are, but as we are.

Sri Aurobindo’s Smorgasbord

January 27, 2011

“Indian religion has always felt that since the minds, the temperaments and the intellectual affinities of men are unlimited in their variety, a perfect liberty of thought and of worship must be allowed to the individual in his approach to the Infinite.”


‘… to know Brahman as at once and together the Knowledge and the Ignorance, to attain to the supreme status at once by the Becoming and the Non-Becoming, to relate together realization of the transcendent and the cosmic self, to achieve foundation in the supramundane and a self-aware manifestation in the mundane, is the integral knowledge; that is the possession of Immortality. It is this whole consciousness with its complete knowledge that builds the foundation of the Life Divine and makes its attainment possible.’

‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book II, Ch. 1

Types of Meditation

January 26, 2011

Part of Corinne McLaughlin‘s article on meditation.

Concentration – steadying the mind and focusing energy and attention on an issue or task

Contemplation – reflecting on the deeper meaning of a seed thought (such as compassion)

Mindfulness – observing with detachment the contents of the mind and labeling sensations, feelings, thoughts in order to deepen wisdom and insight into the nature of reality

Receptive – inner listening to receive impressions and inner guidance

Creative – using the mind to build positive pictures and giving them life and direction with the thought energy of the mind (such as a visualization for healing)

Invocative – calling in higher energy (such as invoking the Christ or the Buddha)

Wave to Ocean

January 26, 2011

“The wave said to the ocean, Could I be like you? The ocean said, It’s easy. Just settle down.”
– Maharshi Mahesh Yogi

The Goddess Durga

January 24, 2011

By Laura Amazzone

The Devi Mahatmya or the Great Glory of the Goddess is a 5th century myth that offers potent teachings relevant to this day and age. The heroine of this story about the victory of good over evil is Durga, Goddess of Divine Justice, Invincible Power, and Impenetrable Compassion. Her name, Durga, means fortress, and speaks to the unassailable essence of our inherent nature. Durga is also known as the Remover of Fear and Difficulty for she always comes to the aid of any who call on her in distress.

According to the myth, demonic forces are threatening to conquer the world and take down any who do not agree with their agenda. Despite the gods’ intentions to stop the demons, the methods they use only perpetuate the violence. Moreover, this demon king has received a boon from the creator God Brahma, which makes him undefeatable by any man, god or demon. When Brahma asks the demon if he wants to be exempt from defeat by a female as well, the demon’s inflated ego puffs up with pride. To the demon, battling a woman is an easy win — he declines.

After eons of senseless violence, the male gods convene and call forth the Supreme Mother Goddess behind all existence. Only she is powerful enough to stop the bloodshed. The initial chapter of Durga’s mythic journey of restoring harmony to the world tells how the demon king learns a beautiful female is waiting to engage in battle with him. He orders his two favorite demon generals to bring her to him so he can force her into wedlock. However, the generals do not have a chance against the all-powerful goddess. As they approach her, the composed goddess emits a flame from her finger that restores them to a state of tranquility and compassion. Outraged, the demon demands that the goddess engage directly with him in battle. She does.

The demon becomes more and more furious as he faces the great goddess. He hurls mountains, uproots forests and causes earthquakes with his all-consuming anger against the possible loss of power and control. Every time one of Durga’s arrows flies at him, the demon changes form from water buffalo, to tiger, to man until finally she grabs him, pins his neck down with her foot and sends a spear through his heart.

Metaphorically, we can consider Durga as the wisdom of the heart, untainted by cultural, religious and societal conditioning. The buffalo demon symbolizes our ignorance, reactions and ego attachments. The constantly shifting appearance of the demon speaks to our irrational behavior and the need to pin down the destructive causes of our negative emotions: anger, jealousy, pride, greed and delusion. His shape shifting is symbolic of the grasping ignorant mind that continuously jumps from one desire to another. The demon’s uncontrollable rage, destroying everything in its path without regard for the consequences, is a fitting analogy for the violence we face today. This myth asks us to consider how we choose to express our anger — whether we will use our rage against injustice in constructive ways, or if we will be divisive, fearful and blaming, thereby poisoning our environment. The fiercely compassionate divine feminine nature will help free us from the afflicted ego and return to the penetrating wisdom of divine love. Goddess Durga may not solve all the world’s problems at the moment, but as this ancient scripture teaches, she is the impenetrable place of calm within our hearts from which we can choose actions that promote harmony and unity rather than selfish harmful acts.

In the myth, after the demon has finally been defeated and the gods gather to celebrate, Mother Durga promises to return whenever any of her children are in distress. As we face crises on both a personal and planetary level, might we call on this ancient divine female force of compassion and courage to help us confront and transform that which threatens the well being and contentment of all beings on this planet?

The Devi Mahatmya teaches that the grace of goddess is unconditional and will never be withheld from anyone — ego demon or not. Through her fierce love toward self and other, harmony will be restored within and around us. We need only invoke Durga to help us remember our true nature and that divine love conquers all.

A Favourite Quote

January 24, 2011

From the Bhagavad Gita (5.8 & 5.9)

“One who is in Union with the Divine and who knows the Truth will maintain ‘I do not act at all’. In seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, speaking, letting go, seizing and even in opening and closing the eyes, he holds simply that the senses act among the objects of sense.”

Brahman: the Highest Good

January 21, 2011

When you look at the world and only see a material reality that is encased in time and space – then you have a lop-sided perception. You are seeing only the manifest aspect of creation. In this situation you are a tiny speck in an infinite universe made of matter.

When you look at the world and see the manifest world and know yourself as pure consciousness then you have a duality – Purusha and Prakriti – the silent seer and the dynamic seen. You are now free and independent of the actions of the world, though remaining in the midst of them.

When you look at the world and see only consciousness – no differentiation between seer and seen – then you have realised the Brahman: the one without second.

You may wonder what the benefit is of realising the One. It is the end of fear, because fear is born of duality. This is the summum bonum – the highest good and the fulfillment of the purpose of life.

One-Sided Events in a Two-Sided Universe

January 21, 2011

From Dr John Demartini:

“One of the greatest illusions is the search for pleasure without pain, praise without reprimand, or nice without mean. Ironically it is in looking for those illusive one-sided events in a two-sided universe that many experience so-called suffering. When we embrace the balance and the truth, love surrounds us. When we understand this truth, our fears and guilt can evaporate, and we can begin to dance with our life.”

This is a dualistic approach to life – that happiness and harmony come from balancing opposites. It is true. But peace and freedom come from realising your true nature as pure awareness which has no opposites to balance.

When you are established in your undivided nature as pure awareness, then you can go about creating happiness and harmony by balancing opposite, but without being dependent on results. When you are established in freedom and peace, then happiness and sadness, success and failure become a whole lot less important to you.