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Jan Frazier

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What Do You Know?

I know what I know. The knowledge is 24 karat. It is elemental, every atom of it like every other. It is cut with nothing, diluted with nothing. It is seen not through any lens. There is nothing in me that is not knowing. I am not separate from knowing. There is not a knower and a known. I do not know anything that you do not also know. Here […]

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What Is This “I”?

“Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought like the relentless fury of the pounding waves in the infinite ocean of samsara.” —Nyoshel Kempo Rinpoche This Person Called “I” When we meditate, doing the relatively simple task of noticing the sensations that arise from breathing, uninvited, an incredible display occurs. At times this mindscape is beautiful and harmonious, at other times chaotic or

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Bewildered Ignorance

At first, for bewildered beings Awareness did not arise on the ground. That obscurity of unconsciousness Is the cause of bewildered ignorance. The Dzogchen view is that deluded beings arise because of the failure to see the awareness of the original ground. The awareness, which did not arise on the ground, is the awareness of spontaneous insight, vipashyana, superior insight. This does not mean that rigpa is absent in the

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Spiritual Maturity

Until the last century, the theoretical framework of Advaita Vedanta was preserved and presented mainly within the esoteric spiritual teachings of India. Traditionally, these non-dual teachings were not imparted freely. An apprenticeship of twelve years’ service to a spiritual teacher or guru was customary, after which the guru determined if the student was ripe to be introduced to the non-dual perspective. While this might seem extreme in this current freedom-of-information

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The Neuroscience of Suffering–And Its End

“Do not pursue the past. Do not usher in the future. Rest evenly with present awareness” —Tibetan meditation instruction. It was 1972, and Gary Weber, a 29-year old materials science PhD student at Penn State University, had a problem with his brain. It kept generating thoughts! – continuously, oppressively – a stream of neurotic concerns about his life, his studies, whatever. While most human beings would consider this par for the

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The Art of Enjoying Life

The higher spiritual teachings are often more vertical than linear. They invite us to be enlightened right now rather than pointing to a goal in the distant future. The Eastern tradition of sitting meditation goes back thousands of years. The purpose of it is to stop our linear mind, which is constantly going in all directions, and to initiate a vertical ascension, and immediate transcendence. Basically, it signifies enlightenment right

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The Art of Non-doing

If we look carefully, we can see that everything in existence is in motion, besotted with the will to become. This is particularly true for human consciousness. The human mind has become a reflection, even a caricature, of universal movement. While to be endowed with active intelligence is natural and positive, when we become subjugated by our own compulsive thinking, we lose our connection to the basic goodness of being

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There’s No Way Out of Totality

When we look into a mirror, we see a reflection — an image, shapes and colors, a visual sensation―and we say, “That’s me.” But what we don’t see is the seeing. We don’t see awareness. We mistake an image or a sensation for what we are, and we overlook the boundless awareness or the presence in which it all appears. When you look across the room and see somebody else,

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A Soup for Any Occasion

Soup is a universal food; it takes various ingredients, spices, and water and marries them together. I asked a few friends for their favorite soup recipes and I share their recipes with you. My favorite soup memory is a pot of many vegetables, various beans, tomatoes and spices, simmering on top of a wood stove, in the dead of winter. The embers burned slowly within the stove to create a

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Celtic cross

I Am Therefore I Am

Expansiveness When I was a child, I would sit in bed at night and contemplate how the universe could be infinite. How can something go on forever? I would envision how there might be a brick wall in space where the universe would end, but then I would ask what was behind the wall. I would have to stop thinking about the whole idea because it would literally blow my

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Ramana Standing

The Question of Effort

In Light of the Teachings of Ramana Maharshi Is the Self, is it ever attained?” . . . “Can you ‘realize’ the Self?” . . . “All are Self-Realized” . . . “Be as you are” . . . “Be Still and Know that you are God.” These statements were made on different occasions by the sage Ramana Maharshi. At other times the Maharshi has said, “Grace is always there

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On Transmission and Teaching

Questioner One: I would like to ask you a question. I have deep respect for you—I’ve listened to your tapes and read your books. I also have deep respect for the others present here, and for myself. We have been talking a lot about the future of Buddhism in America. Many people here are from different traditions, and some are not affiliated with any. Generally, traditions have a concept of

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Thicker Brain Sections Tied to Spirituality

Thicker Brain Sections Tied to Spirituality For people at high risk of depression because of a family history, spirituality may offer some protection for the brain, a new study hints. Parts of the brain’s outer layer, the cortex, were thicker in high-risk study participants who said religion or spirituality was “important” to them versus those who cared less about religion. Read More . . .

