How to Suffer Well

How to Suffer Well

At the speed of thought, let us journey to Mount Kailash!

Mount Kailash is a yogi’s spiritual library. The mind is a gift, and we have it in our power to use the mind to make the path of divine consciousness simple — make the mind a Mount Kailash!

Keep up, and keep it simple.

Life often tries to push complicated challenges into the consciousness.

For instance, when we try to wrap our thoughts or emotions around it, who or what with human capabilities will be able to solve the critical puzzle that is the combative relations between the United States and Iran? For now, right here, such a puzzle presents itself on the breakfast table in the shape of a newspaper article. Perhaps one feels helpless, like all we can do about it is hang our heads and sigh and worry over what next? As crazy as it may sound, death is prescribed for us all at every moment anyway. A yogi just observes. Knowing Death is now, we are charged with the responsibility to turn worries into wonders. How? Smile and be everywhere: what of gloomy and doomy international affairs or personal setbacks when viewed from the top of Mount Kailash? Let us be everywhere now — you and I — with the peak of Mount Kailash! Let us, up there, continue to hear as we sing the Beloved’s name over and over. Come what may!

The Spiritual Marketplace

Then there is the spiritual marketplace. Oh yogi, forget today’s spiritual marketplace, the noisy community that continually offers to clutter spiritual life with trainings, yatras, workshops, classes, affirmations, self-help, a life coach, retreats, and opportunities to sit with gurus, masters, and lightworkers. All are overpriced and unnecessarily opulent. What a racket! { And there is no time and space in this blog to go into the racket that is the Writer’s Market! Oy! }

Never mind all that!

Mind Kailash!

With all this racket, Honey, let’s stay home! Practice yourself to be your Self.

This little yogi went to market!

This little Yogi Ma stays home.

I am totally content to be right here with a mountain of books. Stay fit, joyful, and playful. Who can afford to pay $5,000 a year to travel to far off, crumbling shrines?

God is right here where I bow my head … at home. And my home, as is your home, is a perfect “energy vortex.”

Or Simply Go to the Library

This blog post celebrates seven books (see below) for those who seek delight and keep their journey light, easy, affordable, and playful. Books offer the journey on a shoestring budget, and if you check them out from the beloved public library, the journey is free! Your next journey into consciousness is as close and affordable as your local public library.

First, let’s approach these books with a practice to strengthen the navel center:

Balance all seven books on your belly and breathe long and deep.

Here are the benefits of this exercise:

  • Big cosmic laughter.
  • A light heart.
  • Appreciation for your mischievous self (as this balancing act is not an ancient practice from any tradition. It’s just silly).
  • Increases what Music Together teachers call your S.Q. (Silly Quotient).
  • Entertains your children.
  • Keeps life playful and allows you to not take your or anyone else’s spiritual journey overly seriously all the time.

The way I see it, if we leave home and go out into the wilderness of spiritual seeking in today’s world, we get bombarded with modalities that seem to me to be out of touch with Life and Wonder. Sometimes spiritual teachers promise strange and fluffy stuff, like “access to ascension codes,” “Third-Eye activation,” “find your unique client-attraction code,” “drop your story and be liberated,” “go into no mind,” “star-being initiation” Frankly, to me, none of this rings true. Yogi Bhajan taught self-initiation. I am self initiated, and here is what that looks like to me:

For this moment, let’s agree that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Then, doesn’t it seem strange to claim spiritual experience involves ascending, activating or in need of special codes? As for dropping your story and going into no mind, well, that is nothing more than intimidating word-wizardry that spiritual teachers use to trick seekers into attending the next level workshop, training, retreat, or yatra. Beware of ways teachers try to keep students feeling in need of tutelage! Why would only a select few “ascended beings” have any more access to spiritual truths than you yourself in your own heart, in your own home? Being alive and breathing, don’t we already have the codes? Dear reader, you are The Code! Sing the Beloved’s name! That’s all. Be fully human and full of humor and full of humanity — full of humus close to the Earth, and Earth is divine enough. Stop ignoring Mother Earth’s divinity! And floating out there is even the twisted notion that Westerners do not have reverence; well, that’s not true. Plenty of Americans (not speaking here for All) have deep reverence for irreverence. And there are plenty of good reasons for this.

My own spiritual path has not taken to downloading blue prints from invisible “higher” realms or acquiring secret yogic transmissions. My spiritual path and inner teacher continue to encourage me to celebrate simple gifts. Two divine simple gifts I celebrate with every drop of my life’s blood are the breath of life and the written word. Breath of life and the written word, my dear Friend, everybody has access to those.

