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Joy and Light are within you!

DSCN2674We 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.

Know that you are Loved,  Rev. Barb

Responding or Reacting

DDSCN2674o you know where your last thought came from?  After many years of study I have come to believe that most of our thoughts and feelings are rooted in the subconscious mind.   Everything that is hidden within us comes from the past, from our history in this life or a past life.  All automatic thoughts, attitudes and related feelings are rooted in the subconscious mind.  The ancient yogic teachings reveal that we bring many of our life patterns into this life, to overcome, to release, and to help us gain the lessons that those patterns reveal to us.  They are all automatic behaviors, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t want.

If someone says something to you that pushes a button in you, you can guarantee it is coming from the subconscious.  The conscious mind is not as reactive as the subconscious, that is endlessly repetitive and reveals itself in the reactive thoughts, attitudes and beliefs we have.  When you feel triggered, do you ask… where did this come from? Why do I feel so bothered by this situation, whether a comment someone says, or a behavior they express, or any situation that comes up that you have a charge about.  It is all coming up from the unconscious mind.

What I see from the patterns in my life, is that I have a reactive part of me that I want to eliminate so that I can live more freely.  We are not really free if the least little thing can push us over the edge emotionally and trigger a whole lot of thoughts and feelings that disturb our well being in a nano-second.

Learning to respond instead of reacting is a huge leap into greater spiritual freedom.  Our greatest growth comes from being more attuned to what is real and what is true.   The Master Jesus reminds us that “the truth shall set you free.”   Within that journey we will find greater joy and well being.

Know that you are Loved,  Rev. Barb

What we Resist – Persists

heart math, what is heart math, spiritual counselor, spiritual counseling, spiritual growth, emotional freedomHaving an open heart around our hidden resistance, helps us to gently approach the inner blocks to our greater good.  Are you willing to get a handle on yourself and open up to your greatest potential?  The benefit shows up in my life when I am willing to look into the mirror of my thoughts, attitudes and feeling and see what I am resisting and open up my heart and surrender to the growth that is most needed.  I seek to create a coherent balance between my heart and my mind.

If we are ready and prepared for growth, we wouldn’t need the universe to “push us with pain,” because we would be willing to go where the resistance is.  We are being guided by our higher selves that will keep us on the treadmill until we open up the doors within us that we have glued shut.

My greatest gift comes when I am being receptive to Spirit every moment I can.  The divine shines the light of awareness and it is up to us to be open, flexible and willing.

In the silence of our own hearts, we can reach an inner peace as we face the places in ourselves that we still need to grow in.  Be willing.  It is so much easier to be open to the guidance that Spirit is always providing.  All of our challenges are a call to our Higher Selves.

Know that you are Loved,   Rev. Barb

Are you Hiding Out?

1381644_594206667283333_1578599035_nI love to watch the deer that are all around the community where I live in the hills of Northern California.  I so enjoy watching the circle of life each year as they have their precious babies in the trees, keeping them safe from the predators they fear.

In observing the deer I have noticed a human parallel in the impulses that cause a deer to run away.  When someone or something triggers a hot button within us, for whatever reason, the trigger caused by the perceived threat ignites and the heart starts pumping faster and faster.  What causes you to react in your heart?  I have observed people freezing up, or watched them being unkind to others or have witnessed rude comments expressed to someone who innocently walks into their space.  That is exactly what happens when a deer hears a sudden sound and reacts with fear.

Even though we rarely face life-threatening dangers, many people defend themselves psychologically rather than physiologically.  We can struggles with our inner fears, insecurities, damaging, critical, and hurtful behavior patterns.  The struggle resides within us and they need our realization because if it triggers us, it is inside of us begging to be healed.

Many people tend to defend the space around us.  Some people defend their self-concept, others guard hidden emotional territories and possessions and when triggered and unexamined can cause great confusion and hurt in others. All of this drama is our version of running into the woods and hiding, like a deer, behind a tree.

Recently I witnessed a mature spiritual teacher move toward a random person rather than say hello to someone she was clearly uncomfortable with.  The look on her face was quite revealing even though I had no idea what actually motivated her.

People know exactly how to close down their hearts and put up psychological barriers.  If you discover that you are doing some of that and you are working very hard to avoid discomfort or pain, it is causing you to close your heart down and it is shutting innocent people out.

Guarding our hearts and energy centers only serves to make the world a colder and indifferent place.  Life will stir our energies when we are hiding from old fears and wounds lodged in your energy centers that are called samskars in Yoga.  This is what causes all of our physical, emotional and energetic trouble in our bodies.  It will show up in every area of our lives.  I believe that it eventually  greatly impacts and effects the whole planet.  We are all One.

Who you are does matter and what you do sends out ripples of love and inclusiveness or pain and separation.  What will you choose to bring forth today?

Know that you are loved.  I love you…  Rev. Barb

Free To Grow

DSCN2500Hello Beloved Friends:

Let’s take a look at how free we are to grow and change perceptions.

A man was standing on the side of a “swiftly moving” river.  He sees someone on the other side.  He shouts across the river to the man.  “How Do you get to the other side?

The man shouts… You are already on the other side

Dr. Michael Beckwith says we are either pushed by pain or pulled by vision. I would rather be pulled by vision and yet I have clearly experienced many times when I am resistant and the universe brings forth another approach.

