Inner Reflections

1803202991410651339

“Many people try to become wiser and more loving, and they remain in a constant battle with themselves. This approach never works because it assumes a separate ‘you’ who wants to be a better person. It is the you that is the dream, a thought only. In taking yourself to be a separate entity, you blind yourself to the Truth of your being, which is love and wisdom.” Adyashanti

Within the eyes of our own reflexivity we shall see a wider array of our outer reality; revealing what we magnetically attract to ourselves. In greater awareness, when we can become more of a witness, we can perceive the interconnected attraction that we generate every second.

“The law of attraction is this…you don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

After spending most of my life as an easily reactive individual, despite doing my practice on a regular basis. A situation occurred where I decided that I would make a concerted effort to become more of a witness, than a reactor. In time, I realized that as situations began to unfold, it was as though a part of me was watching this occur. Within this awareness, there was a very subtle moment where I could choose how to react. Through this process, I started to notice all the people who were drawn to me or attracted to me; everyone was going through something energetically similar. As aspects of my life changed, again I attracted people going through apparently similar life experiences.

“Usually where we experience lack, there’s something we already have that we’re not appreciating fully.” ~ Marianne Williamson

Even further, through the Holistic Integrated Therapy that I have been practicing for many years now, most of my clients were also drawing versions of themselves, literally to themselves. The work I do is a combination of counselling, intuition and medical intuition. It’s incredibly effective when going through very challenging aspects of life or situations with other people. Through observing the challenges of many of my long term clients, as well as the numerous friends that also come to see me. I noticed one thing that was very interesting. The most challenging individuals that they came across, ALL had the same qualities that these people also embodied.

The problem, is that most of us are not willing to really face our darkest inner selves and see how we are on a deeper level. Of course, within the ability that I am gifted with, I can see very clearly each person’s energetic qualities. Actually, I have had this ability very fine tuned since I was a very small child and have used it throughout my entire life, with absolute accuracy in every situation.

“We are made for goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.” ~ Desmond Tutu

I noticed that we struggle with the abject of ourselves when we meet it face to face in another person. We fight back against them, with a dislike that we actually have towards these qualities that are hidden deep within ourselves. From a spiritual perspective, none of the mind stuff is our true identity. However, from a practical perspective, all of it is associated with our ego. The ego loves to hide its darkness away; out of sight out of mind. Therefore, we show a facade of a friendly demeanor and project outwardly how we would like others to perceive us. Ironically, I have always been able to feel the whole energy of a person, seeing what was hidden beneath.

“When you accept everything for what it is without labels,you are outside your ego.”~Eckhart Tolle.

When we are aware of our own darker tendencies, we learn to have compassion and acceptance towards others negative tendencies.  I am not saying that we accept others bad behaviour, yet we can accept the whole of the individual, even if we see that this person can lose their temper at times or is also human like us. If we can find a place of taking self-responsibility for who we are and all of our tendencies, then it’s easier to see the humanity of others. The reflections of the abject are the strongest in partnership, we see the negative qualities and start to point the finger in blame, “you are like this”. When really, we are most likely the same, in some way.

“When a ship is in the sea, it has to weather storms, rough seas and may even encounter whales or sharks, while the ship anchored in the harbour doesn’t face any such challenges. However, who would make a ship just to moor it in the harbour? When obstacles appear in life, we need to kindle our inner strength and spread the fragrance of selflessness and love. We should be able to lift up others who are drowning in grief.” Amma

One of the most powerful healing qualities is awareness, as once we are able to shed light on our own inner vulnerabilities we can work on changing them. Rather than finding constant fault with others behaviour. It’s far more self-empowering to continuously focus on our inner self and allow these patterns to deteriorate and eventually let them go.

In time, all things are possible if you make the sincere effort, all you need is the persistence and continual awareness. In time, you will attract much more harmonious relations and the depth of compassion and love will allow you to work through difficulties with others in a positive way.

