Tag: Egoic Mind

All Is Well

There’s the way we are, and there’s the way we imagine we can be. Between the two lies a struggle and a dance. If we reject the way we are, we fail to appreciate the immense goodness and potential we already possess. Likewise, if we’re overly attached to what we imagine we can be, we’re never fully grounded in the present – the only place change can take place.

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Abiding In Silence

After some amount of contemplative practice, and maybe even a deeper awakening experience, we tend to notice how much of our energy is handed over to thoughts, to mind-stuff. After a while, we notice all of it, everything outside of the pure silence is mind stuff, thought forms of one level of another.

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Evelyn Underhill’s 5 Stages Of Mysticism: An Experiential Meditation

An Experiential Meditation on Evelyn Underhill’s 5 Stages Of Awakening. What is life like after awakening? What are some of the signposts of this process and the shifts of spirit that happen along the way? The stages, while laid out in the most helpful model I’ve seen, are still only that, a model. They are not set in stone, nor is it essential to locate yourself in the exact phase: growth is rarely linear.

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A Simple Practice To Get Out Of Our Heads

In contemplative teaching we talk a lot about structures and stages, about mental habits and patterns, about awareness and self-observation, about attachments and letting go.And making a daily practice of contemplative prayer or a similar meditative practice certainly helps create the conditions for the peace that passes even the ability for understanding, when we begin to see that false self, the ego for what it is – a contrived system, a distraction.

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A Contemplative Ego?

After engaging in contemplative practice for about seven years, in mid-2014 I had an awakening experience and for about 3 months it seemed like I had superpowers.Things that would normally eat at me just fell by the wayside. I had a sudden burst of energy and wrote most of my book during that stretch. I had insights into questions I’d long been diving into. It was like a bubble had burst and I could see relationships, the outside world, and the inner landscape with sudden freshness and clarity.

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A Contemplative Checklist

A famous quote in contemplative circles reads “the mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” What this refers to is our normal tendency to be pulled this way and that way by the incessant stream of unconscious thought.Instead of using our minds when necessary, we are mostly used by our minds and kept in a kind of mental prison. Some of us nurse and rehearse our resentments, some of us obsess over our never-ending to-do list. Some of us stay steeped in our losses, limitations, unfulfilled needs, dreams, or fears about the future.

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A Contemplative Practice For The Crazy Schedule

As summer winds down, the contemplative in me is looking forward to a little more structure, a little more rhythm. During the summer months, there is travel, family visits, and the kids are home from school. This year I was in different cities in multiple hotels and time zones. At times it’s simply not possible to find twenty minutes of quiet solitude twice a day and maintain any kind of spiritual practice.One of the trickiest elements of the contemplative path is the discipline involved in maintaining a consistent rhythm. When I’m out of rhythm, I’m back in default ego mode. I’m irritable, judgmental, and egocentric. The volume on my mental tapes of past hurt, self-protection, and even aggression is cranked back up. I can hardly hear outside of that echo chamber.

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5 Rules For A Contemplative On Social Media

As I browse through my social media feeds, my community is so often split down the middle. I see “conservative” posts from extended family afraid of moral decline. And I see “liberal” posts from friends, colleagues, and former classmates, angry about injustice and abuse of power. Occasionally, these threads cross when an argument breaks out and the insults and indignation begin.

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