The world is an ashram

2:00 pm

Twilight in Edinburgh

The best part of maintaining an awareness yoga practice is that everything becomes a sadhana, a conscious practice of personal evolution. I just showered, groomed, and dressed in preparation for my work event in one hour with colleagues and clients. I noted how, with awareness-consciousness, even the smallest detail became a practice towards perfection and mastery – even trimming my beard. I noted that there was no vanity in the action. But, rather, a considerate focus on simply respecting myself, and respecting my colleagues and clients. Certainly my employer doesn’t want a slovenly slob to show up for representation. And my client, who may likely be a tad insecure since this is her first company event with us, wants to feel assured that the very best representative of my company is escorting her for the afternoon and evening’s events. In other words, our actions require a perspective of service. Seva. This is what I learned decades ago in the ashram with Baba Muktananda. 

I recall, when I was 19, being in that ashram and noting how it was an encapsulated embodiment of the entire world due to the presence of yoga students from every country on the planet. Today, while standing outside of my hotel here in Miami, the thought came to mind “The world is the ashram.” This is true. The lesson to learn in an ashram are the life skills you take away with you to apply in your daily life after you leave. The situation in this modern age is practicing awareness where you are, with what you got, and whomever you are with. All are reflections of the divine, of the conscious order of creation. God dwells in everyone equally, without discrimination. 

By seeing this connection within yourself, you can witness that divine soul part of another individual. Moreover, by practicing awareness yourself, you witness their soul enlivening in your company, and pushing its way forward into the consciousness of the other. Recall the meaning of the word Yoga – Union. By connecting within yourself, you facilitate and serve humanity through proximity of the others around you. An old prayer we chanted in the ashram used to say “kindle my heart’s flame with thine.” By practicing awareness, you innately become a light in the wilderness for others who are transmigrating through this existence with you. Their soul not only recognizes the awakened flame of the holy spirit within you, but reaches out toward the life, like a hungry moth proceeding toward flame. Each person’s soul yearns to reconnect. It’s our modus operandi. 

As I write this, I’m experience love spontaneously welling up in my heart. I don’t know why other than the simple joy I glean from writing these perceptions from the path. I suppose the love is arising from a sense of gratitude I am experiencing from finding my way back to the path of inner connection. It has been my personal life’s motive since childhood. I always desired to have a deep relationship with God. I am more moved to learn, that, after 50 years of seeking, I find that God has been desiring a deep relationship with me. It’s the best sort of love affair because there is no adultery or cheating involved. My heart is overwhelmed with emotion now, as if each word I write is acknowledged by something deep within me that is simultaneously grateful that I have at long last awakened. I can give God a rest now. LOL. He/She/It can now enjoy a vacation. The best part of that, is, God gets to enjoy that vacation through me. For here I am in Miami for another night, and tomorrow we sail for Haiti and Jamaica. God is pleased to experience its own joy through me. 

Now it is time for me to descend to the lobby to join my colleagues and clients for our work venture. And again – it’s a beautiful thing – work, too, becomes an opportunity to practice sadhana, to do seva – service – to others, my family (though earning money), and experience the divine in a curiously unique manner. Baba used to call this the play of consciousness, the dance of Shiva. He was most definitely correct. 

Love you all. Talk to you later. Peace.

PS: One last thought: Since I’ve enrolled in an 8 year Sadhana, EVERYTHING I do for the next 8 years will be a sadhana, a yoga practice. It’s a wonderful life. I can’t thank Bhagavan and Amma enough for inviting me to join them on this excursion. It’s a great gift, my graduate course in yoga. So far, things are looking up and I am witnessing this magic unfolding of everything I’ve ever read or heard about the experience of the inner journey. This is good stuff, and I’m loving it.

Amen. 

 

Kundalini Kindergarten

Saturday, February 23, 2019 10:002 am.

My meditations are getting deeper with each day, each week. The physical sensations I feel seem to me to be a healing and adjustment to the effects earned by shear laziness in spiritual practice for over a decade. Certainly, for all those years, I thought I was regular meditator, I thought I prayed adequately. The latter is true, however. Though I may have not done much, at the very least I maintained a relatively regular daily conversation with God. I didn’t know who was listening. I would talk, ask, request, and let them do the work. And yet, from the time before the retreat I attended in December and since, I’ve felt that everything has been perfect just as it is, as it has played out. 

When I review my activities and inclinations of the past 14 or so years, I can clearly see that all of those tendencies and desires were things I had to exercise out of my consciousness. These must have been impressions accumulated for lifetimes, and certainly from this incarnation. My desire to party, imbibe alcohol, smoke weed, have sex, procrastinate, and the biggie – to self-indulge in my own pity party for not experiencing fulfillment – all of this was just preparatory stuff for this time. I look now and see that, spiritually, I was only in kindergarten. Actually, it’s as if I had to go through the whole gamut of the corresponding years one spends in primary education – 12 years – to prep for now. Now, I feel that I am in a Master’s academy. 

