Real Yoga

silhouette of man sitting on grass field at daytime

Photo by Spencer Selover on Pexels.com

For most people, yoga is a type of physical exercise that takes place in a studio or gym. It’s advertised as being good for the body and helps you become more flexible and fit.

I hope readers of this blog now realize that there is so much more to yoga. Modern yoga has dropped much of the older yogic practices, such as working with the breath (Pranayama), locks (Bandhas) and cleansing practices (Kriyas) which were key to yoga as a path to awakening.

Rather than lamenting how things are not like the old days … I will share some timely wisdom from Judith Lasater:

“To practice yoga in its deepest sense is to commit to developing awareness by observing our lives: our thoughts, our words, and our actions. There are many yoga techniques that can support us along the way, such as yoga poses, breathing practices, and meditation. But these are not ends in themselves, but means to the Self.

The real beginning of spiritual practice is evident when we accept responsibility for ourselves, that is, that we acknowledge that ultimately there are no answers outside of ourselves, and no gurus, no teachers, and no philosophies that can solve the problems of our lives. They can only suggest guide, and inspire.

It is our dedication to living with open hearts and our commitment to the day to day details of our lives that will transform us. When we are open to the present moment we shine forth. At these times we are not on a spiritual path: we are the spiritual path.”

~ Judith Lasater, from “Living Your Yoga” Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life

I feel honored to be a guide on this journey to awaken our true Self.

Namaste

Stepping Back into the World – Gently

Stepping back into life

Photo by Jas Poole

Dear Readers and Friends, I hope you are well and finding balance in these challenging times. The past few months have been interesting, to say the least … and they seem to be continuing! I am at a loss for words with what I see and hear around me.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I was concerned for others, yet I was filled with hope that we would all come together and support each other in creating a new way of life together; one that cared for each other and the planet. Yet the divisions and strife grow every day. People take sides and believe the unbelievable ….

My mind is losing hope, yet my heart still trusts in what is unfolding. I recall Osho’s words “Remember the emphasis on the heart. The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. When you trust, suddenly you become centered.”

On a personal level, I am also trusting in my own unfolding. As I wrote in my previous post,
Update-Retreat I have been nurturing myself in my cocoon, teaching yoga on Zoom and taking some online courses. At the beginning of July I began Roger Housden’s course for writers, non writers and poets called “Dropping the Struggle”. I am part of a group of ten who come together and write, prompted by Roger’s wisdom.

It has sparked my inner wisdom and voice again. I am stepping back into the world, gently.

I realize that we all struggle. Each of us struggles in our own way. Many of us keep it to ourselves and try to lock out the pain. Others weep more openly. Many more can’t admit or face this tender wound. There is a lot of confusion and pain in us humans. Especially now.

More than ever, this is a time for understanding, compassion and listening to others … and to our own inner voice.

We will get through this together not apart.I look forward to sharing some old, new and timeless insights with you.

Namaste

 

The Mystery of Your Presence

silhouette of man standing near body of water

Photo by brenoanp on Pexels.com

“The mystery of your presence can never be reduced to your role, actions, ego, or image.

You are an eternal essence; this is the ancient reason why you are here.

To begin to get a glimpse of this essence is to come into harmony with your destiny and with the providence that always minds your days and ways.

This process of self-discovery is not easy; it may involve suffering, doubt, dismay.

But we must not shrink from the fullness of our being in attempting to reduce the pain”. *

 

Let us not shrink from the fullness of our being as we delve into the mystery and embrace our destiny.

This journey takes courage and a lightness of soul.

Namaste

 

 

 

*O’Donohue, John. Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom (pp. 107-108). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

Reflection on Being Spiritual

“How spiritual you are has nothing to do with what you believe, but everything to do with your state of consciousness. This, in turn, determines how you act in the world and interact with others.”

~ Eckhart Tolle

It isn’t enough to hold on to noble ideals and beliefs, we have to bring them into our awareness and then into our lives.

When our consciousness transforms our actions will follow.

May we all go deeper and beyond the dogma, and connect to our intuitive awareness and higher Self.

Live life from here and follow the spirit within you.

Namaste

Celebrate Each Moment of the Journey

life journey

Image by Peikwen Cheng – Journey Together  http://peikwen.com/

“Who knows why life unfolds
the way it does: why we choose
one path or another, share the
way for a while or a day, then
say goodbye. There is no
predictability here, and less
control that we might wish.
But there is a quiet urging
of the heart, the knowing in
the soul, the wisdom that’s
beneath the mind, accessible
if we breathe and turn inside.

When the tide of change rolls
in we can resist or be at peace,
struggle or release. The stuff
of life may not be ours to
understand. It’s enough to
offer love, to receive the best
and worst, to embrace and
say farewell. What matters
most is to celebrate each
moment of the journey.”

