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New Spiritual Practice Layout – Ancient Wisdom on Being in the Present Moment Presented Afresh

The way we present spiritual practices drawn from traditions linked to the Religion of Sun, is being completely overhauled on the site.

All passages about the same exercise, taken from the same tradition, will now appear together in a single post. This will make it much easier to tap into the ancient wisdom of each tradition on any given exercise, as all the insights and teachings we’ve gathered from its texts will be presented together for a practice, rather than fragmented across different posts.

The old practice posts containing extracts from ancient texts have been taken offline while the revised material is prepared. However, the first practice by type page, being in the present moment, is now ready.

It now lists a single post per tradition, where all material we’ve compiled from a tradition on the topic is found. There’s three traditions in the category so far:

Similarly, all practice by tradition pages will eventually show one post for each exercise type, containing all related material drawn from that tradition. However, it will take some time to get all the revised material online.

By grouping a tradition’s insights on a given topic together in one post, it allows the breadth of its ancient knowledge to shine through in a more comprehensive, clearer way. The Taoist excerpts  from the Hua Hu Ching, for example, together provide a very clear and practical description of how to be in the present moment.

A Taoist teacher and students. Public domain image

Additional material may be incorporated with these changes. The Hindu page on being in the present moment contains a newly-added passage drawn from the ancient Katha Upanishad, thought to have been first written down in the late Vedic Era around 800 BC. This may be among the oldest textual reference to the being in the present moment we’ve gathered so far, although more may be uncovered over time.

The text uses an analogy of a person riding a chariot,1 directing his driver who holds the reins of five horses. The chariot, the one riding the chariot, the driver, and horses, are all symbolic. They’re used to teach the reader about how to be “mindful,” and the consequences that derive from either being mindful or not.

‘Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body to be the chariot, the intellect (buddhi) the charioteer, and the mind the reins.’

‘The senses they call the horses, the objects of the senses their roads. When he (the Highest Self) is in union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then wise people call him the Enjoyer.’

‘He who has no understanding and whose mind (the reins) is never firmly held, his senses (horses) are unmanageable, like vicious horses of a charioteer.’

‘But he who has understanding and whose mind is always firmly held, his senses are under control, like good horses of a charioteer.’

‘He who has no understanding, who is unmindful and always impure, never reaches that place, but enters into the round of births.’

‘But he who has understanding, who is mindful and always pure, reaches indeed that place, from whence he is not born again.’

‘But he who has understanding for his charioteer, and who holds the reins of the mind, he reaches the end of his journey, and that is the highest place of Vishnu.’

‘Beyond the senses there are the objects, beyond the objects there is the mind, beyond the mind there is the intellect, the Great Self is beyond the intellect.’

~ The Katha Upanishad, translated by Max Müller 2

There’s also newly-added passages from the Bhagavad Gita, a text relating the profound counsel given to the warrior prince Arjuna by the divine prince Krishna, who drives his chariot into battle. The dialogue happens as they are poised between two armies on a battlefield before the onset of a great war between good and evil.

Krishna guiding Arjuna on the battlefield. Public domain image

As the page explains, some see the Bhagavad Gita as an expanded version of the chariot analogy found in the Katha Upanishad, in which Krishna can be understood to represent the enlightened intellect under the influence of the spirit, guiding Arjuna’s chariot, and Arjuna himself, towards salvation, amidst the struggle between the forces of light and darkness that exist in the world and within oneself.

View the Being in the Moment Page


  1. This chariot analogy is known as Ratha Kalpana, and is said to have appeared in later textual references too, See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratha_Kalpana 

  2. F. Max Müller (Translator) From The Upunishads, Part II, F. , 1879. Available at sacred-texts.com: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe15/sbe15012.htm 

About the author

Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler is Chief Editor of SpiritualSun.com, a website exploring the history and practice of the ancient Religion of the Sun. A keen writer since his youth, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and has a natural interest in probing hidden truths and higher knowledge. He felt called to study spirituality in 2004 and has pursued it ever since. On The Spiritual Sun, he directs his skills and inquisitive nature towards shedding light on the ancient Religion of the Sun, which he investigates both as a writer/researcher and practitioner.

