Inspiration from the Buddhi Bird

Why is it that some of us are suffering right now, while others are doing well, despite immense challenge and adversity?
How we relate to what is happening in our lives comes from our mindset and beliefs, and our experiences in the past.

Let me bring you back to story of the two birds, as a way to see more clearly into your experience.
two birds in a tree
In Mooji’s words:
“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.
Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.
These two birds are connected. The first bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and past, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness… The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence.”

Self isolation and sheltering in place, offers us an opportunity for retreat and to get to know these two different aspects of ourselves.
The first bird engages in the world around it and is also called the I-maker or ego mind. It is the part of ourselves that creates stories about life and how we are experiencing it. It is easily influenced by our feelings, especially fears and desires. For example, when we feel threatened it can create a story about being a victim or create an other version where we become the hero. It can make us feel unworthy or let us believe that we are most worthy, while others are not.
It is the judge, jury and creator of how we believe we SHOULD be living our life.

In times of challenge, this part of ourselves takes center stage. The old ways of being, the habits and the comfort of everyday life as we know it have been taken away.  The I-maker is fearful of being out of control and threatened by the unknown and possible harm.

Have you noticed this part of your being on overdrive these days?…. I certainly have.

The second bird, or other part of ourselves is a conscious witness within us, at a deeper level. Sometimes the I-Maker is called the small self, while the other is referred to as higher Self. The higher Self has a bigger and broader perspective of life. It can see through the stories the small self makes up and sees beyond them. It is without judgment and is always present when we allow our attention to go there. It is called Buddhi and is close to Divine Presence or Source.

I believe that we can touch this deeper part of ourselves when we take time to pause and turn our attention inwards. When we Find our Middle Ground.

Now more that ever, take time to find some quiet space and reflect on this significant time of change. Take time to pause and create a space of Retreat and Reflection. Notice what stories you are telling yourself to try to make sense of what comes up. Notice resistance to the changing reality. Notice how you distract yourself from the discomfort and fear. Let go of judgment and be kind to this part of yourself.

Mindfulness and meditation will open up a bigger part of yourself, and create an anchor in the present moment. If you haven’t practiced meditation or yoga, then this is a wonderful opportunity to come to it. There is much being offered online and with apps such as HeadSpace.

A walk in nature and ten minutes of legs-up-the-wall are my practices these days, when I am not teaching yoga. I find them grounding and approachable. Take the time to explore what works for you.

Namaste

Mooji – The Parable of the Two Birds

This inspiration is from Mooji and is taken from ‘Vaster Than Sky Greater Than Space’.

“Some time ago I saw a picture depicting a parable from the Bhagavad Gita. It showed two birds in a tree, and one of them was building a nest. This one is flying off collecting things, arranging the twigs – its active, doing many things.

Above this bird, on another branch, is a second bird. It looks identical to the first bird, and it’s not building anything. It is just observing. It’s not building a self-image out of its perceiving, and its not deeply interested in any aspect of what it sees. Its perceiving is happening quite spontaneously without effort or judgment. There’s a silence there, that feeling of Being without thought. Just looking.

This is a beautiful portrait of who we are.

These two birds are connected. The first  bird represents our dynamic being, the self that is engaged in the world, in future and post, in growing. It is the aspect that is living life with the sense of my family, my children, my work and so on.

The second bird represents that conscious witnessing within us. It is the ability to observe life taking place and activities unfolding, but it is not actually doing anything…

Initially the first bird who is building the nest, may not be aware of the second bird. As soon as it is able to be quiet, it becomes aware of the second bird, which is actually itself at a deeper inner level.

When the first bird’s mind is synchronized with the second bird, the activities become much more gracious. There is a sense of unity, a oneness…

The second bird represents the change of perspective from the mode of the person to the state of presence…

If you can slow down just a bit, your witnessing will become very serene, and you will notice that the activities of life are just happening by themselves.”

 

Every one of us is like these two birds. Yet, when we identify with being the doer, then we lose touch with the wholeness of ourselves and the Truth of who we are.

Slow down and take time to be an observer of whatever comes up in your thoughts, feelings and sensations. Embrace your second bird.

When you come from a state of presence everyday life transforms itself.

Namaste

 

Living your Dharma

“It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

~ Lord Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita

The content of the Bhagavad Gita consists of a conversation between Krishna, the  manifestation of the Lord, and the warrior prince Arjuna before the start of the Kurukshetra war. Krishna is advising Arjuna as he hesitates and is full of doubt about going to war against his cousins. Krishna reveals to Arjuna that his dharma is being a Warrior. The Gita points the way to following the yogic path of living in harmony with universal laws as we strive to live our highest truths.

Middle ground

Photo by Joshua Earle

Dharma comes from the Sanskrit dhri, which means “to support, hold up or bear.”

The word means many things, but according to Eknath Easwaran, dharma “implies support from within: the essence of a thing, its virtue, that which makes it what it is.”

On a larger scale, dharma means “the essential order of things, an integrity and harmony in the universe and the affairs of life that cannot be disturbed without courting chaos. Thus it means rightness, justice, goodness, purpose rather than chance.”

In essence, we all have our own “dharma” or purpose and reason for being alive. As Krishna states in the Gita, following someone else’s dharma brings insecurity. If you live your life trying to impress others and not fulfilling what you’re here to do, you will suffer.

In yoga teacher training, we were asked to contemplate what our personal dharma was. For me, it took some time for the wisdom to be come to the light of day.  I journalled and asked myself what was it that I have always lived by. What was beyond the roles I played in life and the jobs I had had. What gave my life meaning and purpose….

I discovered that my dharma was to “learn, grow and share”. This is what I have always done, and will always do. Yep – if I was on the TV series Survivor I would be doing it. It fills me with joy and gives my life meaning. It is my authentic path.

Have you considered what your dharma is in this life? Take time to let this question settle in to the deepest part of your being.

Then consider – Are you living your dharma? Or struggling to fulfill someone else’s ideas about who you should be and what you should do?

Namaste

*Connected Once more

Here in the icy suburbs of Philadelphia, there have been major power outages with trees and limbs down. Our power came back on the first day, but my heart goes out to others who are still in the dark and cold. I’ve had 3 days without internet or being able to connect to others other than by cell phone.bird on icy branch

It has been an intriguing experiment to sit with a book instead of at my computer, and to play previously downloaded classes that I’d not got around to listening to. On the whole it’s been nourishing and relaxing…. but I have missed been able to connect with peeps around the world and to share my musings!

I’m so happy to be back 🙂

In the meantime I listened to a course on Self Compassion by Dr Kristen Neff from Sounds True and an interview with Sydney Banks on the Three Principles. I’ve dipped back into the Bhagavad Gita and practiced Non Violent Communication Beauty of Needs Energy Clearing with Robert Gonzales.

It has been pretty awesome. I continue to be amazed at the wisdom of others and the richness of learning around me. There has been a lot of spiritual and personal nurturing, especially around self compassion and how to help others be kind to themselves. As well as reflection and learning, it has also been a valuable time for self connection.

…. and now I feel my middle ground is complete with being able to connect with you and express myself once more!

virtual hug

Namaste.