The Numinous

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“Numinous /ˈnjuːmᵻnəs/ is an English adjective, derived from the Latin numen, meaning “arousing spiritual or religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring”.”[1]

“Real love exists in the heart. The love that exists in the Heart cannot be spoken; it cannot be put in words. The heart is not the place for words. Words are in the intellect. The intellect can speak, but it is nothing more than a tape recorder. It records and spits out words and words and words – words that don’t have any feeling in them. The intellect cannot feel compassion; it cannot feel love or kindness.” Amma

As a spiritual aspirant, how can one even broach this abstract topic with mere words. I am capable of writing on many holistic topics, however it is the essence of spirituality and human transformation that captivate me, leaving me in deep waters. Thus, I am at an impasse, trying to construct and galvanize something that in practicality, can not be caught and trapped by the finite demarcations of human language.

I will attempt to discuss the relationship of the devotee with their divine aspirations. Hence, the idea of the Numinous; the divine love that we all seek at some level, which is the unification with our own true sense of Self.

This experience is not something that one can even talk about. I rarely write or speak of my own deep personal connection to the Divine. However, I felt drawn to write this, due to a misconstrued sense of egoism I witnessed recently. The Numinous is not about hierarchy, popularity, power, or recognition for who we are, in the eyes of others.

“Life the veil that obscures the heart, and there you will find what you are looking for.” Kabir

This relationship is so subtle, so personal and delicately intimate. The only similarity may be between lovers who are experiencing a higher expression of human love, not sensually based. The feeling of such a deep opening in your heart that you can not breath, you can not even speak of it, for it has possessed your soul. You are exhilarated, yet the subtle dance is only between you and your Beloved. There is no possible mechanism to translate this sublime love into any words that exist, for the feeling is one of being completely consumed. The dance of love, is so delicate and awe inspiring, it feels so deeply personal that to speak of such a precious thing would reduce its true essence to something of the worldly domain; losing all intrinsic value.

“What is the root of all these words? One thing: Love. But a love so deep and sweet it needed to express itself with scents, sounds, colours that never before existed.”  Hafiz

To engage at this level with the Divine; to taste the Numinous, is a delicate art that only very prolific poets may have half a hope of conveying, such as Rumi, Hafiz, and Kabir. The likes of, I used to literally have a stack of their books, which I would constantly be reading. Then life took me away from such things, down a different path, away from the essence of my heart.

“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” Rumi

It has taken a long time to return to this sacred place, to find my way back to who I am and honour my own unique sense of expression in this world. Poetry is the essence of true expression for such an experience, as other such writing and words do not suffice.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

True love and contact with the Numinous is not something anyone would yell off the roof top. Instead,  one turns inward and can only be absorbed into the abstract experience.

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The Perception of Change

“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” ~ Pema  Chodron

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There was a time of immediate pause in life that lasted, it seemed an eternity, as time feels, when we feel as though life stops. However, the truth is that one of the most difficult  moments in life can be the most powerful force of transformation and change. In the most torrential rain, there is a purifying action upon the earth and atmosphere. Thus, in life when we are confronted with the most destructive monsoons, all that we can do is surrender, as much as possible and allow nature to take its course. For in times like these, no matter how great our best effort, often times it becomes foreshadowed by an immense dark cloud, raining down upon us.

In hindsight, it’s really a seemingly small thing that can so easily collapse our entire world. In my case, it was a situation where I confronted someone on an action that I found inappropriate, however that came with a great price that would cause many years of suffering and feeling persecuted. The truth is that the individual was innocent yet was crossing a major boundary.

Yet, the most ironic thing is that the target of the situation, told me personally that the person, even in their seemingly innocent behaviour was crossing major lines of appropriate behaviour. After this conversation I confronted the individual on how uncomfortable it made them. Thus,  years later and an Everest of gossip, I was labelled the crazy jealeous, when in truth I was behaving in a purely honorable manner.

The result was like a vicious storm that ravaged my reputation to such a degree of carnage, one can only imagine. A friend of this person took it upon themselves to destroy my previously unblemished reputation, where I had spent many years building friendships, or at the very least acquaintances.

Like a good storm, sadly the untruths that were told, were believed , years of positive associations became strangers, faces blending into a crowd of people who passes by without any reaction.

In the beginning, I was torn apart by the absolute absurdity of the fact that people could be so gullible and actually believe what this person was saying. When my husband confronted them, they used an obvious lie to cover what we had witness to be the truth.

In the time between, I have allowed the space of time to ebb and flow into my rejected heart, to wash away and soften this feeling of injustice. Ironically, even though this happened many years ago the lasting reprucutions are still felt to this day.

