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Are We All “Time Poor”?

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Time Was, Is and Will Be 

Time is one of the big enigmas of our world. Sometimes it flies by while other times it drags on and on, or at least it seems to. As a culture we complain of being critically “time poor”. We all pretty much perceive time and everyday life as flowing like a river. The “passage of time” takes us seamlessly from moment to moment, eternally moving forward into the future. This is how most of us believe past, present and future exist and time flows at a rate of one second per second. We largely recognise time has elapse by comparing how things were to how things are now or will be and looking at the differences.

This theory of time doesn’t really explain time, but rather explains it away. What if we measured time to be two seconds per second, for example? Physics suggests that in trying to understand the nature of time we should instead think of it in a spacial sense – that is, just as we understand all of space is out there, we can think of all of time being out there too. The equations of physics support that there’s moment after moment after moment, but not of the moments “flowing” into each other. So instead of time flowing like a river, we could think of it as a frozen river where every moment is forever locked into one fixed location and its just out there, all of time out there.

Either theory could be true. We accumulate memories of our past and feel blind about the future and this supports the passage of time forever moving forward. The “grandfather paradox” of time travel also supports this. It explains that if you went back in time to a period before your parents were conceived and killed your grandfather, you would never be born — meaning you could never have existed to go back in time. The inherent futility of this makes backward time travel seem impossible, time could only move forward. This paradox makes sense from a physical point of view, yet it can be resolved when considering parallel universes and space-time in the context of quantum physics.

The theory we can transcend time is not limited to the equations of modern quantum physics, it is an ancient metaphysical idea from the Vedas. Yoga teaches that time is a flexible projection of the mind. The Yoga Sutras speak of the tiniest increment of elapsed time, a ksana, as being so small it has no duration – just like a point has no dimension…unless you link many repeated points together to make height, width and length. So just like many points linked together, it is the repeated ksana linked together that create the “frozen river” of time of which quantum physics speaks.

Ksana-tat-kramayoh samyamad vivekajam jnanam  Y.S 3.53
By deep meditation and concentration on the sequence of indivisible moments of time (ksana)- past, present and future are known simultaneously along with the nature of the world of objects.

Sutra 3.53 explains how when we’re superconscious, that is, completely physiologically absorbed and are able to trace what we say, think and act in every tiny sequential instant, we are able to link our current situation with our past and our future. When consciousness lapses even for a moment, the continuity is lost and things happen that are seemingly out of our control. Now that’s just for a tiny moment. If you’re like me, you may be now realizing you waste much time unconsciously acting out your life. This is why we’re often left wondering how we got where we are, or why certain things keep happening to us. The world and everything in it surprises us at every instant. The future is unknown. Yet it may be known! Have you ever thought, “if only there were a sign”? Yoga teaches us that the signs are all around us, guiding us all of the time, we just are not paying attention. We’re unconscious for that critical ‘sequence of indivisible moments”, which may only add up to a second. Yoga practices in consciousness such as meditation, mantra, pranayama and vinyasa allow us to recognize how our actions result in the life we experience and how our projections appear as the world we’re in.

Ksana-pratiyogi parinamaparanta-nirgrahyah krama Y.S 4.33
Each sequence of events is composed of distinct moments that are only perceivable when the yogi transcends the effect of the gunas.

These Yoga practices allow us to surrender our ego and our attachment to the world around us, which in turn helps free us from the constraints of time to a place where time stands still. So many of the most highly regarded “successful” people, who do so much for so many and have the greatest impact, are those who meditate or practice other forms of Yoga. Now I think of it, I’ve never met a “time-poor” Yogi, have you?

Perhaps you can help me out with some more inspiration as I’d love to hear your thoughts on time – present, past and future. Think of an acronym like mine for TIME and get back to me…Tiny Instants Measure Eternity.

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Mantra

Gayatri mantra

Want to get on a fast track to inner peace and spiritual enlightenment but your regular Yoga practice isn’t cutting it? It may well be time to get your mantra on too!

Is “Chanting mantra? No way that’s just too weird!” your response? If singing in public ranks right up there on your most-feared list, let alone in a different language, worry not. Perhaps you only associate mantra with images of monks reciting sanskrit verse to worship manifested forms of Divinity. But mantra are not unique to Hinduism or Buddhism.  Many of us now recite mantra to still our minds and become more peaceful. When you stop over-thinking and start feeling, chanting mantra can shift your busy, analytical and critical mind into one that’s more clear and compassionate. If performed with an affirming intention, chanting mantra can also tap into your creativity, give you strength, as well as bring balance and harmony through wellness and vitality.

