A Divine Universal Plan

How are you? And, what’s the real answer? Have you ever noticed how we automatically respond to that question and often don’t give a real answer? Also, have you noticed when someone asks you that question, who really wants to listen to your response, you feel the ability to open up and be real and just say what’s on your heart? God loves us so much. Every day He is asking us how we are and He profoundly wants to know the answer in our hearts…that’s what I believe. And, yet, so often we forget He is there. Yesterday at work one of my co-workers asked me that question and I could tell he really cared what my response was. I imagine God is caring all the time. (I love that song by Steve Gold, Let Your Heart Be Known.

So, I shared and it was so helpful to talk. Right after I shared, I got the most amazing email from someone who had read the Fresh Fruit Cleanse book. I felt like that was God saying to me to remember that He is there for us in infinite ways. But, to feel God’s support or love or anyone’s support or love we must be willing to be vulnerable and let our hearts be known. Sometimes, that’s the hardest thing of all…way harder than what we’re going through in life. As soon as we let ourselves be vulnerable, we can feel God’s grace and love flowing into our hearts and minds whether that’s through the caring spirit of a friend, or, from the God Energy of Life itself.

So, even when it’s scary, remember, to let yourself be vulnerable and let your heart be known. As someone I know said recently…vulnerable is the new strong. And, to that I’ll add something I saw on someone’s t-shirt a couple of weeks ago…strong is the new beautiful. 🙂 Who said life is easy? I’m pretty sure we’ve all realized by now it’s not, but it is so, so, so magnificent and miraculous and impressive even in the depths of our most significant loss or difficulty in life. God is with us, love is with us, grace is with us, and we are all ONE. There is a saying in the Shiva-Svarodaya, “The Prana (life force) ) verily is one’s greatest friend, companion and there is no greater kinsman than the life force.”

A couple of days ago, I was reminded of the quote by Paramhansa Yogananda from Autobiography of a Yogi…

Every saint who has penetrated to the core of Reality has testified that a divine universal plan exists and that it is beautiful and full of joy. – Paramahansa Yogananda

What an awesome quote. May that teaching be with us every moment of every day with each breath we breathe. May we remember that no matter what we are going through in life, God will bring us through and that there is a Universal Divine plan and it IS beautiful and full of joy. As one of my friends said recently, one of the greatest challenges humans face is taking life too seriously. For real, peeps. Of course, we are to have great reverence for this gift of Life, but, let’s remember that through it all it’s important not to take it so seriously but to see, as Yogananda says, the Cosmic picture show of it all. He often refers to life as a movie playing itself out, and we are both creating it and acting in it. The important part is to be conscious, as much as possible, or as Yogananda says, superconscious mind and to be able to be in Purusha, the great observer of it all. Watch your thoughts, watch your feelings even while you feel your feelings…be conscious and watch everything else from that superconscious place. Don’t get so involved in the movie that you forget its a movie. 🙂

Breathing into the Divine when meditatingRemember to sit back, relax and enjoy the show even when it’s a dramatic scene…you can also laugh at the drama, and you can remember to smile even when there is heartache because that, too, shall pass as we are filled more and more with the Light and love of the Divine with every breath we breathe. As Shiva says, the great Light that purifies us all. Sure, we must put forth effort into that purification, but it’s happening one way or another, ultimately. God’s universal plan is the purification of our soul through the purification of our body, heart, and mind. That doesn’t mean you’ll always be perfect, but that does mean, as Yogananda says, we are brought to our knees in desperation or devotion. I’m guessing we’ve all experienced a time or two when we have come to our knees desperate for the love or support of someone. God is always there.

So, this awesome passage was written by the beautiful Yoginia, Sofia Hyder. And, she has graciously allowed me to share it here on the True Yoga Blog with all of us. I read this the other day on Facebook and was brought to tears by how beautiful it is. I met Sofia at the Self-Realization Fellowship. I’m grateful to say she may be sharing her incredible writings with us on the True Yoga Blog, as well. You can read more about her and see her creative and lovely work on her website. For now, I will share these words she was inspired to write after running into a friend at Whole Foods the other day. Can you believe what happens when we allow the inspiration and wisdom were flowing through all of us to stream? That wisdom is in each of us. We all can express in surprising ways. It looks different for each of us, but that creative flow and intelligence is in each of us. Let it flow.

‎03-06-2012

The Blank Canvas

The first three chakras teach us how attachment is formed – by need, by desire, and by fear of loss. The fourth chakra shows us how relationships sound to a peaceful heart. Breath becomes a life force. The vibration transcends appearances and speaks the truth, “We are mortal. We are eternal.” The sixth chakra calls upon our ancient, ancestral, and timeless wisdom to guide us through the material world. The seventh and final chakra brings us to our knees with gratitude, abundance, joy, and recognition of the light. Expansive and intimate, its’ guidance bridges heaven and earth by bloodline. Now is the time to know for ourselves who we genuinely are, neither by holy book nor holy men, but by introspection, engagement, and openness.