Sometimes life breaks our hearts open and life delivers a deeper healing. Heart Break pushes us with pain and the end result is that we heal on much deeper levels.

The mind simply cannot figure things like this out.  The healing that is emerging from the tragedy in Charleston is still being revealed. I was deeply touched by some of the compassionate actions that I witnessed.

Many stories of forgiveness and compassion are surfacing.  I saw a YouTube clip of a man paying the grocery bills of many black strangers in his community simply because he wanted to express love, kindness and something meaningful to people in his community.   We can all do something to make a difference. 

Affirm with Me:

Right now, in the very instant I tune into a higher awareness.  I consciously and deliberately tune into the Infinite Indwelling Spirit.  My attunement allows me to utilize the tools of conscious awareness to enable me to be an observer.   I watch my thoughts and reactions and I let them float on by.  I allow whatever they are to move on by without any evaluation, judgment, or concern.  Whether they are good or not so, if they are empowering or not so.  I simply let them go without the need to place any value on them at all.  If they are negative I lift my thoughts to the spiritual eye and gently correct them without any judgment or reprimanding attitudes.

I accept who I really am and let any and all temporary thoughts drift into the native nothingness from which it came. I give greatly appreciate that I am free to choose over and over again.  I choose love and release fear.   I am deliberately lifting my awareness to Spirit within me where I know that all is loving, empowering and accepting of the I Am within me.  I tune into the Masters and call forth the strength of our Oneness.  I step on the invisible transforming bridge of divine love and I am lifted out of limitation and effects and I return to the Source of Ever Expanding Life.

I am deeply grateful for Loves Presence in my life and give thanks that I am Free to Grow into ever greater awareness of God within me.  Thank you for shining the light upon the shadows and bringing forth the light.  And So It Is.

Know that You Are Loved!    Rev. Barb

Integrating our Life Lessons

DSCN2146Are you noticing emotional patterns in your life?  I have realized that my life serves up some of the same lessons over and over.  This is one of the more obvious indicators that there is something going on that we have yet to glean the wisdom from the situations and circumstances in our lives.

When we keep having similar situations come up in our relationships, our work environments, our sense of self-esteem, or we see our own reactive attitudes and feelings… we are always the common denominator.

It is no secret that we are living in challenging times.  That is why I chose to focus on this topic because I am noticing that many people are having a difficult time with the changes happening on so many levels.

I find myself practicing my breathing exercises more often when stresses come up in my life. They really help me.  I take two swift and deep inhalations through my nose and I exhale those two focused breaths through my mouth.  A few rounds of that exercise helps me release the accumulated stress that I can feel when I am observing myself in the midst of a change that has not completed itself.

We heal and change in stages.  If we are intentional about healing the patterns within us that are obstacles to our happiness, joy and inner peace, we will grow.

Being fully awake and aware while “in the process” is not at all easy in fragile moments.  Self doubt and age old fears can come up.  They are recurrent patterns that we have blocked from our self realization. If we do not accept the lessons into our awareness, we build another layer of resistance, which is a magnet for anger, sadness and isolation.

I work at staying conscious of my process, especially in moments when I know that I am not at my best.  As soon as I can, I go within and question myself without judgement.  I ask myself if I am understanding what is going on within and around me.  Are my perceptions true?

I must ask Spirit for help. My daily practice is to do my very best to stay attuned to God.  To continue to grow spiritually I must understand myself and the others in my life.  That takes availability.  I have to open my heart and mind and energy centers to a greater picture of what is actually taking place and move the energy to the next level in my process.

On a soul level we lack the information that we need to process the situation.  Maybe I am needing more love and compassion for myself and others.   Maybe it is just the mirror of my past floating through my awareness and if I can bless it and release it to Spirit and ask for guidance… the compassionate creative medium … Divine Mother…. will help me see the bigger picture in due time.

Like the Buddhist path reminds us.  We need to be aware that we are suffering.  Having the awareness and opening ourselves to see the patterns is a doorway that leads us to our next stage of our growth and transformation.

Know that you are Loved,  Rev. Barb

River of Life

I am so grateful to be able to study the principle of Yoga.  The Bhagavad Gita teaches the uniting of all paths as ancillary streams in the larger river of life.  “That river,” Paramhansa Yogananda said, is the “energy flowing in the spine.”  All of the paths of yoga offer guidance to people of all temperaments: the (karma) active soul, the (guana) knowledge explorer, as well as (bhakti)  the heart centered seeker.  The central river to enlightenment, as Swami Kriyananda said in his book “The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita” is revealed by Raja Yoga, the royal yoga: the pathway of the spine.

The objective of Raja Yoga practice is to “take one straight up the central pathway of the spine into the inner silence of divine communion.  My personal experience has been for only seven years of practice. What I know is that this all-inclusive path of Raja Yoga has kept my attention.  I have been living near and working in the Ananda community for a few years now and I have realized just a ‘tiny’ spark of the realization that awaits us all as we enter the inner silence of oneness with the divine .

I encourage you to take a look at the Bhagavad Gita.  It is one of my most favorite books to study.  I am joining a class this week and we are starting the book together.  This is my first time exploring this book with others on the path of yoga and I look forward to the deep and inspiring exploration of the Gita.

Know that you are Loved.  Blessings and Joy,  Rev. Barb