As the Buddha said, “The rain could turn to gold and still your thirst would not be slaked.” In many ways, the entire path pivots on the skillful relationship to desire.
Everyday Sublime: Shadow | Light | Unity
The Everyday Sublime podcast explores a full spectrum spirituality. Each week Josh will release a dharma talk, and each month Josh will publish a long-form conversation with a thought-leader from the field. As Stephen Batchelor says, "the mystical does not transcend the world, but saturates it."
The initial experience of awakening is not often one of calm, serenity, and bliss; rather, the initial encounter is one of waking up to confusion, uncertainty, and despair. We can map our own psychological experience to the mythological story of the Buddha’s biography.
If you let it, reality will wake you up out of your drifting state into a naturally awake state. This transitional pivot is the key moment upon which the entire spiritual path unfolds.
“The ‘I’ that is looking for pure awareness can’t find it, just as a wave can’t do something to find the ocean.”
If we respond to every television advertisement by purchasing the thing being advertised, we’d go bankrupt. In the same way, if we reflexively identify as the thinker of our thoughts, we make ourselves vulnerable to the demands of their message.
When two things interact, a third dynamic emerges. When two people come together a relationship emerges. When Yin and Yang come to harmony, a Third Way emerges as the Path.
All experience, if you let it, will reveal the vast empty space from which all things arise and cease. Recognizing that open space as the source of your own awareness facilitates the emergence of an undefended Heart.
The Inner Critic seems to present an obstacle on the spiritual path, judging and disparaging our practice at every turn. But what if there was gold to be found in even its nastiest of statements?
Josh considers wise friendship as the foundational energy of the spiritual path. The Buddha is believed to have said that wise friendship is, “the entirety of the holy life.” How might we weave this statement into our meditation and practice of yoga?
“You’re flying the plane and have to figure out what works. We – teachers – are just ground control.”
In this tribute, I’d like to mention three potential primary source thinkers and their books that I think had a strong influence on the man that Michael Brooks became. These three are what I’m calling the Triple Gem of Michael Brooks’ Dharma.
And it can be like that internally… when a dynamic of tension between parts or within a part, when that tension dissolves or unravels or is unburdened, there can be an experience of calm and quiet that unfolds, similar to the experience of a distant hum suddenly switching off.
“If you can be an inner Bodhisattva it’s much easier to be an outer Bodhisattva.” In other words, if we can relate to our inner world with care and tender compassion, it’s easier to relate to our outer world with care and tender compassion.
Not giving into the craving, but simply observing it until it fades, allows us to heal in that we grow out of a strategy that seeks happiness in very limited ways (seeking pleasant sights, sounds, feelings, sensations, etc.) and starts to taste a happiness and well-being that is intrinsic to being, itself – when we aren’t hooked by the seductive messaging of craving or tanha.
With regard to coming to a better understanding of addiction, “we need to learn how to de-stigmatize the human condition.” Whether the addiction is to alcohol, nicotine, smartphones, this interview with Dr. Judson Brewer holds many insights for our individual and collective freedom.
Loch Kelly explains the relationship between two distinct neural structures in the brain: The Default Mode Network and the Task Positive Network. Learn how non-dual mindfulness harmonizes these two networks, priming your mind for greater creativity and flow.
“Let’s introduce the solution before we tackle the problem. Let’s introduce what can bear what seems unbearable – then we can deal with what [seems] unbearable.” – Loch Kelly
“What shifts is not you the meditator, not you the doer, not you the seeker or the small self… the beginning is to invite your already awake awareness which is identified [with something] to separate itself out. Let awareness be aware of the space from the space.” – Loch Kelly
We are pleased to announce that the Foundations Module is now available in an online and on-demand format. I explain the details in the brief special episode.
“From the cloud [of egoic, thought-based identity] we can drop below it, we can shift above it, or behind it, or to the side of it, to discover that we are also the sky.” – Loch Kelly