Friday, December 31, 2010

Cleansing for the New Year

  • I accept you exactly as you are. Please forgive me if I wanted you to be something you are not and can not be. I dedicate myself to seeing you as you are, and without judgement from a small mind. 
  • I support you as you are in what ever decisions you take. You are not me, and we can not act or think the same. I trust you to do the best you see fit. 
  • I have erased 'should be' from my language. Its just another complaint and another display of arrogance. 
  • I dedicate time, patience and myself to dwelling with the truth. 
  • I understand that suffering helps us see through illusions. We learn from difficult situations. Pain brings us into the present moment like no other emotion. It helps to remind us of what is important. 
  • I forgive you. I forgive me. 
  • I dedicate thirty minutes every day to moving my body with awareness. We exercise the body to grow older, not to hold onto youth. 
  • I always leave five minutes earlier than I need to, so I don't have to push or rush or be impatient at traffic lights.
  • I give myself five to fifteen minutes between tasks to breathe, stare out of the window, drink some water, stretch the shoulders and neck and smile.
  • I start hand making cards two weeks before they need to be sent off. 
  • I pay attention to the rise and fall of emotion, and I choose to dwell with the One that observes the changes. 
  • I give smiles without expectation of getting one in return.
  • I like to leave notes for loved ones as a surprise.
  • I breathe with awareness.
  • I pause every time I feel myself moved by beauty. I let it sink into my skin and permeate my face, my heart and my bones. 
  • Notice that once my basic needs are met, I can never satisfy my wants. Serving others brings happiness. Serving myself leads to selfishness and dissatisfaction. 
  • I notice when pain arises in the body and I listen to what my body is telling me. 
  • I live here, now. I let go of old wounds and negative unhelpful talk. I let go of negative patterns of thought that are rooted in past experiences.
  • I identify where my anger, frustration and disappointment come from. Usually it comes from the 'I should' or the 'you should'. 
  • I will not over water my plants. 
  • I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. I understand that personal integrity fosters healthy self esteem, and I stay vigilant so I notice when integrity turns into stubbornness. 
  • I pause every day to give thanks to the sun. I love the sun.
  • How can I let life in? How can I reduce my resistance to life, as it is? Every complaint is resistance. Every internal 'no' is another brick in the wall between me and reality. 
Happy New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Asanas Help Unblock Grace Within the Body

This is a repost from a couple of years ago: 

Lately I’ve discovered how important asana practice is in helping the body assimilate the energy shifts in spiritual awakening.

This is not the same as kundalini yoga.

This is not the same as healing by using anana practice.

People all across the planet are awakening. There is something happening to the world. Its everywhere. People talking about 2012, strange dreams, weird sightings of spirits and increased clairvoyant activity.

I don’t know what’s happening to the world. I don’t claim to have a higher source of information. I only know that many people are talking about their spiritual emergence, their awakening.

Awakening to what? To another life beyond the constant round of shopping trips, and materialistic gains, and entertainment. A life that points at possible fulfilment on a spiritual level. At something more profound, more deep, more lasting.

But to get to such a place, we need to drop our little bag of knowledge. We need to give up a big part of our known, so that we can see into the possibility of the unknown.

People are struggling with the inner self and the outer self. They have headaches, sweating, pain, random itching and when the go to the doctor, as they should, for their check up – the doctor says, well, you can have a few (expensive) tests, but it looks like there’s nothing wrong with you. Possibly, you take the tests, and still, there’s nothing wrong with you – nothing that the medical profession can pin point.

What’s happening?
Some say its kundalini rising. Some call it spiritual awakening. Some say it’s the flowering of human consciousness. I don't know what to call it.

Remember, we are all changing. All of us have been afraid and fearing our own madness.

There is a template that can help us through this. It’s the chakra system. Feel free to read about what I wrote on suite101 about the Chakra Basics.

Now I’ve been practicing a mixture of yoga and qigong and meditation since 1989. Its not that long in a life time, and I’m the first one to say I’m still learning. But there is something I have discovered.

And that is asana practice and qigong can help keep the body open to the flow and changes of energy within the body. The energy moves – people feel it – and if your body is open, strong and flexible – it doesn’t block the flow. The asana practice keeps your body from holding the pain of spiritual emergence.

Everybody’s body is different. Ask your yoga teacher for help, if you think these symptoms sound like yours. Otherwise feel free to contact me.

Remember, you are highly recommended to visit your doctor first, before you try alternative therapies.
Signs of Spiritual Awakening on Spiritual Blessings Forum

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amma in Granollers 2010 - My Second Personal Encounter

This year I was surprised that Amma came to Granollers to give darshan. The sports hall where she came is a ten minute walk from my house.

I spent all of my free time there. I didn't receive darshan this year. I didn't feel like I needed it. I was just happy to see her and be apart of the crowd.

If you don't know much about Hinduism, perhaps it all looks a bit like a circus. People running around in white robes and unfamiliar music being played and people bowing. it can be a bit overwhelming.