So, the truth of the matter is I miss my dad today. There’s no reason why I lose him more today than other days but sometimes I realize, even though he’s with me in spirit, I won’t get, and it’s hard to understand that sometimes, especially, when I think I could be on the earth a long time without him here, physically. And, yet, what brings me comfort in those moments these days. Feeling God’s grace and love and all of the incredible love of family and friends. My dad’s love for me, and, my love for my Dad, opened me up to being able to feel God’s love and the love for and of others in a greater way, so, what a blessing to have had him in my life.

Of course, I wish I could see him again, physically. I’ve had lots of dreams where I’ve gotten to see him and Yogananda says if we meditate deeply enough we can connect with our loved ones astrally, but, still, it seems nothing replaces that physical contact while we are here on earth. And, yet, I don’t pine for him because I do know he is in a better place, free from the suffering of the world. Even when we don’t take it too seriously, let’s face it, it’s not always easy to be in this body. But, breathing in and breathing out, inhaling and exhaling, we can know the peace of surrender. As a good friend said today, don’t think too much ever, just relax. Thank you, Walter, for being there, for being here. We are so blessed to be surrounded by the love of so many amazing souls. We are souls in human bodies…what an amazing experience. Mortal and eternal. Om Shanti.

So, friends, a few more words. Some of you have asked for advice for the Fresh Fruit Cleanse book. I believe you’ll find it to be beneficial, and, a guidebook you keep with you in your life, both, for its recipes and its inspiration from some of the greatest teachings that have blessed my life over the years. But, a few words of advice, in addition to the advice in the Fresh Fruit Cleanse book, is — keep going and don’t give up. Be realistic about your cleansing goals and then stick with it. With all of the recipes in the book, you can make it through however many days are best for you whether that’s 1, 3, 5 or 7 days. Cleansing can sometimes seem intimidating, at first, but the Fresh Fruit Cleanse is a supportive program. It’s not hard but encouraging, delicious and straightforward to go through the cleanse because of all the nutritious and delicious food you get to eat. Remember the excellent Chocolate Pudding recipe I shared on FOX 4 Good Day?

The Crow Pose Challenge!

The Crow PoseOh my gosh, first of all, my eyes are burning, and everything I’m looking at right now has this haze around it because I spent three hours in the pool being photographed doing Yoga poses by this awesome photographer in Dallas, Kathleen Wilke. I haven’t spent that much time underwater since I was a kid.

And, a lot of times when I was a kid I would wear goggles. I had forgotten what it feels like to have chlorinated blood-shot eyes — it burns and even makes it hard to concentrate. I don’t recommend keeping your eyes open for very long in a chlorinated pool. But, I did feel like a kid again. One of my fellow Yoga friends was also photographed with me and it really did feel like we were 8 or 10 just playing in the water. It was awesome. I was just saying in class yesterday how powerful it is to connect with the elements consciously (especially now in the Spring as the expanding sunlight is energizing everything in Nature). As children, we were always immersed in Nature.

For most of us as adults, it requires a little more of a conscious effort. I was saying how powerful it is to practice Yoga poses outside, on the earth, in the sun, feeling the air, and if possible, by water. If we are ever feeling energetically depleted, one of the best remedies and reenergizing techniques is to be in Nature, and of course, practicing a few Yoga poses to really absorb the energy, is even more powerful than just walking, etc. The reason why the elements energize us is that we are the elements. Our body is mostly space, followed by water, earth, fire, and air. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm, as we know, but sometimes we forget the reason why Nature is so powerful for us is that it reconnects us with the pure essence of yourself. No wonder why kids have such boundless energy, because they are constantly connected to Nature’s infinite energy supply. So, I’m glad I got to take my own advice because I got to absorb it all spending so much time outside today…

It is a gift to be awakenedThere’s so much I could write…it’s been a while since I last posted. Sometimes, I want to share my whole life story with you, the True Yoga Blog has often felt like journaling to me. But, to spare you, I will say this. Life is good. The experiences we are growing through are ever-increasingly awakening us to the preciousness of life and the present moment. It’s a gift to be awakened, and often, pain is one of the most powerful illuminators. What’s happened in our world recently has shook us out of our comfort zone. Or, as Shiva Rea would say, it’s been a Mooladhara (1st Chakra) shaking and awakening. And, we are blessed to realize our true security is not fiscal but spiritual. This teaching is scriptural and the strength of Spirit is found in yourself as we recognize Sangha, the gift of spiritual friendship and community. I’m inspired when I think of the community that’s evolved through the True Yoga Blog, and the community of readers that has grown as we share in these thoughts and ideas together, awakening us to new states of awareness individually and collectively.