In addition, it is important to maintain a certain level of discrimination and have healthy boundaries around those who we want in our lives.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2017

 

The Power of Forgiveness

“Compassion is the foundation of peace. Compassion resides within everyone. But it is difficult to experience it and express it in all of our actions. We must turn inwards to search deep within ourselves. ‘Is my heart still vibrant with life? Can I still experience the source of love and compassion within me? Does my heart still melt at the pain and sorrow of others? Have I cried along with those who are suffering? Have I really tried to wipe another’s tears to console them or given someone at least a single meal or a set of clothing?” Like this, we can honestly introspect. Then the soothing moonlight of compassion will spontaneously shine within our minds. If we want to bring peace to the external world, first our inner world needs to be at peace.” Amma

unnamed-8

There is a great ambiguity in the whole concept of ‘forgiveness’, thus many write about it and perhaps we all have moments where we can truly forgive. However, it has been my experience, despite feeling a deep need to find forgiveness and coming very near the entrance of this energy. I found that in some way I could not fully let go of the burden I had been carrying. I still choose to hang onto the suffering that I felt from my own actions and those of others.

The point is, when do we really get to a place to allowing this beautiful and divine energy to come into our hearts and cleanse them of all the anger, resentment, and other energy that we constantly hold on to and renegotiate with on a regular basis.

“Not causing harm requires staying awake. Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do. The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake, slow down, and notice.” Pema Chödrön

My realization is that at the end of the day, you have no control over others or the external environment. However, you do have an element of control over who and how you choose to be as a person. 

I have tried to find this feeling throughout my life, yet never really managed to allow it to permeate my consciousness. Yet, with grace all things are possible and when the time comes, it can and will happen. When you are no longer willing to continue to carry the burden of emotional pain over something that is beyond your reach. This is when you can choose to either become hard, like an impermeable rock, or let it all go and allow the softness of love and forgiveness to awaken from within and flow throughout your life.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2016

Innate Intelligence Through Yoga

“Experiencing the presence of a realized master is like being reborn.” Amma

5838359586_7bb85e0f41_z

Recently, I experienced a profoundly transformational experience that transported me back to the deep fire of spiritual yearning that I felt as a child. Normally, such experiences I have not written about in detail, as I feel they are very personal and need not be discussed. However, the reason I feel the need to convey this experience is that, similar to myself many people have extremely profound experiences in their lives that provide a deep connection to their innate sense of self. Even though I am nowhere near being awake at a spiritual level, I feel a certain quality of spiritual longing that can provide an energetic connection that transcends our mere ego identity, even if just for a momentary lapse. Of course, this experience is not permanent, yet lasting long enough to produce radical changes in how we perceive our sense of self.

After not being able to do any Yoga asana for the last two years, after I sustained an injury that has affected the tendons of my hands and arms. Due to this injury I have literally been living in more or less constant levels of pain everyday, thus preventing me from doing numerous activities. I have undergone all of the medical and physiotherapy that exists, as well as numerous alternative approaches. The last recommendation was from my medical doctor to start doing Yoga. In the last two months, I started doing a very basic Yogic practice that I modified for a beginner, so that when the Yoga course that I signed up for came I would be ready.

The importance of this story is that when I was around twelve years old I found an old Yoga book from the 1970’s that my stepfather had, as he would do the shoulder stand to help his back. I had this profound insight that this was the path for me and I began a regular Yoga practice on the hard floor of my room in the evening. At that time my body was very stiff and I remember the feeling of resistance that I first felt, yet I preserved. The book only had the basic postures outline, nothing about spiritual aspects related to Yoga, yet after each practice I would naturally prostrate down to the Divine Mother. The interesting aspect of this last comment is that it was 28 years ago and I grew up in a rural part of the Yukon. Thus, I had absolutely no exposure to such ideas during that time in my life, certainly not to anything related to any form of spirituality. I started to research, to the best of my ability aspects of Yoga and found out that meditation was also very beneficial. Following some suggestions I would light a candle and focus on the tip of the candle, hoping to focus and still my mind.

The most important aspect is that within my inner self I felt a tremendous spark of inner connection to this type of activity. I felt a deep burning and longing to find a deeper sense of meaning in life, to become unified with the infinite Truth. Of course, being that I was young and underwent tremendous change when I started high school, having to relocate to the nearest city, my practice suffered. Yet, I found a wonderful woman, Jeanie Stevenson, who was my first official Yoga teacher sometime in 1990 in Whitehorse Yukon. I would go to her classes with all of these people who were older than my parents. I remember feeling a deeply profound sense of calmness pervading my being. As high school progress I eventually stopped doing Yoga.

