Belief

Is It True

❝ Many of our ideas and beliefs about ourself and the world are so deeply ingrained that we are unaware that they are beliefs and we take them, without questioning, for the absolute truth.❞ ~Rupert Spira Why not investigate these thoughts and beliefs? Why not look closely at the experience of them? Why not enquire into the consciousness of those experiences? Why not become aware of the consciousness? Why not find out who is investigating, looking, enquiring and being aware? Allow me to explain. Perhaps it’s my rebel nature or an undying curiosity that beckons like an enduring echo. But

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Who

Years ago, I had the belief that experiencing bliss and peace required toning down my emotions so that my actions would be more measured. This approach was inherently not blissful because I continually desired something in the future, something I thought I didn’t have, a particular experience. At its core, it was a hostile and unsustainable approach at forceful removal. To be honest, it was a bit of a relief to accept that emotions are part of life. What wasn’t pleasant was that they seemingly controlled me. I was reacting to stimuli rather than being fully conscious and respectful. Seeking

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Open Questions

The quote at the bottom of this post resonates directly with one of the most important aspects of living a human life: awareness of the space in-between. In my late teens and early twenties, I showed clear evidence of an innate curiosity—an interest, or pull, to investigate the subtler aspects of existence unfazed by time. Unfortunately, the outward manifestation of pliant thoughtfulness was unmistakably absent. It wasn’t until after divorce, depression and recovery that the notion of “open questioning” became evident: (a concept my ex, now my best friend, tried for years to engage with me). As if a veil

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Sunshine

Peace

❝ Peace is not in the hall. It is in the repose of the Self. It can be gained anywhere.❞~Sri Ramana Maharshi This quote is, for me, more than a nice thought. It’s a bit of guiding principle. The past many weeks have been dreary and dark—literally and figuratively. My mental, emotional, and physical dispositions have been rather low. The reasons are multi-faceted. Thankfully, I’ve spent years building a collection of tools to support myself in situations like this. It includes reaching out to others; I can’t make it on my own anymore, nor do I wish to try any

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Nature is itself

Right As Rain

Life is incredibly full. I just have to slow down enough to experience it. When I sit quietly listening to the rain, watching leaves dance in the droplets and noticing the changes in the ebbs and flows of intensity, all the purpose in the world is present and accounted for. Within this space, I hear an invitation to give up my constant pursuit of whatever it is I think I’m looking for and instead just notice what’s already and always present, even as I engage in ‘daily life’. We, humans, are a curious animal. We seek reason for which something

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Conscious Connection

Pre-dawn and daybreak are special times of day for me. There’s a feeling of love, connection and quiet that allows me to more fully resonate with the subtle energies and hear the singing birds. Over the past couple of weeks, out of solidarity and concern, my neighbour and I have taken to waiving and greeting each other, “Bon dia.” During these magical moments, I actively soak in life’s vitality, knowing that it will support me during the coming twenty-four hours. This is especially important during my extended isolation in lockdown. I often think and dream about being in a different

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Real—Unreal

This morning I climbed onto a ledge and sat in the first rays of sunshine to drink tea and read. The chapter, entitled ‘Creation theories and the reality of the world’, contains Sri Ramana’s answers to questions regarding our enigma with the waking and dream worlds, and our difficulty in coming to terms with which world, if either, is real and which is unreal. It’s a subject upon which I’ve never felt I could get any grasp, and not for lack of trying. But this morning’s musings were set on the backdrop of comments made virtually between friends these past

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Portal

What an odd experience it is to be sequestered, to be in lockdown. I’m certain that we all feel some level of frustration, uncertainty, helplessness, and/or inquiry into one, or many, dimensions of our central, global coronavirus motif. Admittedly, my biggest challenge is the same now as always, not to be overly occupied with beliefs on various topics. Perhaps that’s why I keep returning to the theme of holding space for insight and change. Humorously, even this is based on my own viewpoints. Notwithstanding, I step into the enquiry: can this time be a catalyst for a shift in the