It is fascinating to consider, that, in the old days in Asia, a student would have to go away and spend this number of years in a monastery or ashram, dedicating that time to intense scriptural and philosophical study, contemplation, meditation, prayer, and the direct tutelage of an enlightened master. Today, one need not go further than their own study, bedroom or living room, because all that needs to be learned externally is accessible by internet, and internally, as it has always been there. 

There was another set of remarks made by Bhagavan in one video that struck a chord. He mentioned how high experiences will come and go, that Kundalini will rise and subside, that all of this is normal. This resonated with me as I do experience these peak moments of feeling in union with creation, accompanied by profound ecstasy and joy, and then it will subside. I experience gentle throbbing in my pineal gland accompanied by an extraordinary, sustained serenity, and this too will subside. He said it’s just part of the process.

The more I contemplated this pattern, it made sense. All of nature’s life force is reflected in an ebb and flow – in our breath, in our blood, in our hydration, and in nature in ocean waves on the surf, in weather changing, in the cycle of sun and moon rising and setting. All of nature flows in a cyclical manner. Kundalini rising and subsiding along with accompanying experience seems to ebb and flow at its own rate. But, the distinction I’m learning through direct observation and experience, is that Kundalini is embodied with consciousness. It is an energy force that is aware of itself. It is, what is known in Christendom, as The Holy Spirit. Kundalini is the hand of God, of creation, exercising itself through our being. Our being is just a function of creation. Hence the age-old philosophical schools that address ego identification as an illusory distraction. Is a flower conscious of its own color or distinction of variety, as a rose or a sunflower? The flowers may be more advanced and enlightened than we.

The sages both old and contemporary all concur that being born into a human incarnation is a rare gift. It seems to be the one outlet of creation that is enabled with the ability to become aware of itself, and to recognize the distinctions that define it. The ego identification is what separates us as “different”, whether it be by race, nationality, religious affiliation, cultural mannerisms, weight, hair and eye color, ancestry, name, etc. Identification with ego’s impressions on the mind and mental faculties is what starts wars, what incites murder, revenge, all the vices and defined set of sins. Our ancestors have advised us for generations to be wary of these deceptions the mind cultivates. Has there been a disconnect in our current era? Has the present generation simply discarded these ancient lessons and words of advice that have been passed on? I see it as an innate tendency borne of the desire for independence. 

By identifying with ego, we interpret personal independence in a variety of manifestations: ignoring our parent’s requests; ignoring established laws and cultural guidelines, etc, unmindful for the reasons that set such regulations in place. Not all such man-made laws are good ones, as we’ve seen in the United States manifested in the legal enslavement of imported peoples, of denying civil rights to many of those same peoples, etc. Jesus addressed this question: Were the laws made for man or man for the law? We need to question, we need to grasp, understand, and continue to advocate for what is right. But it has always required to be done with wisdom. 

As soon as a law is set for the greedy gain of one people, political or religious sway, then the wisdom is left at the doorstep. Wisdom in human decision making must always be paramount and placed on the highest altar. Recognition of wisdom comes from within, beyond the reach of the ego. In ancient times, civic agreement was not predicated on egoic decision. It was made with the collective acknowledgment of the perceived wisdom respectively  arising within each political decision maker. True societies were established in this way. We have just lost our way through time. 

We must regain the ability to be aware through practice of awareness. That is the connection with the creative force, the consciousness that weaves it’s breath through every fiber of this creation – materially, psychologically, spiritually. The ancients gave names to this force to define an experience: Yh-wh, Allah, Paramatma, Brahma, God. Jesus simply called it “Father.” Despite its name, its all the same thing. Our stringent, egoic adherence to our perceived ideology as being the only correct one lacks the needed wisdom on which it is predicated. We need to practice awareness and return to that source again. We can even come up with a new name for it. Because one thing is certain – it is not a fantasy. This life force is very palpably real, and can be known and experienced.

Lately, while I’ve been sitting in meditation, my legs and feet spontaneously have been taking on a walking motion. My muscles seem to assert themselves in such a manner as if to tell me that this beast that I embody needs to walk. This is how conscious life force works. We need to recognize it. By ignoring such signals, that is what has since become dogmatically defined as sin, and then sin has taken on a whole new set of meanings. Sin is nothing more than ignoring the conscious prompting of the holy spirit as it moves within us. Our minds then take it to whole other level, and we feel it is ok to steal our neighbor’s money and possessions, violate them sexually without consent, or take their life. 

But getting back to my meditation, this leg impulse has happened so frequently that it is clearly trying to tell me that I need to walk more, that I need to at least do that to keep my heart and body in shape. It’s not that different than my dogs coming over to where I’m sitting and rest their chin on my arm, awaiting my acknowledgement. They are asking me to take them for a walk. Likewise, the human beasts we inhabit, when we begin to recognize that we are souls simply renting the space for a limited duration, will also tell us when we need to go out for a walk. Or stop eating, or imbibing, or doing things that may be harmful to our respective beast individually. This is how self-mastery is accomplished. 

Now I need to prepare for my work day. I’ll sign in later. 

Peace.