I learned a propound lesson in letting go of the opinions of others and the need to be liked. Ironically, if I were really guilty of my crime, I would understand the predicament and have made peace long ago, yet due to the fact I have actually done nothing wrong, it took much longer to let go.

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A Conscious Life

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
Pema Chödrön

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What does it mean to be here, living this life. Is there a sense of deeper understanding, inspiration, or moments of tranquility where thoughts fall away. Are we living a conscious life where we are aware of our actions, not only what we are supporting, but also our every action that we direct outwardly.  Are we able to have some sense of control over how we choose to interface with the external world and the beings and objects that we find there. Are we motivated by a deeper inspiration and meaning to live our lives with a sense of growing awareness, where we fully comprehend our intention and how powerful our each action can affect change, in all ways.

I have spent most of my life interacting and socializing with a large volume of people. This is something that comes effortless to me, yet on a deeper level I am not really a people person. I prefer to find deep moments of introspection, solace, and inner awareness. Thus, within my own life I have spent more time in solitude, than interacting with others. Ironically, I have been know as being rather talkative and a friendly person, which can be true. Yet, for most of my lifetime, I have observed long days of silence, reflexivity, and silent practices that enable me to find some sense of inner peace. The time that I choose to spend alone, seeking inner solitude allows me to have a sense of dynamic energy when I relate to others.

Through interacting with numerous people, I am aware of so many people who are filled with a growing consciousness, which is incredibly powerful and beautiful. I have watched the actions of these people, literally change the world, in many small ways with their collective ideas, which eventually are becoming more ‘mainstream’. Thus, when we all have a choice within the folds of how we choose to live our lives, we no longer need to fear being ‘different’, if we choose to live a more conscious, aware, or ecologically sound lifestyle.

What path are we walking down in our lives, does it serve our higher good, or someone else’s? I ask this question, as I know the feeling of limitation, where we are working at a job that does not satisfy our own values or inspirations.

I have witnessed, many times, the conceptional sense of a microscopic sense of perceived power, that is so destructive, its unbelievable.  Through all these experiences, it has shown me, as a very clear mechanism of how not to be as a human being. I have had people behave many ways towards me, yet in each interaction I too have had a choice how to react in exchange.

In all of our lives, regardless of where we are or what we are doing, we all have the choice to remain true to who we are, strong within ourselves, disallowing others to try to take what they can. To find some sense of strength that is beyond others actions. True power, is silent, humble, yet there is self worth and confidence. To find inner strength, we must be aware of when to not react and when to stand our ground. This is the key to finding a deeper sense of inner freedom, for when others can no longer trigger or touch us, or these experiences become less and less; we feel more inner peace. Of course, for many of us, there will be times that we react and are trigger, yet each one of these experiences allows us a deeper insight into what we still need to be aware of and integrate at a deeper level.

To truly find inner strength and wisdom in life, we must learn what wisdom is, yet we also must practice and experience this phenomena many times before we can understand it. If we choose to live a life that is more conscious, as opposed to a life where we have little awareness over anything that is taking place; blindly running along with the masses. If we choose to find a deeper sense of autonomy, we must cultivate a sense of perception that is wider than our mere egocentrism. We must find a place within ourselves, where we can find a space that allows us to perceive the whole, integrated within our own sense of individuality.

We always have a choice, within each moment and each action; we are the ones who are in control to shape our reality through our conscious action. Even when our lives are apparently chaotic, we always have a choice how we choose to perceive our sense of suffering, even if we can’t find a solution or the change that we feel we would like to implement within our lives.

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Realizations and Reflections

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.” Pema Chödrön

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Through great contemplation, based on a series of very powerful realizations revealing how I have lived my life up until this moment. I awoke this morning, diving into a transparent epiphany of how I had spent the last maybe 17 years of my life, if not longer. When I was younger I knew what I wanted and I had access to a full force of energy to obtain that which I sought. I was able to experience such a sublime factor of life’s great adventure, in a way that was a pure blessing.

However, upon my return to Canada, around 17 years ago I found myself trapped, back in a country I did not want to live. I had to make a series of decisions to remedy the disappointment, yet it seems that each choice I made was based on a need to escape the mundane reality that I felt was becoming my life, or soon to infiltrate into the sacred corners that I still found solace, peace, and a connection to a deeper inner reservoir of something beyond myself. The banality of life was creeping into my precious spaces. In a desperate attempt to find something for myself, I kept making one choice after the next, almost like a spiral of momentum that could not be stopped until, finally it stopped.

