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If you Can’t Tell your Story to Another Human


“If you can’t tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark storyline. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it. The trees will not ask, “How are you really?” and the wind doesn’t care if you cry.”
~ Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

4 Ways to Achieve Satori


“Like they say in Zen, when you attain Satori, nothing is left for you in that moment than to have a good laugh.” ~ Alan Watts

Satori is when a speck of dust realizes it is a star.

Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, or a deep comprehension and understanding of one’s place in the universe. It is derived from the Japanese verb satoru: “to know” or “understand.” In Zen Buddhism, satori refers to a deep experience of kenshō: “seeing into one’s true nature.”

It’s a peak experience, a profound spiritual epiphany, a Meta-catharsis. It’s a moment of total presence, a flash of insight and awakening that jolts the soul awake. More importantly, it’s a serene tranquility, an unconquerable calm, that comes from realizing, finally, that all is one and therefore all is well.

Some call it sudden enlightenment. Some call it No-mind. Some call it nirvana. Some call it satori. Either way, it abruptly cuts the uninitiated ego out of the equation and then sneaks in the initiated ego, which utilizes Soul as a tool to leverage a heightened state of awareness. From this heightened state comes the deep interdependent realization that everything is connected to everything else.

Here are four ways to achieve satori…

1.) Square the circle:

“God is an infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Seek the center. As Black Elk echoed, “The center is everywhere.” The center is here. The center is there. The center is thence. The center is whence. The center is me. The center is you. We are the walking, talking, meditating squares at the center of an eternal circle. We are finite, yet the circle is infinite. We wreck our mortality against its immortality, but in the wreckage we are complete. 

What are you? You are the thing that transforms itself. You are that which creates itself into further existence. Thus, you are metamorphosis in action. You are both self-creating and self-overcoming. You are story-weaver, myth-mender, center-mover, death-bender. 

As George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

Your imagination is your greatest superpower. When you couple this superpower with your understanding of “the center” you go from caterpillar to butterfly. You go from being a moth to being Fire. You go from dead ashes to reborn Phoenix. You go from nihilistically asleep to existentially awake. In short: this mighty coupling sparks the fire of satori.

You become Transcendiary (adj): Transcendent and incendiary in pursuit of elusive enlightenment.

The center is everywhere. You are a mortal square that doesn’t realize that it’s a part of the immortal circle. Before this realization you were merely God asleep. After this realization, you become God awake.

2.) Die to everything of yesterday:

“Die to everything of yesterday so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion.” ~ Krishnamurti

Be flexible. Be adaptable. Be teachable. You are the student. Infinity is the teacher. Bow at the feet of infinity and Knight thyself with eternal wisdom. When you bow to infinity, you surrender what you think you know to what could be known.

Unlearn what you have learned. As Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Don’t sacrifice what you could think for what you currently believe. Which means, if you have to choose between transforming your perception of reality in a healthier more expansive way or maintaining your current position then it’s almost always better to transform it in a healthier more expansive way.

Don’t get hung-up on beliefs. Allow yourself to shake off the things that you might be pathologically attached to — habits, people, outdated ways of thinking. The magic of rebirth cannot manifest itself otherwise. Shake them off. Shed the old skin. Burn the dross. And watch, soul-shocked, as satori slips in and brings it all together through an interconnected sense of self.

3.) Surrender to Flow:

“Anxiety is thought without control. Flow is control without thought.” ~ James Clear

Find something that you love so much that you have no choice but to lose yourself in the moment. Complete surrender to a challenging yet enjoyable task is the secret decoder ring that reveals the hidden door to satori. 

A flow state inverts the world. And once you’ve inverted the world, you awaken the creative warrior within. The world opens wide. Self-mastery becomes a possibility because it reveals how the self must be transcended for sacred alignment to occur. 

With your “Self” out of the way, you are able to get out of your own way and satori reveals itself in all its non-attached splendor. You gain the power to steal fire from the gods. Catharsis becomes the lifeblood of your art.

Through your radical detachment from “Self” you maintain your connection to the Truth Quest. You become the process of Truth unfolding. Your art becomes a manifestation of aesthetic arrest. 

By never settling at any point along the process and just allowing each point to unfold in an interconnected flow state, you see how the journey is the thing, not the destination. You see how non-attachment is the thing, not attachment. You see how the Truth Quest is the thing, not the “truth.”