~ Danna Faulds “Celebrate the Journey”

 

As we give our best, give our love, and trust in the quiet urging of our heart, let us celebrate the journey.

Namaste

Inspiration – 3 Qualities of Spiritual Awakening

I heard an audio recording of Adyashanti some time ago and transcribed parts of his message that really resonated with me. Alas, I didn’t make a note of the actual source of the recording. But I hope you enjoy these notes and insights.

When I first heard these words, it was a real AHA moment. It opened up a whole new way of looking at awakening.  Reading them again, after some time, I notice that my attitude is one of curiosity and appreciation for the wisdom that others share in their own journey.

Enjoy!

 

“There are different qualities to awakening, and not everyone awakens to the same thing.
Its rare that someone wakens to the whole of reality all at once. We usually get a piece of it.
Of course, any piece of the whole feels like the whole. Every aspect feels complete. That sense that “this is it” what ever it is. It can lead to certain misunderstandings.

The deception is that each aspect feels like the whole. So you might get attached to the part of the whole.

Like getting a hold of the foot of an elephant. You think its the elephant, but its just the foot.

There are 3 qualities of awakening:

1. Mind awakening. Realization of space and sense that I am a conscious space of awareness or spirit. Moving from a little human being running into my body and then bump into the experience is being conscious space. “I am” is space and open awareness. There is no becoming or beginning or end, better or worse to it. It can feel like a weight falling away. If you go deep enough you lose the ability to find reality in the mind. reality is beyond the mind. We lose our intellectual world.

This requires intellectual vulnerability – being able to let go of your beliefs and how you see yourself.

2. Heart awakening. Waking on the level of heart is more difficult to explain than the mind. Its an experience of extraordinary intimacy with all of existence. A feeling of beauty, closeness and love within the heart of existence. The oneness of it all through the veil of things. The deepest intimately is oneness. Where we intuitively see sameness. Seeing the face of god in everything.

Waking in the level of heart is here and now rather than intellectually “there”. Meeting yourself here. The mind can’t make a rational argument for it.

It requires emotional vulnerability to become intimate. We have to give up a part of ourselves that is terrified that anybody will see it. To be tender and soft.  Being able to let go of the emotional being that we think we are. To be able to open our heart we have to see through what’s closing our heart. The deepest intimacy is oneness.

3. Gut awakening. Waking the existential sense of self. Its a clench or grasping of self, terrified to let go. When it lets go there is no self. Its not the intellectual or emotional stuff, its the initial reaction of grasping. Its the thing in you that says no to death and no to life. There might be very good reason to say no to life.

These qualities of awakening don’t follow in any logical progression. Over time we tend to become more oriented to one of these realities.

You can also awaken in any of these ways and go to sleep again. You can wake up in one and be asleep in the others. You might even want to go back to asleep to be with everyone you knew and the world you knew.

adyashanti

Spiritual awakening is based on a shift in our deepest identity. You thought it was one thing, and the reality is different. This is different from a spiritual experience which comes and then goes and your identity remains the same.

The danger is that each one of them feels absolutely complete.

But if there isn’t completeness without all the other aspects, you can become a spiritual shipwreck.

If you are connected to deeper mind and space, there is clarity and freedom. Your ego can use your space mind to hide from your emotions. The ego will use their intellectual ability to outthink any different thoughts about reality. The wakening of mind brings intellectual freedom and clarity but after a while is like a desert without feeling. The world is a manageable duality. They are spaciousness and dismiss having to deal with the otherness of life. But the disconnect will become more acute.

Awakening of the heart brings a sense of Oneness and love, yet may be still asleep at the level of the mind. Everything is light and love, but you may do some stupid things. The ego attaches itself to the image of being  pure love and light.

This feeling of total completion and awakening is like a spiritual honeymoon.

Like in marriage the spiritual honeymoon doesn’t tell you much about love and what it means to be together. There is a transition that can be easy or difficult. The agreement of how things are,has shifted and we don’t have a manual on how to live this way.

Something finds its way in our experience to find a new balance in life.”

 

* Inspiration – Into the deep

white rose

” The way is not really a way.
It is a depth.
It is not a distance.
It is a deepening into the stillness, deepening in the unmoving.
It is not a walking journey.
Journeys are for the body and the ego-mind.
But listening takes you deeper into the bliss of the unknowable. “*

Let these words guide you towards that deep and secret place of bliss.

Namaste

 

*Mooji (2015-12-03). White Fire: Spiritual insights and teachings of advaita zen master Mooji (Kindle Locations 137-139). Mooji Media Publications. Kindle Edition.