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Breathing In vs. Spacing Out

Breathing In vs. Spacing Out Two and a half millenniums ago, a prince named Siddhartha Gautama traveled to Bodh Gaya, India, and began to meditate beneath a tree. Forty-nine days of continuous meditation later, tradition tells us, he became the Buddha—the enlightened one. More recently, a psychologist named Amishi Jha traveled to Hawaii to train United States Marines to use the same technique for shorter sessions to achieve a much

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Remembering Allan W. Anderson

July 18, 1922 – March 11, 2013 Allan W. Anderson was a distinguished Professor of Philosophy at San Diego State University from 1962 until his retirement in 1985. During that time, Prof. Anderson taught and mentored students by actively engaging them in a quest for truth that ultimately pointed back within themselves. One of the books that Dr. Anderson often used as a classroom text was I Am That, the

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Wolter Keers on Ramana Maharshi

Wolter A. Keers was a Dutch teacher and writer who lectured extensively, throughout Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, on Yoga and Advaita. I brought a large amount of spiritual samskaras into this life. I was born into a family of clergymen. All interest in our household was focused on matters of religion. I must have been taught how to pray almost before I could talk. During a despairing phase

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Stephen Jourdain

This Life Loves You

Have you ever been walking down a street, and suddenly it’s not a street you’re walking down anymore, it’s The Street, and everything comes to you preceded by the definite article and shining, and an extraordinary melting, humming happiness is there, with the impression that centuries have gone by while you’re living this second, which will last forever? In the middle of the night, I awaken. The compartment is plunged

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Robert Powell

Remembering Robert Powell

1918-2013 Robert Powell was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After obtaining a doctorate in chemistry from the University of London, he pursued a career first as an industrial chemist and later as a science writer and editor in Great Britain and the United States. Robert’s exploration of spirituality began in the 1960s. His quest for deeper self-discovery led him to Zen and later to a number of spiritual masters including

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Self-Observation

The only way someone can be of help to you is in challenging your ideas. If you’re ready to listen and if you’re ready to be challenged, there’s one thing that you can do, but no one can help you. What is this most important thing of all? It’s called self-observation. No one can help you there. No one can give you a method. No one can show you a

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Get In, Get In

Narrated by N. V. Gunaji When there is a sincere desire on the part of a devotee to see Bhagavan and a determination to do so, Bhagavan helps him miraculously and meets him halfway. From the moment I decided to see Bhagavan, everything helped me. I wanted to know more about Bhagavan and his Ashram. So, I went in search of Mr. Sakhdev, who had lent me some Ashram books,

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Lieh-Tzu

Taoist Stories for Practical Living Lieh-tzu lived during the Eastern Ch’ou dynasty (770-476 BCE). It is said that he studied under Wen-tzu, who was a student of Lao-tzu. The book the Lieh-tzu contains materials that were written over a period of six hundred years. There were twenty sections which were condensed into the eight sections we have today. Because it contained more stories than formal philosophical discussion, the book was

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The Essence of Self

“You have no location in space. Space is in you.” I AM You, that part of you who is and knows . . . that part of you who says I AM and is I AM . . . I AM the innermost part of you that sits within, and calmly waits and watches, knowing neither time nor space . . . It was I Who directed all your ways,

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Revolution in Consciousness

An Interview with Robert Powell Robert Powell is a well-known writer and editor of books on the teachings of Advaita, or non-duality. This interview was recorded in the summer of 1993 at Robert Powell’s home. Rick Moore and Cortland Harris talked with Robert, on behalf of The Claremont Forum, located in Claremont, California. The Claremont Forum: Did you ever meet Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj? Robert Powell: I never met the man.

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Jack Kornfield

Extraordinary Sense of Spaciousness: Nisargadatta Maharaj

“The essential point of his teaching is that we already are absolutely free and that there is nothing that we have to do or make or become or change ourselves into; we simply have to see the truth of life which is that we are not this body nor this mind, but they are plays of the elements as your will and that, when one understands this, there comes extraordinary

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