In the last three years it has been a blessing of sorts, with a massive amount of time to myself. Yet, in my own ignorance and ego I kept measuring myself to someone I obviously am not, nor will ever become. Through this process of negative self projections, I felt depressed, until nothing mattered anymore. In that moment of realization, I made yet another choice to let go of everything, in order to create massive momentum for change. Getting rid of most of my belongings and going to India for 6 months was the catalyst necessary to find myself again, after feeling lost for over a decade. I realized that I no longer knew who I was, what I wanted, or even where to begin, within the folds of my own, seemingly broken, within the perception of my life.

In addition, I experienced severe health issues that were chronic and took a very long time to diagnose and heal.  Thankfully, in time I was able to regain my full, previously strong constitution. When I was in India I went to an Ayurvedic doctor that has been practicing for over 60 years, who with just taking my pulse confirmed that I have had something wrong for 15 years. When he began to treat me, within only 3 months, I began to regain the same constitution I had when I was younger. This, was such a great blessing, that I have no doubts or feelings that I made a mistake giving up so much to make the trip.

However, upon returning to Canada, I went through a mountain of challenge, that was barely bearable. The one saving grace is the advice of a friend, who is blessed to be extremely psychic. He forewarned me of this time, as well as one of the Vedic astrologers in India. He told me that so much of my karma was being burned, I would only feel suffering, little else. Then, he said, “don’t worry, things will get better”. My psychic friend, interestingly enough said the same thing, that in time, my life “would begin in a way that would be really powerful.”

I can see, clearly how I had to go through everything that I have gone through in my life. So many difficult and heart breaking experiences did not make me harder or more negative. Of course, there was a time when all I felt was rage, of a level that was consuming. Yet, my nature, is one of kindness, love, and compassion. This nature was clear when I was a small child and has prevailed throughout most of my life. I realize, the goodness within me is more real than the anger and negative emotions. Yet, I needed to go through the darkness, for if you don’t confront your inner demons, you will never have the chance to begin the process of purification. Even when the anger begins to lessen, there will possibly be more inner cleansing.

I have seen people become hard, calloused, cruel, and vicious from the effects of going through a difficult or challenging life. In my experience, if we choose to allow ourselves to become this way, it is us who is locked within a dark prison. The darkness will eventually consume us, no one else. Even if we lash out at everyone we meet; the true suffering will only be felt by us, as our actions must all eventually return to us.

Instead, I choose to find faith, love, compassion; not only for myself but all others who I feel have created suffering for me. These sufferings are small, as compared with what many others must confront in their lives. We must always remember that there are people who truly suffer in life, our small trials and tribulations are inconsequential when all of our basic needs are met and we can live a life with freedom of choice.

My entire life I have searched for a feeling of Wholeness, or completion. I clearly realize this first comes from within us, based on the gradual subjugation of our own selfishness and egoism. We must find a sense of inner peace and spiritual awakening, through the grace of a master, where we are eventually lead back to who we really are. Thus, Wholeness, is to awaken within towards enlightenment, as this is the only true wholeness that exists; everything else is just transitory, further limiting us. If we search for Wholeness only on the level of physical health, even the best health can be taken in an instant. Nothing is permanent.

My search for spirituality began when I was a child, it has nothing to do with the suffering incurred in this lifetime. We all suffer in life, in one way or another. My strong ties to my spiritual practice and the teachings of my spiritual teacher have been a beacon of light, even though we all must pay back all of our lifetimes of negative action, thus we will suffer. When we go through difficulty, we must know that this energy is being exhausted and will not last forever. It has been my experience that the more I have gone through; the lighter I continue to feel, the experiences of joy are more pronounced, and I can sustain more awareness of being in the present moment .

I can see the small fruits of my labour, as there has been the grace that has allowed this to happen. Thus, after so much challenge and  through my own perseverance to constantly make an effort towards doing a regular practice, I realized that the heaviness I previously felt was gone. In its place, there is a newness and a brightness that emanates the deepest sense of happiness I have ever experienced. The last time I went to see my spiritual teacher, there were still some issues that affected me, yet a deep joy began to bubble up from within.

I see very clearly that all things will inevitably pass, no matter how long we feel that we have had to endure constant stress or challenges. A time will dawn when this energy is gone from our awareness, transformed into an essence that is far more lovely to experience. This has been my experience.

