A Sense Of The Cosmos

The following is an excerpt from a personal essay published in Medium:

I. In Search of the Cosmos: A Plea for Astrology and Alchemy

You might find it an odd, not to say also an especially infelicitous, way to begin these reflections on the nature of happiness by offering up a special plea for astrology and alchemy. But hear me out.

I know precious little about either but enough about both to be able to say that what astrology gets right is that it seeks to connect this frail, finite creature with the warp and woof of reality. Somehow my life shares in the broader life; somehow my destiny cannot be divorced from the unfolding of this greater nature. I have no choice in the matter — be I willing or averse — no choice but to participate in ‘all of this.’

In this key respect, it doesn’t matter, at least for the moment, whether astrology gets the account of this relationship right. For what, undeniably, it points to is that there is deep within us all a deep longing for such a relationship, such a commingling and communion, for a way of losing ourselves and thereby finding ourselves.

Medieval alchemy, likewise, bore the stamp of this special, pregnant intuition in the famous cosmological utterance: “As above, so below.” In perhaps mysterious ways, the macrocosm must have an affinity with this the microcosm. It and I are singing the same tune.

Now what remains, in each of us, is this aching longing but not the home ground that other cultures had taken to be obvious, needful, profound, and mysterious.

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You can read the rest of the essay here.

Meditation Challenge Videos: Exploring The Nature Of Consciousness

The following videos lay out, over the course of four days, an extended inquiry into the nature of consciousness.

They’re meant for serious beginners, those just getting accustomed to investigating the nature of consciousness. For this reason, we only go “so far” together.

Since the recordings usually begin with a bit of background and then go into short silent meditation, you’ll need to fast forward a bit until you get to my dialogical (i.e., a genre of guided) meditations. Each of these is about 20 minutes long.

In the spirit of satsang, I answer questions afterward.


Day 1: Am I My Thoughts?


Day 2: Am I My Emotions?


Day 3: Am I My Physical Senses?


Day 4: Who, Then, Am I?

A (Broken) Playbook for Happiness

If you’re a serious beginner interested in learning how to meditate, then you can join Khe Hy and me for a free 4-day meditation challenge starting this Tuesday.

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The following is the opening section of Khe Hy’s probing personal essay “A (Broken) Playbook for Happiness”:

Let’s play a game together.

I want you to close your eyes and think back to your early 20s.

Bring into focus what you were doing. Where you were situated. What you were wearing. Whom you were hanging with. And the dreams and desires that consumed your intimate daily thoughts.

Now ask yourself the question:

What’s something you wanted back then that you thought would make you really happy?

Maybe it was a really nice watch, so that you could subtly flex your bonus to your college bros.

Or a serious relationship to get over that sting of being shunned in high school.

Or running a marathon – at a time, that would make others say, “Wow, what an athlete.”

Or maybe it was getting accepted to a prestigious MBA program – at a quaint, little school outside of Boston.

Alright, now that you’ve identified that achievement or item, ask yourself:

Did it actually bring me lasting happiness?

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You can read the rest of the essay here.