Category Archives: Uncategorized

Applied Theosophy – a Meditation

I’m sitting alone in the dark, the aftermath of a day of violent thunderstorms passing over Lake Huron in April. The power has been out for five hours now and the storms continue to surge across in waves. It was okay in the daylight, when I could pick up a book and sit in the overcast light of the window, but the light, even in the daytime is no good for drawing or painting, something I love to do when I come up here to my retreat. The computer power is at a premium, just a few minutes left of the battery, before even this shuts down. Then what? I can’t see to write in pencil and I’m not tired enough to go to bed and sleep yet.

There is only one thing left to do, when this internal laptop battery is finished……. Meditation.
Isn’t this crazy? I will be forced into meditation; I feel something pleasurable in the thought that I have to step out of the routine, out of the distraction, this is it. I won’t be able to produce anything, not even writing or reading or drawing.

The battery went off and I spent the night in quiet meditation and sleep. Thunderstorms continued to roll overhead and woke me up several times, then at three a.m. the light in my bedroom burst on as the power was restored. I had formulated some questions and observations in my mind during meditation and every time I awoke I tried to reestablish my meditative thought.

Several years ago during an intense period of spiritual training, my teacher suggested meditation for two hours every day at the same time, without fail, for forty days. It was the beginning of many changes in my awareness, one of which was the ability to observe the Personal Mind or Separate self.

“In other words you have transcended Personal Mind the 4th and become the active witness of your own mind in action. You are no longer the passive recipient of information but have become actively engaged in co-creating what you are thinking about. And you are fully aware that this is what you are doing.” – Spiritual Realism Awareness States

I observed that restlessly looking for something to do is a habit. I was thinking about how most of our day is spent in habitual thinking. The mind finds a certain way or pattern that seems to be effective and goes on automatic pilot, distracted for the most part of the day with things it has deemed as important to do. It’s good not to have to think much about the mundane routines of life; however it is a problem when we move through our whole day as routine. It’s a problem because we are not in the creative space of awareness that allows us to move with uncontrived naturalness; to act in unconditioned truth; to be free of conditioning and fear; to be in a space of Self Awareness.

It’s interesting to see how the separate self (lower mind in theoso’ talk) feels secure and satisfied with a routine and predictable day. It doesn’t like changes, unexpected and unplanned occurrences. This Self that calls itself Star has built up an idea of how it should be in the world. This has occurred through a series of events that happen to everyone; birth, family conditioning, environment and Karma. That Self, sustains the strength of itself by keeping the mind in the mundane routine predictable patterns of thought, actions and reactions throughout the day. We believe this to be our real selves and we energize this Lower/Separate self, by maintaining our attention in that Self. Attention/directed awareness is energy.

We have the power to choose what we give our attention to. Release the mind from its mundane routine and it reacts with energy. Awareness is energy.

It is my experience that the soul reacts with joy when this occurs. It’s a yearning fulfilled; a yearning for something in our lives with purpose, something that is real, and something exciting about to happen. Seeing the ego/lower mind/separate self and acting with intent is what is meant by applied theosophy. It can’t be learned by reading and intellectualizing about it. It is realized by doing; by being; by becoming aware. And this, my friends is the start of a spiritual journey and a new way of being in the world.
Warmest regards to you from Sharon

The Spiritual State

The spiritual state is not a condition which is set or static, not a placid immobility, but a state of dynamism and balance. It is both negative and positive; negative for understanding, positive for action.  – N. Sri Ram

Artisits have an advantage on the spiritual path.

In a creative interplay between the conscious and unconscious, which mind makes the decisions when painting?

Lights and colours flash across the scene; the changing sky, the glimmer on the water, the moving air, the waving  trees and rushes. Do we paint what we see or do we try to capture the energy behind the moment? Trying to express something like the mood of the scene, the crispness of the winter cold, the sultriness of a hot summer day, the wildness of fierce winds, makes us stretch our consciousness from the tangible to the intangible. We know it, feel it and hold it in our consciousness while we try to express that which is felt only by the intuition.

The artist instinctively knows when he has it right or wrong. When it is wrong there is a sense of nervous restlessness, frustration and struggle; but when it’s right, oh then he knows it; the work of art has something that gives us a feeling of harmony, a truth to it, and nothing else has to be done. It is finished.

There is an aesthetic sense in play here, where we humans know when it’s harmonious, complete and right and it has nothing to do with the subject matter. This intuitive sense is part of the essential spiritual self and a larger whole, it’s a connection with a consciousness beyond our everyday narrative of the mind.

The artist has a huge advantage when he enters the spiritual path. Every picture is a meditation, a focus of consciousness in which he/she is searching for perfection and harmony.

A. Lismer writes of Tom Thomson:
“He saw a thousand things – animals and birds, and signs along the trail that others missed. He knew where to find subjects – a stretch of muskeg, a fine stand of pine with possibilities for the kind of thing he wanted to paint. He could drop a line in places, and catch a fish where other experienced fishermen had failed. He identified a bird song, and noted changes in the weather. He could find his way over open water to a portage or a camp on a night as black as ink. It was this sense of awareness and significance of simple sights and sounds, his uncanny sensitivity carried over into his paintings and sketching that gave the authentic tang to his work.”

“Authentic tang”, I like that expression. I shall strive for authentic tang in my work.