Now my life is at a new dawn where I feel free from things I have never felt free from and strong enough to stand alone against adversities that I have had to endure. I realized this when I was confronted with a group of people within my spiritual community that believed malicious and untrue gossip spread about me, as a means of protecting another’s actions. I suddenly realized that I did not care if these people liked me or not, their actions did not disturb my inner feeling of joy. Of course, I am still affected by things, yet my reaction is different than previously. If I do react it is easily reconsolidated and rectified with awareness and the appropriate action.

In life we may have to cross many difficult roads. However, if we have some faith in ourselves and continue to make an effort, we will see the grace and fruits of our labour. My life is like a flower that is opening, I have complete clarity that the path I am walking down is the exact one in which I must walk and the work that I am doing is exactly what I should be doing. Through this realization, a certain sense of liberation is present, one in which I am extremely grateful. When you find even a small sense of contentment and joy within, enjoy this energy.

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The Power of Nature

“Trees are the Earths endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” Rabindranath Tagore

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Many love to be in nature and to experience the tranquil beauty and vibrance of lush green, as far as the eye can see. To experience the silence that comes, as you venture deeper into a wild forest or higher up a mountain terrain. In my life I have loved to experience this profound connection with the natural world, through sitting in nature or hiking along a mountain side. The power of nature is beyond our cognitive ability to conceptualize, we may visually enjoy what is before our eyes, yet can we feel the energy of all of the living species that create the landscape. I want to convey my experiences of being in nature, an experience that I often seek out, on a regular basis as it functions to restore my equilibrium better than anything else that I have ever found.

I grew up in a rural, extremely wild area of the world, in rugged untouched wilderness. My parents gave us a sense of freedom, that is almost not heard of in this day and age. We could roam through the endless forest, as we learned from a very young age where and how far to go. My earliest memories are being in nature. I felt this deep connection with the trees, animals and the natural world, in general. To such a degree that I could actually feel the tranquility of being in nature. Throughout my entire life, I was very attracted to very large trees, these special trees are what I think of as ‘fairy trees’, a term I learned while living in the U.K. These trees are special, often with other plants growing on or around them. They are often perched on a hill of sorts, created by the massive tangle of their roots. These trees are considered Mother Trees, from an ecological and biological perspetcive, where they literally repopulate the surrounding forest and their roots are an interwoven connection of communication and nutrient delivery system, that enables all the surrounding trees to thrive.

Throughout my life, I would always seek out one of these mother trees to go to, where I would sit and be alone. Even while I lived in various countries throughout the world, I would always seek out a very large tree to find some solace beneath. Its common knowledge that all of nature creates a frequency of energy, yet large trees have a very powerful energy.

I remember one time I was sitting in this massive tree in Totness England, and a small rabbit came out of the surrounding forest to sit near me. Interestingly, while quietly sitting within the folds of the natural world I have had numerous such experiences. One of the most significant experiences of enjoying the peace of nature and being visited by an animal occurred when I was in my early 20s, while I was in North India in the Himalayan mountains, in the late 1990’s. I had a great Golden Eagle, with a wingspan over 5 feet, come rest very near me. The eagle flew beside me, only a few feet, stayed for a very long time, watching me as I sat quietly. Then, he gracefully leaned out from the high perch of a rock, extended his massive wingspan and flew off. I was told many years later, by a practicing Shaman that eagle is my totem animal. Ironically, I see eagles very often in my life.

Another time, I was running in the forest behind my families property. I noticed a black shape running beside me, when I looked it was a black bear. She was running beside me for a distance. Then, the two dogs I was running with chased her up a tree.  Many years later, when I was studying Anthropology at University, one of my profs did her PhD on Shamanism, and she said that those who had the inclination to be Shamans in the society, were chosen by nature via having an animal come up to them, in an unusual way. This was an interesting point of reference, as for my entire life I have been deeply passionate about holistic healing, thus this did not surprise me.

However, given this knowledge I have had no desire to study what is modern day Shamanism, for it’s not my path in life. I prefer to just be conscious of the energy of nature. Thus, when the world of activity and the frenetic energy of human life becomes too much, I retreat into the natural world to find a sense of peace and equilibrium.

There is no experience more profound than the silence of nature, where you are receptive to the silence and the life giving vibrance that nature has to offer. If you are feeling stagnant, exhausted or depressed, take some time to walk by the ocean, through a beautiful park and be present with what surrounds you. To behold nature as a living entity gives you the ability to tap into the energetic frequency that is emitted from each plant and tree. In this space, there exists a quiet magic that only those who are able to be still enough may experience, leaving you with a deep feeling of peace, silence and joy.

