I read a great article by Jyotish Novak this morning. He and his wife Devi are the Spiritual Leaders of the Ananda Communities Worldwide. I am consistently blessed by the wisdom and compassion that they share in their blogs. I recommend signing up for their “Touch of Light” weekly email list by going to Ananda.org
This week has brought forth several opportunities to look at the power of magnetism in my life. I asked myself what am I magnetizing to myself and is it working. I will share my discoveries with you as I go more deeply into expanding awarenesses. The Ananda Community is dedicated to the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. We dedicate our daily practice of Kriya Yoga with the goal of reaching Self Realization. Our daily lives are actively engaged in conscious meditation, yoga and conscious practices that support us as we live in attunement with High Thinking and Simple Living.
What I have discovered on my spiritual path that it is essential to have a tried and true roadmap to reach a fully awakened consciousness. In Jyotish’s blog he shared 12 qualities that Paramhansa Yogananda, the author of Autobiography of a Yogi, gave us as a roadmap to help us develop twelve Godly qualities as a means of overcoming the ego. They are as follows:
1. Fearlessness and non-attachment
2. Absence of self-conceit
3. Purity of heart: no malice towards others
4. Perseverance (in the acquisition of wisdom and the practice of meditation)
5. Sattwic charity (including helping others materially)
6. Self-restraint (which leads to control of the senses)
7. Freedom from anger and faultfinding
10. Forgiveness, (giving a person a chance to reform)
11. Renunciation (primarily of the heart)
12. Tranquility in the Self
Those are powerful ideas and I certainly have several on this list that I need to work on. Yogananda suggested that we pick one of these qualities (at a time) to focus upon and that makes great sense to me. Feel free to discuss any of these ideas that you like with me. And we will be going more deeply into these 12 qualities in future blog posts. Have a blessed day.
I was having a particularly challenging morning today and it was triggered by the news that I read on the internet. I was just browsing my emails and not guarding my sensitivity level because it was early and the brazen and aggressive news hit me smack dab in my heart and my head. I immediately felt restless and nervous about what is happening to the our beautiful planet, our country and the many innocent souls who are the hardest hit by greed and ignorance.
When circumstances, people or situations hit us over the head because we were caught off guard, it is very useful to have a few time tested tools available to apply to our current mind set or we will be drawn into the energy, emotional drama or the dominant attitude being expressed.
I suddenly feeling anxious and my plan for the morning had been ease and grace, doing my meditation, staying centered and calm and the opposite had been triggered and I had no screen in place.
Once again, God brought me to a challenge that was going to stretch my inner life skills to work through the feelings of fear and insecurity that came up when I read a few of my emails.
I realized that I was barely alert and I needed to be kind and accepting of myself where I was at, in the moment. Not that I should pamper myself and play out “poor me” scenarios. I was aware that I needed to be compassionate and conscious and I needed a healthy strategy to find a way to gently shift my gears.
I went for a short ride with my dog to Masters Market at Ananda Village and picked up one of my favorite breakfast sandwich and then went to share some extra fresh tomatoes I had with a friend. If we are too absorbed in our own suffering it is time to give more generously of ourselves. Switch out of self absorbstion and give my energy to help others. Giving of ourselves when we are moody, frustrated or upset is the best way to utilize our misdirected energy. Be generous with our lives and we simply can’t out-give God or the universe. With a loving and empowering attitude the energy will shift and change as you walk through the storm.
Part 1: When circumstances or situations are just ripe, many of us can slip into the inadequacy dance. We go round and round comparing and measuring ourselves and our lives against the perception that we have of someone else’s life. The very fact that we are doing that, points to a a strong sense of “I am not enough.” That is not the truth but the habit and seduction of this mind set can erode the tenor of even the most precious times of our lives.
Growing up in my family, I was compared to my older sister for most of my childhood or my cousins, our neighbors and who knows who. My parents often compared themselves to the lives of others. Once the habit was established no one had to say a thing, I was off and running my mind in many circles and endless reasons why I did not make the grade. I was a sensitive child who did not approach things in the ways that my family thought I should and that provoked any number of reasons to tell me who and what I ought to be.
