• Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Non-duality,  spirituality

    Asmitamaya Kosha – Who Am I?

     In my last post I explored the sheath of Joy.  At this level of awareness seeking ceases.  We come to realize that the Joy that we spend so much energy on trying to attain is closer to us than any possession or achievement could ever be.   Thank god this Bliss of living is not an attainment, it cannot be bought or sold, given or taken away.  It is part of the fabric of what we are, although often forgotten.  As we become still the body of Joy is revealed; remembered.  The Joy that we long for is present and contentment arises.  If only for a moment.  In the lucidity of this contentment there is spaciousness, the mind…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Non-duality

    Anandamaya Kosha – The Body of Joy

      In my last post I concluded by saying that I may not be able to experience life’s ultimate Truth but I can experience it’s ultimate Joy.  After recognizing the limitations of the intellect there is a natural letting go that happens.  For me, by becoming intimately aware of my koshas I come to see the transient nature of all experiences.  There is no foothold on which I can place my security; there is no constant state of pleasure without pain, no ultimate Truth, no state free of the potential for suffering.  When I am reminded of the natural flow of things I fall into a state of Grace where every…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Non-duality,  spirituality

    Vijnanamaya Kosha – The Body of Intellect

      At this level of my being I tap into the stories, concepts, images and thoughts that whir about within me.  As I self-reflect I notice some anxiety (at the level of the manomaya kosha) about finishing this post knowing that I have little time in the next few days to do so.  At a subtler level there is a belief that drives the anxiety.  The belief is that if I don’t get it finished and readers are expecting a post that I will have failed in some way.   As I try to stay with this belief it gets bumped out by random images of the potato soup I am cooking upstairs and a curiousity about…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Non-duality,  spirituality

    Manomaya Kosha – The Feeling and Emotional Body

    I’ve been actively avoiding this post all week. I have often guarded my feelings and emotions and so publicly writing about it fills me with fear.  I’m afraid to be honest, I’m afraid that I won’t be honest.  So I start there.  In the fear.  I move through the first two sheaths with ease, I am comfortable here, in sensation and energy.  And then I bump up against a wall of butterflies- this is often how I feel fear or anxiety – as mass of butterflies that jitter in my torso.  And the butterflies go nowhere.  They just flit about in chaotic non-patterns, bunging up any sense of flow within me.I bring more awareness to this moving, immovable mass.  As I do this the butterflies seem…

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  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Non-duality,  spirituality

    Pranamaya Kosha – The Energy Body

      As I sit in front of the large windows in my living room I notice a lady bug crawling along the windowsill.  It is only one small part of the larger scene of life pulsating through this moment.  My cat snores beneath my chair.  A light breeze ruffles the delicate leaves of freshly planted petunias on my porch.  The heavy, grumbling sounds of passing cars periodically mask the fervent chirps of neighborhood robins.  The world is vital this morning.  It is not a blob of inanimate substance, it is alive.  I am alive.  My awareness turns inward and I notice that my body feels fatigued from hours of excited gardening.  My legs ache…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Non-duality,  spirituality

    A Journey Through My Bodies

    In yoga we are seen as being made up of various sheaths through which passing phenomena arise and dissolve.  These sheaths or bodies are called koshas in Sanskrit.  In the non-dual tradition there are 6 koshas and one changless Ground of Being which is both distinct but not separate from the 6 koshas.  In the next few blogs I will be exploring these sheaths through my own experience and sharing what I find with all of you.  Richard Miller, a modern teacher of non-dualism, has delineated the koshas in the following way in his book Yoga Nidra:1.  Physical body (Annamaya kosha) – Awareness of sensation 2.  Energy body (Pranamaya kosha)…

  • Enneagram,  Non-duality,  Practice,  spirituality

    Through My Humanity I Am Graced.

     I just spent the weekend in an advanced Enneagram workshop with two of the most spiritually influential people in my life.  The Enneagram, in brief, is a system of personality typing which helps us to become aware of our habits of thinking and acting.  The premise in this system is that if we become consciously aware of our patterns then we do not unconsciously act them out over and over again.  Instead, through awareness, we are able to choose our actions.  In doing The Work, as it is called, we start to live more authentically and freer from our compulsivity.  As a One on the Enneagram I am prone to perfectionism and judgement of self…

  • Consciousness,  Inspiration,  Non-duality

    To Question is to Love.

    At 9 years old I was shocked when I realized the degree to which we could do harm to one another. Prior to that time I had been exposed to all sorts of violence on tv, in movies and in rumors and hearsay. But it was the bullies at elementary school that saddened my heart enough to spur a life of questioning. At this young age I began to question the nature of suffering, how any so called benevolent creator could allow for such suffering and whether it was possible to be free of it. At the age of twelve, I was graced with the first glimpse of life without suffering. It…