How did the use of mantra come to be? Ancient Yogic philosophy teaches that all matter in the universe is made up of vibration or sound, the purest form of energy. The root substance of the world and everything in it is composed of vibrations at various frequencies and amplitudes. When we begin to see all forms of creation as really composed of vibration – that is, sound form or music – it becomes easier to appreciate how music and sound can move us so profoundly. Music and sound reminds us of our interconnectivity on the most subtlest of levels.

The Yogic texts also explain that before and beyond existence there is only One Reality (Brahma) and the first manifestation of this One Reality is expressed as the sound vibration, Om. This is why Om is considered to be the source of all mantra and is more often than not attached to all the many mantra as a reminder of that One Reality.

Yoga teaches us that our words, be them spoken out loud or silently, create the world we live in. The word mantra itself is sanskrit and means “to cross over the mind”; man-mind, tra-to cross over. Jivamukti Yoga co-founder, Sharon Gannon, likens them to “magical spells” with the power to shift our reality, or at least our perception of our reality. To utilise this magical potency of a mantra to shift reality we must acknowledge that the words be spoken clearly, pronounced correctly and with the sincerest of intention. Have you ever wished for something so much, with such longing and undivided attention, that it did come to be? I bet like me you have, many times in fact! Reciting a mantra works just like that. It must be repeated many times over and over again for the desired outcome to manifest. I add it also should have the most positive and uplifting intent. Words laced with hate, anger, blame, jealousy and condemnation only create more conflict, destruction and suffering.

So when embraced, mantra can help realign the bad vibes in your body to good ones, as well as release your emotional and spiritual hang-ups – don’t pretend you don’t have them! Reciting mantra also calms the constant inner-dialogue in that over-crowded, intellectualised head of yours, making focus and meditation easier.

Most mantra are easy to remember as they’re short and like the songs you learned in primary school, are practiced in Yoga class as call-and-response. But unlike asana practice, all you need for reciting mantra is your inner and outer voice. No super-flexibility, odd-shaped props, or dynamo-strength required. Chanting mantra aloud in class can be a little intimidating at first, but remember you have strength in numbers – theres no solos needed.

Give yourself a 31 day-challenge this month and immerse yourself in a life-affirming mantra. You can make up your own sweet and uplifting verse, phrase, word or even syllable. Alternatively in Jivamukti class open yourself up to the positive intention of the “Let Go” mantra. Think of something in your life or body that is not serving you and you need to free yourself from. Or use it to let go of the continuous thoughts whirling in your mind to pave the way for a more effective meditation practice. Given it’s the holiday season you could also harness the power of “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu“and “Shantih” to feel in your entire being your pledge of contributing to the happiness, freedom and peace of others. By the New Year you’ll be ringing in your release from those negative and toxic emotions and drinking up the good vibrations!

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Soul Power Part II – Why I’m Vegan

Border collie and piglets
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures”. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I practice and teach Yoga because it makes me happy. Not fleeting, momentary happiness, but happiness that is lasting. Since quitting my “real job” to be both a Yoga teacher and lifelong Yoga student, I experience a happiness that isn’t as disrupted as it used to be by life’s challenges. There’s no doubt that Yoga practice helps create a strong and healthy body and mind, but with this refinement comes a deeper reward – freedom from suffering. Suffering may manifest as physical, mental or emotional but it’s all suffering within our small self, bound to our ego. We have the choice whether or not to attach to this suffering, to let it define us, or to look to something more. Yoga practice frees us from the limits of our small ego-self and we awaken to our greater Self, whose nature is limitless potential, unconditional love and pure joy. With practice we see life as how it truly is and we gain power in the realisation that we have a choice to live our lives aligned with this happiness – in doing so we also have the potential to ease suffering and create more happiness in the lives of those around us.

In the Yoga Sutras, author Patanjali gives us five guidelines, or Yamas, for treating others that result in attaining lasting happiness. The first is Ahiṃsā, which means non-harming.

Ahimsapratisthayam tat sannidhau vaira tyagah, PYS 11.35

When you stop harming others, others will cease to harm you.