I used to feel like that going into a church when I was younger. That I didn't fit in, that I didn't know the rituals and it seemed like an alien place.

And yet, if you have the patience to look beyond all of the circus you will see the most amazing person I have ever laid eyes on. Amma is sweetness personified. She is loving, generous, intense, personal, wisdom personified. She puts all of her idealism into practice, making her true to her word and honest through and through.

I don't know about her devotees, and I don't know what other people want from her. I just know that when I see her smiling face and when I sit nearby watching her take strangers into her arms as though they were her own children, I am truly amazed. A few hours with her help to erase so much of the negative programing we receive in every day life. The 'me first' mentality, the pushing and shoving, the selfishness, the lies of the media, the fear in people's bodies. All of this is shoved aside.

Amma makes it all seem so simple. I am not a devotee. I am an ardent admirer and supporter of Amma's life purpose.  If you get the chance to see her, take it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My First Meeting with Amma - A Personal Story

The first time I went to see Amma I received darshan, the hug. This is an incredibly personal thing, so everyone feels something different. This is my story only.
Amma hugged me, and it was as if time stopped. I was in ‘space’. It was like a vacuum, and it was deep inside of ‘me’, where ever that was. Deeper than I have ever consciously been before. It was black. It was quiet. It was still. It was alive.
And this tiny sensation (everything happened in sensation, not in words, so its not the same as what actually happened) began to resound through the space, outward in waves.
And it hit upon something I didn’t know existed.
I was pulled away from Amma, and she smiled into my eyes and a sweet was pressed into my hand and I mechanically picked up my bag and walked to the back of the large hall with tears streaming down my face.
Then I remembered that she was soft. That she hugged with no reserve in her body. She had no fear. And she whispered ‘cara mia’ over and over in my ear.
I sat in a daze for about 40 minutes and every time I went into the moment of ‘space’ I had a sensation of falling and pulsations racing through my body that made me tremble with fear. In her embrace, I felt freedom. You think that when freedom is offered to you, you’d leap at it. But I didn’t. I trembled and hesitated and realized I wasn’t sure if I wanted what she had to offer.
In her embrace, in the depth of my being as I knew it, Amma revealed to me that I was loved. It sounds ridiculous. But it was freedom. Terrifying freedom. And all of the things that I had not done, that I had not fulfilled, were based on the illusion that I was not loved, and my reaction to this feeling.
If I was loved to the depth of my being, then there was nothing to stop me.
That was my first meeting with Amma in 2009. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Surrender to God

To surrender oneself is something more
than to devote oneself, more than to give oneself,
it is even more than to abandon oneself to God.
To surrender oneself is to die to everything and to self,
to keep it continually turned towards God.
Self-surrender is no longer to seek self-satisfaction in anything
but solely God's good pleasure.
It should be added that self-surrender is to follow
that complete spirit of detachment
which holds to nothing;
neither to persons nor to things,
neither to time nor to place.

It means to accept everything, to submit to everything.

But perhaps you will think this is a difficult thing.
Do not let yourself be deceived; there is nothing so easy to do,
nothing so sweet to put into practice.
The whole thing consists in making a generous act at the very beginning,
by saying with all the sincerity of your heart:
"My God, I wish to be entirely thine; deign to accept my offering"
— then all is said. ...

You must always remember that you have surrendered yourself.

st. thérèse couderc - 1864

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jain Sutras

I saw a golden city ablaze with light in my vision. Two years later I was in Jaisalmer (the Golden City) in a Jain temple and the presence of the place cut through my judgmental mind.  I have a soft spot for the Jains. I'm reading the Jain Sutras now, here at Sacred Texts.

Finding the Commons in our Unity

In striving to recognize the primacy of Fire and Light,
I feel kinship with my Zoroastrian brothers and sisters.

In striving to obey the Ten Commandments,
I feel kinship with my Jewish brothers and sisters.

In striving to be kind to neighbor and the needy,
I feel kinship with my Christian brothers and sisters.

In striving to be compassionate to creatures great and small,
I feel kinship with my Buddhist-Jaina brothers and sisters.

In striving to surrender myself completely to God Almighty,
I feel kinship with my Muslim brothers and sisters.

In the recognition that wisdom flows from enlightened masters,
I feel kinship with my Sikh brothers and sisters.

In remembering that serving people should be the goal of religion,
I feel kinship with my Baha'i brothers and sisters.

In my respect and reverence for Nature that sustains us,
I feel kinship with my Native American brothers and sisters.

In feeling that these and more are all paths to the same Divinity,
I feel kinship with my Hindu brothers and sisters.

In my love and laughter, joy and pain,
I feel kinship with all my fellow humans.
In my need for nourishment and instinct to live on,
I feel kinship with all beings on the planet.
In my spiritual ecstasy with this wondrous world,
I feel kinship with the Cosmic Whole.