Please feel free to read this blog and join in. I hope you will write something inspirational, inspiring, spiritual, controversial, amusing, engaging or just plain run of the mill. But please don't be brusque, churlish or licentious.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Experiential Method

The experiential method enables you to go inside yourself and investigate your own experience of what is.  Rather than looking outward at objects and other people you use awareness to look inward.  The experiential method is often used for exploring emotional situations like:  despair, anxiety, love, happiness, hate, etc., but it can also be used for discovering answers to more complex phenomena or questions such as "What is the mind?" or "What is it like to be peaceful?"  There are six steps in the method:          
1.  Ask the Question: "What is it like to experience _______________?"   Use the blank space for writing in the phenomenon you would like to investigate.

2.  Self Observation:  Being relaxed is a key component to this part because you will use awareness to observe your own perceptions, feelings, and thoughts.  Self observation is being able to notice what is taking place inside yourself, in the present moment, without interpretation or judgment.

It is easier to investigate phenomena that you can experience in the present moment such as peacefulness, the mind, and love rather than things you have to re-live such as anxiety, depression, and jealousy, unless, of course, you are experiencing them right now.

To continue on with the next step let's actually do a subjective experiment to illustrate how it's done.  Let's investigate the age old question, "What is the mind?"  Please read the third step below, do it and then we will go on with step no. 4. 

3.  Data Collection:  Sit in a comfortable position with a notepad in your lap and a pencil or pen in your hand.  Close your eyes, relax, and ask the question, "What is it like to experience the mind?"  Take a breath in and exhale slowly and ask the question again - "What is it like to experience the mind?"  Write down whatever you become aware of: feelings, visions, images, words, thoughts, sounds, etc., that are emanating from within that relate to the question ("What is the mind?").

Write freely and don't worry about the accuracy of your handwriting or penmanship.  You may be just writing one syllable words, short phrases, or whatever - it doesn't matter.  You are simply collecting data in the present moment.  Take notes as long as you are receiving information from within.

So, get your pad and pencil, close your eyes, and ask the question, "What is it like to experience the mind?"

4. Analysis:  Look at your notes and see if you can use them to write statements.  Write in first person, present tense.  Use "I" or "My" statements as if you are experiencing the situation right now.

For example, if you were questioning what it's like to experience peacefulness you might write, "I feel my heart beating.  It is calm.  My breathing is shallow and even.  I feel no pain. 

5.  Common elements:  In order to complete this next step there must be other investigators (co-investigators).  More is better.  So, please join us in the monumental, ground-breaking event to find out more about the mind. 

Also, someone, other than the co-investigators, looks at the statements and identifies those aspects of the statements which are present in all of the co-investigators writings.  That will be my job - your humble host. This is important in order to arrive at a consensus regarding the structure of the experience being investigated (the mind in this case).

6.  Hypothesis:  After all the data is in, final analysis made, and common elements solidified, an hypothesis is made attempting to answer the question, "What is it like to experience the mind?"  The hypothesis in this case is not based on an idea but rather on actual lived facts found in human experiences.  If sufficient evidence supports the hypothesis it may be re-stated as a conclusion.

We need 25 co-investigators in order to make a valid hypothesis.  I encourage you to become a co-investigator and post your statements about your self-observation concerning mind.  Be a subjective research scientist.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Subjective Science

To humans seeing is believing.  To dogs smelling is believing and to bats hearing is believing.  Humans can see only a very small section (visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow green, blue, indigo, and violet) of the entire light spectrum.  A hawk can see a small mouse from 200 feet.  Cats and many predatory birds can see at night.  Roaches can see within the infrared spectrum.  How many other pieces of reality are humans missing?

For the most part modern science uses objective investigations to try and understand reality.  First of all, objectiveness relies on the senses and the mind to interpret the world.  It is no wonder we are still seeking the truth.  The truth escapes us because we are looking at the world through myopic lenses with blinders on trying to describe a vast subject like reality.  Even with powerful electron microscopes, giant telescopes, radio telescopes, powerful spectroscopy machines, and humongous cyclotrons we are still using our sense of sight and the mind to interpret images.

We know now, through quantum physics, that the simple act of observing influences the outcome of an investigation (experiment).  So, as hard as we may try to discover and explain reality it will continue to elude us as long as we depend entirely on objective investigations.  A few scientists are beginning to include subjectiveness in their research.

Don Price and James J. Barrell are two scientists who are joining objective research with subjective research to increase the possibility of getting closer to truth.  Although their research deals mainly with behavioral sciences they believe it could be expanded to include other sciences as well.  By employing both the outer and inner perspective they hope to achieve a higher level of reliability and validity in discovering new things about reality.

Looking at one's self and inquiring within is the key to opening new frontiers in understanding consciousness.  That part of subjective research is called the experiential method.  When a person can look at their self and evaluate their own emotions, behaviors, and reasons for doing what they are doing a greater degree of accuracy, truthfulness, and reliability emerges.  This is true for both scientists and non-scientists.

