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 Seven

I like to sit quietly.  Now I reflect on the sweet practice of closing the eyes and focusing the eyeballs on the third eye point between the eyebrows.  This stimulates the optic nerves which send signals to the pituitary and pineal glands.  Over time, daily sessions of concentrating on keeping the eyes steadily focused on this brow point strengthens the intuition.  That is something radiant to celebrate.

Here are some more radiant words from The Radiance Sutras, or The Vijnana Bhairava Tantra by Lorin Roche.

Rest the attention easily in the forehead, in the eye that is made of light.  Cherish the delicate energies shimmering there.

Close your eyes for a few minutes and focus on your brow point.  Please know, peaceful Reader, that I am bowing to the delicate energies you notice shimmering there.  Sat Nam!

Please join me in practicing this meditation for 11 minutes for 40 days:  The Meditation to Develop the Radiant Body.

Question for reflection over the next 40 days:

What would I say, write, or think if I knew that whatever I say, write, or think must happen?

If you have questions or want to communicate with me, please contact me at lightforceyoga@gmail.com

third-eye

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Eleven

When the mind spins and expands with all thoughts and words full of heart and spirit, that’s paradise!  Focus on infinite courage.  Create a mind full of Love.  Create a mind full of soul.  Create a mind full of spiritual insight.  Share.  Move.  Enlighten.  Uplift.  “The world is the True Lord’s chamber. Within it the True One resides.”  Sit, have a long, long chat with your True One.  Your protective mind may long to belong, but also long for the liberation of every soul.  Train the projective mind to engage in one-pointed focus on the Divine.   Invite your meditative mind to drink deep and long from the bottomless cup of prayer.  Be the light, and Live the light.  Consciousness.  Bliss.  Consciousness.  Bliss.

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Nine

It’s easy for the mind to dwell in frustration.  Frustration is a habit of the negative mind.  Allow the wild mind to be flexible and playful with singularity and duality and egoism and emotion.  But, commit to a steady focus on infinity and neutrality.  May infinity and neutrality ignite the light of the mind.  May this yogi’s mind dwell in the mind of the Beloved Creator.  Sat Nam!

light.of.mind

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Five

Sometimes we grow suspicious of social institutions, like education, religion, careers, and media.  We accuse these realms of giving us the experience of feeling “brainwashed.”

Your mind is given to you so you can never be brainwashed.

Every day, every hour, every moment, feel empowered to check in with the elements that make up your human organism and all things:  ether, air, fire, water, and earth.

Your mind is given to you to balance the amount of ether, air, fire, water, and earth that you are experiencing in any given moment, in any given circumstance.

Relating to the universe through your consciousness means becoming aware of the balance of the five elements that make up YOU.

Ether:  Check the quality of the space in which you exist.  Is that space giving you room to grow and glow?

Air:  Check the quality of your thoughts and your life force energy.  Do you have thoughts of high or low frequency?  Do you feel you have plenty of energy to give and love and serve?

Fire:  Check the quality of your digestion and lifeblood.  Do you feel at ease moving food through your system?  Are you aware of your blood’s circulation and its oxygen content?

Water:  Check the flow of your emotions and impressions.  Do you feel emotions flow easily through you giving you a rich human experience, but do not get blocked in your body or mind to create whirlpools of neurosis?

Earth:  Check in with your relationship to the Earth.  Do you feel rooted and grounded?  Have your hands helped in the garden?  Have your toes felt the grass or the sand?  Have you savored the sensations of nature in your face and cold in your bones?

If all five of the elements are balanced in your own human organism, nothing can penetrate you to the point of brainwashing you.  And you will no longer feel the need to use brainwashing as an excused to claim you are a victim.

The mind is your responsibility, and you have all the power in the universe to use your mind to become balanced, empowered, and liberated.  Be careful not to waste energy on emotionally-driven complaints of being brainwashed.  Instead, feel empowered to relate to your mind through your awareness.

Geometry of the Soul series two. Background design of human profile and abstract elements on the subject of spirituality, science, creativity and the mind

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Four

So often the mind is referred to as a “monkey.”  So often, one begins a spiritual practice or a meditation practice and is advised to learn to control that monkey mind.

Let’s not be so hard on the mind.

The mind is there to serve us.  The mind is designed to nurture us.

The mind is a companion that truly desires guidance from the soul.

The mind yearns to meditate.

The mind is our precious gift from our Creator.  The mind has been abuse, neglected and polluted.

The mind can heal.

Relate to the mind with innocence, with gentle love, with compassion.

Relate to the mind with gratitude.  Thank you, Mind, thank you!