Simple enough – when we stop harming others, we end our own suffering and increase our happiness.

Compassion is an essential part of ahimsa. Through compassion you feel another’s suffering yourself which helps you refrain from causing more harm to them. That is, you begin to see yourself in other beings. Compassion trains the mind to see past outer differences of form so you start to get glimpses of the inner essence of other beings, their soul, which is happiness. You begin to see that every single living creature has a soul that desires happiness and love, just like yours.

One of the most obvious reasons for adopting a vegan diet is that you make others happy if you don’t eat them. But furthermore, when you see that cows, pigs, lambs, chickens, ducks, fish, horses and all animals want happiness and love, you recognize kindred souls. A vegan lifestyle is an informed, intelligent and conscious way to act peacefully. Importantly however, ahimsa applies to a vegan that is critical of a non-vegan, just as much as it applies to a non-vegan about to tuck in to a steak dinner or buy some new leather shoes. No one listens to a holier-than-thou, self-righteous vegan. Patanjali give ahimsa as a practice, as a universal ethic that applies in all situations, meaning we strive as Yogis to do the least amount of harm possible. To be critical and judgmental ultimately creates more harm.

Many people choose to adopt a vegetarian diet for health reasons, of which there are countless studies of support. For me personally, the more I learned about the treatment of animals reared specifically for food, clothing or entertainment in our own country, together with the very real statistic that animal agriculture is the leading cause of global warming, deforestation and species extinction, the more I realised that my choices didn’t just affect me. The way we choose to spend our money may cause harm or lack in another region of the globe, or further degradation of the planet for future generations. What we choose to eat has the same effect. My wish to see a thriving, happy world caused me to adopt the more peaceful vegan diet. I understand that this may not make sense to everyone. Animals will most likely continue to be killed for food, fashion and entertainment and the environment may continue to be degraded…but not because of me.

Consciousness is a process and it begins with education. I’ve never seen myself as an activist, but I am educated and continue to be so. Educating people (when asked) on the real issues behind ingesting or enslaving animals better arms them with the knowledge to make the right decisions for themselves and for the wellbeing of our planet. Ultimately, everything comes down to respecting every life on the planet, be them non-vegan, vegan or animal.

And there’s good news if you do want to stop climate change, get healthy, or cease animal cruelty – it is actually in your hands. You don’t have to wait for governmental organisations. All it takes is a shift in consciousness to cause a shift in habits. The revolution has already begun in my family, what about yours?

 

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Soul Power

Billy the Boxer Dog and Nanny Goat Lily, Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon - 27 Feb 2008

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small

Many spiritual and religious traditions still believe that animals don’t have souls, insisting that animals are a “lower” species than human beings and do not have the intelligence to understand their soul as different from their body. Yet there is so much evidence to dispel this ignorant belief. You don’t have to look too deep, most of us have seen that animals play, dance, love and suffer. They have the capacity to communicate, to think analytically, to contemplate, to feel emotion, to mourn and show compassion in the face of illness and death.

It is even defined in our language: the meaning of the word anima, the root for the word animal, means “the inner self that is in touch with the unconscious, or the soul”. Thus to be alive is to have a soul, be you a human or non-human animal. When a creature dies and the soul leaves the body, that is the only time that we can justifiably say the creature doesn’t have a soul. So to insist that we human beings are the only species of animal with a soul that yearns for happiness and freedom is to be deluded by prejudice. 

Patanjali taught us that prejudice as the greatest obstacle to yoga. Sharon Gannon explains that prejudice is always based on misperception, or from being told a lie then believing it and continuing to tell yourself and others that lie. Your belief in that lie then affects how you see yourself and the others whom you are prejudiced against. Only knowledge can burn prejudice at its root and reveal the truth. When we remember that all living beings have a soul, we understand that all species are capable of evolving towards cosmic consciousness. So when we open to empathy, compassion, kindness and friendliness to all beings, the universe opens up to us!

Jivamukti means liberation for the soul—all souls, not just human souls. To reach liberation, we must rid ourselves of prejudice. Asana and meditation practice can help. Bhakti can help. Being vegan can help. But no practice will be effective unless we are willing to open our minds and hearts to see beyond the “reality” presented to us by culture. When we reach liberation, we will find that there is actually no difference between individuals of any species. We are all one—we are all one Divine soul.” – Sharon Gannon

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Serene Intelligence

Maitri Karuna Muditopeksanam Sukha Dukha Punyapunya Visayanum Bavanatas Citta Prasadanam – YS 1.33.