The experiential method opens a greater understanding in human consciousness.  In the next post you will get the chance to evaluate yourself by using the experiential method.  


Monday, June 24, 2013

Body-Mind Entities

Your body is material and your mind is immaterial.  The word "immaterial" in this case does not mean unimportant, it means spiritual as in not physical.  The difference between these two entities (body and mind) is mainly how you view them.

As quantum physics is beginning to show and what yogic experience has known for a long time, the body and the mind are both entities of energy.  The body is simply visible and the mind is not.  As with all things material we know there is no finite ingredient.  Down to the smallest, scientifically measurable minutia there will always be something smaller.  The quantum world is infinite which is impossible for the human brain to fathom.

Science looks outside using objectivity in trying to explain truth.  Subjectivity is rarely used, if at all, in trying to investigate the mysteries of reality.  It is starting to become clear that in order to really and truly understand reality we must get out of the thinking mind and look deeper within the subjective world.

By going beyond the confines of the mind it is possible to experience reality to a greater extent than ever imagined.  Some call subjective investigation voodoo science or pseudoscience because they have not experienced what subjective science can do.  Many scientists and laymen alike still stick to materialism and objectivity because it is the only way they know to look at the world.  To look at the world any other way would go against their "proven" paradigm.  

How do you subjectively look at the world to discover truth?  That is the discussion in my next post.
Hope to see you there.

Friday, June 21, 2013

More Beyond the Normal State of Consciousness

It seems there is another state of consciousness, or maybe it should be called another self, that exists between normal consciousness and the true Self. This state of consciousness is one of no ego but yet is not one of complete non-duality and oneness.

The state I am talking about cannot be called normal consciousness nor can it be said to be the true Self.  It is more like a self that has grown out of the ego self and has not yet connected fully with the Absolute.  It is a state of existence where you can respond to any situation with calmness and serenity.  There is nothing that can really push your buttons to cause irritation, fear, impatience, or any other negative response. 

One can live completely in the moment and yet at the same time be fully engaged with what life has to offer.  It seems to be the deepest and truest sense of who we really are.  No longer are we restricted by desires, wants, and fears.  We are awake in the present moment.  All the years of spiritual practice, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have brought us to this point in our life where we are totally relaxed with whatever happens.  There is no longer a struggle to achieve anything.

For the lack of a better term I would like to call this state of being  the "transitional self."  It can be called anything but it is still what it is - a wonderful place between normal consciousness and the true Self.  Whatever it is it is a blessing.  

Maybe the so called "transitional self" is actually the last one or two remaining sheaths covering the true Self.  Maybe the true Self will be uncovered once we have discarded these last few shrouds that hold on tenaciously to the ego self.  The progress is slow but now there is no turning back.  


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beyond the Normal State of Consciousness cont'd

Normal consciousness is where the self resides.  The self is that person we call "Me," or "I."  It is the ego self with all of our values, beliefs, feelings, desires, aspirations, hopes, and fears.  We may go to the edge of normal consciousness (awareness) but the ego self is still there.

The true Self (big Self, Atman, the Absolute, the All, Pure Awareness, the Divine) is all encompassing - one with everything.  The true Self is everlasting and has no ego.  It is the ultimate state of being.  When you experience the true Self there is no duality.  You are no longer isolated and your relationship is with everyone and everything to the nth degree.  The true Self is beyond normal consciousness.

We have all experienced this magnificent state of the true Self at one time or another.  It may have lasted for only a few seconds or minutes but it was unmistakably an unforgettable experience.

When I was a young man I was standing on the bow of a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean one evening as the sun was setting.  The ocean was like a giant blue lake expanding out into infinity with no land in sight.  The sun looked like a big egg yolk as it was trying to descend into the depths of the horizon. Almost immediately, and lasting for about 10 seconds, the sky turned a brilliant gold and for that brief moment there was no longer a "Me."  That was my first encounter with the true Self.

According to Yogic philosophy the true Self is always present and all we have to do is take away the physical and non-physical sheathes or koshas that prevent the true Self from shining through. But that is not an easy thing to do.  We live in a busy an exciting world that has many distractions that keep us from staying in the true Self for any length of time.  So what is a busy person to do?

To be continued on the next post.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beyond the Normal State of Consciousness

Normal consciousness can be said to be that state of wakefulness when you know you are alive, embodied, and thinking.  Consciousness may also include being asleep; both dreamless sleep and dreaming sleep.  These points can be argued but for sake of non-arguing let's move on.


The state of consciousness when you are awake has four different levels of consciousness, which you can discover for yourself by simply observing yourself throughout the day.  The levels are discussed in the previous post on this blog.  


To go into and stay in the higher states of consciousness requires practice and effort.  You might go into the highest state, awareness, for a few hours or even maybe a few days but eventually you will find yourself back in the lower levels.  Why is that?  


