A little guidance goes a long way on the road to liberation.
If you find yourself on the spiritual journey, then you know from experience the road is often unclear and the directions are vague. These Shortcuts are designed to help you find your way more effectively. Subscribers receive one Shortcut via email each week. Simply enter your email address below to receive your first Shortcut.
It is with a bit of sadness that I have to announce that satsang is coming to an end, at least for the next several (many) months. I will miss doing them, and yet, I have complete conviction that they will return if and when the time is right.
Many factors have gone into this seeming decision. The precipitating factor is that the lease on my office is coming due, and it makes no sense to renew it. The office is my “recording studio”, and without it and the big, fat fiber optic Internet connection it provides me, I cannot broadcast satsang as I’m doing it now. The bottom line is that the office costs me a considerable amount of money each month, and when you add in the other… Read the rest →
My friend Takuin Minamoto mentioned today a blog post he did 2 years ago that generated a lot of discussion, including some (long) comments by yours truly. I just now re-read the discussion, and I have to say, it was quite good. I invite you to have a look and profit from the many questions, comments and responses.
I ran across this video clip of Eckhart Tolle answering a woman’s question about thought and ego, and Eckhart did a fantastic job of answering the question. He put to rest the notion that the ego is a thing that is somehow independent, and entity of sorts we must deal with. Watch the video clip. It is well worth 10 minutes of your time.
I recently received an email from a friend of a friend wanting some help finding a spirituality that would “give [her] some peace.” As I pondered this request, it became clear to me that some sort of “Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Awakening” might be of use to her and hopefully others. This article is the first in what will probably be several on how to get started in spirituality with an emphasis on awakening.
Since many guides for beginners can at times be long and confusing, I’m going to attempt to keep these articles simple, in other words, no more than five to ten simple steps that one can take or brief comments awakening and spirituality. That should make it easier for someone just starting out to dive in easily… Read the rest →
This past Sunday, I did an interview with Rick Archer who has the wonderful website, Buddha at the Gas Pump. I invite you check out the interview, available both in video and audio formats, as well as the many other excellent interviews that Rick has done.
A friend and reader with whom I’ve corresponded many times over the past few years recently sent me an email with some questions. In my reply, I made reference to a practice that I had done that had made a real difference in my experience. She wanted to know what the practice was, and so I replied as follows:
The practice is discussed in a book by Sri Sadhu Om, a disciple of Ramana Maharshi, and it is what Sadhu Om calls “Self-Enquiry”. Now, self-inquiry is batted around in many spiritual circles, and I’m sure it gets defined in many, many ways. But according to Sadhu Om, Self-Enquiry is exactly the same as a practice that Adyashanti refers to as “putting attention on awareness”.
Sadhu Om says that this simple… Read the rest →
I recently received an email from a longtime reader and friend with some questions about another spiritual teacher and his teachings. I’ll leave the details and the teacher’s identity aside for now, as they really aren’t relevant, but I want to address her main question publicly as it provides a great intro to something of value for you and your journey.
Her question was: “Do you know what he is talking about?”
Have we not all stumbled upon a teaching or two that left us scratching our heads? At times, we can even sense a real vitality, a real aliveness in the teacher or teaching that gives us a sense we might be served by paying attention. But try as we might, we just can’t figure out what the hell… Read the rest →
The Ultimate state is that state in which nothing exists, neither I, nor you, nor manifestation.
When Bill Clinton ran for President against the incumbent George Bush (the elder Bush, not W) in 1992, the US economy wasn’t doing so hot. One of Clinton’s advisers made a rather apt observation about the main message that Bill and the campaign should stick to, one that would undoubtedly prove to be the key to Clinton’s election over a rather popular George Bush. The message: “It’s the economy, stupid.”
In a sense, one of my “advisers” recently reminded me of something that I had either forgotten or failed to learn fully. While I can’t honestly say that I, Tom Stine, have a purpose for doing the spiritual teaching that I do, it is readily apparent… Read the rest →
“The you that you think of as you (and that thinks of you as you, and so on) is not you, it’s just the character that the underlying truth of you is dreaming into brief existence. Enlightenment isn’t in the character, it’s in the underlying truth. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a dream character, of course, unless it’s your goal to wake up, in which case the dream character must be ruthlessly annihilated. If your desire is to experience transcendental bliss or supreme love or altered states of consciousness or awakened kundalini, or to quality for heaven, or to liberate all sentient beings, or simply to become the best dang person you can be, then rejoice!, you’re in the right place: the dream state, the dualistic universe. However, if… Read the rest →
I feel like some sort of strange math problem, in which there is a constant dividing, subtracting, square rooting, you name it, and the answer keeps getting closer and closer to some limit. And the limit is somewhere between 1 and 0. Or maybe the problem simply ends up with no solution. Yes, that’s about right. No solution.