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Mouna & Upadeśa

❝ Silence [mouna] is the true teaching [upadeśa].It is the perfect upadeśa.❞—Sri Ramana Maharshi, ‘Be As You Are’ Mother Nature is forcing Homo sapiens into retreats.Perhaps she is inviting us to take a break from our outwardly focused attention. Let us stop being so ‘busy’. Dive within. See what is already there.Let us each learn more about ourselves, our inner workings. There will be resistance.That is how the asanas [mental tendencies] work.But, with practice, those tendencies—that which separates us from our inner peace—will be rooted out. Just as standing on one leg becomes more difficult when the eyes are closed.In

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Types Of Quiet

I entered the hall with our group, filming to capture the moment. Then, I turned towards the statue of Sri Ramana Maharshi and my world flipped upside-down: the power and presence of Maharshi reached in and took hold. I directly experienced Bhagavan and crumbled to my knees crying. Quiet #1: SpiritYears ago, I’d read a few books containing Ramana’s teachings, but I never imagined visiting Sri Ramanashram. It seemed to me that it was a place reserved solely for highly committed devotees. Yet, there I was, unmistakably overwhelmed in my heart and not understanding why. Over the following two weeks,

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Arunachala

I understand now why people return to this mountain. Here’s my experience…. The prose below were written as I sat at the foot of Arunachala Mountain outside the Samadhi Hall at Sri Ramanashram. I had taken  up the habit of listening to early morning chanting at the ashram, walking to a lookout point on Arunachala for sunrise Surya Yoga and meditation, then returning to the ashram to continue looking within. On my last morning before departure as I sat in meditation, the mountain pulled my body into complete stillness, just as it had done the first time I meditated on

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All Is One

In this Santhi Yoga retreat, our teacher Govind is guiding me and affirming a lifetime of experiences and intuitions. He adds clarity and understanding that allow me to see more clearly and more deeply, providing a framework for both the body and (subtle) mind aspects. He is teaching me how to ground to Mother Earth and with all Creation. I see now that when this body breathes the whole of existence breathes. (It’s not just the worldly physics of all beings sharing the oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen on this planet through the breath.) Arunachala Mountain is tuning this “clay

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Moved To Tears

Never did I imagine that I’d visit Arunachala Mountain and the Sri Ramanashram in India. Nor did I expect the intensity of the experience once it happened. Tears came quickly in Ramana Maharshi’s presence. I crumbled to my knees. And now, each time his image comes to mind I’m overwhelmed again. I do not entirely understand what this is about. Perhaps it will be fully revealed. Perhaps not. It does not matter. One morning, during satsang, as I looked at Ramana’s face my attention moved to his eyes. For the first time I saw love—soft, relaxed, and calm. Previously, I only

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Cultural Paradigms

How do I convey the intensity of experiencing a completely new and different cultural paradigm? Thus far, only video recordings and hours of conversation have helped me chronicle and process the myriad of events, heartwarming interactions, fantastic tastes, iconic themes, disturbing sights, unfathomable realities, and personal insights into my own nature. Not even two days pass before the feeling of being overwhelmed begins to arise. I question my ability to survive the rest of the trip. Compassionately, I hold space for managing it all by reassuring myself that it’s OK to spend a day in nature’s quiet, away from the

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2nd Place Overall

Endurance Insights

One of the overarching reflections I have of racing Ultraman Canada 2019 can be summarised as, “Where did that performance output come from?!” In one regard, I wouldn’t have extrapolated my prior data and experience to predict the achieved results. On the other hand, there are clues to be found in the methodology and mindset. I entered the event believing in the possibility of achieving excellence. This is fundamental because without a positive mental attitude a low ceiling is already cemented into place. Removing perceived boundaries provides room for potential to express itself in extraordinary ways. Keep in mind, however,

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