The flow state is “God awake” in action. It’s a mirror that reflects the center onto all things. From this center, you overflow, a mighty fountainhead. 

From this center you can finally relax into No-mind and Wu-Wei. You can finally learn how not to take yourself too seriously. You can finally get a grip on being-in-itself and being-for-itself because you’ve embraced the greater power of being-in-fate. You are free to be in Flow with your own destiny.

4.) Fall in love with fate:

“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.” ~ Michel de Montaigne

When you fall in love with fate, you fall in love with “being in love.” Indeed, you fall in love with “Being Love.” It’s a recipe of courage, forgiveness, appreciation, gratefulness, steadfastness, honor, humility, and humor. The finished product of which is the magic elixir of Satori. And there is nothing more powerful.

Satori teaches you how to become paradoxical: Defeated yet defiant. Conquered yet transcendent. Interdependent yet non-attached. Dying yet more alive. Fated to become nothing, yet loving fate enough to create something.

As the Vedanta states, “Undifferentiated consciousness, when differentiated, becomes the world.”

When you face your mortality with amor fati—that is to say: with dignity and honor, with humor and honesty, with radical forgiveness and unwavering gratefulness, with love and appreciation—you discover the ability to adapt and overcome all things. 

Your ego becomes baptized by Soul. You learn to see with “Over Eyes.” You learn to feel with the Overman’s Oversoul. You get outside of time, shot into the stratosphere, walking the bridge between Everywhere and Nowhere. 

You transcend egocentric codependence through soul-centric interdependence. You see how everything is transitory. How all things are fleeting. How the be-all-end-all is always beginning and always ending. You see the absurdity of it all for what it is, and you say, “Okay, bring it on. I will become sharper for it.” 

Tragedy is an opportunity not an obstacle. Dark circumstances are a secret doorway to hidden light. Hardship, resistance, tragedy, defeat, these are fuel for the fearless. These are whetstones for spiritual warriors. These are the steppingstones of the gods. 

As Pema Chodron said, “Only to the extent that we can expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

Hong Sau Meditation to Awaken the Third Eye


Our mind is a powerful thing, and to bring it to a single point of focus requires a huge amount of effort, concentration and most importantly, will. It takes an act of will to exclude every scattered thought and focus the mind completely.   

Our main enemy on this path of self realisation is mental restlessness. The only way to overcome that is through concentration. I had read that when Einstein was concentrating on a problem, he would even forget to eat – occasionally for days at a time. He was in a complete state of flow, in tune with the task at hand.      

There are several ways to improve concentration and meditation is one of them. Let’s delve deeper into this fact…

Connection between mind and the breath 

“Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

We know the connection between the breath, energy and the mind. Have you noticed how you hold your breath when you are performing a delicate task like threading the needle? Or how calm your breath becomes when you are listening to music, or reading a book. A restless mind leads to restless breathing. 

Our breath is connected to our mental state. When we are angry, our breath too becomes fast and heavy. 

As the breath flows, so flows the mind, yogis say, because there is a feedback system between the mind and the breath. A restless mind leads to restless breath and vice-versa.  

What is Hong Sau?

“Devotees attempting inward communion with God often find their efforts thwarted by restless thoughts. But long ago yogis found a technique for overcoming this obstacle. The breath, they discovered, is intimately related to the mental processes. A restless mind accompanies a restless breath. By simple, effective techniques for calming the breath, they found they could free the mind more easily for divine contemplation.” ~ Swami Kriyananda

The New Path

Hong Sau is a breathing technique that frees us from restless thoughts and improves concentration – which is essential to go into deep meditation. When we concentrate on the breath, the calmer it becomes. Hong Sau means  ‘I am Spirit’.  

While in meditation techniques we focus on something outside of ourselves, in Hong Sau the focus is drawn inwards – on the breath. The intention is to become the silent observer of your breath. 

How to do Hong Sau Meditation?

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7 Signs You Are Embodying Christ Consciousness


“What more accurate stand or measure of good things do we have than the Sage?” ~ Aristotle

What is Christ Consciousness? 

Christ consciousness is the state of awareness of your true nature, your higher self, and your interconnectedness with all things. It can be cultivated by anyone regardless of their religious tradition, as long as they are open to becoming a living vessel for love and truth.

Christ Consciousness is a spiritually evolved state of being. It harbors the qualities of love, devotion to truth, courage, and surrender. The term, therefore, refers to the expression of these qualities in our lives. 

