• Consciousness,  Practice

    The Sensation of Soul

    “We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one. ”  – Aristotle Gurdjieff speaks of the crystallization of a force through spiritual effort that has the capacity to withstand the torrent of external assaults we experience regularly.  This force is the place where human and Divine collide – an interface that we call soul.  He sometimes describes this force as a “finer substance” which can be felt distinct from the denser vibration of our personality and physical reality.  As you traverse the spiritual path of yoga (or otherwise), the question is:  Can you sense the presence of this “finer…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality

    On Happiness

      What is happiness?  I’ve been contemplating this for weeks.  It seems the notion of happiness can have so many meanings, across paradigms as well as within me.  Patanjali spends a great deal of time talking about the nature of “bliss”, the ultimate happiness.  But for him it is lifetimes of work to realize the stillness of being associated with it.  Buddhism is similar.  Happiness is possible only in the cessation of cravings or desire.  And yet for other systems, desire is central to moving our human organism toward meeting our needs.  For me, the pursuit of happiness exists on both levels.   I know that I have a propensity toward…

  • Ego,  Non-duality,  Practice

    A Word on Discipline

    Countless people have remarked how if only they had discipline they would practice yoga more regularly.  Discipline can be good, sometimes.  And sometimes it can be ego’s way of promising guilt, self-flagellation and a spiritual life that is controlled by will – which is no spiritual life at all.It’s hard not to think about discipline as a sought after quality of the most successful people in the world.  We respect the discipline of athletes, soldiers, business people and fitness gurus.  And in the name of producing a well-oiled human machine, discipline in this sense is really a formidable feat. The question is:  can we come to know our spiritual self through the same means…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Practice

    Ego’s Got a New Job

    Can you let go?  Can you take a leap of faith and become voluntarily passive in front of the life that lives you right now?  Becoming voluntarily passive is a notion that comes from Gurdjieff and has greatly illuminated the role that my ego plays in daily suffering.  Here’s how I understand the notion in a nutshell:  Every day I am impacted by life.  I (little I/ego) instantly judge those impacts as being something pleasant or unpleasant.  Based on these judgements I react to the impacts in all sorts of neurotic ways to keep myself from experiencing the unpleasantness or to grasp the pleasantness.  Essentially, I never actually feel the resonance of life’s impacts in my…

  • Enneagram,  Non-duality,  Practice,  spirituality

    Our Dual Nature

     I’m sure many of you have heard the adage “we are not human beings that can have spiritual experiences but spiritual beings having a human experience”.  This sentiment was always a little peculiar to me since I wondered what it meant to be a purely spiritual being (which would then be able to wiggle its way into a human embodiment).  Would I be a big ball of light? But as I understand it light is both wave and particle, hence it is an entity of the physical realm.   Would I have any form at all?  Perhaps I would just be a thought, but, who’s thought?  The idea that I am a spiritual…

  • 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…