Praise breath! Praise the blank page! Praise words! Prasie books! Praise the sunlight shining upon the page! Praise every breath taken by every creature! Praise every word ever written on the page or in the heart!

Intention

So here is the intention: Bow to every word that was put down in these books.

In the intro to his book Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer Brother David expressed a humble curiosity about whether or not anyone actually reads the introductions of books; who reads entire books at all? Even short ones? Don’t most people just skim? Dear Brother, yes, I can relate to this uncertainty. To Brother David, I humbly offer my small assurance that with a reader like me, he need not worry about that. I read slowly and relish every word.

Not only do I read every word, but I bow to every word.

I bow to every word set down by each of these seven writers in each of these seven books. That’s a lot of bowing. That is what this one yogi practices in her spiritual library: Infinite Pranams.

Meditation Practice

Thank God Yogi Bhajan gave the “Meditation for the Sunrise.” Practicing this kriya with theses books and the sun in mind fuels my devotion. Every bow is bowing to the efforts the writers made to put the words down to the page. I bow to every effort every writer has ever made putting words down on the page. I bow to the page. I bow to the sun shining on the page. Effort to write well, that is what I choose to relate to! Effort to write well, that is how I choose to suffer well. Effort to write well and pulling it off fills me with awe!

I know that when yogi’s say Mount Kailash is a tremendous spiritual library they do not mean it is a literal library with physical books. They are pointing to the etheric tomes of spiritual knowledge that have been deposited at the foot of that mountain since the beginning of Time. Meta-spiritual volumes of experiential wisdom have been absorbed into the stone, sky, and snow, absorbed into the heart of the mountain. So, I am fathoming this stack of seven books as a metaphor for Kailash.

I stacked these seven books one on top of the other on the table or on my belly or on my third eye. I imagine these seven books to be my own murti (symbolic icon) of Mount Kailash. May bowing to every word of these books extend to an expression of bowing to the library of teachings that is Mount Kailash.

Go to Mount Kailash Inside

Yogis in the past journeyed to Mount Kailash, often at the end of their lives, to deposit the teachings that they could not transmit to anyone because no student was willing or able to understand or internalize the beauty, profundity, ecstasy, austerity, and potential those yogis held inside them. It’s a human tragedy that repeats itself — humble beings continually resist the exuberance of fully-bloomed, conscious, authentic give-and-receive student-teacher relatedness.

Beloved Friend, how I can relate to this kind of problem! For years I have been patiently abiding close to folks who poo-poo all things yoga or yogis who just don’t understand the writer’s soul. Mostly there is a lot of why should I care? Words I say and messages I send repeatedly fall on deaf ears in the human realm. So I, too, long to visit Mount Kailash, to pay my undying respects and lay my burden down. My guru is a mountain. My guru is a spiritual library. I make myself a reflection of my guru. Someday, I shall approach my guru with volumes and volumes of secret books and funny stories in my heart. I shall go to my guru and release all this radiance and watch myself die, again!

Seven Books

Here, these seven books (listed below) have brought me joy and comfort while I have been braving the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Over these first eleven days of this new year, new decade, I have been practicing “Meditation for the Sunrise” as an expression of my gratitude toward these books and their authors and it is all symbolic of my relationship to Mount Kailash. Every reading experience is a gesture of internalizing the spiritual library.

Shakti Rising by Kavitha Chinnaiyan gives a seeker the Mahavidya Sadhana. This is a way to welcome the Goddess within to confront every inner conflict that arises on life’s path. Mahavidyas dance up and down my spine.

The Singing Guru by Kamla K. Kapur is a novel about Guru Nanak and his rababi, Mardana, the poets and composers of Japji Sahib, the song of the soul, a prayer poem that I chant every morning. This novel redeems the darkest negativity and changes it to pure light of the divine. Reading this book put malyanil into my skull. Malyanil is “the breeze that brings intimations of eternity.”

In the Shetler by Padraig O Tuama is a gift to the universe. This book helps us say hello to everything. Hello to the things we would never say. Hello to the wrong questions. Hello to shelter. This body is not a trap but a shelter, and a sense of sanctuary vibrates in the blood flow through my heart.

The Seven Story Moutnain by Thomas Merton offers great insight. Oh yogi, what joy to feel called to the Cloister. This book makes me hear that call, too. Now I am a yogi, and a now I am a Trappist monk! Reading this book is a Baptism; my central nervous system floods with sacred waters!

Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast is a rainbow that appears to surprise and to delight! I maintained a huge smile within every part of my body as I read this book!

Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins is hilarious. I love to laugh and can always count on Tom Robbins to keep me light hearted no matter what I am going through. This book reveals his gift to live simultaneously in the rational world and the world of the imagination. Behold the imagination!

Adiyogi: The Source of Yoga by Sadhguru gives me 1,008 reasons to continue on my path as a yogi, writer, and mother. This book gives me 1,008 more reasons to continue my relationship with Mount Kailash.

These seven are an eclectic mix of books to read, but we can be grateful that these days we need not overly identify with any one teacher, teaching, writer, or tradition so as to be limited. Intelligence can be soft like wax. The mind can be a mountain. No, this is not what some complain is spiritual window shopping; we are breathing, thinking, playing, dwelling, dancing spiritual libraries. Yes, be everywhere at home a spiritual library now!

Closing Prayer

Beloved world, may we realize we do not need weapons, stress, mind games, fierce competition, phoniness, enemies, misunderstandings, marketing schemes, or strict rules. Constantly remember the name of the nameless Beloved One … whatever name that may be. Remember, remember. May this mind be Mount Kailash. Come what may! May we realize the treasure of reading slowly and bowing slowly and breathing slowly. Praise the breath of the Sun! Praise the written and unwritten words throughout all time and space! Breathe with the Sun. Praise the breath of the Sun!

Sat Naam!

© Rebecca Jane, Yogi Ma

40 Days of Radiant Words

Day Nine

Where we place our attention makes all the difference to Creation.  It seems it would be wise to be alert to, and careful with, where we place our attention.  In The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, there is some guidance about being alert and attentive when it comes to desire.

Just as desire leaps up, and you perceive the flash, the sparkle, quit from its play, and maintain awareness in that clear and shining place from which all desire springs.

We are human.  We want things.  We want people.  We want recognition.  We want sleep.  We want food.  Desire is an enchanting dimension of human experience.  But to practice keeping a soulful distance from the pressing push and pull of desire gives great pleasure, too.  Focus awareness on the source of all desire so that the push and pull of desire transforms into expressions of your devotion and goodness. .

May you enjoy the infinite gifts of focusing your awareness on the source of all desire. Shine on!

Please join me in practticing this meditation for 11 minutes a day for 40 days:  Meditation to Develop the Radiant Body

Over the 40 days, try also to continue to reflect on this question:

What would I think, write, and say if I knew that all I think, write, and say must happen?

If you want to connect with me, please e-mail a message to lightforceyoga@gmail.com

 

40 Days of Radiant Words

Day One

According to yogic numerology, 2017 is a year to relate to the Radiant Body.

Yogis know that we are much greater than the limits of the physical body; so, cultivating awareness of all ten light bodies of consciousness is a reward and challenge of a daily yoga practice.  These are the ten bodies:  1.  The Soul Body.  2.  The Negative Mind.  3.  The Positive Mind.  4.  The Meditative Mind. 5.  The Physical Body.  6.  The Arc Line.  7.  The Aura.  8.  The Pranic Boday.  9.  The Subtle Body.  10.  The Radiant Body.

The Radiant Body implores a yogi to nourish the realms of consciousness that inspire creativity and courage.

Each day, one might ask this:  How can my unique radiant light body of my own consciousness best express its best creativity and courage in this particular time and space?

There is a meditation to practice to strengthen the radiant body.  The mantra to chant is “Ajai Alai”.

I adore this description of the mantra in The Aquarian Teacher text book: the mantra “Ajai Alai,” also known as the Ik Acharee Chand mantra is so effective that “[o]nce you recite the mantra correctly, it will give you the power that whatever you say must happen.”

I am always seduced by the promised benefits of practicing meditation, but the further I journey on my spiritual path, meditation becomes less and less a matter of something that I do in order to achieve the benefits.  Meditation becomes a habit of mind and being.  Any particular meditation receives a chance to express its own sacredness through my unique being.  Meditation is less about achieving benefits and more about the pure pleasure, pain, anger, boredom, or sadness of experiencing my own consciousness in relationship to this particular practice.

End notes in the meditation manual instruct us to chant each sound of the mantra and “hear each word as a world.”  Each word is projected from the throat and vibrates the whole head.