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Its All In The Name

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Jack Kornfield

Idaho, central, lightning storm over the White Cloud Mountains at sunset

Idaho, central, lightning storm over the White Cloud Mountains at sunset

We all come into this world with names given to us by our families. Traditionally, names were used to extend the family lineage, through the reuse of various family members names and the continual usage of the paternal last name. However, in this day and age, there is more freedom of lateral movement against the traditional practices of the past. We have more freedom to work with our own identity, finding greater use of self expression through what feels right to each one of us.

Of course, many people lack the awareness or consciousness to actually question the ‘identity’ assigned to them through their families and society. Most people feel much safer abiding very closely by the norms of society and the traditional practices of the family. However, in this way life can be an endless expression of conditioning, with very little true authenticity of real freedom to have the awareness to make choices that are based on real knowledge. Most, if not all of us are caught in this massive and hegemonic pull of fitting into a homogenized sense of ‘norm’, that is actually very disturbing, as it benefits many institutional bodies, far more than us as individuals.In my own experience of life, I understand the necessity of abiding by certain cultural and social norms, yet I also see a strong benefit in living my life as the person I feel myself to be. Perhaps, this can be seen as egocentric and selfish, yet identity for me is something that I feel on a very deep inner level. One example is how we use our name as our means of prime identity. In my own life, I never ever resonated with my birth name, it meant nothing to me, it felt odd and hollow, yet I used it until I became more engrossed in spirituality and realized I could use a spiritual name. I could not wait to change my name to something that resonated with who I felt myself to be.

In the last five years, I received a name that deeply resonated with me and began using it exclusively. Many people, mostly in my own family thought that I was using another name to be someone else. The truth of the matter is that the birth name that I used most of my life was not me, while my spiritual name resonated so deeply, it is my true name. I have even had many dreams where I am explaining to others how when I first received my name, it was like I finally had my real name in this life. This is something that is very difficult to explain to others, as it must be directly experienced, rather than theoretically discussed. The feeling was as though I finally had my own name, a name that expressed who I am on an inner level, who I have always been.

Through this experience I recently had a job, where they called me by my birth name as it’s my ‘legal’ name. I felt a deep emptiness and only registered to that name because I know it used to be what I was previous called. After one year, I realized that I can no longer go by my birth name, it means nothing to me, I have no connection to it, in any way. Thus, I am changing my name legally to what resonates with me, as the person who I am in this life.

In my life, I feel I have the autonomy and freedom to make such choices for myself and I will continue to make many similar choices regarding how I wish to live my life, as my life belongs to me and me alone. I will not be forced or coerced to be a certain way, because of pack mentality or out of fear of not being one of the mass of faceless, nameless, homogenized people.

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Truth Through Action

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ Brené Brown

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We are all searching for some tangible sense of contentment, happiness, and truth that helps us to understand the life that we are all collectively living. Of course, there are numerous paradigms that we prescribe to for various reasons, as a means of searching for something greater than ourselves. The question I have, is what stops us from really practising what we believe; really being the energy of what we speak and write. This is why, I only write about subjects that I am experiencing through my own actions; rather than just write about all of the health, philosophical, or holistic concepts that I have spent a considerable amount of time studying. I find tranquility through: simplicity, awareness, and working each day to really practice what I deeply believe within the teachings that I follow on a holistic level. The daily health and holistic advice that I give to others, has come about not only through the years of theoretical training, but also a lifetime of experience and observing how these aspects affect the human body, mind, and spirit.

In my own life, I have been interested in many aspects of spirituality, philosophy, and understanding the human condition. However, one thing that I have always done is to find some level of awareness and observation. I try to be observant of my environment, through watching others and the related dynamics that ensure, including my own actions. Through this process, I have seen time and time again how easy it is to write or speak words of various meanings, yet unless you can fully embody what you believe through these truths; it becomes meaningless to repeat such things to others. Inevitable, it does not matter what or how much you know, if it’s not transfered through your actions, it profoundly lacks any real meaning.

I felt inspired to write on this subject, as I tend to read numerous articles and blogs on health and spirituality. In addition, I tend to spend time with many people who are trying to find meaning in these two areas. I notice time and time again, we as individuals don’t practice what we deeply believe, on a large scale. Yes, there are many people who do make a huge effort and their truth is easily seen through all of their actions. However, I have witnesses people who are spiritual seekers, yet still their actions are not in direct correlation with what they inevitably believe. This phenomena is very prevalent, where most people create their own ideologies around others, allowing them excuses to treat others poorly or wreak havoc on someone else’s life through creative gossip and untruths.