 Why can't we stay in the higher levels?  It is basically because of distractions.  And the ego has a lot to do with it too.  Just about the only way to stay in the higher states is to become completely isolated from society and all of its distractions.  But the normal, average person can't do that.  We must be engaged and active in the world if we want to experience what life is all about.  Can't we be engaged and active in life and at the same time aware?


 To be continued on the next post.    

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Go Beyond Mind and Body

The OM symbol reminds us that we live in the illusion of thinking we are consciousness and the only way to merge with the higher Self is to go beyond that thinking. 

So, how do you go beyond the thinking mind?  First of all you have to be able to quiet the mind and second of all you must be able to recognize the different states of consciousness your mind is in during different times of the day.  Third of all, you must practice staying aware, in the moment, merged with the ALL.  It's that easy - - -NOT EASY!  No one ever said it was easy.

Step 1 - Meditate on your thoughts and allow the thoughts to come and go without trying to control them.  See your thoughts for what they are; packets of energy.  Allow them to appear as you watch them dissipate and float away into nothingness.  After some time of sitting and observing you will be sitting in a sea of tranquility.  Now you have quieted your mind.

Step 2 - While you are going about your daily activities stop every-so-often and ask yourself  "what state of consciousness was I in one second ago?"

There are four normal states of consciousness:  waking sleep, absorption, attention, and awareness.

Waking sleep is when your body is doing one thing and your mind is thinking of something else, like walking down stairs and thinking of having a conversation with your boss.  Or, driving to work and thinking about what you did last night.

Absorption is when you are completely immersed in an object and you are not aware of your self.  Examples would be: watching an intense ball game, listening to your favorite music, reading an interesting book.

Attention is when you are observing something and you are slightly aware of yourself.  Activities and objects around you are evident but you are still focused on what is being observed.  A good example would be sitting in class, paying attention to the teacher, and taking notes. 

Awareness is the experience of being aware of yourself (the self) while at the same time aware of things going on around you.  You are in the moment - mindful of what you are doing and what is happening in the immediate environment. 

Step 3 - Once you are able to stay in the state of awareness (see above) for some time, allow your consciousness to expand out further and further into the universe.  In the beginning you may have to do this while sitting quietly by yourself.  Later on you might try walking around outside and then when you get real good at it try talking to someone while being in this expanded state of awareness.  This expanded state of awareness is called pure awareness - beyond the normal states of consciousness.

Step 1 - learn to observe thoughts and quiet the mind.  Step 2- Be able to recognize what state of consciousness you were in one second ago and practice staying in awareness. Step 3 - Allow your consciousness to expand beyond  normal states of consciousness. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Master of Your Mind

Thoughts, at times, are random and come as a complete surprise.  When thoughts are not who you are or who you think you are: negative or even destructive, turn them into positive ones.  That is the power of yoga; the ability to change one's thoughts from negative to positive. 

You have the free will to change your thinking just as you have the free will to go right or go left.  All it takes is knowing your mind.  That is where meditation comes in.  By sitting in silence and observing your thoughts you can learn how your mind works.  From there you can learn to control your thoughts.  Be the master of your mind not the other way around. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


There never seems to be enough time to get everything done.
Never is a long time, enough is sufficient, and everything is a lot of stuff.  So, a long time is sufficient to get a lot of stuff done.  That seems logical.  If it is true, then the opposite - a short time is not sufficient to get a little done, is also true.  But that doesn't seem logical.  If the latter is not logical then the former can't be logical either.  Therefore, neither is logical.  

Does that seem logical?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stay Strong and Healthy

The body and the mind operate in concert like an orchestra.  When one is out of tune the other suffers.  Keep your body strong and your mind healthy and the concert will always be in tune. 

A strong body means not only being able to carry one's own weight with ease but also being flexible in both movement and attitude.  A healthy mind is one that maintains a positive outlook. 

Keep your body strong with exercise and eating healthy foods.  Things that pollute the body will make it weak and inflexible.  With all the information available today there is no excuse for not knowing what to and what not to put into your body.  Ignorance is no excuse. 

Keep your mind healthy by exercising it as well.  Be creative in everything you do.  Work on puzzles.  Be active and participate in group discussions.  Always look toward the positive side of life.
Meditate regularly. 

A healthy mind will make for a strong body and a strong body will make for a healthy mind.  Stay strong and healthy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Stranger

Who is this stranger living inside me?
How do I get to know him?   
When all is quiet and I search deep inside
there seems to be no one home.  
Yet that person calls out - 
from where, I do not know.

The "me" and "I" will never know
as long as  we continue searching,
for the very act of searching
prevents him from emerging.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Who is that?

Who is that
looking over my shoulder?

It's not my brother
or my sister.

It doesn't seem to be
anyone I know.

It seems to be
a stranger.

My god!
The stranger is me.