By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard towards the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness – interpretation by Sri Swami Satchidananda.

In the above Yoga Sutra, Patanjali outlines practical keys for us to maintain our innate serenity of the mind (citta prasadanam – a blessed state of mind). Serenity is the true nature of our mind, happiness is who we really are. The false nature of our mind arises in those moments of jealousy, depression, fear, despair, hatred and anger. If we can seek the cause of moments that change our true state and contemplate the opposite, we can move closer to viewing all beings as their true, blissful form.

The tenets of YS 1.33 address how we see someone, so that once we acknowledge how we see a given person the practice becomes treating them according to the four tenets…instead reacting to our own quick judgements, criticism or scrutiny.

At first the advise from Patanjali seems obvious, almost common sense. Yet there are times when it’s hard to be happy for people that are happy (sukha), such as when we feel jealousy or we disagree with the source of that person’s happiness. We may get upset or try to quash their elation, but no party wins when their joy is taken away. Serenity is lost because the relationship becomes damaged. We instead can recognise that just for this moment that person is happy – ultimately moments don’t last and happiness in this world is so rare. We can tap into our heart centre of friendliness (maitri) and feel love and joyful what they are experiencing also. After all, happiness is not in limited supply and one person having happiness does not mean that it takes it away from someone else. There is enough joy for everyone.

There are also times when it’s difficult to see a friend or loved one unhappy (dukkha) without getting upset ourselves. Yet being upset or angry doesn’t serve to bring them out of their depth of depression or despair, it just exacerbates the situation. Instead, its much wiser to go deeper with empathy and understanding, then perhaps we can help. Compassion (karuna) literally means “to suffer together” -deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the strong desire to relief it. So if we can connect to the suffering in the hearts of those that we relate to, we can understand the human within them and through this connection we may be able to transform that suffering.

Patanjali’s sutra also indicates we should not view those who are virtuous and fortunate (punya) as simply lucky or even undeserving. Nothing is arbitrary and God/the universe doesn’t “roll the dice”. Many karmas, past and present, are in place and you may never understand what karmas (or actions and consequences of actions) the fortunate person has resolved to get where they are today. We all have our own challenges and struggles, we’re all in the cycle of resolving and purifying our karmas in this life together. Therefore being delighted (mudito) for another being that has come so far will only help to further transform your own life into a one of bliss.

The final tenet of YS 1.33 goes against “playing fire with fire”. Peksanam means indifference, neutrality and apunya means evil, wicked. A good example is if you find out someone has bad-mouthed you. If you call them on it and seek revenge and retribution, you’re shining a spotlight on the vindictive deed, which adds fuel to the fire. Yet if you focus on remaining calm and level-minded and don’t give it recognition or volume, that fire will burn out.

The advise outlined by Patanjali in YS1.33 is practical and applicable to everything we encounter and experience in our life. If we seek serene intelligence, a peaceful mind, these are the steps we can apply to every person we meet and every situation we find ourselves in. But just like all Yoga practices, this practice is experiential. We can read all the literature from all the great teachers, but until we start to experience it for ourselves we won’t know if it works. So join me and lets get out there in this big, wide world and start applying these tenets – lets see how much minds and our quality of life can transform!

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Kitchen Spring Cleaning

Spring gardenWith the weather warming and the blossoms budding I have found myself this week in the throws of spring cleaning. At first I felt daunted by everything that needed to be sorted through, but I’ve decided to take it slow and in complete mindfulness like a true Yogini. Rather than be overwhelmed, I’m giving myself the entire season to get the job done. By giving a half an hour here, 20 minutes there, the tasks are gradually getting ticked off the list.

The Jivamukti Focus of the month is “the magic of cooking” and this has turned my attention to the kitchen – I am currently taking a break from emptying all the drawers, wiping down the insides, trashing the junk and putting everything that is necessary back in its rightful place. Over the next few days I’ll attack the tupperware cupboard, which has grown to now include various take-out containers and jars that I always think I can recycle a use for. I also suspect a number of children’s plastic cups, plates and bowls may make their way to the Magdeline Centre (along with the 2 bags of kids clothes and shoes – their winter wardrobe was last week!). After this I’ll tackle the pantry where much disorder lies (food is dumped on any shelf that has an inch of space). Judging by the number of cans that I actually can see, I’m sure a few pots of mexican bean chilli will be on the menu soon too.