Through such experiences, I find a sense of incredible resolve to focus on developing greater levels of awareness and not inflicting harm into my environment. Inevitable, it is only through our own actions that we should be concerned, even if someone else is at fault or has done the wrong action and you are the one blamed, for your reaction – to their poor action. Still, you must continue to bring the awareness back to your own actions; this is true self empowerment and will make your life much more authentic, transparent, and honest. Thus, bringing a congruence with your thoughts and beliefs, aligning these with all of your actions.

Often, it is through our greatest suffering that we make the greatest effort to change, or through our witness of someone else’s very destructive patterns that have touched our lives. If you witness others behaving in ways that are based on poor judgment; remember that action will ONLY ever harm them.

The real reality is that what we believe is inevitably conveyed through our actions, regardless of what we think or say; if we are not able to convey these into action, then we have a lot of work to do. As many of us know, this can pertain to anything, from negative mental and emotional patterns that we constantly play out in our minds, to cruel and destructive tendencies that we justify to ourselves. The truth is that regardless of who someone is or how they behave, no one deserves to be treated poorly. Moreover, if we find ourselves treating another person poorly because of what someone else has told us through their transfer of hate; we should be very cautious with our actions by taking on someone else’s issue, which may not even be a real phenomena.

In our society, we as a collective love to discriminate against others and demonize them, even if it’s to justify our own self created ideas.

Inevitably, each negative action that has come to slice through my life; I have become much more diligent with my own transformation, focusing on trying very hard not to be this way myself. In addition, we must become more aware of our actions and the consequences that follow. If we have contributed to some harm, due to our actions, the most benevolent role to play is to take accountability and do your best to amend the action. It takes a certain level of self honesty to really find a sense of self awareness. Even though I make an effort to attempt to be more and more aware and be mindful of my own actions, I also make many mistakes. The thing that I am trying to convey is the importance of having this awareness, thus making our lives an expression of who we are and what we believe, seen through the quiet simplicity of our actions.

The most powerful truth is only see through action, this is something we see with the Mahatma’s (great saints) of the world. Their actions are completely in alignment with the universal truth, there is no hypocrisy. All of us can practice some level of truth through repeatedly invoking them within all of our actions. By becoming more observant of our own actions, we can mediate them as we go along to become more harmonious with the universal truth. I find that one of the most motivating factors, as discussed above is to become aware of the actions from others that we have found painful and try very hard not to inflict those onto other people. If we find ourselves in the process of doing this, we always have the chance to retract our steps and make amends. This is my ongoing practice that requires tremendous patience and self forgiveness, to continue practising. Self forgiveness, when our actions are not in harmony with peace and love and inflict harm onto another; to become aware of this and try and correct this action. If we make the effort, it’s really amazing how we can find greater inner peace, love, and harmony in our relationships.

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To Begin Again

“Accept failure as experience you need for your growth. Be glad that some karma is complete. See your failure as a lesson, learn from it, and move on.” Amma

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When we suddenly find ourselves, seemingly back at the beginning; despite having contributed tremendous effort towards something, how do we feel? I have witnessed this phenomena and experienced it more than once in my life. Hence, knowing as I do, there is a feeling of frustrated loss, accompanied by a feeling of disbelief that despite having gained something, we are back at square one, or so it seems.

There are many perceptions that we all collectively harbour about our position in life. Possibly, one of the most prevalent is the feeling of accomplishment, the need to feel as though during the course of our lives, we are constantly moving forward and progressing. The collective fabric and conditioning of our society reinforces this necessity of moving up the ladder of success, which comes with a certain power; that inevitably leads to the possession of more material items, and thus the entire concept of upgrading in life occurs.

Through this process, we are bombarded by the consumeristic idealism of consumption, that we must be more, have more, and seemingly become someone who has more power. What happens when we find ourselves not within this paradigm of thought, can we accept it and find contentment? Or do we feel some way inadequate, as compared to those around us? I ask these question, as even when I have found myself, starting again in life, there is a feeling of failure, even if it was not by my own doing.

The reality is that we all have many lessons to learn in life and we are not all meant to be living a homogenized identity. Most of society is moving as a flock of blind sheep; everyone is moving in one direction, so we all just follow along. Yet, what happens if you are not one of these people, who feels that they are part of this unconscious mass movement; inevitably heading off the cliff?

What happens when you strongly feel that there is a much richer, simplistic, and more real way of living life, rather than going along with the masses? When we realize that we are at a new point of beginning, we also must realize that with this feeling of emptiness, all things become possible. Oftentimes, we forget that the most powerful gift we can have is a space in our lives to recreate a life that is more suited to what we envision for ourselves.

