The Kingdom of Heaven

The Kingdom of Heaven arises when the mind ceases to turn outwards towards gratification in impermanent objects and turns inwards to rest in its own place. That radiance already exists within ourselves. It’s our very essence. So ask yourself, what if the Kingdom of Heaven is always and already here and now, if only I had eyes to see it?

Tantric Maps for Working with Plant Medicine

Awakening is the movement of consciousness becoming conscious of itself. Psychedelics and plant medicines do not offer a path for awakening but they can serve as powerful accelerators along the journey. This article examines the path to awakening as described by Dzogchen, Mahamudra, and Shaiva Shakta Tantra and the role that plant medicines can play in it all.

Tantric Maps of Awakening

We need a clear path to awakening that addresses both our desires for freedom and connection. Typically, spiritual paths have focused on masculine ideals of transcendence without the acknowledgement of our embodied experiences. Tantra, alternatively, represents the rise of The Divine Feminine and offers us a perspective on how archetypal feminine values can balance archetypal masculine ones.

The Tapestry of Tantra

The term “Tantra” evokes the image of a loom, for it points towards the way in which everyone and everything are intricately interwoven. An awakened mind clearly sees that tapestry and understands that the undertaking of awakening is ultimately a collective endeavor. This is why bodhicitta, the intention to wake up for the benefit of others, is essential for continued unfolding along the path.

Seeking The End of Seeking

We need to seek until we find, which usually only happens when the desire to keep seeking outward exhausts itself. Samsara is the wheel of desire that keeps us spinning around and around. It is an endless state of wandering and only when we become exhausted, can the mind finally stop searching for happiness and peace outward in external appearances and turn inward to rest in its own place.

The Universe Begins with a Question

In The Vedas, the universe begins when Shiva, who orchestrates the destruction that lays ground for creation, asks himself, “Who am I?” Why is it that most of us are afraid to become intimate with the uncertainty of this question and how can use the practice of meditation to examine this with more ease?

Balancing Effort & Effortlessness

The ability to hold a paradox is central to the practice of meditation and the journey of awakening. Life is full of paradoxes. However, we overlook them for the simplicity and clarity of dualistic categories. In meditation, one important paradox is the importance of both effort & effortlessness. Neither is right nor wrong in an absolute sense, but the issue is what to emphasize at any given time.

Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up

There are many reasons to practice meditation, but out of respect for the cultures that developed these practices, I’d like to underscore the deeper promise: awakening to our true nature. If you’re allergic to terms like religion or spirituality, as I used to be, then you can approach awakening through Ken Wilber’s Integral Model of growing up, cleaning up and waking up.

The Promise and Purpose of Meditation

The purpose of meditation is to recognize that the deeper causes and conditions for happiness and well being have far more to do with how your mind is relating to experience, rather than having the right kind of experience. Ultimately, the promise of meditation is to awaken to our true nature and to see clearly what makes us happy and what makes us suffer.