Does spring cause you to stop and assess your clutter? Dealing with it is half the battle, but I find when I’m up and running I gain momentum to keep going. Its a great way to get rid of junk that is weighing you down, both in the home and in your life. I personally can’t wait until my kitchen is sparkling clean and ordered – cooking with mindfulness will be a breeze when everything is easy to find! What are your tips for a satisfying spring clean?

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Contemplations of Love and Appreciation at the Dinner Table

Gratitude for friendship and food, with my dear friend Ginger and our families on a my last trip to Gainesville, FL.

Gratitude for friendship and food, with my dear friend Ginger and our families on a my last trip to Gainesville, FL.

With the Jivamukti Focus of the Month being “the Magic of Cooking”, over the last week I have indeed made a conscious effort to cook with greater global awareness. This has inspired myself, and consequently my family, to practice gratitude now when we sit around the dinner table.

Your culture, background or religion may already do this in the form of prayer or blessing. If so, come to it tonight with renewed vitality and a consciously open heart. If not, here is a simple contemplation that my family have been reciting, with hands held, at the dinner table. We used a variation of it before our silent meals in Costa Rica. Feel free to use it to set up a vibration of deep appreciation and thanks for all you have on your table and in your life:

This food is the gift of the whole universe – the earth, the sky and much hard work. In this food I see the presence of the entire universe supporting my existence.
May we eat in mindfulness to be worthy to receive it.
Beings all over the earth are struggling to live, may we practice so that all have enough to eat. May we transform our minds to learn to eat with moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. We accept this food to realise the path of understanding and love and to live for the benefit of all beings.

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The Magic of Cooking

The magic of cooking

Food is a part of our lives every single day. We not only rely on it for nourishment but also use it to bring people together. We share it with those we love most and look forward to it over Christmas, birthdays and other holidays. Large or small, lavish or ordinary, coming together over a meal is something we all enjoy. Food gives warmth and a sense of celebration that promotes community and union no matter what the gathering.

The act of cooking itself can be very magical – a wholesome meal may appear simple, but this everyday pleasure can help bring your body and mind into peaceful balance if prepared with the right intention. Cooking for others is also a powerful service when done with unconditional love and gratitude. The first step is to enter the kitchen with a clear intention, calm and easy, free from distraction. Never cook when angry or upset!

Next, look at the quality of your ingredients. Using all organic, seasonal and locally grown-ingredients is great, but even making sustainable and ethical choices are a good start. Making the dish vegan to reduce suffering doesn’t hurt either.

Then take a moment of appreciation for all of the effort and time that goes into creating these ingredients by giving thanks to everyone and everything that has helped bring them to your kitchen. For instance, thank Mother Nature for the water, sunlight, soil quality and energy systems that create healthy food in the world today. Thank the farmers and producers for growing and making the ingredients. Thank the factory workers for packing the food. Thank the drivers and pilots for delivering the food to where it needed to be. Thank the market, the retailer, the shopkeeper, the cashier etc. who sold the food to you. Or, to keep it simple, repeat to yourself a few times “I thank everyone and everything that went into the creation of this food”.

Finally, think clearly about whom you are preparing the food for. Are they friends and family or is the meal an offering to those in your community who suffer each day from lack of food? Take an opportunity to see these people clearly and deeply, express real love and friendship in your cooking. Thank them for giving you insight and compassion as well as joy and love in your life.

Gratitude in cooking allows us to become more aware of the preciousness of food and of our family and friends. Remembering that every vegetable, every drop of water, every grain contains the life of our planet and the sun can deepen our relationship with the earth and all species.

This month, I invite you to contemplate and celebrate what the simple act of cooking wholesome food does for your family, community and culture. Feel free to share a recipe or a photo of your favorite dish and see if this practice makes the food taste especially delicious to all that share it!

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A Matter of Perspective – how you see others reveals how you others see you.

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In my last post I touched on how we often confuse our true identity with one that depends on our external appearances, to the things we have learned about ourselves through personal experiences, or to judgements made by others that we have internalised. We compare our past self and our future self to how we see ourselves now – this is our perception of ourselves.