In my own life, I recently walked away from a lucrative opportunity, because it did not feel right and there were far too many moral and ethical boundaries that potentially would be crossed, in the name of business and success. I felt that letting go of something that I spent six months creating, was a much wiser move than to continue working on a project that I had never had a good feeling about. I was caught up in someone elses idea, one in which I did not have any passion for or believe in. The one thing I did have was the experience and the knowledge, thus contributing the majority of intellectual property. This was the only factor that made it difficult to finally let go, losing a part of my own creation.

Moreover, the truth of the matter is that I clearly had resented the fact that I was not working on my own project, one I had already begun yet put aside in the name of working with friends. I fully realize that I made a huge mistake, having corrected this, there is a space of potential to continue with my own project.

When we finally let go of how we think our lives should be, or the things we cling to because they seem like a good opportunity; this is when we really see the direction and value in the life that we wish to live. Its when we can walk away from something that we know, no longer serves us, despite the fact that there is some inevitable loss. This is when we have enough strength to continue along within our own terms, finding a greater sense of autonomy within ourselves and our lives.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2015

Sacred Partnership

“Do you not see. That you and I. Are as the branches of one tree. With your rejoicing. Comes my laughter; with your sadness, start my tears. LOVE. Could life be otherwise, with you and me?” Tsu Yeh (Tsin Dynasty A.D. 265-316)

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The majority of us search for the idealistic notion of, ‘true love’. To share our lives with an unfathomable beloved, in which we find complete union through the depth of love and bliss of the partnership. The search for such a sacred union is rarely the reality. There are numerous factors that determine the partner that we end up with in life; if we are meant to have a long relationship, numerous partners, or no partner at all. Obviously, for those who know the law of karma as a reality, we may have some unfinished business to share with another person, thus attracting partnerships that may not be as ideal as we had envisioned.

We always attract what we embody within ourselves. Thus, the true depth of finding this divine love and keeping the essence of this union burning, often has more to do with who we are on an inner level. This can be seen as our personal relationship with ourselves, as well as our level of maturity in life.

I felt inspired to write about love and partnership, after celebration the 15th year anniversary with my husband. We meant in our middle twenties and despite a life of constant change and challenges; we have endured. The truth of the matter, is that we have more than endured, we are living a relationship that is a ‘sacred union’. As with most new relationships when we first meant, we experienced a depth of love that seemed to transcend time, space, and causality, it was as though we had always known each other, effortlessly merged into one another; as separate entities, yet as one. This experience of fathomless love, true friendship and the depth of connection has endured for 15 years, despite facing more challenges in our time together, than one can imagine.

I have several absolutely beautiful female friends who are constantly moving through various partnerships, that come and go. These friends are constantly searching for their ‘sacred partner’ to share their life with, yet are not seeming to find this ideal person.

The truth of the matter is that, who you are as a person greatly depends on who you attract to yourself. In the case of my husband and myself, when we meant, both of us were very much focused on living a spiritual life. Thus, we were constantly finding greater self awareness and working with our self reflexivity, towards understanding our own minds. When we dedicate our life to this practice, we realize that everything in the transient external world, including other people will never make us happy; we must find true joy and contentment on an inner level. Therefore, when we came together, we were not dependent on each other for eternal love, peace, or happiness. Instead, throughout our time together we have always been very independent people, working on ourselves, yet sharing our space with each other; without the projected dependence of trying to extract love or joy from each other.

Of course, when you find a life long partnership that is very powerful, there are often other factors. We apparently have no, ‘karmic’ ties between us, meaning we were not brought together to work out some karmic lesson, which is a good thing. Instead, our relationship, is referred to as a ‘spouse of destiny’, as one vedic astrologer told me. We are together to evolve spiritually through our partnership. In this way, we have never tried to change each other, instead we have always allowed the uniqueness of each other to shine forth, supporting the strengths and beauty of our own personal evolution.

In my experience, even the most compatible partnership there will still be issues and fights. Yet, when we take self responsibility for our words and actions, it is easier to reach a greater understanding of the other person’s point of view. Another factor essential in maintaining clear communication and harmony, that I learned from my husband, is the ability to be very honest and straightforward. Thus, when there are differences of opinion, when discussed directly, the issue can be resolved very efficiently and quickly.

The energy of love, is a universal energy that is not just allocated to people in ‘love’, thus with this understanding there is greater compassion and compromise when facing difficult situations. It is my opinion that no one should settle for a mediocre or dependent relationship, it is far more productive to be alone. I have always said, ‘never settle for less’, even if that means you abstain from dating for a certain period of time, this will help to give the capacity to be detached and find an awareness of what the most complimentary partnership looks like.