Learning to be our own selves and honoring who we are is so essential. Learning to stop comparing ourselves and our lives to everyone and their sister is a struggle that we have to overcome to be our authentic selves. Creative people, and I am one, will often address things in a way that does not conform to others peoples way of going about things. Other than safety and being kind and considerate, everyone has the right and the need to be themselves. There is no one who can take their place. We are all unique souls that are here for a reason. What that might be is a struggle that many souls wrestle with for years and eve lifetimes.
Please don’t waste your life on endless comparisons. Take a look at what is going on. Are you feeling badly about yourself or you life because you are comparing yourself to others. Make the decision to honor who you are! You are a precious soul on this earth and you are here for a reason, a season and this lifetime. Life is our teacher and many come to our aid to reflect what we need to learn this time through. Do your best to learn what life is trying to teach you. You are not alone. We are all needing to fulfill the larger reason for our presence here on the earth right now.
Many of us have already voted in the US, or will vote some time today. It is easy to get caught up in the issues that are very important to us all. Even so, it is very important to realize that we are all a part of one nation. We are interrelated, interdependent, inseparable, and interconnected to all of life.
We are a part of an integrated whole earth and we are not separate from any living thing. We are not separate from anyone anywhere and the decisions we make today will impact our collective good.
Hold the High Watch today and always, as best you can. If we could take a view from outer space, looking at our beautiful planet, we see that there is one globe and all of it is connected in one way or another.
So as you go about your day, reinforce our unity with all of life. We are one and a part of a greater good that includes everyone and everything. Lets be very conscious of our oneness with life and each other today. Let’s be watchful that we do not let our ego or anyone else’s create a division between us. No one, is any better than anyone else.
In the midst of these uncertain times of change, I practice lifting my thoughts to my Spiritual Eye between my eyebrows to focus on being joyful regardless of what is going on . This is a practice that we do at Ananda that was passed on to us by Jyotish and Devi, the Spiritual Directors of Ananda Worldwide.
Here it is: Stop, close your eyes, and bring your energy to the spiritual eye, at the point between the eyebrows. You may find it helpful to place your fingertip there to help you focus. Now become aware of light and joy at that point. Do this for at least fifteen seconds. This simple practice will reconnect you with the presence of God as light and joy. All success, all happiness, flows from a superconscious connection to the Divine. Master said that keeping our consciousness at the spiritual eye is the fastest way to make progress.
I hope that this practice supports you on your journey today. If you use this practice at least five times each day, it will help you stay centered no matter what is going on in your life. Know that you are Loved, Rev. Barb
You really have something to contribute to the lives of others. Make this day one where you honor the potential that Spirit inspires in you. Whatever you can share from your heart and soul, makes a difference in the world. Anyone can feel overwhelmed with the suffering and poverty that we encounter these days. Even so, there is so much good that is within you and others that is worthy of expressing. You have something meaningful to share! It may be something simple or practical that is helpful to someone, or perhaps it is offering encouragement of someone who is not feeling as strong as they need to be today. Your selfless service is a blessing to others. Be generous with your love and kindness and that truly makes the world a better place. Know that You are Loved! Rev. Barb Walley
We have so many opportunities to “Practice the Presence” in our lives. Gratefully the world is awakening to these practices more and more each day. When I first heard the term of “Practicing the Presence” it awakened something in me that held the power and consciousness that keeps giving and grows and support the deepening of my daily spiritual practice a little more each day.
When I decided to move to a spiritual community five years ago, I made that decision so that I could be in an environment that is in a continuous practice through out my day. I invite you to join (Ananda Sanga Worldwide Community) in the practice of “Reawakening the consciousness of light and joy” by using the following technique: (whenever possible – try to do this in a quiet place- never in a moving vehicle) Stop, close your eyes, and bring your energy to the spiritual eye, at the point between the eyebrows. You may find it helpful to place your fingertip there to help you focus. Now become aware of light and joy at that point. Do this for at least fifteen seconds. This is a technique that Jyotish and Devi, the Spiritual Leaders from the Ananda World Wide Community sent out in their weekly letters. Join us in lifting up our consciousness five times a day, into the light and joy and make it another way that you can “Practice the Presence” through-out your day.