But what are the signs that you may be embodying Christ Consciousness? Let’s break them down…

1.) You have fine tuned your mind-body-soul:

“Develop your senses. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

You realize that, in the grand scheme of things, you are indistinguishable from Cosmos. Deep meditation and nonattachment reveal this fact. The concept of interdependence emerges from this indistinguishability, and individuation manifests.

Christ Consciousness is Fractal. To think like Christ is not to have all the answers, but to be seized by the overwhelming realization that there are no answers and to respond to the overwhelm with the cultivation of better questions. 

The primary focus is to ask the right questions. Answers are secondary. And even then, they must be subject to questioning. The purpose of questioning reality is to sharpen the mind-body-soul. 

Answers lead to cul-de-sacs, dead-ends, dullness, and false “truths” (orthodox). Sharpness always comes from further questioning (unorthodox). Therefore, for the sake of Truth, you are proactive with questions and counteractive with answers.

There is no end-state. There is no final destination, no absolute Truth, no shiny Heaven or fiery Hell, no enlightenment, no concrete answers. There is only the Truth Quest.

Having liberated your mind-body-soul from delusion, you become a force of nature (cosmic/universal/infinite) first, a person second. You become undaunted, fearless. You become the tip of the spear, the sharpened edge of the Golden Ratio, the sword of God. You cut, and the road to Truth opens wide before you.

2.) You recognize that humankind is imperfect, fallible, and prone to mistakes:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 3:23

You have a deep understanding that we are all fallible creatures floundering within an infallible universe. We are finite beings (mortals) perceiving an infinite cosmos (God). But your faith is also a deep hope that you might catch a glimpse of the absolute.

You may be a finite construct in an infinite universe, but you are connected to that universe in an infinite way. You are infinity all the way down, perceiving infinity all the way up. You’re simply stuck in a finite body which uses a fallible brain to perceive it all, which creates the paradox.

You understand that the only way to resolve the paradox is to embrace it and then transcend it. You have, therefore, accepted the fact that you are a fundamentally flawed, fallible, imperfect, and biased mortal (sinner), but through your Christ Consciousness you are able to detach yourself from it so that you may enjoy the paradox (God).

You realize that the real secret to becoming adaptable to paradox is to keep humility ahead of hubris. You never forsake one for the other, but you keep hubris on a shorter leash. You make sure the Ego works for the Soul and not the other way around.

3.) You have “died” and been reborn:

“The challenge and the problem of the God-man on the cross, is not simply something I am looking at, out there. The more conscious of myself I become, the more I realize that I too am hanging on that same cross.” ~ Alan Watts

Wisdom without humility is insensate; humility without wisdom is impotent. You have gained both wisdom and humility by being with Christ on that cross. By being with him on that cross you learned humility. By being with him when he was resurrected (born again) you learned wisdom. In between, you sharpened the blade of your Soul.

You had to lose God in order to find Him. You had to fall in order to rise up. In defeat, transformation. In death, new life (rebirth).

You were always hardwired for this type of wisdom. You just had to become vulnerable enough to receive it. You had to soften your heart. You had to loosen your grip. You had to shake yourself up. What Gandhi called “the annihilation of the self.” And from this annihilation you discovered individuation. 

The alchemic phrase “solve et coagula (dissolve and coagulate)” is realized when the body becomes numinous (in death) and the numinous becomes corporeal (in rebirth). This dance with death transcends the old mind-body-soul dynamic and thus triggers the spiritual/alchemical process. Christ Consciousness is born.

Christ Consciousness is like the rising sun, golden, radiant, and enlightening. It gives color and shape to the black and white world. It’s the rising “son” of our ego’s death. From the blackening (death) on the cross to the whitening between worlds (sharpening) to the yellowing into rebirth (resurrection), your inner Christ grips the masterpiece of interconnectedness and embodies all things.

4.) You are walking your own path:

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ~ Bhagavad Gita

In Jung’s famous book The Red Book, he comes to a library inside a castle, looking for a place of sanctuary and reflection. When the librarian asks him to choose a book, he names The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. He debates with the librarian what it would mean to imitate Christ today. He decides that since Christ imitated no one, this would mean going one’s own way and paying the full price for creating in a way that no one has before.

You don’t cultivate Christ Consciousness to become more Christ-like. You cultivate it to become more like yourself. It’s a tool toward individuation and self-actualization. Your goal is not to become a subject regressively, but to become a force of nature progressively.

