Self Questioning

free image from Dreamstime

“To have the courage to

Question one’s certainties, is

True courage.”

~ The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin translated by Roy Melvyn

Sit with this a while and see what comes up for you…

Bringing our awareness to the beliefs that we hold, and usually take for granted, is the first step in our personal growth and spiritual self inquiry. When we look inwards and question our thinking and assumptions, it opens up new perspectives and gives us the opportunity to learn about what has been unknown…. or what may never be discoverable in this life.

This venture into the unknown is a courageous path because the ego-mind will be alert for any conflicting views or threats to its long held position. The ego holds on to those beliefs that have become our certainties about life. It can keep us rigid, stubborn, critical and damning, or simply safe and stuck.

The choice is ours. To embrace the new or hold on to our certainties.

To those on the path of Yoga teacher training, take courage as you embrace what is beyond belief.

Namaste

 

Ego in Yoga

This is a re-post  especially for those on the spiritual path of yoga.


hydra

“Ego can take many different forms and shapes. It is like the hydra. You cut off one head and another head replaces it. You cut off that head and see a third head and a fourth head ad infinitum.

This is because in the manifest dimension, ego identity is the root of life, and if the ego identity is lost, then life as we know it no longer exists.

It exists as light; life becomes light.”

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

I enjoy reading the different metaphors explaining the complexity of our ego, and can relate to the idea of a hydra. Our ego will do everything in its power to survive – especially adapting and changing shape.

The ego is very clever. It will allow one version of our body-mind to die and create a better version that fits in with either (1) how it wants to be seen in the world or (2) what is perceives is needed to stay alive in its physical body.

In my experience with others on a spiritual path, the newer version of ego is likely to be a more evolved version of the previous one. It may show up as being kinder person, a more patient parent, a wiser leader, a humble follower, a beacon of sanity in a world judged as mad…

These are still roles that the ego plays. Less damaging perhaps, yet still ego driven.

Recognizing the hydra heads of the ego is the gateway to le

The answer however is not to keep cutting its heads off. After all this would be an ego motivated act!

Instead embrace ego for what it is. A part of our very human nature that clings to life. It is neither good nor bad. It simply is.

Then we can wake up and realize we really are the divine light beyond ego and our human form.

Namaste

Let the New Unfold

 

unfolding

Image from Rolf Halme at Pixabay

 

Let The New Unfold, Have No Preconceived Ideas About It

“Let the new unfold, have no preconceived ideas about it. No one person or one
 group of people have the whole picture of the new. It is a vast jigsaw puzzle
, which will gradually be formed as each individual contributes his individual part 
of the picture.

As each piece slips into its rightful place, without being forced 
and without a struggle – for remember every piece fits into its rightful place 
perfectly – so will the New unfold.

Slip into your rightful place and there wait
 in perfect peace, allowing every other piece to find its place. It is a glorious 
future that is unfolding, even if you are unable to see what it is just yet. Simply accept My word for it.”

~ Eileen Caddy

 

Trust.

Find your place, your piece.

Be Patient.

You don’t know it all.

Stay true to your inner guide.

Let the new unfold.

Sorrow and Delight

man standing on seashore

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Pexels.com

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

~Kahlil Gibran

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the loss and sorrow. A part of us has been taught that this is somehow wrong, and we create stories to help us cope. We may get angry, resentful or vow never to put ourselves in that situation again. We resist these powerful feelings and try to escape them.

Yet it only takes a moment, a pause and perhaps a deep releasing sigh, to see that the source of this deep feeling is love.

Sorrow and love are interwoven because the two are always connected.

With our hearts open, there is yearning and longing. There is love here.

When we recognize that what we feel sad about, is really an opening of the heart, we can begin to smile in the knowing that we are alive and loving beings.
This is what makes us special.

Understanding Violence

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent.

Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind.
When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence.

So a person who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti
In yoga we honor the practice of ahimsa, or non violence. There is also the understanding that we are all connected and are not separate beings. It is the persona or ego that keeps us separate and fearful. The path of yoga is to awaken to our interconnectedness and to see ourselves in others.
May we all continue to plant seeds that bring us together instead of tearing us apart.

The Path of Real Love

affection afterglow backlit blur

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Our life experience and level of consciousness creates different planes of existence. This can be seen in how we perceive love and how it shows in our lives.

Conditional love relies on others to make us feel happy. This conditioning comes from our childhood, when we were small, helpless and dependent on others to take care of us. We loved them for making us feel safe and loved. When we love conditionally we expect others to fulfill our needs and support us in what we want.

When we seek approval from an other by trying to please them, this is conditional love. We may think “If I do this for you, then you will love me more. I will be rewarded with attention. If I buy you the best ring, the world will see how much I love you” This kind of conditional love remains for many of us as we go through life.