The truth is that the advice I give to others, is the same advice I have used in my own life. When I was in my very early twenties, I had the great opportunity to travel and live all over the world for over six years. Thus, at that time in my life, I also understood very clearly what I was seeking, through the clarity of my own understanding of myself and the partner I wanted to spend my life with. I focused most of my energy living in other countries, travelling,  and doing sadhana. Instead, I waited very patiently for a partner that I could spend my life with, rather than the constantly revolving relationships that I had already witnessed.

Through this practice, I did find much more than a partner to share my life with, I have a sacred partnership with a man who is an extremely strong person, an infinitely kind human being, who tries his best to live his life with awareness. There are few people like my husband, yet we walk the same path, as individuals that are forged as one. Even as time passes, our moments together are as new as if we have just meant, yet are steeped in a profound love and strength that is unmeasurable and eternal. I know many people who also share such relationships, with constant work on ourselves, all things are possible.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2014

Into The Stillness

” Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found.” Pema Chodron

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Like all of us searching for a life of meaning and inspiration, there have been many times in my life where I have found a sense of deep joy; despite there being many factors in my life that would instead, compel a sense of unhappiness. As we all have realized in life, happiness is not dependent on our external circumstance. Of course, there are numerous connections that we experience where we are intrinsically tied to some event or shared experience with another that makes us feel happiness. However, the truth of the matter is that regardless of our ability to see the external experience as bringing us joy, or if we can feel that the joy was actually already there. The reason that we were able to perceive this sense of happiness, that already existed within us, is that we were able to focus our minds on the present moment to such a degree that we experience a slowing of the mind. Similarly, when we invoke any kind of meditative, spiritual practice, or anything that allows us to use extreme focus, bringing our minds more to the present moment with a concentrated focus. It is during this silencing of the mind that we can tap into the inner joy that exists within all of us and is not dependent on any external stimuli.

I came to realize this experience through spending most of my life doing hatha yoga. This practice has fluctuated in my life, since I started almost thirty years ago, despite the fact that I am only forty years old. Yet, something has remained consistent, the deep inner peace generated. I noticed this when I was very young, through holding each asana for a duration of time, I would experience a deep sense of peace. Now, I don’t hold any posture for long, yet feel plunged into the present moment with each asana, each breath is a mantra and the focus becomes very concentrated. Through this practice, there is a bubbling of such inner joy, its like a warmth that spreads throughout my being, delivering a deep inner peace and contentment. Most of us who have tried doing yoga maybe have not felt this type of experience. There are many reasons for this, the most obvious is that most of us go to classes, where our attention is very much outwardly directed. The second, is that the focus on proper posture has overtaken the body culture, that yoga has always been in the West. Proper posture is important, yet there are many schools of yoga that focus to such a degree on posture, it actually takes you completely away from the internal experience. Despite having started doing yoga in the late 80’s, including going to classes in the early 90’s, my first opportunity to properly study Yoga was in India in 1997 when I did my teachers training at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala South India. Since this time I have continued to study with numerous well known teachers who specialize in various styles. Currently I do a combination of postures that have some Iyengar with a very energetic focus on the breath, using mantras for each inhale and each exhale. This practice is very physical, yet allows the practitioner to go within to such a degree that your awareness can exist physically and energetically. However, doing any practice is a cumulation of repetitions that generates a specific energetic result. Each posture, like continuously chanting the same mantra, invokes a certain energetic response. Thus, the more one practices doing asana the more power the energetic experience one will have. The most important aspect of any practice is to allow our minds to slow down, where we can experience a deeper sense of inner peace and happiness. When we can just let go of our self imposed ideas on what ‘mood’ we should assume, based on the day’s events. If we can just allow ourselves a small moment of being in the present moment; all possibilities open up and we realize that we can experience happiness and inner peace, regardless of what preconceived stress and ‘suffering’ we may be enduring. The human mind is a very unpredictable aspect of our human experience, thus no one is static and perfected in any idealistic way. Thus, through the storm, we can find ways of experiencing peace and joy, even while we are surfing the eye of the hurricane. Inevitable, something inextricably amazing may be waiting right around the corner for us. It has been my experience in life that if we cling too hard or long to painful experiences, we miss out on the beautiful gifts that are waiting for us to discover them. Thus, the goal of doing any spiritual practice or self improvement, is to move beyond extreme reaction, to have more equanimity, where we can experience suffering, yet allow it to be released; to make space for joy. Through our practices, may we find deep inner peace and joy. Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2014

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