How you see yourself, how others see you and how you perceive others see you may be an accurate representation of your self-image – but these perceptions may not necessarily be true. For example, you may think a particular person is confident, organised and assertive. Some people may agree with this, while others may view them as arrogant, bossy and obsessive. This is an example of how one’s perception can cloud someone’s true identity.

When we can fine tune both our own self-perception and our perception of others, we can then gain understanding as to why it is people treat us certain ways and effect our behaviours. Often we assume that someone’s actions towards us are based on the kind of person they are, when in actual fact there’s other situational factors influencing them. When we can consider the circumstances for another person’s behaviour, we lessen our judgment of others, and hence deepen our compassion and kindness.

To become more in tune with other people and even other things and circumstances around you is a profound spiritual practice. Moreover, contemplating our own perceptions of others is important because how we perceive others has great influence on our own happiness. A study in 2010 at Wake Forest University* strongly suggested that your own perceptions of others reveals a lot about your own personality. The study showed a strong correlation between seeing others in a positive light and our own positive traits, as well as how satisfied we are with our life and how well-liked we are by others. The researchers discovered particularly strong associations between positively judging others and how enthusiastic, happy, kind-hearted, courteous, emotionally stable and capable a person describes oneself and is described by others. On the other hand, viewing others negatively correlated with negative personality traits and a greater incidence of depression.

So the way I see it, the more we can open up our perceptions and perspectives (i.e – the more we can put ourselves in the shoes of another) the less we’ll get caught up in our own little confusion and suffering that arises from misunderstanding. We’ll move from feeling separateness to experiencing oneness. In doing so, we’ll expand our own happiness and cultivate self worth and the sense of who we truly are – our identity.

 

*Perceiver effects as projective tests: What your perceptions of others say about you. Wood, Dustin; Harms, Peter; Vazire, Simine. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 99(1), Jul 2010, 174-190.

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“I actually don’t know who I am” – Identity and the realised Self

Costa Rica Sunset

Tat twam asiThat thou art, or, you are That.
Chandogya Upanishad

Who am I? Why am I here?

From the moment we are born, we are thrust into a world consumed with identity. You are given a name and described based on how you look, where you live, where you got your education, what you do, your possessions, where you’ve been, who you associate with, what you like to listen to, read, watch, eat, drink, wear etc. etc. etc. We can also fall into the false belief that we are our current circumstances, our present life situation. You just need to look at social media to see how much of our individual identity is based on how we like to fit in, how we would like others to perceive us. That our identity can be summed up in our own Facebook status update, or worse, in the update of a bullying troll. When we continue to identify with our “small self”, it only increases our sense of separation from others. This can lead to feelings of isolation and belief that that’s all there is.

Yoga teaches us that even in this lifetime a person can shift their identification with their small self – the jivan, to the enlightened, cosmic Self – the atman. There are many practices to help bring about this shift such as chanting, meditation, or studying uplifting texts – the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Autobiography of a Yogi all speak about clarity to see beyond “otherness”. You can go to Yoga class where you can be present in the moment and practice acting consciously, rather than unconsciously, which often causes regret, guilt or more attachment. If you’ve ever been to a Satsang, or a gathering of a group of people who are all interested in enlightenment, chances are you would have worn white clothing. Wearing white represents purification of the Self. Personally, I feel it is a profound feeling to attend Satsang; Wearing white removes all of the illusion we get caught up in, so all that is left is the true nature of those around you – everybody is truly beautiful!

My teacher, Sharon Gannon, talks of other easy ways to realise the eternal Self, practices we can do everyday. She explains “becoming comfortable in our own skin, with who we are as a person, with our relationships with others and the experiences of our life. No one can escape their destiny. A person must acknowledge the karmic seeds they have planted in the past and when they come to fruition do their best to work through the ripening process.” What this means is to acknowledge what you have done in the past but act in this moment to work through it and create the happiness you wish to see. Strive to become more “other-centred”. Practice compassion, kindness and forgiveness because taking care of others shifts the focus from yourself. When you have more concern for the joy and wellbeing of others you no longer seek blame or look to complain as your obsession with yourself decreases. Love surrounds you. It’s said then that you no longer see “otherness” but just the oneness of Divine Love, your true identity.

Andrea's Group Teacher_Training

Silly snaps

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