We need other people to make us feel special, important and loved. We expect our wives, husbands or children to make us happy by behaving the way our ego desires.
And so begins married life with expectations and demands from each other, based on individual desires and needs.

This kind of love keeps us separate and apart. It makes us feel better as long as we feel we are receiving it. However, as soon as we feel neglected or ignored, or when the love is withdrawn, we feel bereft and unloved, or worse, unlovable.

Conditional love prevents us from growing spiritually. It has nothing to do with real or unconditional love.

Unconditional love comes from a deeper sense of awareness and being. It is essential for us to grow as spiritual beings and awaken to our fullest potential.

When you truly love someone, you love the Light within them.

With true love you are happy for others and want them to express themselves in the world…. not follow a certain path that you believe is right.
You love yourself, warts and all, and have let go of inner criticism. You appreciate and have love for humankind…. without condition.

The sense of separateness and isolation diminishes, as you see the Love in others. The ego’s desires lose their power over your choices and decisions in life.  The fullness of Love grows and you feel connection to your inner Self, as well as others.

The process of enlightenment is the path to appreciate the Light within yourself and recognizing it in those you love,  then allowing it to expand and express itself to others and into the world.

Find the Light and Love within yourself in your Middle Ground.

Namaste

How Yoga Heals

This is a re-post for those of you who are interested in exploring yoga for your health and wellbeing.

oooOOooo

yoga for wellbeing

Thanks to Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way for sparking some yoga inspiration!

I take a therapeutic approach to my Yoga teaching; focusing on body awareness, mindfulness and the breath. To me its more than a physical work out.

I love this quote from Georg Feuerstein taken from Yoga Gems:
“Beginners on the yogic path would do well to understand correctly what Yoga is all about and to then approach it accordingly.
There is a humorous saying in Yoga circles that Yoga has been reduced to the practice of postures, and that postures have been reduced to stretching, and that stretching has been reduced to lengthening the hamstrings. Authentic Yoga is always a spiritual discipline, even when the focus is on the body, as it is in Hatha Yoga.”

The intention of Yoga is the quieten the mind and connect with our inner spirit, consciousness or higher power. Read more about it on my Yoga page.

In his book “Yoga as Medicine” Dr Timothy McCall shares 40 ways that Yoga (Poses, Breathing and Meditation) heals:

  1. Increases flexibility
  2. Strengthen muscles
  3. Improves balance
  4. Improves immune function
  5. Improves posture
  6. Improves lung function
  7. Leads to slower and deeper breathing
  8. Discourages mouth breathing
  9. Increases oxygenation of the tissues
  10. Improves joint health
  11. Nourishes intervertebral discs
  12. Improves return of venous blood
  13. Increases circulation of lymph
  14. Improves circulation of the feet
  15. Improves proprioception (awareness of body in space)
  16. Increases control of bodily functions
  17. Strengthens bones
  18. Conditions the cardiovascular system
  19. Promotes weight loss
  20. Relaxes the nervous system and reduces anxiety
  21. Improves the function of the nervous system
  22. Improves brain function
  23. Activates the left prefrontal cortex
  24. Changes neurotransmitter levels
  25. Lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol
  26. Lowers blood sugar
  27. Lowers blood pressure
  28. Improves levels of cholesterol and triglycerides
  29. Thins the blood
  30. Improves bowel function
  31. Releases unconscious muscle gripping
  32. Uses imagery to effect change in the body
  33. Relieves pain
  34. Lowers need for medication
  35. Fosters healthier relationships
  36. Improves psychological health and mood
  37. Leads to healthier habits
  38. Fosters spiritual growth
  39. Elicits the placebo effect
  40. Encourages involvement in your own healing

This list still wows me!

If you are young – there is every reason in the world to start now. Do it!

If you are in Mid life – it isn’t too late. I started yoga in my 40’s and it changed my life. This is where I find my middle ground every day.
Find a studio and a teacher that you can relate to and feel supported by. A word of caution here. Not every Yoga offered in classes is the same. Unless you are an athlete, avoid Vinyasa or Power Yoga.

Even if you are elderly and have a number of health and physical issues, finding an experienced trained teacher with a therapeutic approach can lead to a more active and healthy life… and a sense of peace and wellbeing.

yoga heals

So many people try Yoga in gyms these days. Please be careful as the focus is usually on having a physical workout. In my experience the instructors may not be as experienced, there is less personal attention and less time for relaxation and mindfulness.

For me, Yoga is about balance, alignment and inner peace. Finding balance and peace in our lives and alignment of our mind body and spirit… on and off the mat.

Namaste