Christ “does not bring peace, but a sword.” Thus, by cultivating Christ Consciousness, you are also drawing the sword. The reason you draw the sword is to cut away delusion, to shed the old skin in order to grow the new, to shave the superfluous from the God hypothesis.

5.) Your Hero’s Journey is about the journey not the destination:

“Whenever a knight of the Grail tried to follow a path made by someone else, he went altogether astray. Where there is a way or a path, it is someone else’s footsteps. Each of us must find our own way. Nobody can give you a mythology.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Christ Consciousness is the God in yourself searching for a personal mythology. It’s the part of you that understands that everything is connected to everything else. It’s your disconnected self in search of connection. It’s your independence in search of interdependence. It’s the part of you that understands that religions are merely steppingstones toward true spirituality. In short: The God in yourself is a Truth Seeker.

The search is the thing, not what’s found. The Truth Quest is the thing, not the “truth.” The journey is the thing, not the destination. 

Truth Seekers are not looking to follow a religion. They don’t necessarily follow this or that law, tenant, or commandment. They simply follow the God in themselves, and that God in themselves is a questioner, an explorer, and a creator.

And so, your Christ Consciousness questions reality. It explores the cosmos. And it creates a mythology out of history, meaning out of meaninglessness, and a life well lived out of whatever life gives you. 

As Joseph Campbell said, “It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse. And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal––carries the cross of the redeemer.” 

You understand that we all must carry the cross of the redeemer through the trials and tribulations of our own Hero’s Journey.

6.) You seek God as a personal experience:

“And finally, there is the third Jesus, the Cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the church built in his name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience, to attain what some might call grace, or God-consciousness, or enlightenment.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Enlightenment is the cutting away of delusion. It’s the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of religious pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we were culturally conditioned to believe. 

Christ Consciousness is a mighty blade that cuts through delusion, illusion, and belief. It reveals that God was always hidden within. That Man is God asleep, and God is Man awake. That the Self was only ever a vital illusion, a tool we use to leverage cosmic interconnectedness.

As Plutarch stated, “The eye with which I perceive God is the same eye with which God perceives me.”

Christ Consciousness is the eye with which you perceive God seeing clearly enough to realize that it is the same eye with which God perceives you. 

You realize that God is not a finite answer but an infinite question. God is not a closed-in period but an open-ended question mark. Therefore, you’ve decided to feed the question. Its food is curiosity, awe, astonishment. You don’t settle for an answer, for there lies stagnation, rotten fruit, and flies in the ointment.

Certainty is like standing water. It becomes murky, poisonous, undrinkable. You clear the water with curiosity. You keep it clean with constant and persistent inquiry, knowing that this prevents dogmatism and keeps the Truth Quest (God) ahead of the “truth” (false God). 

As Paul Bowles said, “Security is a false God. Begin to make sacrifices to it and you are lost.” Therefore, you only ever sacrifice rigid ideals to flexible ideas. You crucify certainty. You “entertain a thought without accepting it.” You are always seeking God, and God is always seeking you. 

7.) You practice Divine Love:

“When one has once fully entered the realm of love, the world — no matter how imperfect — becomes rich and beautiful, it consists solely of opportunities for love.” ~ Søren Kierkegaard

The Greeks have five words for the concept of love: Eros, sexual love; Storge, familial love; Phileo, friendly love; Xenia, hospitable love; and Agape, divine love.

You practice divine love. Divine love is Being Love. It transcends all other forms of love. When you are Being Love, you are in love with all of life—good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, tragic or comic.

Being Love is an unselfish, unconditional love for all things. It leaves you in a state of wonder and awe, soul-hungry for more beauty, more mystery, more life. When you are practicing agape love, you are practicing sacred presence.

As Rumi counseled, “Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.”

Practicing divine love is “staying there.” When you are Being Love (unconditional), you’re in love with the interconnected cosmos (soul-centric) and you feel free, interdependent, passionate, alive, and connected. When you’re not Being Love (conditional), you’re only in love with your ego’s attachment to love (ego-centric) and you feel clingy, codependent, angsty, and disconnected.

Therefore, you have sacrificed your ego’s attachment to love through the sacred nonattachment of divine love. Through it you have grown to embody a sacred devotion to truth, courage, and surrender to God (Infinity).