Mind Geometry series. Creative arrangement of Human profile math and design elements as a concept metaphor on subject of reason science technology and education
Mind Geometry series. Creative arrangement of Human profile math and design elements as a concept metaphor on subject of reason science technology and education

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Three

The mind produces one thousand thoughts per blink of the eye.  Suppose every one of those were thoughts of devotion, thoughts of prayer, thoughts of discipline, thoughts of song, thoughts of beauty, thoughts of excellence, thoughts of service, thoughts of Beloveds, thoughts of compassion, thoughts of infinity, thoughts of sweet longing, thoughts of grace–wouldn’t that be something?

mandala.1

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day Two

While collecting trash, make the mind beautiful.  While cleaning toilets, make the mind beautiful.  While serving others, while healing others, while cleaning up every mess made by mankind, make the mind beautiful.

How does a mind become beautiful?

Chant.  Repeat the Naam.

There are infinite opportunities to make the mind beautiful.  Do not miss a single opportunity to make the mind beautiful.

Every breath (inhale: sat) is an opportunity to make your mind beautiful (exhale: naam).

Make your mind shine.  Chisel your mind into diamond.

What changes a piece of coal to diamond?  Pressure.

What will change your mind to diamond?  Pressure.

Mind the pressure.  Pressure is press and sure.  You can be pressed.  You can be sure. 

You don’t mind your own business.

Mind your own mind.

mandala.MIND

Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind

Day One

You ever wonder what goes on inside God’s mind?  Perhaps you wish you could read God’s mind?

Does God sit, breathe, and mentally vibrate, God and me, me and God, are One?

Well, who cares?  I just wanted to write that opening to get you reading this blog post.  Did it work?  Are you with me?  Great.  Let’s cozy up.  Please, read on.

Our minds have facets, like gemstones have facets.  Light and shadow play off these facets in the form of a variety of projections.  What a gift!  Good thing the exploration, cultivation, and relating to the mind can become a never-ending adventure.

Lately, I have been practicing a meditation called “Karani Kriya” from Yogi Bhajan’s book The Mind: It’s Projections and Multiple Facets.

This meditation cultivates the facet of the human mind that projects receptivity, enthusiasm, and appreciation.  According to the meditation instruction, “This kriya will help the aspirant find the source of creativity that is in the heart.  It solves the problem of finding how to make a lucrative livelihood and satisfy the soul at the same time.”

Great!  This is perfect.  Too often too many souls experience the ways that pressure of making a living can seem to starve the soul.  I know I have had this experience.

I have worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language for some years now.  I have felt “burned out” from teaching because it seemed to me that I was putting in so much energy and enthusiasm while students didn’t seem to care one bit.  Or, they would not complete assignments.  Most frustrating to me was when those whom I regarded as the “best” students would end up cheating on the exams.

I quit teaching ESL for a while, sure that such an occupation was not feeding my soul.  I supposed I would have been more satisfied teaching poetry or literature or creative writing.  I fell into a depression regarding myself as a failure.  I felt small and meaningless.  I felt like a superfluous person, a cog, a pawn, a squirming creature in a sea of struggles.

What’s more, my husband is an attorney who works long hours suing institutions that commit fraud.  As it turns out, one of the schools that I had worked for in New York City was run by the Career Education Corporation, a for-profit institution that practiced illegal recruiting methods to get students to sign up for its programs and receive loans from the government that would eventually leave these students in severe debt with no opportunities for employment after graduating with a degree that meant little or nothing in the working world.  The thought that I had been employed by such an institution sent my stomach turning in disgust.

After taking time off to birth and raise babies, financial necessity urges me to return to teaching ESL as a substitute teacher.

Now, being a substitute certainly lacks glamour and prestige.  I show up to fill in for the usual teacher, and I return home at the end of the day knowing I will never see those students again.  It all feels quite empty and grey.  Thank goodness there’s yoga.  My practice gives me the determination to meditate and grow to live consciously conscious, grow reverent and soulful with the circumstances I live with now.

Also, I refuse to work for any for-profit institution that promises a useless degree.  I work at a tiny school where students come from all over the world to learn English.  That is all that is promised; that is all they receive.  The cost is fair, and the product is authentic.  And I intend to grow to embrace my livelihood with reverence.  This is my mind’s current adventure.  At this point, I still feel a little resistant, still wishing I had been able to pursue a more prestigious path, a more glamorous, celebrated career, a sexier occupation, a more leadership-type job.

But I am willing to open up to the possibility of engaging my Diamond Mind, Creator’s Mind working with what I’ve got.

Our minds are sacred texts.  If I could read yours, I would.  I would sit in a sacred space and read your mind aloud for hours on end.  I would read your mind and quote from it, its poetry, its song, its scripture.  I’d read your mind, and invite the world listen and celebrate your mind’s deep beauty, its complicated mix of light, shadow, facets, aspects, projections, and functions. I’d read your mind with complete faith that by reading, feeling, and sharing what goes on deep within your mind, a great, eternal blessing is conferred upon the One Mind that moves the whole Universe.

mind.is.a.sacred.text