15 Comments

  • This is a really great update, thanks Matthew.

    I like the idea of having all practices grouped by tradition on their own post. It seems like it will be an interesting way to get a greater understanding of how a particular tradition explains spiritual concepts, and be able to connect the dots between references made and the language used.

    The new passage that’s been added from the Katha Upanishad is excellent. Analogies are always helpful for understanding, and this one in particular really paints a clear picture of why being in the present moment is so important.

    • I really like the chariot analogy too, and it was was fortunate I stumbled across it while I was updating these pages.

  • Great work guys. I spotted the practices by type page a few days ago and thought it was just such a nice overview of the main practices. Even though I’m familiar with them and try to put them into practice, putting them ‘on paper’ and seeing them lined up like that made it very fresh and clear somehow.

  • Yes, what a great idea. Makes everything easy to navigate and investigate. I love reading different perspectives on practices. Thanks everyone.

  • Thanks Matthew,

    I am forever admiring the work of all those involved in this big work to create and maintain this website. It seems like there is an never-ending movement towards higher and higher levels, better and better ways of delivering this information.

    I agree with everyone else here that this new format will make it easier to navigate the different practices but also show how the ancient traditions are all based on the same underlying and eternal principles.

    Thanks again!
    🙂

  • Thanks Matthew, I agree with the others here the new format just makes it so much easier to navigate the site and the relevant information being all in one place, thanks to all involved for all your hard work

  • Just as I was learning to find all the nooks and crannies of this website, they’ve moved! But this is better: It is cleaner, more concise, more direct and more able to show the ‘undercurrent’ that the ancient wisdom bringers left for us.
    I really appreciate the energy being devoted upon this website. Thank you to everyone involved!

  • Looks like a great new format! Very practical and detailed. Thanks Matthew and team for all the work going on to put it all together.

  • Thanks, Matthew. The new arrangement definitely makes it easier to understand the passages within their traditional context. The new finds about the Bhagavad Gita also sound very interesting — I look forward to exploring that more.

  • Great idea! Thanks Mathew and the team at the Spiritual Sun. It will be interesting to see the same spiritual practices given in slightly different ways grouped together; I think this will help to emphasise the global and timeless nature of the esoteric work.

    • “I think this will help to emphasise the global and timeless nature of the esotericwork.”

      Yes, I totally agree with you, Ella.

  • Thanks Matthew. It’s nice to see all the practices grouped together – I think this change should make it easier for people to explore how a practice was understood and practiced within a tradition without having to click around as much.

    It’s also nice to have some new additions. Very interesting to see that the chariot analogy of the Bhagavad Gita has antecedents in an even older text.

    • Yes it’s very interesting, although in the case of the Bhagavad Gita, I think it is more than pure analogy, in that I believe the events portrayed are more than just a literary device invented to make a point. Rather, if those events are rooted in history, I think it’s more that the events surrounding that war in themselves carry esoteric and symbolic meanings on both an inner and external level due to being related to certain stages of the path of the Spiritual Son, in a similar way to how Joan of Arc’s life and battles with the English do.

  • Wow, just wanted to say that I really admire all the detailed work of sourcing and referencing almost every single sentence you guys have done! It definitely feels like the ancient scriptures coming to life, talking to us in a more understandable and contextual way.

    I have actually wondered what has happened with all the practices, as I could not find them anymore, so it is a nice surprise to see that you have been putting everything into this new and comprehensive format. It should also be much easier now to navigate and see the connections easily.

    I have briefly checked the new sections and they look very inspiring, with some nice new images. I really like the one of “Krishna revealing his true form” as I remember that passage from the Bhagavad Gita and always found it very intriguing to imagine how it would be, for somebody on that level, to be able to perceive the true nature of Krishna in everything. How he is always the highest quality in everything, the beauty of the most beautiful, wisdom of the wise, but also”the cleverness in the gambler’s dice” and even the fierceness of the God of destruction.

    The image of the Krishna driving Arjuna’s chariot is also very inspiring – to always aim to have our “horses”/senses in control when aiming for the awareness and control of the mind.

    Thank you for updating us on these changes Matthew, and looking forward to explore the new sections in more depth.

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