When I was 19 years old I was living in Switzerland and one day I was in Winterthur, the largest city near where I was living. I happen to come into a little esoteric shop and found a very beautiful book on Yoga from Swami Sivananda. That was when I began a very serious practice that deepened when I was living in Totness England when I was 20 to 21 years old. Shortly after my 21st birthday, in 1995 I went to India for the first time and had the opportunity to study Yoga with a man in Rishikesh by the name of Rudra, who is Iyengars second disciple, as well as the Sivananda ashram located there. This was the beginning of three more trips to India where I mostly focused on studying Yoga in South India. The last was in 1998 when I completed my Beginner and Advanced Sivananda Teacher training. Shortly after I found myself in the California Sivananda Ashram where I moved to live a spiritual life. Ironically, karma had a very different plan for me as I ended up moving back to Canada until my current departure September 2013. In Canada I continued to study Yoga and had the opportunity to take workshops with some very well known Yoga teachers who had studied for over two decades with Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, or Sivananda. Some of these people were Peter Bennet, Felicity Green, Mary Paffard  and several other such practitioners of Hatha Yoga.

However, as of ten years ago my intense practice started to dwindle, as I became a full time university student and was working part time. This was when I began to attend other peoples classes more, rather than adhere to my own practice. Slowly my practice lessened and lessened, feeling so busy with life, my love for Yoga was no longer palpable. Then, two years ago I could no longer do any Yoga at all, as I had been doing a little bit still until the injury.

Recently, I started a Level 1Yoga course at Amritapuri ashram. The experience of doing asana again with a prop to assist my hands and arms, transported me back to my childhood where I re-experienced the profound longing I had, the spiritual spark that I felt throughout my entire being, there was nothing so clear in my lifetime, that this was my path in life. Even though my body is no longer that of an advanced adept of Hatha Yoga that it used to be, still within I feel this innate knowing of exactly how to place the body in most of the postures. I realize that I have a complete inner body awareness, as though I can feel my entire inner body and know how to place my body accordingly for each posture. This experience is something I did have before when I used to do very advanced asana’s, as there needs to be a certain level of awareness as to how to maintain the posture. Again, I felt a deep sense of inner peace filling me, even though my postures were not as fluid or flexible, this innate sense of deep stillness began to fill me. Of course, after not doing asana for so many years I have needed corrections to ensure that I am holding the posture correctly, this is mostly in my upper body that has been affected by the injury.

I feel the inner longing and love that I used to feel reawaken, like the coals of a fire that has never fully gone out. With a little air the flames of this innate knowing and love began to come forth. The connection I felt to an innate existence of being connected to a higher energy of consciousness allowed me to function in the world, to travel, and to focus my energy. The identification that I experienced while being connected to Yoga allowed me to have inner strength and to have a more still mind than when I let this practice go. 

Yoga has taught me the impermanence of the body and the innate intelligence that exists within us. This impermanence exists, as all physical phenomena changes and transitions itself naturally, including our bodies. Perviously, I had reached a very advanced level of practice where I was able to study very intense Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and anything in between. I had a very strong and agile body. Thus, when that is taken away so is a part of our ego that allows us to identify with our accomplishments. Like many things in my life, I have had to work very hard or I am forced to go back to the beginning, regardless of the massive work that I had previously done. I became a beginner once again, with a body that was not only lacking in agility, but with hands and arms that can not bear any weight. The first sessions in my small flat in India were so painful I actually started to cry due to the frustration and pain of not being able to hold my arm behind my back in an easy stretch most people can effortlessly do. Yet, like all things if you keep trying, progress will be there and as I continued day after day I started to slowly see the progress, the lengthening and agility increasing. During this course, I was able to do everything that all of the other students were doing, which is a huge accomplishment, including being able to feel immense steadiness in most of the postures. This comes from all the Yoga that I have previously performed, even though my body is not highly flexible, there is an inner knowing of how to be centered and still within the postures, to make an effort and to let go and surrender to the practice.

I realize that to lose something, there is a hidden blessing waiting for us, as greater humility allows one to surrender in order to learn in a way that is not possible when one thinks they already know everything. I feel receptive, open, and similar to when I was young doing asana in my room. The deep connection to this practice is something that has been so innate to who I have been in my life; experienced as an unarticulated sense of being. I never told many people necessarily that I did so much Yoga, as for me it felt like an extension of my self, rather than something that I just did on a regular basis. I felt that the practice brought me closer to a sense of my true self, deeper within, and into a place of inner calm, which is an experience I have only had in my life through this practice. 

I feel deep gratitude that I am able to return to this practice, to embrace its powerfully purifying quality within, as a part of my daily practice.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013