* From Head to Heart

hands on heart

I am reading John J Prendergast’s book “In Touch”. Its one of those books that I want to devour, yet I must slow down in order to savor every piece of it. It is that good.

Here is a passage worth sharing.

This is for everyone who believes that life is lived from the neck up.

“Much of what we call the spiritual journey involves a shift of attention from the head to the heart. Although they are only a short distance from each other, they are a world apart in terms of experiencing life…

We live in our heads when we are lost in our thoughts. It is easy to do…

Thinking in itself is not the problem. We often need to think – the clearer the better. The problem arises when we believe our thoughts and identify with our thinking. We let our thoughts define us and, by extension, everyone and everything else.
When we believe our judgmental thoughts we are in prison.
When we confuse thinking with reality, we suffer…

As we learn to see our thoughts as thoughts instead of reality, attention naturally drops from the head to the heart. Whenever attention is brought to the heart, the heart becomes increasingly more familiar and less foreign. In time we sense it is our new home.”

Pause and take a moment to place your hands in the center above your heart. Notice the sense of comfort and perhaps even a feeling of coming home.

There is much love and truth here.

As you go through your day, become curious about your thinking. Get to know your thoughts and recognize them with fresh eyes. Then come home to your heart.

Namaste

 

 

* Instructions

love within

Instructions

Hold the silence like
a mother holds her child.

Hold your ground while
all around you structures
crumble into nothing.

Focus on the still point
in your center until you
are filled with light, until

Spirit speaks to you in
words you understand,
until the love in your

heart grows so strong
it must be shared.

~ Danna Faulds

Keep sharing the love my friends 💛

* The Spiritual Ego Trap

Is your Spiritual Ego taking over? To find out, read this article and see if it resonates.
“…The more we learn theoretically about spirituality without applying it to our everyday lives, the more likely we are to become egocentric in our spiritual beliefs. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the spiritual ego can hide behind judgment, religious dogma or a false sense of moral superiority over others. This is harmful, as it deprives us of the impetus to do the deeper spiritual work we need to grow and heal.”
Thank you Evolutionary Mystic for raising the question.

Evolutionary_Mystic Post

Though many of us may have a love-hate relationship with our ego, it’s necessary to remember that it serves an important spiritual role. In the positive, it gives us a distinct personal identity that helps us fulfill our life purpose, allowing us to share unique soul gifts with the world while working out our karma.

In the negative, the ego fools us into becoming overly identified with our bodies, thoughts and emotions. This attachment tricks us into believing we are fundamentally separate from God, one another and even our own souls, which leads to suffering. Over time, enough profound suffering eventually leads us back to God, completing the cycle.

As the world evolves spiritually, many seekers are awakening from soul darkness and beginning to step slowly away from body-centered ego-consciousness. Instead of identifying as mere physical bodies that are born and die, we begin to see ourselves as spiritual beings…

View original post 661 more words

* Be Foolish

I used to have mixed feelings about being serious. A part of me thought I should be more like the earnest people around me. That I should try harder… should apply myself… should focus more… should set serious goals…

I was “shoulding” all over myself.

… And in doing so I was not accepting the ways things are and the way I am.

serious ducks

“Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.” Eckhart Tolle

I can be serious, but for the most part I want to see things from many different perspectives, and especially from the funny side of life.

After years of experience, I now realize …

The more foolish we allow ourselves to look, the more enlightened we can become.

We let go of caring about how others think of us. We let go of the constraints of our ego. We become more authentic and real.

It isn’t easy at first to be that vulnerable and silly!

However, one way of approaching this, is to make it a part of your practice. Choose your own daily commitment/s from the list below and feel free to add a few more that tickle your fancy!

* Today I will laugh a lot.

* Today I will look for the humor/humour in things.

* Today I will goof around.

* Today I will not take life so seriously.

* Today I will have fun letting go.

* Today I will play with the dogs/cats/kids like a dog/cat/kid.

What will you bring to your daily practice of foolishness on the road to enlightenment?

* The Quest

everest quest

“The inner meaning of life does not readily reveal itself; it must be searched for. Such a search is the Quest.

When a man begins to seek out his real nature, to find the truth of his real being, he begins to follow the Quest.

The Quest is a veritable re-education of the self, leading in turn to a noble transcendence of the self.

Some come to the truth in a roundabout way.

The Quest is direct.

The Quest is spiritual mountaineering.”

Paul Brunton taken from “Yoga Gems” edited by Georg Feuerstein

When I read this I like the idea of spiritual mountaineering. A direct route for the courageous!

And yet we can also come to the truth in a round about way.

It is there for each and every one of us … one step at a time.

Namaste