Image Source
The Cosmic Christ Art Print by Sister Rebecca Shinas

Svadhyaya – The Essential Self-Study to Live Life as you Truly Are

Most of us live our lives out of sync with ourselves, our inner wisdom, and we lose our intuitive abilities in the process.

Our days are spent in gaining knowledge about the outside world, making money, attending meetings, going out, and indulging in pleasing the senses. If I were to ask you who you are apart from the labels and degrees attached to your name, what would you say? We are concerned about what others will think of us, instead of focusing on your own opinion. Do you spend enough time with yourself in solitude or even in silence?

While reading some text on a course I am doing, something rang a bell. “Svadhyaya” a Sanskrit word where ‘sva’ means self study, an introspection, contemplation, reflection of oneself, and Adhyaya, means lesson, lecture, or reading, and it connotes the practice of studying the Self.

Patanjali’s Yogasutra, II.44 says, 

स्वाध्यायादिष्टदेवतासंप्रयोगः॥ Meaning study thyself and discover the divine.

In our daily lives, we function from our Ego, drifting away from our true beliefs or intuition. The ‘I’ or ego is mostly trying to survive, making demands, judging, living in a fear-based mindset and we lose ourselves in this web. 

From this level of consciousness, it is difficult to dive deeper into our own self and to see ourselves as we really are. When we spend time with ourselves, we begin to elevate our consciousness as we start recognising our habits and thought patterns, and realize how much of what we do and think is far from who we really are. 

Svadhyaya as a Niyama

“The deeper I go into myself the more I realize that I am my own enemy.” ~ Floriano Martins

Svadhyaya is one of the five Niyamas (observances) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and one of the key elements in Yoga. Traditionally, this Niyama involved reading/studying ancient scriptures and texts like the Bhagavad Gita or The Upanishads, and doing mantra meditation to bring the mind to a single-pointed concentration and focus. 

Svadhyaya – Self study to understand the human mind?

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~ Aristotle

When you dive deeper into your monkey mind, you will notice the fickle nature of the mind and realise the unnecessary baggage we carry with us all the time. 

Sometimes you live life in auto mode, without really paying attention to how it is actually making you feel. When you practice Svadhyaya, you learn to notice your feelings, and reflect upon your behaviour, actions, thought patterns and desires, that is the deepest form of self validation.  

Self study to connect with yourself

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

Each one of us have certain qualities which might seem good to a normal rational mind, on further contemplation and practicing svadhyaya you suddenly realise these qualities aren’t good.  

These qualities are making you a lot of money, but those qualities might not be conducive to gain a higher state of awareness. 

Self-study or Svadhyays helps you to pinpoint that quality, analyze yourself if you will. See where you’re going wrong. You will quickly realise the things you need to change, what you need to adjust, what you need to develop or acquire. It helps to overcome one’s past mistakes and live without any guilt.     

Just like in The Velveteen Rabbit, a stuffed rabbit can only become real when its owner truly loves it. As the Skin Horse tells the Velveteen Rabbit, “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily… Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Eventually as a result of unconditional love showered by his owner, the rabbit becomes real to everyone and lives and hops around with all the other rabbits in the forest. It discovers its true nature and celebrates it!

How to practice Svadhyaya in daily life?

Reading sacred texts

Start your day by reading any sacred text you wish, it could be absolutely whatever your heart desires or what resonates very deeply with you. Read those words with an open mind and be receptive to its learnings. 

Reflect on those words during the day and perhaps write about whatever thoughts or feelings that come up for you. In this practice, the wisdom that lies within these texts help us to find ourselves, help us to get the answers we seek and also to understand ourselves a little better. 

Always keep an open mind, question what you read too and initiate yourself in this process of self-discovery!

Practicing Svadhyaya on the mat

Yoga is a beautiful practice to study yourself, to know more about who you really are, and explore the depths of your being through movement.  

The way you practice reveals a lot about yourself. While in an asana, there is a lot that goes on, it’s not just doing a headstand and feeling good about yourself, that is an ego-driven approach. 

When your mind is filled with thoughts, your body will move very differently while practicing – it feels more rigid, stiffness and tightness.

When you are focused and aware, you notice where the unresolved emotions, stress, worries, tension is stored in your body. Mostly it gets stored in the upper back, neck, shoulders, jaws, and hips. With focused breath and asanas, you can slowly release and free your body from those blockages. 

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