Buddhism has a problem, an unfortunate one, but such is life. And that problem is: there is no way to know for certain what the Buddha said. It is a problem with any spiritual teaching more than a thousand years old, or any history for that matter. It has to do with written texts and oral transmission.
The first written Buddhist texts are in the Pali language and are based upon 400 years of oral tradition. That means that whatever the Buddha said 2500 years ago was repeated generation after generation, from one man to the next, for four centuries. Even if the monks who recited the Dharma for 400 years didn’t add a single thing to the words… Read the rest →
A big theme in spirituality: we’re all one! No matter what the flavor of spiritual discussion, you’ll bump into something about oneness. And you know, if you are going to believe in something, you might as well believe in oneness. It’s a pretty good concept, as concepts go.
But if we are all one, then who are you? I mean that literally. If there is just The One, as in One Spirit or One Consciousness, no second, no sense of two-ness (that’s what nonduality means, by the way), then is there any sense in which I can talk about a “you” that is not me?
I do see other bodies walking around the world. I talk to other bodies.… Read the rest →
Jowo Sakyamuni 觉沃 釋迦牟尼
My friend Takuin Minamoto recently answered this question on his blog, and I was thrilled by his response. Takuin defined enlightenment as follows:
Enlightenment is limitless expansion within a limited field.
I love this definition because Takuin masterfully dropped all the centuries of spiritual baggage attached to this one simple word and took it directly to the heart of the matter. As he further explained, the limited field he is referring to is the world we find ourselves living in, the experiences that pass through our awareness moment to moment. It is a limited field, isn’t it? While it arises… Read the rest →
A reader sent me the following email:
What I’m wondering is in the phrase, “…after enlightment, chop wood, carry water”. The thing is, I’ve lost my zest for my career which I must recapture in order to find work (was laid-off) and to pay my mortgage. In the absolute, I understand there’s no one here. In the relative, I need to find the energy, but I’m no longer interested in the Game–the whole illusion thing. What to do?
I love this question and the entire subject it represents. It gets right to the heart of the seeming paradox between awakening/enlightenment and the world we find ourselves in. What to do about this paradox?
Awakening to the truth of what we are, that there is no separate self,… Read the rest →
What does it mean to be infinite? The answer seems obvious, straight out of high school math: infinite means without limits. We could even say something like “it goes on forever.” Okay, that’s infinite.
But does that have any meaning for us? Spirit, God, the Divine, Consciousness, these are often called “the infinite.” If any of these words have some relationship to what we really are, then that would make what I am and what you are infinite.
But still, the question is begging to be answered: does this have any meaning for us? I would say yes, it certainly does. In a very real sense, I am infinite. And anything that seems to be finite, or not-infinite, would… Read the rest →
I haven’t posted a Puppetji video in a while. I love Puppetji. While the message is always funny, the “truth” spoken is quite good. Watch Puppetji. His “Socksangs” are excellent. Namaste.
Head over to TalkingPurpose.com and watch the video interview I recently did with Michelle Vandepas. I’ve done a few other interviews with Michelle, and they are fun for me and hopefully interesting for you. We discussed awakening and enlightenment and a host of other topics. Watch and enjoy! Namaste.
Previously I’ve written about the lack of real control that we have in our lives (see No Control, No Control, No Control and Who Is in Control? and many others). To properly discuss control, however, requires a bit more to be said on the subject than I’ve said in the past. In this article I’m going to attempt to provide some clarity on a somewhat confusing topic.
I think control is confusing and also quite problematic for most people because of the essential issue confronting everyone (and by everyone I mean everyone, not just spiritual seekers). That essential issue is the answer to the question, “What are you?” That’s the key to the… Read the rest →
I have a good friend who often debates with me the seemingly separate experiences of “emptiness” and “everything” that arise as a part of awakening. I often take the emptiness side of the debate, as the awakening I experienced was very much one of emptiness as all sense of what I am, a “me,” a self, an “I” as an individual completely vanished. I spent a delightful 24 hours with not one shred of identity. “I” was as empty as can be.