Yes.  I appreciate this sense: Every word is a world.  This is the kind of rich experience of reality that I am always seeking.  I am sure that I long to speak, listen to, read, and write every word as if each is an entire world.  Let me write that again…  I long to listen to every word as if it is a world.  Every word, a world.  Imagining the dimensions of words offers me a sense of reclaiming words as deep, dimensional, and sacred.  To my meditative mind, talk is never cheap.  To my meditative mind, there is no such things as empty words.  When I can consciously treat each word as a world–not just when chanting but always– then I can know how to speak and walk carefully, lightly in this world and with reverence.

I continue to cultivate a relationship with my own words so that I know their power.  That’s why most of what I want to say, write, think, or speak I try to express in the form of a humble prayer.

May I continue to walk tall, reach out and touch others with great love and royal courage. May I continue to feel the pure joy of sitting, breathing, chanting, and being.  May I vibrate the Cosmos so that the Cosmos may clear the path.  May the benefits of this practice be received by all beings.

Sat Nam!

Please join me in practicing this meditation for 40 days: Meditation to Develop the Radiant Body

 

radiance-seven

 

 

40 Days, 40 Years, 40 Prayers

Day Thirty Nine

Beloved Everywhere,  This is my conscious prayer.

May the human family learn to thrive and be happy under the increased levels of pressure that we are all experiencing.  May we train our minds and intuition to perceive inner dimensions while the senses navigate the outer world with dignity and grace.  May more and more souls chose to experience the sacred sound current as a way to elevate the frequencies of the mind’s thought waves.  May we all come to understand the significance of every word we speak and every word we think.  May we accept, take responsibility for, and acknowledge that our words create our world.  May we come to celebrate that by tuning in to our inner sounds, and by harmonizing those inner sounds with sacred sounds, we experience our inner wisdom and merge with the vast awareness of Divine Silence.  If only one being on this planet experiences Divine Silence, may that one experience elevate every being. May collective human consciousness know deep and perfect ease with All That Is.

Sat Nam!

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40 Days, 40 Years, 40 Prayers

Day #2

I recall a prayer I learned to recite during my Lutheran upbringing: “Our Father who Art in Heaven, hollowed by thy name…” The Lord’s Prayer was a ritual, some words I had to memorize. I enjoy the rhythm of the words as much now as I did back when I was learning it. I enjoy my memories of an entire congregation reciting the words together. Oh, our synchronicity! Oh, our collective appeal to the Almighty to “give us this day our daily bread!” We’re in this together. All in need of bread! I recall beautiful, elevating moments attending church services on Sunday.

I also recall my young mind trying to fit some kind of image to those words. “Our Father,” was an enormous grandfather who wore a long robe and had a white beard as shiny as the moon. “Heaven” was a place inhabited by disembodied choir voices and winged angels who played flying harps. “Hollowed be thy Name” meant nothing much to me, except for maybe some level of awareness that it is not polite to say, “God Dammit!” or “Jesus Christ!” when you stub your toe.

As a child, I never would have dreamt that prayer would have anything to do with the muscle plexus just beneath my belly button, called my navel point. Surely my tongue moved around in my mouth when I recited the Lord’s Prayer, but I thought absolutely nothing of it. So, how would I ever conceive that in order for my prayer to be powerful and effective, I should synchronize the movements of my navel point pumping and the tip of my tongue hitting the roof of my mouth?

I am grateful I know the experience of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a congregation of hundreds as well as I know the experience of deeply meditating on the sensations of my navel point snapping back toward my spine at the same time tip of my tongue hits the roof of my mouth.  They are experiences I can add to the record of experiences that make up the genetic code of my existence.  They are experiences that qualify as dharma, all expressions of my devotion to the divine.  Wonder how many of these I can accumulate today–if you are reading this, may one thousand blessings shower upon you, oh Beloved!

After practicing Day One of the Meditation for Word Power, every time I said or thought the name “Albert,” my husband called.  (Albert happens to be his name.)  Also, this is subtle and may only be my fantasy, but I think I noticed my children were slightly more attentive when I spoke to them.  But…I do not want to promote an effect of a meditation that is simply my wishful projection and not a real effect.  If my children really were more attentive, it’s too soon to celebrate that for fear of jinxing it.  But wouldn’t that be every parent’s prayer answered–imagine if there were a meditation that could work to help a mother’s words penetrate her children’s ears!  Oh, what bliss!

Prayer for today, August 26 (Yogi Bhajan’s birthday):

May all children grow so deeply attentive and alert that they hang on their wise mother’s every word. May they obey, obey, obey in order to one day, in their turn, be able to gracefully command, command, command! May a mother, if she so pleases, be attentive to her navel point and her tongue. May She ever increase her word power!

“Those who do not learn to obey shall never command.”  Yogi Bhajan

Sat Nam!

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