In one of the books I’m reading right now called The Mystery of 2012 it talks about the rapidly evolving consciousness because of the profound interconnectedness of everything these days, due to the groundbreaking pathways of communication we’ve realized over the past, (it’s hard to believe), but, just 20 years (not even that long).

If you had told Mozart that in the future humans would own tiny boxes the size of a coin, made from some strange material that was neither wood nor metal, with two strings coming out of the box that, when placed in their ears, would enable them to hear any of his compositions as clearly as if they were in a room with an orchestra, would he have believed you? On the contrary, he would probably have thought you mad.

THE OMEGA POINT

One person who believed our destiny was indeed a collective spiritual awakening was the French priest and paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Exploring the evolutionary trends toward greater complexity, connectivity, and consciousness, he argued that humanity was moving toward an “Omega Point” – the final end and goal of evolution.

He believed that the universe had been through several major stages of evolution, starting with what he called “cosmogenesis,” the birth of the cosmosphere, the universe. Next was “geogenesis,” the birth of the Earth (geosphere); following that, “biogenesis,” the birth of life (the biosphere). With human beings, there came “noogenesis” and the “noosphere,” the sphere of thought. He predicted that the final stage, the one that led to the Omega Point, would be “Christogenesis.” This would be the birth of Christ consciousness, not in an individual but the collective-the spiritual birth of humanity as a whole.

Teilhard de Chardin believed this Omega Point would happen thousands of years in the future. Like many others, he did not take into account the implications of ever-accelerating change. In his later years, he commented on the impact of radio and television in bringing humanity together. Technologies like these, he said were bringing the Omega Point much closer. Just before he died, the first computers were being developed. Perceiving the potential of this new technology, he predicted that they, too, would bring the Omega Point even closer. If he had lived to see the emergence of the Internet, he would probably have realized that the Omega Point could come very soon indeed.

BREAKDOWN OR BREAKTHROUGH?

When we look at what is happening in the world today, it is understandable that we might scoff at the very idea of a collective spiritual breakthrough. The daily news may well lead us to believe that we are heading ever more rapidly toward breakdown rather than a breakthrough.

That is, indeed, one likely possibility. I do not want to downplay the dire urgency of the world situation. If we don’t make some radical changes, we are surely headed for a disaster of one kind or another.

I also believe that positive change is possible. If we can develop the wisdom needed to navigate our way through these turbulent times safely, the potentials are staggering and unimaginable in scope. Let’s put our hearts and minds to proving that we can pass Buckminster Fuller’s final evolutionary exam and become a genuinely magnificent species. We are, after all, our only hope.

– The Mystery of 2012

One of the things you can do is take affirmative action. Of course being in service is one of the best ways we can take decisive action. One of my teachers says the most potent practices are Study, Service, and Meditation. When we yoke these three practices together, it becomes a trinity and amazing things awaken within us and around us. The one I get to be committed to, that I have yet to develop a consistent practice with, is service. It is my commitment to awakening this third practice as I grow into the Spring.

I also encourage you to take personal action, meaning, what are how you can better yourself. Of course, practicing Yoga is one way. But, our Yoga practice must go beyond our weekly training. That’s why I’m encouraging each of us to cultivate a daily practice of Crow Pose throughout Spring. The reason why I am suggesting Crow Pose is that it is the foundational arm balance in Yoga. The arm balances are the way we awaken optimal core strength; there is simply no other way to awaken your core strength that deeply. So, the arm balances, and specifically, Crow Pose, is just a place we get to grow into and practice, consistently, if we aspire to realize real progress and positive change. What kind of progress awakens from a consistent practice of Crow Pose?

While each of our practices evolves in a personal way, some of the awarenesses I’ve awakened to through Crow Pose are that it activates Manipura Chakra (3rd Chakra). The 3rd Chakra is the center of will and determination, self-confidence and energetic strength. It is the place where we realize our potential, what’s possible when we commit ourselves to a vision. As we stoke the fire, which is the element connected to 3rd Chakra, unhealthy, heavy egoic habits are dissolved, and the lightness of inspiration is awakened. It literally strengthens your energetic field (aura) causing impure influences to be impenetrable, especially the negative intentions of other people. So, yes, Crow Pose is all this and more. Start practicing it each day, for just a few minutes, and you will be amazed at what transforms within you and all around you as we grow into the Spring season of our Soul.

Namaste!