My friend, on the other hand, got the “everything” part first. You see, awakening seems to have two aspects to it, if we can call them that, an emptiness… Read the rest →
There is a wonderful video about the life and teaching of Nisargadatta Maharaj entitled “Awaken to the Eternal.” You can buy it on DVD, but it is a bit pricey. However, someone has posted it on YouTube. The video is very watchable and quite amazing. Watch it. Enjoy it. Learn from one of the greatest teachers ever.
The first of six parts is below. You can head over to YouTube for the remaining 5 videos. Enjoy!
A while ago, a reader sent me the following question: “Do you have any thoughts on discipline and freedom?” After exchanging a few emails to clarify more specifically what he was asking, he sent me the following:
I’m on a spiritual path and I pick up stuff from all sorts of places like the Sedona Method, I’m checking out A Course in Miracles and the Work of Byron Katie and non violent communication, and other sources, and sometimes with all the techniques and stuff my mind can get really jumbled and I wouldn’t know which to use or when, and it gets to be this mess in my mind, where all messes are made—haha. I think a reason I cling to the forms and techniques is I would achieve
Twenty-one years ago, I was feeling a bit sick much of the time, and so I decided to find a doctor who was interested in a more alternative approach to health, as I had just gotten interested in a more healthy lifestyle. Fortunately for me, C. Norman Shealy, founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, had his offices nearby, so I scheduled an appointment with him.
After a thorough examination that lasted over an hour, Norm and I sat down to chat. As we neared the end of our time together, he looked at me and said, “What do you believe in?” I had to ask him to repeat the question because, well, no… Read the rest →
This article is one of five articles on forgiveness posted today by several different writers. At the end of this article is a list of links to the others. Forgiveness is an excellent topic for the holidays as, to me, Jesus exemplifies forgiveness more than any other spiritual teacher. And while we have no idea when he was actually born, thanks to history, we celebrate his birth in three more days.
I have a somewhat radical perspective with regard to forgiveness. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I can forgive, but I’ll never forget.” Well, I’m sorry, but that isn’t even within a hundred miles of forgiveness. As long as there is any… Read the rest →
A sure sign that you are a member of The Half Awake (Half Asleep) Club is the almost inevitable pair of questions that the mind loves to ask:
What do I do with this… this… awakening thing that has happened to me?
What do I do now (in general)?
Ah, the poor mind. Even when it gets it, it still doesn’t get it. I’m going to call these questions the Half-Awake Dilemma.
There is nothing wrong with these questions, by the way. As long as one has any identification whatsoever with the world, the body, the ego, the persona, anything in the manifest world of form, the questions will arise. And given that so many of us… Read the rest →
But beauty, real beauty, ends where intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of a face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don’t think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful.
credit: Indy Kethdy
By using the term “Half-Awake” I’ve probably given a somewhat false impression to many people. Saying half-awake almost implies that there are 3 states that a person can exist in:
Half-Awake (or Half-Asleep)
However, as a few of you can attest, a schema such as this one would be grossly over-simplified and possibly inaccurate. Let me try to clarify a bit what I mean by half-awake and how it fits into what is experienced along the spiritual journey:
The vast majority of humanity is sound asleep. When I say the vast majority, I mean to say 99.99% (and I may have left out a few 9′s). I… Read the rest →
I strongly urge all of you to read Who Hears This Sound? Adyashanti On Waking Up From The Dream Of “Me” published a few years ago in The Sun magazine. Someone sent me a link to the article, and I found it to be one of the best and clearest presentations of Adyashanti’s teachings I’ve ever read. It is often hard to find succinct versions of a teacher’s ideas and thoughts, but the interviewer did a nice job of bringing greater clarity to an already fairly clear teaching. That’s one of the reasons I like Adya so much: he is extraordinarily clear for an awake guy.
Here are a few excerpts to read now… Read the rest →
A reader sent me the following:
The moment one has to get involved with another person for any reason (or for that matter getting involved with any functional activity for which the mind needs to get involved), the mind moves away to fully involve in the next expected activity with that other person or activity. All that calmness and peace of stillness is suddenly pushed to the background. One can’t avoid interacting with people or doing some activity as they are mostly unavoidable to a large extent. Not to react with the person would mean ignoring and activating a pain body. Even giving attention to humans or a functional activity is taking away the stillness (and the awareness?) that was there when we did only the observation.
How do I