E-RYT 500, yoga instructor for children and adults

Archive for February, 2014

I Am Not the Doer

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 Verses 8-9

“The cognizer of truth, united to god, automatically perceives, ‘I myself do nothing’ – even though he sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, moves, sleeps, breathes, speaks, rejects, holds, opens or closes his eyes—realizing that it is the senses (activated by Nature) that work amid sense objects.”

When we realize that all of our abilities come from the Source, we know that we are not the “doer” in our lives. The prana, or energy, that we receive from the Universe is what powers our actions.  When we realize this, then we can cultivate non-attachment from the fruits of our actions. We simply let ourselves be a vessel for god to carry out the cosmic plan. This sentiment is outlined in many cultures and religions, including the Prayer of St. Francis. I say this prayer every morning before meditation. In the prayer we ask god to work through us to bring more love, light, and peace into the world and it affirms that it is through forgiveness and generosity that these things come back to us. Just like the law of attraction, what we put out into the world is what we get back. A shorter version is recommended by Gabrielle Bernstein, based on her studies of the book A Course in Miracles. The prayer is: “Where would you have me go, what would you have me do, what would you have me say, and to whom?” By starting my day with the intention to be used for the greater good, I set the tone for a day of guided action. When good things happen to me, instead of gloating or boasting, I set the tone to give thanks that Spirit bestowed blessing upon me and pray that these blessings can be used to in turn bless others.

In a deeper sense, I can see this verse alluding to the fact that we are not our bodies, our senses, even our minds. There is a more powerful force at work in us, the spirit that breathes life into our body-containers. The “I” here can be thought of as the soul. The body acts as the vessel, the senses take in information, the mind sorts the information, the intellect makes decisions, but the soul is the watcher. Deepak Chopra says to witness the breath and that the soul is this observer, the witness to our actions. He explains the body as a verb, always doing something, but the soul is the silent overseer. In meditation we still the body and quiet the mind to get in touch with the soul.

This verse also frees us from feeling overly responsible for our achievements and by the same token, our failures. If we dedicate our actions to come from a place of love then we can trust that the Universe will guide us to do, or not do, what needs to be done, or not done. Often a “failure” in our perception is actually what needed to happen. We sometimes don’t see the big picture until much later, and I believe we may not ever see the whole thing, at least within our current lifetimes. Occasionally we get glimpses however, and these times reassure us during the times when we don’t see the resolution. As I tell the kids in my yoga classes, all you have to do is try. We do our best, we act from place of love and service, we trust and let Spirit guide us. I am not the doer, I am a tool of the Source to create in the world.

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Turn the Radio On

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”

–Nikola Tesla

When you ask the Universe/God a question you have to be in tune with the Universe/God to receive an answer. I typically use the terms god/universe/source/love/light/spirit interchangeably. God is the whole universe, the source of everything, is pure love and light, and is present in spirit. When we are negative and complain that we are not receiving guidance, it’s like turning the dial on the radio to static then complaining that there’s no music. Spirit is always talking to us, but we aren’t always listening. You have to feel good as they say in “The Secret,” get into the zone or “the vortex” as Abraham calls it, to see your intentions manifest. You must tune your inner radio to the correct frequency to get the message that is coming in. Often it is in our darkest times that we think to ask our inner guide for help. And it will help, if we are able to receive the guidance. It is a practice, like everything else, to know where to look, how to receive, what to listen for. We can practice through living mindfully, cultivating awareness, and meditating. Meditation comes in many forms, and can include, but is not limited to: sitting silently, mantra repetition, breathing deeply, singing, chanting, practicing postures, walking, running, cycling, being in nature, gardening, journaling, guided meditation, working with animals, volunteering, playing, and creating art. Even our diet and activity level have an effect on our ability to perceive the voice of our inner guide. If we don’t practice this technique and don’t train our spiritual muscles, they get weak. We become confused and lost. We may get frustrated or doubtful, saying, “Where were you when I needed you?” We stick our fingers in our ears, cover our eyes, and cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” I know. I’ve been there. Even Jesus Christ has been there. Unable to see the bigger picture amidst our own pain, we sit in a deep dark hole, gazing down into the abyss and neglecting to turn our eyes up to the light above. Even after years of therapy, treatment, yoga, meditation, and mostly healthy living, I still have moments and sometimes days of fear and doubt. More and more often now, though, I am able to lift my own head. I can find that spark of light that urges me to keep moving forward. I have practiced and trained my mind to sit for meditation even when I don’t feel like it, to read enlightening texts, to practice and teach yoga, to remember to be grateful, to listen to upbeat happy music, to avoid negativity, and to tune back in to a positive frequency. In “The Secret” these mood-boosting techniques are called “secret shifters.” Yours may be different, but as long as they make you smile, laugh, or feel happy, then they work to pull you out of that darkness and glimpse the light again. They give you the motivating energy to tune into a positive frequency and vibrate in harmony with god, thereby allowing you to glimpse the secrets of the universe.

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